Posts Tagged ‘Fleet Air Arm Museum’

New exhibition plots the Fleet Air Arm’s post Cold War role around the world

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

Harrier GR9

Four iconic aircraft and nearly 40 years of changing world tensions are the focus for a new exhibition opening on July 19 at The National Museum of the Royal Navy’s Yeovilton-based Fleet Air Arm Museum.

Key aircraft include a Sea King (ZA298) two Harriers FRS1GR9 and ZD433 and a Lynx (XZ720) all of whom have experienced front line action in conflicts such as the Falklands, Gulf Wars, Bosnia and Afghanistan. They will be used to help explore how the Fleet Air Arm has operated in the theatre of war including some of the most difficult terrains on the planet and to tell the stories of the men and women who fly such aircraft and keep them airborne.

It will also examine the perhaps less obvious roles of the Royal Navy and the Fleet Air Arm including humanitarian assistance, civilian evacuations, anti-piracy and anti-drug patrols where the focus is on saving lives and upholding the rule of law.

Marc Farrance, General Manager from The National Museum of the Royal Navy, which owns the Fleet Air Arm Museum said: “The ending of the Cold War did not mean an end to the vital role played by the Fleet Air Arm. Instead it had to adapt and develop to meet the new demands made upon it in a constantly changing world. This exhibition tells the story of the part played by the Fleet Air Arm as the world moved from the era of Cold War politics in 1989, driven by the fear of nuclear war, into one dominated by international tensions, globalization and terrorist action.

“All in all, this exhibition will show how, in the post-Cold War era, the Fleet Air Arm has continued to provide air power from the sea in hazardous, diverse and complex operations around the world.”

Tickets are available on www.fleetairarm.com and include a 20% discount when purchased online.

Public lecture on 20th century icon Concorde

Thursday, July 13th, 2017

Concorde at Yeovilton Fleet Air Arm Museum

The fascinating history of Concorde continues to capture the imagination and the Society of Friends of the Fleet Air Arm Museum is holding a lecture by senior BA Concorde captain, John Hutchinson on Thursday 27th July at 7.30pm.

He says of his distinguished flying career “I have never worked in my life. I’ve been paid to enjoy my hobby in the company of some of the finest people I have ever met – my fellow aircrew.”

The iconic supersonic airliner was the love of his aviation life and Concorde fans will find the tales from the sharp end fascinating.

Having spent 15 years flying at 23 miles per minute, he describes being overtaken by family cars on the motorway below as ‘rather humbling’. Retiring from professional flying hasn’t meant slowing down though, he is much in demand internationally as an aviation consultant, expert witness, broadcaster and speaker.

John has always given back to the profession that gave him so much pleasure and his contributions to aviation over many years were recognised in 1999 when he was elected Master of the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators. He remains an active, highly respected and very popular ‘Past Master’ of GAPAN.

Although best known as a senior BA Concorde captain, John Hutchinson started his prolific flying career in the RAF and has flown more than 70 types of aircraft.

He served from 1955-1963 (Harvard training in Canada, Shackleton pilot in Singapore, QFI/IRE) and was a corporate pilot for three years before joining BOAC in 1966. He was, successively, a 707 and 747 co-pilot and then a captain on the VC10 before being selected to be a Concorde captain. He remained on the Concorde fleet until retirement, and was a Route Check Captain. The magnificent supersonic airliner was the love of his aviation life and Concorde fans (like me) will find the tales from the sharp end interesting, informative and enjoyable.

Tickets cost £10 and include light refreshments. The talk starts at 7.30pm in the Swordfish Conference Centre at the Fleet Air Arm Museum, Yeovilton. Tickets are available in advance from www.historicdockyard.co.uk/concorde For any queries please contact the ticket box on 01935 842617.

Fleet Air Arm Museum offers special access to witness historic Lynx last flight

Saturday, March 4th, 2017

Lynx 815 squadron Fleet Air Arm Museum

Visitors to Yeovilton’s Fleet Air Arm Museum will get a ringside view of the historic decommissioning and final flight of the Lynx helicopter’s service from the Royal Navy on 23rd March.

A six-minute long flying display by 815 Naval Air Squadron of RNAS Yeovilton can be seen from the special viewing area at the rear of the museum. The display will be free to view for all museum ticket holders on the day.

The Lynx has been a world leader in maritime operations for the last 41 years. It may also still have an analogue cockpit and be oily and battle-scarred; but for those who have flown, maintained and enjoyed its presence in the skies overhead will no doubt mourn the passing of this hugely-successful all British maritime helicopter. Four decades in operational theatres as diverse as Antarctica, the Far East, the Arabian Gulf and Caribbean are being brought to a fitting end with the decommissioning.

The Farewell Lynx event, running concurrently with the formal military decommissioning ceremony, provides the perfect opportunity for the ex-Lynx community to meet up with old flight members and shipmates, or for members of the public to simply browse the Lynx exhibitions, watch her final airborne display, and become part of this aircraft’s great history.

Museum staff will be on-hand to discuss the history in greater depth, and a Book of Commemoration will be donated by 815 Naval Air Squadron for comments, memories and stories. There will also be an opportunity to purchase a limited stock of Lynx memorabilia including pictures and prints to support the Squadron’s charity funds.
The airborne display will commence at 11.45am and last for approximately six minutes. Entry to the external viewing area is free with a valid museum ticket.

Tickets available from www.fleetairarm.com

Captain Eric Winkle Brown Medals

Friday, January 20th, 2017

Eachan Hardie

Yesterday at The National Museum of the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm Museum, an 11-year old schoolboy got a sneak preview of the medals and log books of his hero Captain Eric “Winkle” Brown that he campaigned to save. When he heard the news that they were to be auctioned following the world record breaking test pilot’s death Eachan Hardie wrote to numerous company executives urging them to help.

His fears were unfounded as it transpired they were secured for the nation following the intervention of an incredibly generous, anonymous donor by The National Museum of the Royal Navy for display at its Fleet Air Arm Museum, a real favourite of Captain Brown.
Eachan Hardie struck up a correspondence with Captain Brown after it emerged he had written to him seeking advice on how to become a test pilot. Eachan was inspired by “Winkle” Brown’s world record for the most aircraft carrier take-offs – 2,407 and the most landings – 2,271.

The Fleet Air Arm Museum’s Curator of Aircraft, David Morris, got to know Captain Brown well. He showed Eachan the collection before it goes on display for a short period from 21st January, which would have been Captain Brown’s birthday, until 19th February.

Following his death on 21st February 2016 age 97 the news broke that the collection could be sold at auction. At the time Eachan said: “I think they should be in the Fleet Air Arm Museum so that young people like me can see them and be inspired.

“I think British test pilots of the future should be able to read his log books to understand the testing of the very important aircraft that he flew.”
It is fair to say that Captain Brown was by many measures the Fleet Air Arm’s most significant pilot of the post-war period. On 3rd December 1945 he became the first ever pilot to take off and land a jet aircraft – the Sea Vampire – on a carrier. The Fleet Air Arm Museum displays the very same Vampire in which he completed his jet-powered flight.

Also included in the museum collection are the goggles and wrist compass which he wore during his tests and in 2015 Captain Brown himself unveiled a new bronze bust commissioned by the Society of Friends of FAAM.

www.fleetairarm.com

New playground inspired by Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier to be built at the Fleet Air Arm Museum

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

Fleet Air Arm Museum logo

Funding of £74,350 has been secured to transform the entrance to The National Museum of the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm Museum (FAAM) with an exciting new playground inspired by the flight deck of HMS Queen Elizabeth, one of the new aircraft carriers due to enter Royal Navy service in 2017.

Aircraft from the Fleet Air Arm are routinely deployed on carriers and the launch of two new Queen Elizabeth Class ships presents an exciting opportunity for both visitors and the local Royal Navy community to engage with the museum, its collection and story.

The project will significantly alter visitor’s first impressions of the Fleet Air Arm Museum and introduce the inspirational story of Royal Navy aviation in a novel, attractive and engaging way.

The funding issued by the Viridor Credits Environmental Company, is sourced from The Landfill Communities Fund, an innovative tax credit scheme enabling landfill operators to contribute money to organisations to benefit a wide range of community and environmental projects in the vicinity of landfill sites.

Gareth Williams, Funded Projects Manager at Viridor Credits Environmental Company said: “The Fleet Air Arm Museum at Yeovilton is an important part of aviation heritage in the South West, and the new play area will enhance its status as a local attraction for visitors and local families alike.”

Marc Farrance, General Manager at the Fleet Air Arm Museum (FAAM) added: “We are delighted to secure this funding stream from Viridor Credits. This is a great opportunity for the museum to develop its visitor experience as we tell the ongoing story of naval aviation heritage. 2017 is set to be the year of the Carrier programme and the world will be transfixed by the scale of these vessels. We hope to be able to capture a little bit of that excitement here!”

The museum’s aim is to carry the theme of the new Queen Elizabeth Class playground throughout the entire site. This work will also set the foundation for other potential future funding bids and a larger development plan for the future. Plans for a crowdfunding campaign to assist will be announced early in 2017.

www.fleetairarm.com

The National Museum of the Royal Navy secures medals and log books of Captain Eric ‘Winkle’ Brown for the nation

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

Eric

We are delighted to announce that The National Museum of the Royal Navy has been able to secure the medals and log books of Captain Eric “Winkle” Brown following the intervention of an incredibly generous donor. It is fair to say that Captain Brown was by many measures the Fleet Air Arm’s most significant pilot of the post-war period and we are thrilled and honoured to be able to class this collection as one of our own.

We can now preserve the record of innovation which is contained within Captain Brown’s log books which includes previously untapped information and display them for the world to see. The Fleet Air Arm Museum is the spiritual home of the service and a right and fitting place for the medals and logbook to be displayed at.

Captain Brown holds a world record for the most aircraft carrier take-offs – 2,407 and the most landings – 2,271, and on 3rd December 1945 became the first ever pilot to take off and land a jet aircraft – the Sea Vampire – on a carrier. He went on to make many contributions of wider significance to aviation history , using his Fleet Air Arm experience to fly a world record breaking 486 types of aircraft, and to test aircraft for other services and for allies.

The Fleet Air Arm Museum was fortunate to work with Captain Brown in the last decades of his life and have been able to mark and honour his contribution in a number of ways.

The Museum’s collections include the very Vampire Mk1 in which he completed his jet-powered flight, as well as the goggles and gloves which he wore during his tests; in 2015 Captain Brown himself unveiled a new bronze bust commissioned by the Museum which stands proudly in our galleries.

Just as importantly the Museum worked with him to record in detail the long span of his service to form a key part of the archive – which includes the nation’s most significant collection of naval pilots’ flying logs – of the Fleet Air Arm.

www.fleetairarm.com

Voices to soar for Christmas Concerts at the Fleet Air Arm Museum

Sunday, November 13th, 2016

HMS Heron volunteer band

All the right Con-chords will be played as this year’s Christmas Concerts return to the Fleet Air Arm Museum on 1st and 2nd December.

Visitors can join the HMS Heron Royal Navy Volunteer Band for the event, which takes place under the museum’s Concorde 002. The concert features several classics and festive numbers. Doors open at 6.30pm and the concert starts at 7.30pm.

General Manager of the Fleet Air Arm Museum, Marc Farrance, said: “Our Christmas Concerts are very popular and they’re held in such a unique setting – under the Concorde 002. We are delighted to host the HMS Heron Royal Navy Volunteer Band again this year.”

“The event has been incredibly popular in recent years. Last year we held it over two nights to make sure no one missed out on tickets and this year will be the same.”

Tickets are £12 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 www.fleetairarm.com

For more information about the HMS Heron Royal Navy Volunteer Band, please visit: http://www.hmsheronband.co.uk/

“King of the Junglies” has landed at the Fleet Air Arm Museum

Friday, August 12th, 2016

Sea King Fleet Air Arm Museum

  • The longest serving Mk4 Sea King helicopter – the ZA298, known as ‘King of the Junglies’, has landed at the Fleet Air Arm Museum
  • Helicopter’s rich history to be told to thousands of visitors at the museum from August 4th
  • The ZA298 survived four wars and will be preserved in the museum
  • Pilots who flew Sea King over its history of nearly four decades will be in attendance

The much loved and longest serving Mk4 Sea King ZA298 has arrived at The National Museum of the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm Museum (FAAM), where her memory will inspire many generations to come.

The ‘King of the Junglies’, as she is popularly known, has survived four wars and has been a real stalwart in supporting soldiers on various missions including at the Falklands, Bosnia, Iraq and more recently in Afghanistan.

Aircraft Curator at the museum, Dave Morris, is excited to be welcoming the Sea King into the museum’s collection, which will go on display from August 4.

“It’s always exciting to get a new aircraft into the collection and none more-so than Sea King ZA298,” he said.

“From its first combat action in 1982 (Falklands) it was still in active combat service some 30 years later in Afghanistan, and in the years in between it has been active in just about every other major combat or humanitarian aid task that the Royal Navy and Fleet Air Arm has been involved with.

“It was also the helicopter that famously delivered the Olympic Flame to Tower Bridge during the London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony.

“A real ‘war horse’, 298 has taken heavy fire on several occasions and is still standing, and has some amazing stories to tell.

“This helicopter is also an important addition to the line-up of Westland aircraft that we have in the collection. The Fleet Air Arm Museum holds a collection of Westland built aircraft of world significance that dates back to The Short 184 aircraft that flew at the Battle of Jutland 100 years ago.

“ZA298 will add yet more naval aviation history to this very important collection of aircraft, built only seven miles away from the museum itself in the town of Yeovil.”

Four Sea Kings landed at RNAS Yeovilton, before a handing-over ceremony in the museum earlier this year, where around 300 servicemen from the Royal Navy, RAF and Royal Marines celebrated her career which has spanned more than three decades.

Representatives from the helicopter’s manufacturer AugustaWestland, who, with the Royal Navy, handed over ZA298 to the museum, were also there to speak about the helicopter’s illustrious career.

www.fleetairarm.com

October Model Show Spectacular: 15th October 2016

Thursday, August 11th, 2016

Fleet Air Arm Museum Model Show

The October Model Show is the largest event of its kind in the South West and is a must for all model enthusiasts.

Visitors will be able to see a broad array of scaled-down models of real aircraft, see club and trade exhibitors from across the UK and meet the enthusiasts who live and breathe model making.

Advance Tickets will be withdrawn from sale on the 14th October 2016. For any queries please contact the ticket box on 01935 842617. SAVE 20% and buy online!

Tickets for the event can be found by clicking here (after 1st July 2016).

www.fleetairarm.com

Vintage Film Night at the Fleet Air Arm Museum

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

Vintage film - Airship

Friday 16th May, the second of a new series of film nights at the Fleet Air Arm Museum will screen a number of films from the archive.

The rare footage from WW1 and WW2 and the early 60s show the development of Royal Naval aviation from the earliest days of the Royal Naval Air Service, forerunner of the Fleet Air Arm, through to the 1990s.

Says Barbara Gilbert Senior Archivist “We all know about the trenches on the Western Front during the First World War but not many people realise that the Royal Naval Air Service had bases in the Aegean. From these airbases, they operated not only aeroplanes but airships. This vintage footage gives us a glimpse of what was involved.”

Other films to be screened will include, 1930s footage of the Fleet Air Arm showing off its carrier-borne squadrons of Fairey IIIFs and Blackburn Ripons from HMS Renown and HMS Furious.

A WW2 film following recruits as they join the Fleet Air Arm and a film of life on board the Floating Fortress that was HMS Victorious in the Mediterranean circa 1960 when her air group consisted of Supermarine Scimitars, De Havilland Sea Venoms and Westland Whirlwinds.

Tickets for the film night can be obtained on line at www.fleetairarm.com or from the door on the night. Tickets cost £5.00 for film night only or £12.50 to include supper in the museum’s Swordfish restaurant prior to the screening.