Posts Tagged ‘Fleet Air Arm Museum’

100-year-old veteran makes flying visit to Fleet Air Arm Museum

Thursday, May 24th, 2018

Douglas Rolton visits Fleet Air Arm Museum

100-year-old Mr Douglas Rolton visited Yeovilton’s Fleet Air Arm Museum this week for a special visit to see the Fairey Barracuda aircraft project.

Mr Rolton, who was 100 last month, flew as an observer/navigator in Royal Navy Barracuda aircraft on the bombing mission against the German Battle ship Tirpitz in 1944.

He also survived two crash landings at sea during his career as a Navy pilot, making him a double member of the ‘Goldfish Club’, the name given to aircrew members who have had to make forced landings over water.

William Gibbs, museum restoration engineer, who is heading the Barracuda rebuild, was able to show Mr Rolton many familiar parts of the aircraft that are being worked on to recreate the last surviving example of a Barracuda dive bomber, using components from Barracuda crash sites, recovered to aid the project. Of particular interest was the window section from the Observers position in a Barracuda, a view Mr Rolton would have been very familiar with during his flying career.

www.fleetairarm.com

Second opportunity this year for special access to iconic aircraft at the Fleet Air Arm Museum

Wednesday, March 28th, 2018

Sea King

A second evening of unprecedented access, exploring in and around some of the Fleet Air Arm Museum’s most significant aircraft, takes place on Thursday 17 May at 6.00pm.

This is an exclusive opportunity that is not usually available to the general public and the evening is just one of three planned this year.

Visitors can see where history was made when they look inside the cockpit of Captain Eric ‘Winkle’ Brown’s famous Vampire LZ551/G. This was the first jet aircraft to land on an aircraft carrier in 1945.

Visitors can sit inside the cockpits of Concorde 002, Westland Wessex 5 and HAS3 Lynx Helicopter, inside the cabin area of ‘King of the Junglies’ Sea King ZA 298 and view into the cockpits of Harrier GR9 and Hawker P1127, to enable a comparison of prototype and last type seen in service.

The evening includes entry to the main galleries (excluding flight deck) and a chance to see the museum at night. The experienced team of curators and volunteers will be on hand to answer questions and tell more of the secrets of the museum and the collection of aircraft.

The Fleet Air Arm Museum’s General Manager Marc Farrance said: “This is the second of our special access evenings and our visitors love them. Feedback from our event earlier in the year was really positive. The chance to sit in the very cockpits where history has often been made is thrilling.”

Tickets for this privileged access evening are available from www.fleetairarm.com, £40.00 per person. Spaces are limited spaces and advance booking is essential.

Sensible clothing and footwear must be worn. Access to aircraft is dependent upon your fitness levels and overall mobility. All visits are subject to a briefing by a member of the museum team. Aircraft line-up subject to change.

Rare opportunity to get behind the scenes at Fleet Air Arm Museum’s Cobham Hall

Tuesday, January 16th, 2018

Cobham Hall, Fleet Air Arm Museum

The Fleet Air Arm Museum’s behind the scenes reserve collection is now larger than many other entire aircraft museums and is housed in a purpose built and climate-controlled building called Cobham Hall.

There are just four opportunities this year to get behind the scenes to see the reserve aircraft collection in Cobham Hall under the guidance of Curator of Aircraft, David Morris. The behind the scenes programme kicks off on Thursday 8 March at 10.30am, 12.30pm and 2.30pm.

The aircraft housed in Cobham Hall are part of the 103 aircraft in the museum’s collection awaiting their turn for display or being assessed as part of an ongoing conservation and preservation programme. There are many aircraft not seen anywhere else, such as the Supermarine 510 and Hawker P1052 and also, the oldest surviving aircraft carrier, the Seaplane Lighter H21, which is on the National Register of Historic Vessels. This 58-foot long streamlined craft was towed into wind at high speed behind fast Royal Navy destroyers, allowing aircraft to take off at sea during the First World War.

Fleet Air Arm Museum Senior Curator David Morris said: “Cobham Hall is packed with a precious assortment of naval aviation heritage objects and even a glimpse behind the scenes is a real treat and fascinating, whether you love aircraft or not.”

There are three sessions per day – 10.30am, 12.30pm and 2.30pm. Tours commence from Cobham Hall, a short distance from the museum (please park immediately on left inside Cobham Hall entrance). All tours will be £12.00 per person, places are limited and must be booked in advance either online or via the museum ticket box. Tickets do not include entry to the museum. For further information please visit www.fleetairarm.com.

Special access to iconic aircraft at the Fleet Air Arm Museum

Thursday, January 4th, 2018

Sea King at Fleet Air Arm Museum

An evening of unprecedented access, exploring in and around some of the Fleet Air Arm Museum’s most significant aircraft, takes place on Thursday 18 January at 6.00pm. This is an exclusive opportunity that is not usually available to the general public.

Visitors can see where history was made when they look inside the cockpit of Captain Eric ‘Winkle’ Brown’s famous Vampire LZ551/G. This was the first jet aircraft to land on an aircraft carrier in 1945.

Sit inside the cockpits of Concorde 002, Westland Wessex 5 and HAS3 Lynx Helicopter. Go inside the cabin area of ‘King of the Junglies’ Sea King ZA 298 and view into the cockpits of Harrier GR9 and Hawker P1127, to enable a comparison of prototype and last type seen in service.

Also enjoy access to the main museum galleries (excluding flight deck) and absorb the unique atmosphere of the museum at night. The experienced team of curators and volunteers will be on hand to answer questions and tell more of the secrets of the museum and our collection of aircraft.

The Fleet Air Arm Museum’s General Manager Marc Farrance said: “These evenings are incredibly popular and very special indeed. The chance to sit in the very cockpits where history has often been made is thrilling and our visitors love it.”

Tickets for this privileged access evening are available from www.fleetairarm.com, £40.00 per person. Spaces are limited spaces and advance booking is essential.

Sensible clothing and footwear must be worn. Access to aircraft is dependent upon your fitness levels and overall mobility. All visits are subject to a briefing by a member of the museum team. Aircraft line-up subject to change.

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 www.fleetairarm.com

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