Posts Tagged ‘August’

Life Stories: the RAF and me

Thursday, August 22nd, 2019

Air Commodore Paul Godfrey

Date: 31 Aug / 14 Sep / 12 Oct 2019
Time: 2.00pm – 3.00pm
Cost: FREE

A new series of talks from the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford entitled ‘Life Stories’, will share the unique experiences of guest speakers, from their time serving in the Royal Air Force.

The new ‘Life Stories’ talks form part of the Museum’s RAF Stories project, an online collection accessible for everyone to submit, share and explore stories of people’s personal connections to the RAF.

RAF Museum Community Engagement Officer: RAF Stories, Jess Boydon said:
“The forthcoming talks are an opportunity for interested members of the public to hear first-hand some of the great stories already captured by the project. Held in the Museum’s National Cold War Exhibition Lecture Theatre, each talk held on Saturday afternoons, will have a key guest speaker and will cover a range of thought provoking topics.”

31 August: Battle of Britain Memorial Flight
Air Commodore Paul Godfrey spent three seasons with the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF), flying the Spitfire, Hurricane and Chipmunk aircraft. During this talk, Paul will share his knowledge of the BBMF and his most memorable experiences. The mission of the RAF BBMF is to maintain these priceless artefacts of our national heritage in an airworthy condition, so that the BBMF may commemorate those who have fallen in the service of this country, promote the modern day Air Force and inspire the future generations. Flown by regular serving RAF Aircrew, the Flight operates six Spitfires, two Hurricane Mk 2Cs, a Lancaster as well as a C47 Dakota and two Chipmunk aircraft.

14 September: Life Stories: From Basra to Sydney
Sgt Paul ‘Twitch’ Twitchell will take you on a gritty, emotional, funny and inspirational journey through his battle with mental health illness. Following several tours of Iraq carrying out bomb disposal duties, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) all but destroyed everything dear to him. Saved by an extremely unlikely stranger, Prince Harry sparked the fire under Twitch that would see him transform from a suicidal PTSD sufferer to an Invictus Games medallist.

12 October: Life Stories: True Colours
Caroline Paige is a retired Royal Air Force navigator with a thirty-five year flying career that includes air defence fighters during the Cold War and troop helicopters in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. But against a background of contemporary conflict, and the demanding environment of military aviation, her story reveals a remarkable journey of inspirational courage and endurance, in overcoming adversity in an unforgiving world. In 1999, after a life-long struggle to hide her gender identity became too much to bear, Caroline informed the RAF of her intention to transition gender. Controversially at the time, she was permitted to remain in service, becoming the first transgender officer to openly serve in the British Armed Forces. Her story tells how she rose against extraordinary challenges to remain on the front-line of military flying, serving a further sixteen years, and silencing outspoken critics by earning several commendations for ‘exceptional service’ in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The talks will commence at 2.00pm and are free to attend, lasting approximately one hour, including time for questions. As spaces are limited, visitors are advised to book their tickets in advance via the Museum’s website www.rafmuseum.org/cosford to avoid disappointment.

For anyone who would like to contribute to the RAF Stories project, download the free RAF Stories App, where you can discover and share the stories of others, or record and upload your own using your mobile device, keeping the story alive and relevant for generations to come. Visit www.rafstories.org for more details.

The RAF Stories project is proudly supported by National Lottery Players through the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Shackleton Boys 2 Book Launch To Be Hosted at Newark Air Museum

Tuesday, August 20th, 2019

Shackleton Boys 2

The Newark Air Museum is hosting a two day event to celebrate the Shackleton Boys 2 book launch. This is one of many similar titles published by Grub Street and it features many stories from former Avro Shackleton aircrew.

The event will take place on Saturday 31st August and Sunday 1st September 2019, between 10am and 5pm each day (last admission at 4pm), and it will be centred around Avro Shackleton MR.3 Phase 3 WR977 that was dismantled and moved to the museum by road in spring 1977. To this day this is still the largest aircraft dismantling project ever undertaken by the museum and its volunteers.

Over both days, more than twenty five (25) contributors to the book will be in attendance to sign copies of the book. They, along with other former Shackleton veterans will be meeting each other and also meeting and talking with the museum visitors. Details of the reunion aspect of the event are being co-ordinated via the author Steve Bond and the publishers Grub Street. Amongst the Shackleton veterans there will be people who flew Shackleton WR977 in attendance.

This event is open to the general public & normal museum admission rates apply: Adults £9.00, Over 65s £8.00, Children £4.50 and Family ticket [2 adults & 3 children] £24.00

On both days of the event there will be a flypast by aircraft from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

www.newarkairmuseum.org

Flights, camera, action: Spitfires, Búchons and a Blenheim star in cinematic Battle of Britain Air Show

Friday, August 16th, 2019

Buchon at Duxford

Saturday 21 – Sunday 22 September 2019

Tickets from £35; kids go free*

September’s Duxford Battle of Britain Air Show will include displays from an array of original Second World War aircraft, including P-51 Mustangs and P-47 Thunderbolts, and will culminate in a mass flypast of 19 Spitfires, including a Mk. XVIII Spitfire. Four Búchon fighter jets with Luftwaffe markings, which starred in the 1969 Battle of Britain film, will take flight. There will also be a Battle of Britain formation flight of three Mk. I Spitfires and four Hurricanes, aircraft which were both flown by famous Duxford resident Douglas Bader.

Highlights this year include a Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Lancaster, a USAAF’s Vultee BT-13 Valiant, and a Russian Yakovlev Yak-9 from Switzerland. Also flying are T-33 and MiG15 Korean jets which played roles in the 2016 Flyboys film starring James Franco. A Hawker Fury will be flying a solo display, while a Mercury formation will feature two Westland Lysanders and a Gloster Gladiator.

The Bremont Great War display team starred in George Clooney’s The Monuments Men (2014), while the B-17 Flying Fortress called Sally B featured in the 1990 remake of Memphis Belle. The Hawker Hurricane, the RAF’s first monoplane fighter, featured alongside Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett in Pearl Harbour (2001) and Squadron 303 (2018).

On the ground, visitors can explore IWM Duxford’s exhibitions and hangars. The Battle of Britain hangar tells the story of the aerial campaign, and features an Mk I Spitfire and Messerschmitt Bf 109E-3. Next door is Hangar Base, the concrete floor remains of a First World War hangar that was blown up and destroyed by the Battle of Britain film crew as part of the Eagle Day sequence.

IWM Duxford will be transformed into a film set once again, giving visitors the opportunity to dance their way into a party scene, or step in as an extra and deliver their lines. History lovers can watch cinematic footage from IWM’s archives, while fashionistas can enter a best dressed competition, or try on a costume from the wardrobe department.

The D-Day-themed Normandy Experience in the Land Warfare Exhibition features a soundscape and costumes from Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan (1998). In the American Air Museum, there is a display on Willie Wyler, the director of The Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress (1944) who served during the Second World War with the U.S. Air Force.

www.iwm.org.uk

Sky’s the limit as ‘Star Wars’ takes on ‘Top Gun’ at outdoor cinema

Friday, August 16th, 2019

Cosford Outdoor Cinema

Date: 20-21 September 2019
Time: Gates open 6.00pm / film starts 8.00pm
Cost: £13 per person in advance / £15 on the gate (subject to availability)
Film: Rated 12A (children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult)

The Royal Air Force Museum Cosford is providing the ultimate outdoor cinema screening experience this September, with two nights of iconic flicks projected onto a massive screen, movie fans can expect plenty of snacks, flowing drinks and a truly unique night out.

The highest grossing Star Wars movie ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ and one of the most iconic aviation movies ever ‘Top Gun’ will be shown on a giant inflatable screen, set against a backdrop of aircraft on 20 and 21 September respectively. Film buffs can enjoy watching light sabre battles and Maverick under the moonlight in what is the perfect setting for films about flight.

Digital projectors and surround sound equipment will create a true cinematic experience, but no movie would be complete without popcorn, which is why the Museum will be transforming the Hercules aircraft into a popcorn bar where visitors can step on-board to purchase their essential movie snacks.

The big movie event will kick start with the epic space opera ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ on Friday 20 September. Set 30 years after the defeat of the Galactic Empire, the film follows defector Finn (John Boyega) and tough scavenger Rey (Daisy Ridley), whose droid contains a top-secret map concerning the whereabouts of Luke Skywalker, the last of the Jedi Knights. The young duo join forces with Han Solo (Harrison Ford) to ensure the Resistance, led by General Leia Organa receives the intelligence and unite in the fight against the new threat to the Galaxy from the evil Kylo Ren and the First Order, a successor to the Galactic Empire.

It’s been over 30 years since the 80’s cult classic military movie ‘Top Gun’ first graced the big screen but the magic of characters Maverick and Goose will be flying high during this special evening event on Saturday 22 September. This American romantic military action film stars Tom Cruise as Lieutenant Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, a hotshot fighter pilot who’s reckless attitude puts him at odds with his fellow pilots. The film follows Maverick and his Radar Intercept Officer Nick “Goose” Bradshaw’s journey to refine their elite flying skills, coupled with fighting for the attention of the beautiful flight instructor. Packed with plenty of flying action and romantic comedy.

In the build up to the movie, why not take advantage of some of the tasty hot food and beverages on offer, including a delicious selection of American inspired street food. Then sit back, relax and enjoy some cocktails, beer or a glass of fizz served from a converted VW Campervan, or keep a look out for the vintage caravan where you can purchase a range of hot beverage, including freshly ground coffee and delicious hot chocolate.

Film fans are encouraged to bring picnic chairs and blankets for their own comfort as the film will be screened outdoors on a grassed area – there is no allocated seating, so arrive early to get the best spot! Visitors are also welcome to bring their own food and drink on the night, all drinks must be in plastic bottles or cans and no BBQ’s are permitted.

Both films are certified 12A and may contain material that is not generally suitable for children aged under 12. Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

Ticket holders will also have exclusive after-hours access to the Museum’s Hangar 1 when gates open at 6pm. There will be plenty of time to enjoy some of the tasty street food, a cocktail or two and of course stock up on your popcorn, before you settle down to watch the movie at 8.00pm (film start time may alter slightly, depending on light conditions). The running time is approximately 2hrs 15mins for ‘Star Wars’ and 1hr 50mins for ‘Top Gun’.

RAF Museum Cosford Public Events Manager, Abi Betteridge said:
“Both movies are fitting for us as a venue, where else can you watch movies about flight surrounded by real military aircraft and get the chance to climb inside an aircraft to buy your popcorn? We hope that two iconic films, combined with the unique setting and all the added extra’s, plus the chance to dress up as your favourite character from the film, will create an enjoyable and memorable cinema experience for our visitors.”

If you feel the need for speed, grab your wingman and head to the Museum’s website where tickets are now available to purchase in advance http://www.rafmuseum.org/cosfordpriced at £13 per person. Tickets will also be available on the evening priced at £15 per person, subject to availability. Parking for ticket holders is free of charge.

Leading Seafront Airshow to Offset Carbon Footprint

Friday, August 16th, 2019

Chinook at Bournemouth Air Festival

Organisers pledge to offset display fuel by planting trees in the UK and supporting a project to prevent deforestation in the Amazon in bid to make positive difference

August 14th 2019: Organisers of Europe’s biggest air event, which takes place later this month, have pledged to offset the carbon footprint of all displaying aircraft working in partnership with nationally accredited Carbon Footprint Ltd. This year it is estimated that 110,000 litres of jet fuel will be used in displays by participating aircraft at the Bournemouth Air Festival, creating approximately 275 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

Jon Weaver Air Festival Director said; “Since the Festival began we have always been aware of the carbon footprint of the event, and working with local experts at the time focussed on persuading people to use public transport to come to the festival and this has proved very successful – particularly for local residents.”

John Buckley from Carbon Footprint said “It is great to be working with the Bournemouth Air Festival. By supporting our tree planting projects, the Festival will compensate for its environmental impact, help protect wildlife and benefit local communities. We will be planting around 275 trees in the local area. For each tree planted, a tonne of carbon will also be saved in the Amazon Rainforest through the avoided deforestation project selected by the Air Festival – RMDLT Portel-Para REDD project – which is audited and certified by the internationally recognised Verified Carbon Standard (VCS)”. https://www.carbonfootprint.com/brazil_para_redd.html

As well as this initiative this year the Air Festival is also encouraging festival goers to bring reusable plastic bottles or purchase a new Air Festival bottle to use at Dorset refill taps along the seafront site and follow the simple messaging introduced by the resort to take home your litter and ‘Leave only Footprints’.

Councillor Lewis Alison BCP Council Tourism Portfolio Holder said; “There is a growing expectation for festivals and events to be more sustainable. BCP Council have declared a climate emergency and this decision by Air Festival organisers demonstrates our commitment to reduce the impact on the environment and make a global difference.”

Regarded as the UK’s most successful civilian air show with brilliant day and night time entertainment in the skies and on land, the 12th Air Festival takes place on 29th August – 1st September 2019.

For details visit www.bournemouthair.co.uk

Copter-Fest 19 at Newark Air Museum

Thursday, August 8th, 2019

Chinook at Newark cockpit fest

Saturday 17th & Sunday 18th August 2019

The preparatory work for the 2019 Copter-Fest 19 event on Saturday17th & Sunday 18th August 2019 is now almost complete. Over the years the museum has built up a good selection of helicopters in its collection; something that was added to with the Puma, Chinook and Lynx helicopters coming into our care during 2018. These rotary exhibits now represent around 10% of the museum’s overall collection.

The raised levels of interest in such rotary exhibits and visiting helicopter ‘traffic’ encouraged us to launch our new Copter-Fest event. The Sunday event will coincide with the 2019 International Helicopter Day, which is celebrated around the world.

During Copter-Fest the museum will celebrate the helicopters in its collection and give visitors the chance to take a look inside them, something that is not always possible.

Copter-Fest 2019 is open to the general public and museum trustees, volunteers and staff have put together a range of visiting special displays and activities. In addition to the helicopter viewing opportunities a number of museum aircraft will be open for people to visit. A small additional charge will be made for each aircraft visited (proceeds towards the museum’s various aircraft restoration projects).

Newark Air Museum helicopter exhibits

Bensen gyrocopter: G-ASNY
Bristol Sycamore III: WT933
BV Chinook HC.1 (fuselage): ZA717
Saunders Roe Skeeter AOP.12: XL764
Sud-Aviation SA.341 Gazelle: F-ZWRI / XW276
Sud Puma HC.1: XW208
Westland Lynx HC.28: QP-31
Westland (Bell 47) Sioux AH.1: XT200
Westland Wessex HC.2: XV728
Westland Whirlwind HAS.7: XM685
Zurowski ZP.1: BAPC 183

Visiting Displays

Mainly Military Models display
Stephen Dring 3D display/sales
Airfield Research Group display
Bikini State – RAF Regiment display/reenactors & Beaver ATV
Martin Brookfield – Wessex Display (Sunday only)
Robert Adams – Sales
RSPB – The Work of the RSPB with Display/Membership
Andy Rawden – Westland Lynx AH.7 XZ220 & display

Normal museum admission rates apply: Adults £9.00, Over 65s £8.00, Children £4.50 and Family ticket [2 adults & 3 children] £24.00.

Opening times; 10am to 5pm; last admission 4pm.
Full event details and exhibit lists can be found on the News & Information page of the museum website: www.newarkairmuseum.org

Engines Roar & Propellers Spin at Brooklands Aviation Day

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018

Sopwith Camel at Brooklands

Brooklands Museum Sunday 16th September

The enormous contribution Brooklands made to aviation through much of the twentieth century will be celebrated at its annual Aviation Day on Sunday 16th September. Since the first UK flight trials of A V Roe took place there in 1908, through two world wars, into the jet age and Concorde, Brooklands has been a major centre for aviation manufacture, flight and testing for over 80 years.

One of the main attractions of the day will undoubtedly be the scheduled fly-ins from visiting aircraft*. On the airstrip at Mercedes-Benz World opposite the main visitor entrance, the organisers are expecting several vintage bi-planes including Tiger Moths and a helicopter to make a dramatic entrance. After landing, spectators will be able to inspect the machines and chat to the pilots.

The Museum’s own Concorde will be running half hour virtual supersonic ‘flight’ experiences all day and opposite the Concorde in the 4D Theatre, visitors can experience a motion simulator ride with the Red Arrows as well as two racing rides. Visitors to this extravaganza will also be able to see the Museum’s incredible collection of classic cars and motorcycles plus the largest collection anywhere of Vickers and BAC aircraft, including the Varsity, Viscount and VC10 in the Aircraft Park. The Volunteers that steward the aircraft are always keen to give valuable insight into these machines and sometimes allow a visit inside the cockpit.

The WWII hangar that once stood on the Track now lies adjacent to it and has been reinterpreted as the Brooklands Aircraft Factory; once inside, visitors will experience the sights and sounds of a busy factory floor with work stations and breath taking displays showing giant sections of aircraft at various stages of manufacture. In the centre is the only surviving Wellington Bomber that saw active service in WWII. The Factory, together with the newly-built Flight Shed which houses the Museum’s live aircraft won a Museums & Heritage Award this year in the permanent exhibition category.

Also on site, the Hawker Fury, Hurricane, Sopwith Camel and mighty Vickers Vimy will all be on display. There will be static aero-engine runs* on the day and in the Paddock, the area in front of the historic Clubhouse, the largest gathering of children’s pedal planes is being attempted. Also for the youngsters will be a free aviation-themed activity and in the Museum Shop, books, models and toys all relating to aviation will be available to buy.

The Sunbeam Café and a barbecue will be open all day marking it out as a perfect day for families and friends. A full timetable for the day is on the website so you can start planning your visit.

Entrance fees are as follows: Adults £13.50; Seniors/Students £11.50; Children (5-16 yrs) £7.00; Children Under 5 FREE; Family ticket (2 adults and up to 3 children), £35.

For full details and up to date event information, visit www.brooklandsmuseum.com or telephone 01932 857381. The 4D Theatre rides are approximately 8 minutes long each and are priced at £4 Adults/£2 Children. The half-hour Concorde Experience is £5 Adults/£3 Children.

*Visiting helicopters, light aircraft and engine run demonstrations are subject to operational conditions.

Explosive MiG-15 and Vampire display will rock Wings & Wheels this August Bank holiday

Friday, August 24th, 2018

Mig-15 at Wings & Wheels

The Norwegian Air Force Historical Squadron will be bringing their explosive MiG-15 and Vampire display to Wings & Wheels this August Bank holiday.

Visitors will be thrilled as the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 demonstrates why it was one of the first successful swept-wing jet fighters, with high octane manoeuvres and a simulated battle with the added excitement of pyrotechnics as it displays with the de Havilland DH.100 Vampire.

The de Havilland DH.100 Vampire was a British fighter jet developed during the Second World War. The MiG-15 aircraft was developed for the Soviet Union and achieved fame in the skies over Korea, where, early in the war, it outclassed all straight-winged enemy fighters in most applications.

The MiG-15 is believed to have been one of the most widely produced jet aircraft ever made. In excess of 12,000 were manufactured and licensed foreign production may have raised the production total to over 18,000. Some among them were Polish-built variants of which the Norwegian Air Force Historical Squadron’s example is one. The MiG-15 is often mentioned, along with the North American F-86 Sabre, as the best fighter aircraft of the Korean War, and among the best fighter aircraft of all time. The MiG-15 remains in service with the North Korean Air Force as an advanced trainer.

The MiG-15 is also well known for its role in the Korean War – a conflict which involved the Royal Navy operated Hawker Sea Furies. Piloted by Lieutenant Peter ‘Hoagy’ Carmichael, one such Sea Fury FB11 made history when it downed a MiG-15; one of the very few times when a piston-engined aircraft has gained superiority over a jet.

The MiG-15 on display at Wings & Wheels wears the markings of the aircraft flown by famed Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin before he became the first man to visit outer space in 1961.

The de Havilland DH.100 Vampire was designed to harness the newly developed jet engine and entered service with the RAF in 1945. It was the first fighter jet to be powered by a single jet engine.
The RAF used the Vampire as a front-line fighter until 1953, when it assumed the role of pilot training. The de Havilland Vampire jet achieved a series of aviation firsts, including being the first British plane to exceed 500mph as well as the first jet fighter to cross the Atlantic. It was retired in 1966 and replaced by the Hawker Hunter and Gloster Javelin.

Around 3,300 Vampires were manufactured. The Royal Navy’s first jet fighter was the Sea Vampire, a variant of the plane operated from the Navy’s aircraft carriers. As such, the Vampire was the first plane to be landed on a moving aircraft carrier.

The Norwegian Air Force Historical Squadron was founded in 2008 and is based at Rygge Air Base Norway.

Visitors to Wings & Wheels can also enjoy other air displays including show favourites the Red Arrows, Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (Lancaster, 2 x Spitfires), Chinook, the Tigers Parachute Display Team, The Blades, Jet Provost, Hurricane, Strikemaster, O’Brien’s Flying Circus, the Bronco Demo , Richard Goodwin, The Turbulent Display Team, B-17 Flying Fortress Sally B, NAHF Vampire Pair, NAHF MiG 15 and Fireflies Aerobatic Team, accompanied by witty and knowledgeable commentary from aviation experts and display pilots.

The ‘Wings’ of the event would not be complete without a close-up inspection of all the weekend’s visiting aircraft including Dunsfold’s resident Boeing 747 in the ‘Wings Park’, the Brooklands VC10 and Aces High DC3, all open for tours.

Supercars and classic and vintage icons put on an awe-inspiring display of power and speed on the Top Gear track in a 2 hour auto spectacular. The ‘Wheels’ of the show includes displays from McLaren 12C, Lamborghini Aventador Roadster and Huracan, Pagani Zonda, Ferrari California T, Aston Martin Rapide, Dodge Monaco, TVR Tasmin 280i, Ducati Multistrada 1200s, Ferrari F355 Berlinetta, Ford GT40 and Lotus Elise.

Visit the Wheels Zone with a bigger and better crowd line parade and interactive displays from car and motorbike clubs. The popular Monster Truck arena returns offering demonstrations and passenger rides.

The Military Zone & Parade is interactive and explosive bringing re-enactors in a living history zone and our popular military vehicle parade. The Zone has over 80 military vehicles, six re-enactment groups, as well as the history of Dunsfold Aerodrome and Army, Navy and RAF recruitment stands for everyone’s enjoyment.

Sid’s Zone is an action packed free area for the little ones. From 10:00 until 16:00 the kids can join in with colouring competitions, arts and crafts, paper plane challenges, face painting and the popular Sid’s Trail which encourages the whole family to search the arena for questions and answers to win a goody bag. Meet and greets with show mascot Siddeley and the display pilots are not to be missed.

The excitement and anticipation doesn’t stop at the main displays as the 32 acre public arena is bursting with a huge variety of interactive attractions containing all you need for a great family day out. The show arena boasts go-karts, kit-plane demonstrations, aviation and motoring simulators, military outlets and displays, static aircraft, fairground and over 80 retail outlets selling a wide variety of products and gifts. Shopping in the arena includes a craft marquee full of tempting tea time treats to take home and craft gifts and a vintage village.

As the last plane touches down the party starts across the arena with musical evening entertainment from Champagne at the Blitz, a 1940s songbird trio armed with smooth harmonies, seamed nylons and lots and LOTS of red lippy!

Taking the hassle out of your day the show includes added extras to make your experience even more enjoyable; over 20 fixed-price catering outlets, two bars, hospitality facilities, free on-site parking, public camping, lost children point, disabled access, informative show commentary, opportunities to meet the pilots, official show merchandise and grandstand seating.

The 14th annual Wings & Wheels will be held over the August Bank holiday weekend; Saturday 25th & Sunday 26th August 2018, at Dunsfold Park near Guildford, Surrey, and is open to spectators from 09:00 until 21:00.

Advanced rate tickets from £24 for adults or £55 for a family. Single child tickets (for children aged 5 – 15) will be £8. Children under 5 go free. Hospitality packages start from £199 per person, weekend passes, grandstand tickets and camping are also available. For more information visit www.wingsandwheels.net or to book standard tickets call 08712 305 572.

Wings & Wheels is promoted by Dunsfold Park Limited and in 2018 will be assisting the fundraising efforts of Brooklands Museum Trust and Help for Heroes.

Historic Hurricane set to display at Wings & Wheels

Thursday, August 23rd, 2018

Hurricane at Dunsfold

The Hurricane from the Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar is the latest addition to the Wings & Wheels air display line-up as the historic aircraft returns to Dunsfold Aerodrome this August Bank Holiday.

The Hurricane will be performing a special flypast to commemorate the achievements of Duncan Simpson and John Farley, both of whom played important roles in the development of some of the world’s most iconic aircraft and worked at Dunsfold Aerodrome.

Built as Hurricane I by Canadian Car & Foundry in spring 1940, it was initially delivered to the RAF in September 1940 and then converted to a Sea Hurricane Mk.X by July 1942. It crashed on December 5th, 1942 while being piloted by Squadron Leader Douglas Trevor King RNVR. Following the crash it was classified as ‘beyond economical repair’. It was found in 1960 and placed in storage until 1994.

Restoration began in 1994 by Hawker Restorations Ltd before its first flight on 7th June 2000. Between 2001 and 2012 it was shipped from Southampton toe American before returning to Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar. Registered as G-CHTK in March 2013, it is currently painted to represent Hurricane Mk.I P2921 ‘Blue Peter’ flown by Pete Brothers of 32 Squadron, Biggin Hill during 1940.

During the flypast High Flight by John Gillespie Magee, Jr. will be read by Tom O’Bedlam. The times of the flypast are Saturday at 13:00 and Sunday at 13:19. Timings are approximate and subject to change.

The wartime classic will be flown under the expert flying skills of pilot Peter Teichman.

Famously paired with the Spitfire, the Hurricane is credited with 55% of all enemy kills during the Second World War, and provided a technological leap from bi-plane to warbird.

Currently, there are only 12 Hurricanes in airworthy condition throughout the world; this is in spite of a total production of some 14,231 aircraft in the period from 1937 to 1944. Surviving Hurricanes in flyable condition are therefore amongst the rarest of all warbirds. The Hanger 11 Collection’s Hurricane, originally built in 1942, has been restored to stock Mk IIB fighter-bomber status and is the only flying example of the famous ‘Hurri-bombers’.

Visitors to Wings & Wheels can also enjoy other air displays including show favourites the Red Arrows, Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (Lancaster, 2 x Spitfires), Chinook, the Tigers Parachute Display Team, The Blades, Jet Provost, Hurricane, Strikemaster, O’Brien’s Flying Circus, the Bronco Demo , Richard Goodwin, The Turbulent Display Team, B-17 Flying Fortress Sally B, NAHF Vampire Pair, NAHF MiG 15 and Fireflies Aerobatic Team, accompanied by witty and knowledgeable commentary from aviation experts and display pilots.

The ‘Wings’ of the event would not be complete without a close-up inspection of all the weekend’s visiting aircraft including Dunsfold’s resident Boeing 747 in the ‘Wings Park’, the Brooklands VC10 and Aces High DC3, all open for tours.

Supercars and classic and vintage icons put on an awe-inspiring display of power and speed on the Top Gear track in a 2 hour auto spectacular. The ‘Wheels’ of the show includes displays from McLaren 12C, Lamborghini Aventador Roadster and Huracan, Pagani Zonda, Ferrari California T, Aston Martin Rapide, Dodge Monaco, TVR Tasmin 280i, Ducati Multistrada 1200s, Ferrari F355 Berlinetta, Ford GT40 and Lotus Elise.

Visit the Wheels Zone with a bigger and better crowd line parade and interactive displays from car and motorbike clubs. The popular Monster Truck arena returns offering demonstrations and passenger rides.

The Military Zone & Parade is interactive and explosive bringing re-enactors in a living history zone and our popular military vehicle parade. The Zone has over 80 military vehicles, six re-enactment groups, as well as the history of Dunsfold Aerodrome and Army, Navy and RAF recruitment stands for everyone’s enjoyment.

Sid’s Zone is an action packed free area for the little ones. From 10:00 until 16:00 the kids can join in with colouring competitions, arts and crafts, paper plane challenges, face painting and the popular Sid’s Trail which encourages the whole family to search the arena for questions and answers to win a goody bag. Meet and greets with show mascot Siddeley and the display pilots are not to be missed.

The excitement and anticipation doesn’t stop at the main displays as the 32 acre public arena is bursting with a huge variety of interactive attractions containing all you need for a great family day out. The show arena boasts go-karts, kit-plane demonstrations, aviation and motoring simulators, military outlets and displays, static aircraft, fairground and over 80 retail outlets selling a wide variety of products and gifts. Shopping in the arena includes a craft marquee full of tempting tea time treats to take home and craft gifts and a vintage village.

As the last plane touches down the party starts across the arena with musical evening entertainment from Champagne at the Blitz, a 1940s songbird trio armed with smooth harmonies, seamed nylons and lots and LOTS of red lippy!

Taking the hassle out of your day the show includes added extras to make your experience even more enjoyable; over 20 fixed-price catering outlets, two bars, hospitality facilities, free on-site parking, public camping, lost children point, disabled access, informative show commentary, opportunities to meet the pilots, official show merchandise and grandstand seating.

The 14th annual Wings & Wheels will be held over the August Bank holiday weekend; Saturday 25th & Sunday 26th August 2018, at Dunsfold Park near Guildford, Surrey, and is open to spectators from 09:00 until 21:00.

Advanced rate tickets from £24 for adults or £55 for a family. Single child tickets (for children aged 5 – 15) will be £8. Children under 5 go free. Hospitality packages start from £199 per person, weekend passes, grandstand tickets and camping are also available. For more information visit www.wingsandwheels.net or to book standard tickets call 08712 305 572.

Wings & Wheels is promoted by Dunsfold Park Limited and in 2018 will be assisting the fundraising efforts of Brooklands Museum Trust and Help for Heroes.

Valiant V-Bomber doors open for special event

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2018

Valiant at Duxford

Date: 15 September 2018
Time: 1pm-4pm and 6pm-9pm
Cost: £13.50 per person

The third of four ‘100 Cockpits and Cabs’ events taking place at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford this year, will be held on Saturday 15 September. Up to 600 aviation fans will have the exclusive opportunity to get a closer look inside more aircraft and vehicles from the Museum’s collection including the Valiant, one third of Britain’s V-Bomber force, during an afternoon and evening session.

The RAF Museum Cosford and London is home to over 200 aircraft, tanks and vehicles and event organisers have selected 100 from the collection that they believe visitors will be keen to get a closer look inside. The ‘100 Cockpits and Cabs’ events will celebrate the Royal Air Force Centenary by giving visitors access to aircraft and vehicles, spanning the services entire career.

The September event at Cosford will be themed around aircraft and vehicles from the National Cold War Exhibition and the transport and training collection in Hangar 1.

From the Cold War collection, aircraft and vehicles open on the night include the Vickers Valiant B1. The Valiant was the first of Bomber Command’s V class aircraft and established Britain’s air-borne nuclear deterrent force before pioneering operational in-flight refuelling in the Royal Air Force. Not only was it the first V-Bomber to enter service, it was also the first to drop an operational British nuclear weapon over Christmas Island in 1957. Event organisers hope aviation fans will seize the rare opportunity to step on board one of Britain’s nuclear strike force aircraft, which played a vital role during the critical Cold War years.

Another highlight will be the chance to get up close to the Museum’s collection of Cold War vehicles including the Russian BMP-1. The BMP-1 went into production in the early 1960’s and marked an important departure from previous armoured personnel carriers. Not just an infantry carrier, it provided a measure of combat capability with the vehicle. Its high mobility, effective anti-tank weapons combined with its armoured protection made it a significant addition to Soviet battlefield forces.

Other Cold War aircraft and vehicles open for the special event include the Alvis Saladin armoured car (close view only), Trabant vehicle, British Aerospace Tracked Rapier, Short Brothers Belfast, Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer CCII and the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG 21PF (close view only).

The event theme also extends to include a selection of the Museum’s transport and training vehicles displayed in Hangar 1 and for the first time ever, the Westland Wessex HC2 helicopter will be open for close viewing. The HC Mk2 entered RAF service in the early 1960s and became a familiar sight on anti-terrorist operations in Northern Ireland and supporting UN Peacekeeping forces in Cyprus. In the mid-1970s twelve aircraft were converted to the HAR Mk2 variant, given a bright yellow high-visibility colour scheme and with the addition of a winch were used for search and rescue duties around the UK coast. The last RAF Wessex helicopters (Cyprus based HC Mk 2s) retired in 2003. This is the first time the Wessex has been included in an open evening event and visitors will be able to view the helicopter from a raised platform being installed especially for the event.

Also open on the night in Hangar 1 will be the Landrover Series 1, de Havilland Devon, Hawker Siddeley Andover E3A and the Scottish Aviation Bulldog T Mk 1.

To make sure visitors get the most out of the event, there will be a large team of Volunteers manning each aircraft or vehicle and available to answer any questions. A special Log Book can be purchased for an additional £1, allowing ticket holders to keep a record of the aircraft and vehicles they have accessed during the event!

A total of 600 tickets are available for the event taking place on Saturday 15 September and aviation fans will have up to three hours to enjoy the exclusive access. The afternoon session will run from 1pm-4pm, followed by an evening session 6pm-9pm. The Museum will close at 5pm, however the Visitor Centre and Refuel Restaurant will remain open for ticket holders, before doors to the aircraft and vehicles open at 6pm.

Tickets are now available to purchase through the Museum’s website www.rafmuseum.org/cosford and cost £13.50 per person which includes parking (minimum height restrictions apply). The final ‘100 Cockpits and Cabs’ event at Cosford will take place on Friday 7 December, details on this and the events taking place at the RAF Museum London are also available online.

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.