Posts Tagged ‘2017’

Doors opening to ‘100 Cockpits and Cabs’ for RAF Centenary Year

Saturday, January 13th, 2018

TSR2 cockpit at RAF Museum Cosford

Date: 9 February 2018

Time: 6.00pm to 9.00pm

Cost: £13.50 per person / £100 per person for all 8 event dates

To celebrate the Royal Air Force’s Centenary in 2018, the Royal Air Force Museum is offering visitors the chance to get a closer look inside 100 cockpits and vehicles from the collection across both the Cosford and London sites. This brand new, duel site event will give aviation fans access to more of the Museum’s historic aircraft and vehicle collection than ever before, in a series of eight events throughout 2018.

The first of four dates at Cosford will be held on Friday 9 February, themed around the unique Test Flight collection and a collection of Second World War, British, German and Japanese aircraft.

The Test Flight group of aircraft were built to test a new theory or line of research and many were produced in secrecy, often utilising components borrowed from other types. These were the machines that helped Britain open new frontiers of flight. Aircraft on the night include the British Aircraft Corporation TSR 2 (close view only). Although never developed beyond the prototype stage, the TSR2 (Tactical Strike and Reconnaissance Mach 2) was one of the most exciting and controversial British combat aircraft designs of the 1960s. Initial reports indicated that the TSR2 was an outstanding technical success, however political opposition to the project led to it being cancelled, a subject of great debate to this day.

Other unique airframes open on the night include the SEPECAT Jaguar ACT Demonstrator, Fairey FD2, Saunders-Roe SR53, and the Hawker-Siddeley Kestrel FGA.

The event theme also extends to include a selection of the Museum’s unique collection of fighters and bombers, including those of Allies and our enemies. Soon after the invention of the aeroplane as a controlled and powered machine its application by the Military became evident. From 1911, when it was first used in conflict, through the Great War and to the present day, the Royal Air Force and its predecessors have operated flying machines in defence of our country and freedom. The War in the Air collection at Cosford is home to the world’s oldest Supermarine Spitfire 1 K9942, one of several aircraft open on the night for enthusiasts to enjoy a closer view.

In addition, the Messerschmitt BF109G, the backbone of the German Air Force’s day fighter force will be open for a close view, along with the Lister Works Truck, used throughout Royal Air Force maintenance depots. Aviation fans will also have the rare opportunity to step inside the Avro Lincoln B2, Yokosuka MXY7 Ohka, Kawasaki Ki-1001b and the Messerschmitt Me 163B-1a Komet during the February event.

RAF Museum Cosford Public Events Manager, Abi Betteridge said:

“This is the first of a programme of events this year to celebrate the Royal Air Force Centenary. How better to celebrate 100 years of the RAF than giving visitors access to 100 aircraft and vehicles spanning the services entire career? Across our two public sites we have over 200 aircraft, tanks and vehicles on display and we’ve selected 100 that we believe visitors will be keen to get a closer look inside.

To make sure visitors get the most out of the event, there will be a large team of Volunteers manning each aircraft and available to answer any questions. We have also produced a special Log Book which can be purchased in advance, allowing ticket holders to keep a record of the aircraft and vehicles they have accessed during the event!”

The aircraft available at all eight events will vary, totaling 100 over the course of the year across the two RAF Museum sites. Just 300 tickets are available for each event and are now available to purchase through the Museum’s website and cost £13.50 per person which includes parking (minimum height restrictions apply). Details on the RAF Museum London events are also available online.

Want to tick off all 100 cockpits? Why not purchase our special centenary £100 ticket, giving you access to eight evening and 4 daytime events across the two sites, plus, additional time to enjoy all the events and a free copy of the Log Book with a saving of £62.50!

Attending the exclusive ‘Open Cockpits and Cabs’ events is an opportunity to raise vital funds for the RAF100 Appeal, which is a joint venture between the Royal Air Force and the four major RAF charities – the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund, the Royal Air Forces Association, the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust and the Royal Air Force Museum. The aim of the Appeal is to raise money for the RAF family and to create a lasting legacy as we celebrate 100 years of the Royal Air Force.

The Museum will close at 4.00pm, however the Visitor Centre and Refuel Restaurant will remain open for ticket holders and will be serving a special event menu, before doors to the aircraft and vehicles open at 6.00pm.

Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 Demo Team to Fly at Air Day

Saturday, December 23rd, 2017

Royal Canadian Air Force Hornet

One of the world’s most dynamic and powerful solo fast jet displays becomes RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day’s first confirmed flying participant. The Royal Canadian Air Force’s CF-18 Hornet Demonstration Team is making its first UK appearance in ten years and its first Air Day visit in decades.

Canada’s display Hornet is just part of the substantial international line-up now taking shape as discussions with various nations progress. The twin-engined, twin-tailed Hornet is a potent modern day multirole fighter that Canada has operated since the early 1980s. At the sharpest end of the Royal Canadian Air Force, it is a key element of the US and Canada’s NORAD (North American Aerospace Defence Command) that celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2018 and we expect the display jet will wear a stunning paint scheme to acknowledge this milestone.

RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day looks forward to feeling the Hornet’s mighty sting once more on Saturday 7 July!

Early bird tickets with no booking fees are now on sale for a limited period only at

First Warbirds Join RAF100 Celebrations at RAF Cosford Air Show

Friday, December 15th, 2017


As we fast approach Christmas, organisers of the RAF Cosford Air Show have recently announced details on three aircraft due to display at next year’s event on Sunday 10th June.

Visitors to the Air Show, which celebrates the Royal Air Force’s centenary, will be treated to a flying display from a rare Supermarine Spitfire PRXI. This version of the Spitfire was a photo-reconnaissance aircraft, designed to operate at high altitudes and high speeds, painted blue rather than the traditional camouflage pattern. The particular aircraft which will be on display on Sunday 10th June will be Spitfire PL965, which was operated from RAF Cosford for a short-period during WWII, so the aircraft will be ‘returning home’ next June.

As well as thrilling six-hour flying display, there will be a unique static exhibition of 100 aircraft, showcasing the history of the Royal Air Force and aircraft development over the last century. It was announced today that a unique example of the Hawker Hurricane IIb – known as a ‘Hurribomber’ – will be exhibited in this line-up equipped with replica bombs and accompanied by period re-enactors. The ‘Hurribombers’, bravely carried the fight to the European mainland in late 1941 and early 1942, armed with a pair 500lb bombs, together with an up-rated armament of twelve Browning .303 inch machine guns. Another aircraft added to the static line-up today was a Douglas C-47 Dakota, forming part of a tribute to the Berlin Airlift. The Berlin Airlift remains the largest ever humanitarian airlift in history, during which British military and civilian aircraft flew more than 540,000 tons of cargo into the city.

Air Show Deputy Director, Marilyn Summers, said, “Today’s announcement hopefully gives a flavour of what people can expect to see on Sunday 10th June 2018 as we host the most spectacular and interactive tribute to the Royal Air Force’s centenary. Air Show tickets make a great Christmas present for your loved one, and are available to purchase online and print at home so they’re also ideal as a last minute stocking filler!”

Air Show tickets will again only be available in advance, and are priced £25.00 per adult, with accompanied under-16s attending the Air Show for free, presenting excellent value for money, tickets are available from

The Air Defence of the UK in the last 20 Years of the Cold War: Defence on a Shoestring

Thursday, December 7th, 2017


Date: 15 December 2017
Time: 12.30pm
Cost: FREE
Location: National Cold War Exhibition lecture theatre at RAF Museum Cosford

On 15 December, the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford will be hosting the next Cold War Lunchtime Lecture with a talk entitled ‘The Air Defence of the UK in the last 20 Years of the Cold War: Defence on a Shoestring’. In this talk, Dr Kenton White from the University of Reading will look at the conventional defence planning of the UK during the Cold War.

Within this lecture, Dr Kenton will question whether during the Cold War, did Britain really have the means to defend itself, in the event of a shooting war? This lecture analyses the conventional defence planning of the UK, its relationship to the policy, and the possible and actual execution. In 1979 Britain committed almost the entire Royal Air Force to NATO’s defence of Western Europe. 100,000 troops were assigned to Home Defence, and Britain would act as a staging post for foreign troops on their way to the front.

Deterrent plans were aimed at the perceived threat: planning for the manifestation of that threat, and implementing those plans. These plans relate intimately to NATO’s “Flexible Response” strategy and the desire to raise the nuclear threshold enabling NATO to stop a WTO attack by conventional means. Analysing the plans for mobilisation, and comparing them to the forces and facilities available, this lecture seeks to understand if the UK fulfilled its obligation, not only to NATO, but to the Armed Forces and British public.

Professor Kenton White is a Sessional Lecturer in Politics, International Relations and Strategic Studies at the University of Reading, and also works with the University of Portsmouth at RAF Cranwell. He has a PhD in Strategic Studies, researching British defence policy and practice during and after the Cold War. He studies military history and defence policy from the Napoleonic Wars to today. Prior to entering academia he was the Managing Director of a computer animation company.

This FREE lecture will be held in the museum’s National Cold War Exhibition lecture theatre at 12.30pm on Friday 15 December, lasting approximately one hour. As spaces are limited, organisers advise visitors to book their tickets in advance via the Museum’s website to avoid disappointment.

The Cold War Lunchtime Lectures form part of the RAF Museum’s Research Programme . ‘The Air Defence of the UK in the last 20 Years of the Cold War: Defence on a Shoestring’, is the final lecture taking place at Cosford this year, with more lectures planned for 2018. The programme also consists of the Trenchard Lectures in Air Power Studies and the First World War in the Air Lunchtime Lectures, which are held at the University of Wolverhampton, the Royal Aeronautical Society in London and the RAF Museum in London respectively.

For further information about the Museum’s research programme or to book your FREE ticket to the lecture, please visit the Museum website The Museum is open daily from 10am and entry to the Museum is FREE of charge.

Under the wings of Concorde to be supersonic venue for Christmas carol concert

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

Concorde at Fleet Air Arm Museum

The popular Christmas carol concert under the wings of Concorde returns this year at Yeovilton’s Fleet Air Arm Museum on two evenings, Thursday 14th and Friday 15th December.

Visitors can join the HMS Heron Royal Navy Volunteer Band under Concorde 2 in Hall Four of the Yeovilton museum.

The concert features several classics and festive numbers for the occasion. Doors open at 6.30pm, the concert starts at 7.30pm.

General Manager of the Fleet Air Arm Museum, Marc Farrance, said: “Our Christmas Carols are very popular and they’re held in such a unique setting – under the Concorde 2.
“We are delighted to host the HMS Heron Royal Navy Volunteer Band for the third year running.

“The event has been incredibly popular in recent years. And this year we are holding it over two nights to make sure no one misses out on tickets.”

Tickets are £15 each and include a mince pie and mulled wine on arrival. A bar and refreshments will also be available.

It is strongly recommended that those wishing to go purchase their tickets in advance.

They can be purchased from the museum during normal opening hours, by calling 01935 840565 or online at

Air Day Picks up Somerset Tourism Award

Sunday, November 19th, 2017

Yeovilton Air Day picks up Tourism Award

The RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day was recognised for its achievements with a Silver award in the Tourism Event of the Year category at the Bristol, Bath and Somerset Tourism Awards ceremony held at the Somerset County Cricket Club.

After 6 months of assessing evidence and judging by a panel of experts the winners were announced by Laura Rawlings from BBC Radio Bristol and presented with their awards by ex-England cricketer Marcus Trescothick MBE. On behalf of the Air Day, Commander Terry Tyack (Commander Air, RNAS Yeovilton) and Audrey Huelin (AHA Events) received the award in front of a capacity audience of the best tourism businesses from across the region.

“It is tremendous that Air Day has been recognised such a local thriving tourism industry. The success of the event is a combination of significant effort from a series of teams including AHA, the military, civil service and civilian contractors; it is an absolute pleasure to receive the award on their behalf,” said Commander Tyack.

Audrey Huelin added, “Our Air Day is truly living up to its international status. Our Early bird tickets for next year’s Air Day, which takes place on Saturday 7th July, recently went on sale and within one hour we received ticket orders from Brazil and Japan!”.

Successful businesses in the Bristol, Bath and Somerset Awards will now be fast tracked into the South West Tourism Excellence Awards in February 2018 and then possibly on to the National Visit England Awards later in 2018.

Early bird tickets for next summer’s Air Day are now on sale with no booking fees, for a limited period only, at

Old Buckenham Airfield Opens a Second Museum

Thursday, November 9th, 2017

Old Buckenham Airfield

Old Buckenham Airfield is delighted to announce the opening, on Remembrance Sunday 2017, of its second Museum; the 8th Air Force Heritage Gallery.
This new addition to the Airfield has been designed as a complement to the 2015built 453rd Bombardment Group Museum which houses the largest collection of 453rd memorabilia in existence.

The new Gallery showcases some of the extensive collection of James Clarey. His collection, combined with that of the late Pat Ramm, is partly on display in the 453rd Museum, of which he is also Curator. James, however, did not limit his collecting to the 453rd and has so many exhibits relating to the 8th Air Force (of which the 453rd was a part) that the decision was made to create the 8th Air Force Heritage Gallery, in order to provide a place where they can be on public display.

Based in the Airfield’s ‘Small Blister Hangar’ the Gallery contains a host of displays and exhibits. At its heart is a faithful recreation of the Post Exchange which was a key feature of the lives of all the servicemen at Old Buckenham during the War. The Post Exchange, as the name suggests, was the place for parcels and letters to go back and forth between England and the U.S. and for most servicemen would have been the most tangible link with home. Post Exchanges also served as a shop and social centre on the base.

Remembrance Sunday will also see the unveiling of a new ornamental railing enclosure for the Memorial Garden. Built in house by the airfield, the railings required over a thousand fixings and took over a week to complete. A brand new LED lighting system completes this latest update, the first major improvement since the Garden was created in 2012.

Fittingly, the 8th Air Force Heritage Gallery will be formally opened following the traditional Remembrance Sunday Service, held at 1055 at the War Memorial. The United States will be represented by a senior officer from Lakenheath Air Base.

Remembrance Sunday Service to be held at Cosford

Tuesday, November 7th, 2017

RAF Cosford Remembrance Service

Date: Sunday 12 November
Time: 10.45am

On Sunday 12 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 the Station Chaplain at 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 from Museum volunteers, there will be hymns and the sounding of ‘The Last Post’ performed by a bugler, followed by a two minute silence. Students from Muxton Primary School in Telford will also be in attendance, reading a poem they have written especially for the service.

RAF Museum Cosford Events Executive, Nathan Davis said:
“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.”

During the service, wreaths will be laid by representatives from RAF Cosford and the Museum in honour of those who have fallen in the line of duty. Following the service visitors are free to explore the Museum at their own leisure.

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

The Museum is open daily from 10am to 4pm and entry to the Museum is FREE of charge. For further information please visit

Air Day Debut for Lithuanian Air Force

Friday, November 3rd, 2017

Lithuanian L-39

RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day is delighted to announce the participation of two aircraft types from debuting nation Lithuania. The Baltic state’s air force will send an Aero L-39 Albatros jet trainer and a Mil Mi-8T utility helicopter for static display. Rarely seen at Western European events, they get Air Day’s international line-up off to the very best of starts.

The L-39 Albatros was a real success for Czech firm Aero Vodochody. During a 25-year production run, 2,900 were built and supplied to almost 50 militaries. Lithuania, plus around a dozen other nations, took delivery of the L-39ZA armed trainer/light attack variant. Its duties include surveying and defending Lithuanian airspace.

The remarkable Mil Mi-8 (NATO codenamed ‘Hip’) is the world’s most produced-helicopter: a staggering 17,000-plus examples of the Soviet-origin design having been manufactured. Lithuania only employs three Mi-8Ts (‘Hip-Cs’) in the troop transport and search and rescue roles.

As the Lithuanian Air Force continues with their modernisation programme these assets are a very welcome addition to the Royal Navy’s air show at Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton on Saturday 7 July. Early bird tickets with no booking fees are now on sale for a limited period only at

Phantom Arrival at RAF Cosford

Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

RAF Cosford Black Phantom

Following last week’s launch of the RAF Cosford Air Show 2018, a cold-war era F-4 Phantom aircraft, known as ‘Black Mike’, was delivered by road to the airfield, in preparation for the Air Show on Sunday 10th June 2018.

The F-4 Phantom II was operated by the Royal Air Force between 1969 and 1992, principally as an air defence fighter. Although the jet was an American design, produced by McDonnell Douglas, the UK’s Phantoms were a special batch built separately and containing a significant amount of British technology including the addition of Rolls-Royce Spey engines. Of all the UK’s Phantoms, the airframe which arrived today at RAF Cosford is perhaps one of the most iconic, known as ‘Black Mike’ due to its unique paint scheme applied by 111(F) Squadron in the late 1980s.

The airframe, now owned by GJD Services Ltd, has been the centre of a campaign by aviation enthusiasts, who plan to restore her to exhibition standard. David Butterfield, from the British Phantom Aviation Group, said, “The British Phantom Aviation Group (BPAG) are extremely proud and honoured to participate with Phantom XV582 ‘Black Mike’ at the RAF Cosford Air Show 2018. Our hardworking, dedicated team of volunteers have shown outstanding knowledge, skills and aptitude to make the move from RAF Leuchars happen. We look forward to working with RAF Cosford over the coming months and we are certain that the aircraft will be a great attraction as part of the RAF100 static displays.”

Air Show Operations Manager, Mr Peter Reoch, said, “The Royal Air Force’s Phantoms played a critical role in defending the UK’s airspace during the height of the Cold War. Therefore, having an example of the type was essential as part of our RAF100 static exhibition at the Air Show on Sunday 10th June 2018. It will be the first of many aircraft which will be transported by road to RAF Cosford over the coming months specifically for display at the Air Show.”

Tickets for the Air Show, which is promising to be a spectacular and interactive tribute to the Royal Air Force’s centenary, are already on sale via the event’s website. Tickets will again only be available in advance, and are priced £25.00 per adult, with accompanied under-16s attending the Air Show for free, presenting excellent value for money.