Posts Tagged ‘2015’

First Thunder Day of Season a Great Success!

Sunday, April 10th, 2016

Yorkshire Air Museum Thunder Day

Over the past few years, as some of the propeller driven aircraft within the Yorkshire Air Museum’s collection have been brought into ‘live’, engine running condition, we have refined the “Thunder Day” concept into a very popular event, enjoyed by hundred’s of people.

The first of these events for 2016 got the new season off to a roaring start on Sunday 3rd April and, for the first time, we have a short, professionally shot video of the activities, to give a flavour of the event., which can be viewed on the following link:: (Please credit Neill Watson – Octane Factory)

The show featured engine runs of two of the Museum’s WWI bi-planes, in the form of the Port Victoria Eastchuch Kitten and Royal Aircraft Factory SE5a; the imposing WWII Douglas Dakota; post war 1947 De Havilland Devon VIP Transport (known to have carried Lord Mountbatten) and the Cold War jets of the BAE Nimrod MR2 XV250 and the mighty Handley Page Victor V-Bomber XL231 “Lusty Lindy”.

The Museum’s volunteer Fire Team, trained to meet Civil Aviation Authority standards, provided much entertainment for visitors from the start, with children having fun with the fire hoses and culmination with a simulated aircraft rescue activity, using the mighty 38 ton Reynolds Boughton Chubb Pathfinder airport fire tender and six-wheel Range Rover rapid intervention vehicle to spectacular effect.

The next of these exciting events takes place on Sunday 5th of June, and it is planned that the Museum’s live Blackburn Buccaneer XN974 will be taking part once again, after a complete repaint into the striking Fleet Air Arm colours it originally bore. This aircraft performs an impressive display with all its control surface movements and wing-folding routine as it would on board an aircraft carrier.

Airscene Awards 2015 – Results

Thursday, December 17th, 2015

Vulcan bomber at Beachy Head

If you are an aircraft enthusiast you are unlikely not to have seen the youtube video featuring the Vulcan Bomber at Beachy Head (as seen in the image above).

The video gives Airscene it’s headline news for the Airscene 2015 awards, as the passion for the Vulcan bomber (in her final display season) resulted in over 50% of overall votes casts going in her favour. Vulcan XH558 received twice as many votes as the RAF Chinook (last years winner and 2015 Runner Up) and places her as Airscene readers favourite Solo Display.

That brings us quickly on to Beach Head at Eastbourne, which is home to the winner of the Best FREE Airshow “Airbourne”… summed up quite neatly by Mrs Paula Borthwick from Peacehaven “Eastbourne Airbourne …an amazing day out … goodebumps!” – for clarification, Airscene hasn’t checked if this is a typo.

Airbourne missed out last year to Dawlish Airshow, and to South Coast Rivals Bournemouth Air Festival in 2013, but there is no doubt that the public loves Eastbourne Airshow, and they deserve to be back at the top this year.

RAF Cosford slip down to 1st Runner Up place as Airscene readers give Duxford Flying Legends the nod of approval this year in the Best Airshow category.

Best Display Team goes (for the 5th year running) the the Red Arrows, although it does appear that the gap between the Reds and the other display team is narrowing – perhaps The Blades will win it next year?

Finally in the Best Aviation Museum Category, Cosford RAF Museum cling on to the top spot, narrowly beating IWM Duxford by just 15 votes. North East Aircraft Museum squeeze out Fleet Air Arm Museum this year and are placed 3rd with 10% of the votes.

Thank You to everyone who voted – these are not industry awards, they are YOUR awards and do provide a valuable window on the public perception of how the airshows and museums are doing. That is not to say that we shouldn’t all as aviation enthusiasts be extremely proud of them ALL… now start planning your visits for 2016.

*For full results please visit

Festive opening dates at Cosford

Monday, December 14th, 2015

snow covered Britannia at RAF Cosford

If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle this Christmas, why not visit the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford during the festive period? The Museum will be open each day throughout December from 10am apart from Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Not only will you be able to reminisce in the Warplanes Hangar where you can view a wide range of historic aircraft including the world’s oldest Spitfire, visitors can get up close to a unique collection of experimental jets including the TSR2 and the Bristol 188.

Step in from the cold into the award winning National Cold War Exhibition, where you will find much more than aircraft on display. The exhibition includes a genuine section of the Berlin Wall, audio visual displays telling the story of the Cold War in a fun and innovative way, plus a collection of military tanks and civilian vehicles – all housed under the wings of Britain’s three V Bombers; Vulcan, Victor and Valiant and other aircraft suspended in flying attitudes.

This Christmas the Museum will also be putting on some festive fun for the youngsters as they go in search of one of our missing mascots. Percy the Penguin, an RAF airman’s flying mascot, has disappeared from his display case in search of a “cooler” home. Percy has left some clues around the Museum for youngsters to solve and find out where’s he’s hiding.

The Missing Mascot Trail will run from Saturday 19 December to Sunday 3 January 2016 (apart from Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and 1 January). So, if you have any young detectives in your family and want to take part in the hunt for Percy, all you need to do is collect an entry form from the Visitor Centre on arrival. The entire experience is completely FREE and as a reward, there will be a small prize for every successful detective to take home as a memento of the day. All correct entries will also be entered into a draw to win a £25 voucher to spend in the Royal Air Force Museum Shop.

So if you’re looking to entertain the children in the run up to Christmas, or your nearest and dearest in the lull before New Year, the RAF Museum has something to occupy visitors of all ages. The fun filled area of Fun ‘n’ Flight will keep the youngsters fascinated, packed with hands on excitement; it’s the easy way to answer all those questions about how aircraft stay up in the air. Or, if you’re in need of a break from all the cooking, why not treat yourself to a warming meal and freshly brewed cup of coffee in our Refuel Restaurant overlooking the Museum grounds. Best of all, if your credit cards are maxed out after Christmas, a visit to the Museum won’t cost you a penny as admission is FREE!

The Museum will close again on New Year’s Day and will reopen on Saturday 2 January 2016 from 10am  until 5pm (last admission 4pm). For further information visit the Museum website or call 01902 376200.

RNAS Yeovilton Air Day 2016 Date and Theme Confirmed

Monday, November 30th, 2015

RNAS Yeovilton Lynx

The annual Royal Naval Air Station YeoviltonInternational Air Day in Somersetwill take place on Saturday 2 July. Planning is well under way for this popular airshow which will take ‘Naval Aviation – Past, Present & Future’ as its over-arching theme.

There will be a number of Fleet Air Arm milestones during the year and Air Day’s acknowledgement of these will include:

Bismarck 75 – The Swordfish, regarded as an obsolescent aircraft during WW2, participated in the pursuit and sinking of the German battleship Bismarck 75 years ago.

Lynx Farewell – The venerable Lynx maritime helicopters which will be out of service in March 2017 will be making their last appearance, and a fitting one, in front of their home crowd at Air Day.

Tomorrow’s Fleet Air Arm – Air Day will provide an insight into what the future holds for the Fleet Air Arm. The next five years are indeed exciting times as the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth prepares to enter service. This will mark the return of the Royal Navy’s carrier strike capabilities as well as providing another helicopter assault ship platform.

Over five hours of flying displays and an extensive static display will featurehistoric naval aircraft and their modern day counterparts in spectacular role demonstrations to acknowledge the Fleet Air Arm’s contribution to Protecting Our Nation’s Interests. Invitations have also been sent out to other UK and foreign military formation and solo display teams to participate at the airshow.

The flying display might be Air Day’s centrepiece but there will also be a huge array of ground attractions. From engineering fairs to the latest defence technology exhibitions and Service displays to trade stalls and arena displays. For the thrill seekers – simulators, fairground rides and helicopter pleasure flights cannot fail to excite.

Air Day tickets are now available to order at a discounted ‘Earlybird’ rate with no booking fees from for a limited period. These are priced lower than the usual advance tickets which will go on general sale in the New Year.

RAF Cosford Air Show 2016 – Official Launch

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015

Cosford Airshow 2016

Tickets for the RAF Cosford Air Show 2016 to be held on Sunday 19th June, have officially gone on sale today. With the 2015 event selling out weeks before the show took place and now having been voted the region’s ‘Best Event of the Year’ by the public, the organisers are encouraging people to purchase their tickets as soon as possible.

As an incentive to purchase tickets early, the organisers are for the first time offering ‘Early bird’ ticket pricing. Up until Wednesday 23rd March tickets to the RAF Cosford Air Show 2016 will be priced at £22.00 per adult with accompanied under 16s entering free of charge. After this date adult tickets will be priced at £25.00 each.

Carrying on from the success of the 2015 show the RAF Cosford Air Show 2016 will once again be Advance Ticket Only with no tickets being available to purchase on the gate. This step has greatly improved entry on to the showground giving people a swifter and more enjoyable start to their day.

With record breaking ticket sales came an impressive amount raised for charity with over £220,000 being donated to the four service charities and local projects. The RAF Association, RAF Benevolent Fund, RAF Charitable Trust and the RAF Museum all benefit from the Air Show. Clive Elliott, Air Show Director stated ‘The profit donated to charity this year has been exceptional and the benefits of it will be felt across the whole of the RAF Family.’

Early Bird tickets for the RAF Cosford Air Show 2016 are on sale now, priced at £22 and with free entry for accompanied under-16s. Tickets are available online from

VC10 rebuild is now complete

Thursday, November 5th, 2015

VC10 at RAF Museum Cosford

After an eight month dismantling process, a 70 mile journey along the M6/M54 motorway and a four month rebuild, the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford is pleased to announce that its latest acquisition, VC10 serial number XR808 is now complete and on public display.

The media, aviation fans and visitors alike have followed the aircrafts journey to Cosford every step of the way and the Museum is thrilled to see the aircraft fully reassembled and in its new display position next to the Lockheed Hercules C130K Mk3.

The VC10 arrived at Cosford in June and was partially reassembled on the airfield at RAF Cosford before being moved onto the Museum’s site for completion. Since then the rear fuselage along with the outer wings, fin, tail plane and engines have all been carefully refitted onto the aircraft in the rebuild area directly outside the Museum’s Hangar 1.

The VC10 was moved into its display position during mid-October and the final task of attaching the starboard outer wing was completed the following week.

The VC10 was originally designed and built by Vickers-Armstrong and then later by the British Aircraft Corporation and entered service with Royal Air Force in 1966. This dual-role aircraft enabled the rapid deployment of troops and their weaponry and fast jet aircraft to many theatres of operations around the world and proved one of the RAF’s most significant assets for nearly 50 years. The RAF VC10’s allowed true global mobility offering a combination of speed and range never previously attained by an RAF Transport Command aircraft type. Having served for such a long period of time in a wide variety of roles, it would not be possible to accurately portray the history of the RAF without an example of the type – therefore it is essential that such a pivotal aircraft is preserved by the RAF Museum

Ian Thirsk, Head of Collections at the RAF Museum said:

“The VC10 is an icon of the British aviation industry and one of the most significant aircraft types ever to serve with the Royal Air Force. We are delighted to have XR808 on public display at Cosford and indebted to GJD Services for all their dedication and professionalism in making this a reality. BAE Systems Heritage and the RAF Charitable Trust have also played a crucial part in making this project possible and we thank them for their continued support.”

The dismantling, transporting and rebuild process was carried out by GJD Services, a specialist maintenance and aircraft salvage company based at Bruntingthorpe, Leicestershire.

Gary Spoors, Accountable/Engineering Manager at GJD Services said:

“Taking an idea that something can be done and turning that theory into a reality is always driven more by the belief that it can be achieved than all the drawing, planning and measuring involved. The challenge of dissembling, moving and reassembling a Vickers VC10 has certainly been a team achievement and without the dedication and good will of all involved this would not have been being as successful as it was; from the GJD guys who gave 110% to the task, the teams from the haulage, transport and crane companies, to the RAFM staff I take my hat off to all involved and wish to thank everyone who supported us along the way. As a company, we are not often given the opportunity to show off, but now we can point to BOB and be very proud of what we have achieved.”

The transportation of the VC10 was made possible thanks to the support of BAE Systems Heritage.

Howard Mason, BAE Systems Heritage Manager, said:
“We are delighted to be able to once again support RAF Heritage and the RAF Museum in ensuring that this iconic example of British engineering is preserved as part of the national collection of examples of aircraft that have served our country over the last century.”

For more information about BAE Systems Heritage visit:

RAF Charitable Trust Chairman Air Marshal Sir Kevin Leeson said “One of the aims of The RAF Charitable Trust is to inspire and encourage young people to think about aviation and the technology that underpins it and to become involved themselves in this exciting career. Where better to do this than within the fuselage of this aircraft which will serve as a “living classroom”? The VC10 played such an important part in the technological history of the aerospace industry and was a key part of the Royal Air Force for nearly 50 years. In its history, the VC10 has transported UK VVIPs and the UK Armed Forces globally; it had a key weapons resupply role in the Cold War to the RAF in Germany; and as an air to air refuelling tanker it was a pivotal force multiplier for over 20 years. The Trust intends the teaching facility that it will provide to be motivational to as many young people as possible and we are pleased to be supporting such an inspirational project. My thanks go to the MoD Defence Equipment and Support organisation AT/AAR Project Team, GJD Aero Tech and the RAF Museum technical team for delivering this amazing engineering and logistic project.”

For more information about the RAF Charitable Trust visit:

For further information please visit the Museum website or call 01902 376200. The Museum is open daily from 10am and entry to the Museum is FREE of charge.

Harvard news round-up from Newark

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

Harvard at Newark Air Museum

The in-depth restoration of the North American Harvard II B in Newark Air Museum’s on site workshop continues and recently work has been undertaken on preparing to refit the front section of the engine to the fuselage.

A lack of significant engine part means that this part of the project will be a largely cosmetic exercise for display purposes, which will allow for the refitting of the restored engine cowlings.

The airframe being restored is 42-12417 (Dutch AF B-163 and RCAF FE930) and the restoration programme is now well underway; however the final choice of markings; either Dutch or Canadian still remains to be made.

Air Tattoo Thrills Captured On DVD

Monday, October 26th, 2015

RIAT 2015 DVD cover

Everyone enjoying the BBC2 documentary series ‘Britain’s Ultimate Pilots: Inside the RAF’ can savour even more aerial thrills following the release of the Royal International Air Tattoo’s official 2015 DVD featuring the world’s top aviators in action.

The Air Tattoo DVD is expertly shot with high definition and 4K cameras by aviation film specialists PlanesTV and includes extensive in-cockpit footage, behind-the-scenes features, arrivals and departures and pilot interviews.

All the excitement of the world’s greatest airshow has been captured – including an evocative massed flypast of vintage warbirds to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain – and featuring a moving, private salute by ‘The Few’.

There’s extensive footage of Vulcan XH558’s dramatic – and memorable – final Air Tattoo appearance with on-board cameras adding to the dramatic coverage of its display and joint flypast with the RAF Red Arrows.

Other highlights featured on the DVD include the first ever European display by a Japanese military aircraft – the Kawasaki P1 and the UK display debuts of the Hellenic Air Force Demo Team Zeusand the French Air Force Ramex Delta.

Viewers will be able to experience the pilot’s eye view during many of the thrilling aerial displays including the Royal Netherlands Air Force Apache; the Czech Air Force Mil Mi-35 Hind; the Finnish F/A-18C Hornet and the Airbus A400M.

All the stars from ‘Britain’s Ultimate Pilots: Inside the RAF’are also featured – the high-octane RAF Typhoon role demo, the versatile and manoeuvrable RAF Chinook, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and, of course, the RAF Red Arrows.

Sold in support of the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust, the official Royal International Air Tattoo 2015 DVDa must-buy for aviation fans of all ages and is available on DVD (£20) or Blu-Ray (£25) formats. A digital download version, featuring the main display programme of the RIAT 2015 DVD only, will be available from November 9 priced £15. For details visit

To order, visit or call 0800 107 1940.

Museum commemorates The Fallen on Remembrance Sunday

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

Date: Sunday 8 November

Time: 10.45am

On Sunday 8 November, the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford will hold a Service of Remembrance, paying respect to those service men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice during their tours of duty.

Visitors who wish to pay their respects and reflect on the sacrifices made by our brave service men and women are invited to join the service, led by Padre Richard Clement, Station Chaplain RAF Cosford. Those attending will also be treated to renditions from the Cosford Military Wives Choir, who will perform for visitors on arrival and during the service.

The service will take place in the Museum’s Hangar 1 and visitors are politely requested to assemble no later than 10:30am ready for the Service to commence at 10.45am. As well as readings and hymns, a Bugler will sound ‘The Last Post’, followed by a two minute silence.

RAF Museum Cosford Events Manager, Abi Betteridge says:

“The RAF Museum is a fitting location for this poignant occasion and we hope that local residents will choose to join us on remembrance Sunday so we can remember together. I would like to thank the Station Chaplain and the Cosford Military Wives Choir for their involvement in this years’ service, I’m sure visitors will enjoy the special service we have planned as well as the performances from the choir.”

If you would like to find out about Service Personnel who fell serving the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Air Force during the Great War of 1914 to 1918 please visit the RAF Museum’s online story vault:

The Museum is open daily from 10am and entry to the Museum is FREE. For further information, please call the Royal Air Force Museum, Cosford on 01902 376200 or visit the Museum website

Popular spy plane tours set to return

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

Date: 24 Oct-1 Nov and 9-14 Nov 2015

Time: Tours run between 10am and 1pm, each tour lasts 15 minutes

Cost: £5 per person

Due to the popularity of the summer Nimrod tours, the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford is re-introducing tours on selected dates in October and November. Tours on board the aircraft proved so popular with aviation fans that the Museum wants to repeat the offer, offering a limited number of tours for those who missed out first time round.

Visitors during October half term and the Conservation Centre Open Week in November will have the opportunity to climb on board the Hawker Siddeley Nimrod R.1 XV249 and learn about its intelligence gathering role in the Royal Air Force. Intimate tours for groups of up to six people last approximately 15 minutes and visitors will learn about the history of the aircraft, hear about the crews on board and view some of its sophisticated surveillance equipment up close. Plus, tour guides will be on hand to answer any questions.

Find out why this aircraft and its missions were so secret that even the existence of 51 Squadron who operated it wasn’t mentioned in official documents until 1992, after the end of the Cold War. Learn why, of the twenty six mission specialists on board, up to eight of them were language specialists and how the equipment on board allowed them to pass tactical, minute by minute information to allied aircraft during a raid. The aircrafts capabilities were such that even flying through friendly and allied nation airspace required diplomatic clearance. Mixed with a few light hearted stories of the crew on board the Nimrod, these fascinating tours led by Museum staff will have visitors wondering what really goes on in the skies above us.

RAF Museum Public Relations Executive Michelle Morgans said:

“We ran Nimrod tours during an initial trial period in July and following really positive feedback from visitors we extended them throughout the summer. The demand to have access on board our aircraft is always high and almost every tour sold out. Those who missed out in the summer have been asking when the Nimrod will re-open so we have added new dates, giving visitors two more opportunities this year to enjoy an intimate tour of one of our most sophisticated aircraft.”

The Nimrod flew in both the Maritime patrol and electronic intelligence gathering role. Maritime surveillance, anti-submarine operations and intelligence gathering have been key tasks for the Royal Air Force for much of its long history. When the Nimrod was finally retired from service in 2011, the type had operated with distinction for over forty years in all these roles, and more.

Nimrod R.1 XV249 is one of only four R.1’s from a total of 46 Nimrod’s delivered to the RAF. The R.1 was an electronic-intelligence gathering variant, three of which originally entered service with the RAF in 1971. They carried up to 29 crew members and were involved in several major conflicts in the latter part of the 20th and early 21st centuries. When an original R.1 aircraft was lost following an accident in 1997, XV249 was selected as a replacement and, after conversion, served with No 51 Squadron from RAF Waddington. The aircraft amassed over 18,000 flying hours during its service life and took part in operation Ellamy over Libya in 2011, thus remaining operational until its withdrawal from squadron service on 28 June 2011.

Nimrod Tours are available daily throughout October half term week (24 October – 1 November) and during the Conservation Centre Open Week (9-14 November) 2015. Tickets cost £5.00 per person and tours last 15 minutes (max 6 people per tour). As the number of people per tour is limited, organisers are advising any interested visitors to pre-book their time-slot now via the Museum’s website All children must be accompanied by an adult, tours are not recommended for children under the age of 5.

For further information please call the Museum on 01902 376200. The Museum is open daily from 10am and entry to the Museum is FREE of charge.