Posts Tagged ‘2014’

Date announced for Culdrose Air Day 2015

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Culdros Air Day

Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose is pleased to announce the date for ‘Air Day’ 2015 – Thursday 30th July.

The annual event, which has become a firm favourite on the Cornish Event Calendar, enables the general public to experience the sights and sounds ‘onboard’ one of the Royal Navy’s helicopter bases, whilst seeing breathtaking flying displays in the skies. It’s the only day of the year when the public can ‘experience the world of Culdrose’ and see what happens behind the security gates.

The Commanding Officer of Culdrose, Captain Mark Garratt said: “Air Day 2014 was a fantastic event, with a record numbers of visitors attending from across Cornwall and beyond. Now that we have set the date for 2015, my team will start to book aircraft for the Air Display and military acts for the arena. We will work hard to make it another day to remember and hope to have some very special visitors in the air and on the ground.”

Captain Mark added: “Our Air Day is quite different from the other Air Shows across the United Kingdom. As one of the few events held within a military establishment, it is often the only opportunity for non-military personnel to come into our world and find out about life in the Armed Forces. It is a day when we invite the general public to meet those serving on frontline Squadrons, learn about our outstanding training facilities, get close to our aircraft and learn about the Operations that we are involved in across the World.”

A list of aircraft participating in the event will be announced next year, however Captain Mark confirmed that: “The Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm will be attending in force to demonstrate the versatility and adaptability of maritime helicopters including the Lynx, the new Merlin and the Sea King. The nimble Hawks of 736 Naval Air Squadron will show off their agility and speed and it will be the last Air Day that the Search and Rescue Sea Kings of 771 Naval Air Squadron will perform. We are also hoping to welcome fast jets, aerobatic display teams, historic jets and veteran aircraft, in particular the Royal Navy Historic Flight.”

Tickets for the event will be on sale in the New Year. More information about the event and a list of display aircraft will be available soon at

RAF Museum Joins Forces with Germany and France to Share First World War Stories

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

The Royal Air Force Museum has partnered with Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace (Paris) and the Militärhistorische Museum der Bundeswehr (Berlin) to mark the centenary of the First World War in the air. will publish the letters, diary entries and artefacts relating to three First World War pilots over the course of the centenary. Letters written by Bernard Rice, Jean Chaput and Peter Falkenstein have been fully transcribed and translated and will be published 100 years after they were originally written.

This online project is linked to a series of centenary exhibitions at the three museums that deal with the often overlooked aerial aspect of the First World War. Many of the items featured online will be displayed as exhibits in the respective museums:

The Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace will be running a temporary exhibition “La grande Guerre des Aviateurs” (“The Great War of Airmen”) from 5 October 2014 to 25 January 2015 (more information).

The Militärhistorische Museum der Bundeswehr will present “14 Menschen – Krieg” (“14 – People – War”) in Dresden and an exhibition “Falkenstein zieht in den Krieg” (“Falkenstein Goes To War”) in Berlin-Gatow (more information).

Adam Shepherd, Head of Collections Management at the Museum said:

“This marks a unique partnership between three European museums as we reflect on the First World War and remember the people who served in the world’s first air forces.

Through their own letters and diaries, we wanted to tell the stories of three ‘ordinary’ airmen who lived through these extraordinary moments in time. We also wanted to tell a more diverse story. The popular image of the air war is that of daring fighter ‘aces’ and ‘Knights of the Air’. We wanted to tell some less well known stories, such as aerial reconnaissance and artillery observation, which became key roles for aircraft in a war dominated by trenches and big guns, and bombing, which literally brought war close to home.

I would especially like to thank my French and German colleagues, Georgia Santangelo, Jan Behrendt and their teams for all their work on this pioneering new venture, through which we can more widely share the stories of Bernard, Jean and Peter.”

Museum offers Online First World War Course

Sunday, October 12th, 2014

Marking the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, registration is now open for ‘World War One: Aviation Comes of Age’, which will allow users to explore the aerial aspect of the conflict through a series of academic resources and multimedia content. 

The course will look at:

How technological innovations turned the aeroplane into a machine of war and how British factories developed to supply the pilots of the Western Front with aircraft and ammunition.

How the aeroplane became a commercially viable tool for the first time, with passenger and mail routes starting to appear

How the government tried – and failed – to regulate the aviation industry

How all the key moments in the air in the Second World War followed from lessons learned during the First World War.

The RAF Museum provided locations for filming across its site in London. This included the Grahame White office that was active in overseeing aircraft production during the First World War. This footage will form the core of the course’s lecture content. Many of the RAF Museum’s aircraft will feature in various guises. Additionally, various documents from the RAF Museum’s collection were used in the filming and some will be made available to students once the course launches in October.

A MOOC is a Massive Open Online Course – these are free, open, online courses designed to offer a taste of higher education to learners from across the UK and the world. The University of Birmingham is delivering new MOOCs in partnership with the BBC, Futurelearn, the UK’s first MOOCs provider established by the Open University.

The course has been developed by Air Commodore (ret’d) Dr Peter Gray of the University of Birmingham and it will be delivered by world-class academics from the university. Dr Gray is also a member of the RAF Museum’s Research Board and one of the UK’s leading air power historians. The course enables learners worldwide to sample high-quality academic content via an interactive web-based platform from a leading global university, increasing access to higher education for a completely new cohort of learners.

The MOOC will allow the RAF Museum to interact with a range of learners in a new and innovative manner that moves beyond the traditional confines of the museum environment. Learning forms an integral aspect of the Museum’s new ‘First World War in the Air’ exhibitions, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, which opens to the public in December 2014. The exhibitions at both Museum sites in London and Cosford explore the vital role air power played in delivering victory in the First World War through the stories of those involved in this pioneering field.

This initiative forms part of the RAF Museum’s desire to develop its academic and research programmes as it moves towards the RAF’s Centenary in 2018 and beyond.

RAF Museum Aviation Historian, Ross Mahoney: “The Royal Air Force Museum is proud to have worked with the University of Birmingham and the BBC on this new innovative course, ‘World War 1: Aviation Comes of Age’. The First World War was a key moment in the development of military aviation and by its end; Great Britain had formed the world’s first independent air force, the RAF. However, many myths have developed around the use and influence of aviation in this period. This course, filmed at the RAF Museum, explores those myths and shows how aviation gripped people’s imagination and transformed the very character of warfare, which still influences the world today.”

Museum Seeks Blogger In Residence for First World War In The Air Exhibition

Monday, October 6th, 2014

The Royal Air Force Museum London is opening its doors to welcome in a blogger in residence as it gears up to the opening of its first major exhibition in over 10 years.

First World War In The Air is a brand new permanent exhibition opening in December 2014 in the museum’s historic Grahame-White Factory: this Grade II listed building was an active aircraft factory during the First World War. The Museum site in North London has a rich history and played an important role in the early development of British aviation. English aviation pioneer Claude Grahame-White described the area as ‘the birthplace of aerial power.’

The exhibition, supported by the HLF will explore what it was like to be involved in the earliest days of military aviation through the story of Britain’s air services, the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Naval Air Service. These two organisations merged on 1 April 1918 to become the world’s first independent air force, the Royal Air Force. This story will incorporate the experiences of pilots, ground crews and factory workers as well as the local North London community.

The lucky blogger will be invited to visit the Museum across key dates* including the VIP opening. They will have full access to the team behind the exhibition and take a behind the scenes look at the exhibition development, installation, aircraft suspension and exhibition build.

Bloggers interested in being considered need to follow @rafmuseum and Tweet us telling us what your favourite thing about the Museum is using #FWWIA and a link to their current blogs by Friday 17th October.

First World War Camel takes its place

Monday, October 6th, 2014

GWF Camel

The RAF Museum is pleased to announce the Sopwith Camel is now in position, suspended from the ceiling of the Grahame White Factory. The aircraft will be a key exhibit within the First World War in The Air Exhibition

First World War in the Air is opening December 2014 with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).This major new exhibition, will allow museum audiences to discover and explore the unique and often overlooked role of air power during the First World War through the incredible stories of the men and women who took part.

The creation of new exhibitions and supporting activities will be delivered across the museum’s two public sites and online. It will include programmes for lifelong learning, volunteering, apprenticeships and public events. The four-year project will mark the Centenary of the First World War, exploring the development of air power as an integral part of modern warfare and end by celebrating the birth of the RAF in 2018.

Dornier Do 17 moves into next stage of conservation

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

Dornier Fuselage

The world’s last surviving Dornier Do 17 has now moved into the second phase of its conservation at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford.

It’s been a little over 15 months since the aircraft was lifted from the bottom of the Dover Straits and transported to the Museum’s Cosford site for ground breaking conservation work. The process so far has seen the aircraft systematically sprayed with a low concentration citric acid based solution inside purpose built hydration tunnels. This process has helped to remove marine accretions and subsequently the neutralised corrosion impurities in the aluminium aircraft structure.

The project is progressing at a much faster rate than previously anticipated and the Museum is delighted to see second stage conservation work commence on the aircraft’s forward fuselage. Confident that the citric acid solution has done its job, the fuselage was removed from the tunnels early September and has undergone an intense wash down, before being moved into the Conservation Centre.

Aircraft Technician Andy Woods is now working on the Dornier full time, with his initial efforts focused on internal cleaning and removing any remaining marine deposits with the use of plastic scrapers. Control rods and other smaller items are being carefully removed allowing Technicians greater access to the airframe structure beneath. A team of Volunteers will work on the components removed from the aircraft and which will be put back at a later date.

The construction of the wings has made the process of removing salt and sand from internal sections much slower than the fuselage. The wing section has recently been subject to a deep clean by a team of Apprentices and over a tonne of salt and sand has been removed from the aircraft. Further time in the hydration tunnels is required to allow the citric acid to do its work before the wings join the fuselage in the Conservation Centre.

Both engines and propellers have been removed from the tunnels and mounted on purpose built stands allowing easier access for Technicians to begin treatment. During the aircrafts time underwater the magnesium components disintegrated but the steel components remained fully intact. The majority of the marine deposits have now been removed and a test section has been coated in a 2-pac polly acrylic mix. The Conservation team at Cosford are confident that leaving some of the internal marine deposit on the airframe will provide strength to the fragile aluminium skins.

The Imperial College London continues to offer guidance and over the Summer, Scientist Yanika Agius spent three weeks working with the Museum. Sample testing was carried out on sections of the aircraft to monitor if the spraying process had removed all the crystallised salts from the metalwork. The results showed that most areas were clear with just a few sections of the tail plane needing further attention. Treatment will now see pieces of felt soaked in the citric acid solution and placed on the areas with crystals remaining, concentrating the solution to where it’s needed. Testing will be carried out in a few weeks’ time to see if the remaining crystals have been removed.

The gradual process of removing the thick layer of marine deposits has revealed several bullet holes and shrapnel damage on the airframe, plus small areas of the original paint finish. While working on some of the smaller components, Volunteers discovered push rods still coated in their original oil and when a pipe was removed from a fuel injection unit, a small amount of the original fuel was still present. An interesting discovery during the Summer was the flare pistol still mounted in its original stowage within the forward fuselage. Having informed and called in the appropriate authorities, the pistol was declared safe and Technicians subsequently removed it from the aircraft. Volunteers have since carried out conservation work on the flare pistol which is now on display at the Museum.

Darren Priday, Conservation Centre Manager at RAF Museum Cosford says:

“The citric acid solution has worked wonders on the large and small objects inside the hydration tunnels. It was a major milestone when the forward fuselage was removed from the treatment area and gave us the first indication that there was light at the end of the tunnel. We are not taking things for granted and we are keeping a careful eye on the section as she is quite fragile, but then anything would be after spending 73 years in the hostile Dover Straits.

Having Yanika from the Imperial College was a major boost for us as she was able to carry out tests for salt crystals, something that is not visible with the naked eye. The Cosford volunteers are continuing to carry out the small item conservation and will be available for those attending the Conservation Centre Open Week to learn more.”

At the time of the Dornier’s recovery, it was unclear just how much of the aircraft could be saved following over seventy years on the seabed. Visitors to the Museum are invited to attend the Conservation Centre Open Week in November and see for themselves the fantastic progress being made on the aircraft, only a year and a half since it was raised from the Dover Straits.

The Open Week will run from 9-15 November from 10:15am until 1:00pm each day. Visitors can get up close to the aircraft and speak with the team of Technicians, Apprentices and Volunteers working on the Dornier project as well as other aircraft currently being restored. Admission to the Conservation Centre Open Week is £5 per person with all proceeds going towards the maintenance and upkeep of the exhibits. Children under 16 accompanied by an adult are free.

Admission to the Museum is FREE of charge. Anyone wishing to donate towards the conservation of the aircraft can do so online via the Museum website For more information please call the Museum on 01902 376200.

Dominie finally acquired for Newark Air Museum

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

Newark Air Musuem Dominie delivery

After a short set of negotiations the Newark Air Museum has completed the purchase of Hawker Siddeley Dominie T1 XS726 from Everett Aero of Sproughton, Suffolk. Funding for the acquisition has been provided thanks to the generosity of two long-standing museum members, Mike and Kathy Smith.

On Wednesday 24th September 2014 the airframe was delivered to the museum’s site in eastern Nottinghamshire, which is close to the border with Lincolnshire by a team from Everett Aero. As part of the purchase agreement the wings were refitted to the aircraft by the Everett Aero personnel.

The Dominie fills an important gap in the museum’s themed display of training aircraft. The type was used to teach the skills of systems management, air leadership, decision making and teamwork to various aircrew members including: weapon systems officers and operators, air engineers and air loadmasters.

Dominie’s were retired from RAF service in early 2011 and at that time the museum was unsuccessful in an attempt to purchase one of the airframes that had been operating from nearby RAF Cranwell. The acquisition of Dominie T1 XS726 fulfils this aim and is in line with one aim of the museum’s stated Collecting Policy of acquiring:

“Aircraft used in a Training role.”

The airframe retains its original configuration and is essentially complete. Once reassembled by the museum staff and volunteers XS726 will eventually be moved inside Hangar 2 at the museum. Here it will be displayed alongside several other training airframes, like the Varsity, Jetstream, Bulldog, Gnat and Jet Provost. XS726 is expected to retain its current training scheme markings.

Dominie T1 XS726 was delivered to the RAF on 25th October 1965 and served at RAF Cranwell and with both 3 and 6FTS. Its final training role was as an instructional airframe (9273M) at RAF Cosford and it was delivered there on 24 June 1997. XS726 was moved to Sproughton in 2007.

Pilots of the Caribbean

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

african heritage in the RAF

Volunteers of African Heritage in the RAF

Exhibition start date: 6 October 2014

A brand new exhibition entitled ‘Pilots of the Caribbean: Volunteers of African Heritage in the Royal Air Force’ is due to open at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford next Month. The exhibition opening will coincide with Black History Month, a national event celebrating the achievements of black men and women throughout history.

Curated in partnership with the Black Cultural Archives, the exhibition will tell the inspirational story of these volunteers, commemorating and celebrating their vital contribution to the defence of Britain, her Empire and Commonwealth. Accompanying video footage and artefacts will bring to life the stories of these brave volunteers.

With the outbreak of the First World War, the first black volunteers from the Caribbean, Africa and Britain volunteered to serve with the Royal Flying Corps (RFC), the Royal Naval Air Service and from 1 April 1918 the Royal Air Force. And again during the Second World War these brave volunteers fought, and died, for the mother country and for freedom, and thereby helped to preserve the values and the heritage they shared with their white comrades.

The exhibition will look back at the First World War and the thousands of volunteers from across the empire who enlisted out of patriotism and seeking adventure. As well as fighting men, the Caribbean and African colonies provided vital raw materials needed in the war efforts; mahogany used for making aircraft propellers, cotton for observation balloons and foodstuff including sugar and rice. After serving in the war, the ‘colour bar’ to enlistment in the Armed Forces was quietly re-imposed.

Nevertheless, on the outbreak of World War Two, the Empire’s black populations still chose to support the mother country and young black men were again prepared to risk their lives in her defence. Black volunteers served with all UK-based RAF commands, including Bomber Command which saw four-fifths of African-Caribbean aircrew in active service and Fighter Command which saw the first black volunteers selected to train as fighter pilots in 1941. The only exemption was Transport Command, whose personnel visited countries intolerant of integrated crews.

After the war, most black airmen and airwomen returned to Africa and the Caribbean, proud of having played their part in the defeat of Nazism. Their efforts were rewarded when Britain granted her African and Caribbean colonies independence within the Commonwealth in the 1950s and 1960s. As volunteers were fully integrated into the Service and their ethnic origin was not entered onto their personal records, it is difficult to tell how many black personnel served in the RAF. However, official records do show that together the black volunteers constituted a valuable asset to the RAF.

The RAF maintains its commitment to recruiting the best personnel regardless of race, creed or colour and it is today considered one of the very best employers of people from minorities. The exhibition will highlight the RAF’s success in embracing diversity and demonstrate how the rich, cosmopolitan nature of modern Britain owes much to the black men and women who wore air force blue.

‘Pilots of the Caribbean: Volunteers of African Heritage in the Royal Air Force’ will be on display at the RAF Museum Cosford from Monday 6 October 2014 in the Museums Temporary Exhibition Gallery, Hangar 1. Viewing the exhibition and entry to the Museum is FREE of charge. For more information visit the Museum website or call the Museum on 01902 376200.

Saftey Announcement for visitors to Duxford Airshow

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Ahead of The Duxford Air Show this weekend, IWM Duxford has released some important safety information:· IWM Duxford takes great care to ensure its air shows are as safe as possible for everyone involved.

· It is not safe to occupy the fields immediately south of the runway during the air show. If you do so you are putting yourself and the display pilots in harm’s way.

· In the event of an incident it is imperative that the emergency services have clear, unhindered access to the tracks across this land.

· There is no public access to these fields at any time.

Jointly issued by IWM Duxford, Cambridgeshire Constabulary and the owners of this land.

See two Lancasters close-up at the Jersey International Air Display 2014

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

A rare chance to see the world’s only two airworthy Avro Lancasters close-up will be offered as part of this year’s Jersey International Air Display, taking place on Thursday 11 September.

The aircraft, from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, will form part of the show’s static display at Jersey Airport before and after their flying appearance over the Bay of St Aubin’s on Thursday 11 September. For a small fee, in aid of Help for Heroes, it will be possible to get up close to the pair of Lancasters – an opportunity only afforded at very few venues during the Canadian aircraft’s visit.

The arrival of the Lancasters at Jersey Airport is scheduled for the afternoon of Wednesday 10 September. They will leave on Friday 12 September.The static display at the airport’s south apron is open during the following times:

• Wednesday 10 September: 14.30hrs to 19.00hrs
• Thursday 11 September: 08.00hrs to 09.30hrs
• Thursday 11 September: 17.30hrs to 19.00hrs
• Friday 12 September: 08.30hrs to 12.00hrs

Admission to the static display costs just £5.00 per person.Visitors are urged also to buy a copy of the show’s comprehensive souvenir programme, as this is one of the major means of funding the display.

The free air display takes place over the Bay of St Aubin’s during the afternoon of Thursday 11 September. Over the years, Jersey has become renowned as one of the most imaginative airshows on the scene – indeed, in 2013 it was the recipient of the prestigious Paul Bowen Trophy, presented by the European Airshow Council to what it considered the previous year’s best European air display.

This year’s list of flying display participants is as follows (correct to 2 September):

• RAF Red Arrows
• RAF Tucano
• RAF Tutor
• RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Lancaster, Hurricane and Spitfire
• Canadian Warplane Heritage Lancaster (first Jersey appearance)
• Army Air Corps Lynx AH7
• Swedish Air Force Historic Flight AJS 37 Viggen, J 29F ‘Tunnan’, SK 35C Draken(first Jersey appearance) and SK 60
• Autogyro (first Jersey appearance)
• English Electric Canberra PR9
• Hawker Hunter T7
• Morane-Saulnier MS406 (first Jersey appearance)
• Rockwell OV-10 Bronco
• Polikarpov I-16 ‘Rata’ (first Jersey appearance)
• Curtiss P-40N Warhawk (first Jersey appearance)

Further acts may be added depending on sponsorship.

In addition, a Polish Navy M28 Bryza 1R maritime patrol aircraft will form part of the airport static display, while helicopters on static display there, and in St Helier’s Lower Park or People’s Park on the day of the flying display, will comprise a Royal Navy Lynx, Merlin and Sea King.