Posts Tagged ‘Fleet Air Arm Museum’

New Exhibits at the Fleet Air Arm Museum Get Concorde’s 50th Anniversary Year off to a Flying Start

Thursday, March 14th, 2019

Fleet Air Arm Museum

To mark 50 years since the very first test flights of Concorde in 1969, the Fleet Air Arm Museum near Yeovilton in Somerset is poised to unveil special exhibits including the futuristic helmet worn by the pilot of those early flights, Brian Trubshaw CBE.

The museum is home to one of only two prototype Concorde aircraft in the world and the first British-made Concorde (002), which was constructed as a test aircraft for the eventual fleet of 16 Concordes built for British Airways and Air France. Concorde 002 was largely designed and built at Bristol’s Filton airport, under the leadership of Trubshaw, a former Second World War pilot. In the 1960s and 70s Trubshaw was described as ‘every schoolboy’s hero’, flying test missions for fighter aircraft. He was at the controls on 9th April 1969 when Concorde 002 made its historic first flight from Filton to RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, a journey lasting just 22 minutes.

Trubshaw’s helmet is a fascinating piece of aviation history. More like a space helmet than anything modern pilots would recognise, it was developed to cope with extreme altitudes and speeds, as the aircraft shot through the sky close to the edge of space. The helmet has been offered to the museum for the duration of the anniversary celebrations by its current owner and the museum’s general manager Marc Farrance says: “We’re delighted to be able to offer our visitors the chance to see the Trubshaw Helmet and understand more about its fascinating former owner. We are extremely grateful to the current owner, Mrs Lowe, for agreeing to loan the helmet to the Fleet Air Arm Museum as part of our celebrations of the anniversary.”

Throughout March and April of this 50th anniversary year, visitors to the Fleet Air Arm Museum will be able to attend daily talks from the museum’s experts on all things Concorde, with a host of fascinating facts such as:

• Concorde 002 first achieved supersonic speed in March 1970 and later in the testing programme hit a maximum speed of Mach 2.05.
• Mach 2 is approximately equivalent to 1,350 mph or 22 miles per minute, faster than a bullet from a gun and about the same as travelling from Leeds to York in under a minute.
• At Mach 2, the outside of Concorde gets hot enough to fry an egg, yet the air it is travelling through is -65C.
• Also at Mach 2, Concorde gets so hot it expands about 4 inches and has to have built-in expansion joints to accommodate this.
• 1969 was also the year of the Moon landing, but in a world before sophisticated computer programmes, all this revolutionary science and design was done with slide rules, pencils and paper.

Concorde 002 was retired to the Fleet Air Arm Museum on long term loan from the Science Museum after the test programme ended in 1976 and the first commercial Concorde flights began. The museum is also home to a number of aircraft that formed part of the Concorde development programme including HP 115 which was flown by several test pilots including Neil Armstrong.

Entry to the Fleet Air Arm Museum costs from £12.75 per adult and £9.50 per child, with family tickets available. Book online at www.fleetairarm.com

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

Sunday, December 9th, 2018

HMS Heron Band

All the right Con-chords will be played as this year’s popular Christmas Carol Concert returns to the Fleet Air Arm Museum on December 13th and 14th.

Visitors can join the HMS Heron Royal Navy Volunteer Band under Concorde 002 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 another two evenings of fun and entertainment.

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

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

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