Posts Tagged ‘January’

Historic Helicopters Added to Air Show Line-Up

Thursday, February 1st, 2018

Flying Bulls Sycamore

With the Air Show now less than six months away, today the organisers of the RAF Cosford Air Show announced an assortment of ex-Royal Air Force helicopters which will be on display for the spectacular RAF Centenary Air Show on Sunday 10th June.

One of the highlights of the flying display for aviation enthusiasts will be the world’s only flying Bristol 171 Sycamore, making its first appearance at a UK flying display since it’s impressive restoration to airworthy condition by the Flying Bulls, based in Austria. The Sycamore was the first British designed helicopter to enter production and served with the Royal Air Force between 1953–1972 in a number of roles including VIP transportation.

Other ex-RAF helicopters appearing in the flying display will include the yellow Westland Whirlwind, performing a search and rescue display, and the Gazelle Squadron, who will perform a synchronised aerial ballet in their two Westland Gazelle helicopters. On the ground, a number of helicopters which were used by the Royal Air Force for Search and Rescue duties will be parked together as part of the unique RAF100 static exhibition including a Sea King, Wessex & Whirlwind.

Air Show Operations Manager, Mr Peter Reoch, said, “Showcasing the world’s only airworthy examples of the Whirlwind & Sycamore helicopters is really exciting for us in this special RAF100 year and we’re very thankful to their operators for providing them for the RAF Cosford Air Show. Alongside our growing list of vintage aircraft scheduled to display, we have already received word from a number of overseas Air Forces who are hoping to send aircraft to join our RAF100 celebration too, so we’re expecting this year’s Air Show to be a truly spectacular occasion!”

Air Show Tickets are currently priced at £25.00 and are available from www.cosfordairshow.co.uk with accompanied under-16s admitted free of charge.

Race for the RAF in the Spitfire 100K Challenge

Monday, January 29th, 2018

Spitfire 10k run

As a virtual race, the 100K challenge can be completed anywhere in the world and runners from as far as America, Germany and Denmark have already signed up. Online registration is now open and closes on 1 April when the challenge begins. Limited edition Spitfire 100K Challenge t-shirts are also available to purchase when registering online.

RAF Museum Public Events Manager, Abi Betteridge said:
“Throughout 2018 we will be celebrating the RAF’s centenary and we wanted to do something extra special to coincide with this. We came up with the idea of 100K in 100 days which is quite a challenge, but it can be completed anytime, anywhere, so long as the 100K is completed between 1 April and 10 July. We’ve already had lots of interest from abroad and RAF bases across the UK, it’s great to see people getting behind the RAF100 Appeal.”

The annual Spitfire 10K will also be returning to the RAF Museum Cosford this September and will give participants the unique opportunity to race across the airfield and down the runway at RAF Cosford. Registration is now open and this year, up to 1,200 runners can participate in the race which takes place on Sunday 2 September 2018.

Taking-off from the Museum’s Hangar 1, runners will head outside and begin the race with a loop of the Museum site past iconic aircraft including the VC10, Hercules and Nimrod, before heading onto the airfield at RAF Cosford. Participants will run alongside the wartime hangars, the air traffic control tower and of course, the race wouldn’t be complete without a sprint down the runway! The scenic route around the military airfield will take runners past several historic landmarks along the way and then it’s back onto the Museum site to cross the finish line. Upon completion, runners will be rewarded with a bespoke 2018 Spitfire 10K medal, a perfect and well-earned memento of their day.

Any families with younger children who would like to join in the fun on the day can sign up for the Spitfire Family Run, new for 2018. This gentle run will follow a shorter 1km race route around the Museum grounds and each registered runner will receive a special medal upon completion. The race is suitable for all ages, but children under 16 years must be accompanied by an adult.

Abi Betteridge adds:
“The demand for the Spitfire 10K is huge, last year we had almost 100 people on the waiting list, so this year we’ve increased our capacity to allow even more runners to take part. We already have around 600 people signed up, with lots returning for a second or even a third year. We always have a large number of families turn up to support the 10K runners so we wanted to add a family run so that everyone can join in. It’s such a unique event, there really is no other race like it and the feedback from everyone who took part last year was fantastic, especially about the medal, it’s an absolute must for any runner’s medal collection!”

The Spitfire 10K is a UK Athletics licenced race over an accurately measured course and is suitable for keen runners and novices alike, so if you’re aged 15 and over why not give it a go? Whether you’ve been entering races for years, or you’re just getting into running, the Spitfire 10K is guaranteed to be fun and memorable.

Organisers are also encouraging participants to get into the spirit of the Spitfire 10K by dressing in wartime attire – don your victory curls or flying jacket and run this event in style! Or, why not sport a bespoke 2018 Spitfire 10K t-shirt, available to purchase when you register online. The Spitfire 10K will be a fun family day out and spectators are invited to cheer on their loved ones and show their support on the day at the start and finish line. Plus, following the race, visitors have the added bonus of being able to enjoy time wondering round the free Museum, where they will find over 75 historical aircraft on display.

Runners can arrive from 8.00am onwards on race day. The Spitfire Family Run will commence at 9.15am and it will be ready, steady…..scramble at 10.00am sharp for the Spitfire 10K!

To register for the event visit the Museum’s website www.rafmuseum.org/cosford. Entry to the Spitfire 100K Challenge is £20 per person, the Spitfire 10K costs £22.50 per person (Armed Forces Personnel and members of UK Athletics affiliated clubs are eligible for the discounted entry fee of £20.50 per person), and participation in the Spitfire Family Run is £5 per person. All proceeds will go towards the RAF100 Appeal (registered charity number 1167398). For further details about the event can be found online.

Canadians Boost Air Tattoo Participation

Sunday, January 28th, 2018

RIAT Canadian Globemaster

Official RAF Centenary celebrations taking place at the Royal International Air Tattoo this summer have been given an extra boost thanks to one of the UK’s closest Commonwealth and NATO allies.

The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), which had already confirmed it was sending its hugely popular CF-18 Demo Team to the airshow at RAF Fairford on July 13-15, has announced that an additional three aircraft would be crossing the Atlantic to take part.

Illustrating the RCAF’s capabilities will be a CC-130 Hercules, a CC-177 Globemaster and a CP-140 Aurora, all of which will be on display in the airshow’s static park.
Based at Greenwood, Nova Scotia, the CP-140 Aurora from 14 Wing, has been used primarily for maritime patrol/anti-submarine warfare since it entered service with the RCAF in the early 1980s. Its endurance and 7,400km range make it ideal for a variety of missions including search and rescue and disaster relief. It also provides vital support to other government agencies in combating illegal immigration, illegal fishing, pollution and drug trafficking.

Arriving from Canadian Forces Base Trenton, Ontario, the CC-177 Globemaster III transports troops, cargo and oversized combat equipment from coast to coast and around the world. Its ability to fly long distances and land at remote airfields makes it a premier transporter for military, humanitarian and peacekeeping missions.

Since 2015 it has supported disaster relief operations in Nepal, it has transported personnel and equipment to battle the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and continues to support the global coalition against terrorism. Also arriving from Trenton will be a Lockheed Martin CC-130 Hercules, which is used for troop transport, tactical airlift and aircrew training.

Air Tattoo spokesman Richard Arquati said: “From the Battle of Britain to current missions in the Middle East, the Royal Canadian Air Force has operated side-by-side with the Royal Air Force. Sending four aircraft to the Air Tattoo to mark the RAF’s centenary re-affirms the strong and enduring bond that exists between them.”

The Air Tattoo is staged in support of the RAF Charitable Trust. For ticket details and a wide variety of enclosure options, visit www.airtattoo.com.

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.

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

Saturday, January 13th, 2018

TSR2 cockpit at RAF Museum Cosford

Date: 9 February 2018

Time: 6.00pm to 9.00pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RAF Museum Cosford Public Events Manager, Abi Betteridge said:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Allied Air Forces Memorial Day 2018 Announced

Thursday, January 11th, 2018

Allied Air Forces Memorial Day at Yorkshire Air Museum

The date has been set for the Yorkshire Air Museum’s prestigious “Allied Air Forces Memorial Day” and 2018’s ceremony will take place on Sunday 2nd September. This international event sees attendance of Air Force and Defence Attachés and diplomats from many allied nations, in addition to senior RAF personnel and Civic dignitaries, and is indeed an important, well-established military occasion for the region. This year is particularly significant, as it forms part of the national Royal Air Force Centenary celebrations, marking the 100th Anniversary of the formation of the RAF and WRAF, and of course the Armistice and the end of World War One.

As always, the participation of veterans and members of numerous Service organisations, such as the Royal Air Force Association, Royal British Legion and Royal Observer Corps is welcome and many of those who have taken part in previous years have already been contacted to attend and take part in the occasion, with responses already being received.

Ian Reed ONM FRAeS, Museum Director, comments: “The participation of veterans, serving personnel and Air Training Corps Cadets, marching proudly with their Association / Branch and Squadron Standards, including National Standards, creates a colourful and truly spectacular occasion for all to appreciate. The Parade, impressively led by the Yorkshire Military Marching Band & Corps of Drums, progresses through the Museum to the Memorial hangar, where, against the stunning background provided by the unique WWII Halifax bomber, “Friday the 13th”, a poignant Drumhead commemoration Service is held, after the Standards have been Marched in and assembled. It is an opportunity to reflect on the service and sacrifice of so many in defence of the nation and freedom from oppression.”

Following the Service, the Parade re-forms for the traditional ‘Sunset’ Ceremony, with the lowering of the RAF Ensign and dipping of Standards, culminating with the March Off and Salute, taken by Senior personnel attending.

It is an occasion not to be missed, and we anticipate that the 2018 Allied Air Forces Memorial Day will be bigger than ever and supported by an historic aircraft flypast by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, adding to the spectacle.

Any Service organisations wishing to take part are welcome to contact the museum to register their interest, and should contact Ian Richardson, Communications Manager on 01904 608595 or e-mail: pr@yorkshireairmuseum.org

www.yorkshireairmuseum.org

French Navy Confirmed for Yeovilton Air Day

Sunday, January 7th, 2018

French Navy Caiman

We are delighted to announce that the French Navy have confirmed their support for the Royal Naval Air Station International Air Day on Saturday 7 July. Headlining their contribution is the return of the fantastic Rafale pair role demonstration. So far, flown at no other UK airshow, it’s an award-winning, all-action routine that highlights the French Navy’s cutting-edge multirole carrier fighter aircraft to scintillating effect. Starting with a thunderous formation take-off, the display showcases both present day frontline naval tactics and the exceptional performance capabilities of the fast, powerful and agile Rafale M.

The French Navy is also contributing an exceptionally rare Atlantique 2 to the flying display. This charismatic maritime patrol aircraft has not performed in British skies for over 15 years, so will be a major highlight of Air Day’s five-plus hour display. The Atlantique 2’s capabilities include submarine escort, surveillance, intelligence-gathering and electronic warfare on missions lasting up to 18 hours. We look forward to welcoming the Atlantique and its crew from 23 Flottille!

In addition to the flying display aircraft the French Navy will have three aircraft on static display. The NH90 NFH Caiman is a state-of-the-art frigate-launched anti-submarine helicopter and the French Navy example will make its Air Day debut.

The French Navy Lynx represents an older generation of anti-submarine capability and the fleet remains operational for now although, after 40 years’ service, retirement looms. Finally, seldom seen on British shores, one of the naval air arm’s Falcon 50Ms will be making a rare appearance at Air Day. This widely-tasked maritime surveillance aircraft is equipped with specialised mission systems and its capabilities include search and rescue, fishing patrol operations and counter-narcotics missions.

The French Navy’s contribution is once again outstanding and will play a significant role in what is shaping up to be a great line up. Early Bird tickets, with no booking fees, are available until Wednesday 31 January from www.royalnavy.mod.uk/yeovilton-airday.

RAF Museum Cosford 2018 Events Diary

Saturday, January 6th, 2018

RAF Museum Cosford Cockpits and Cabs event

Forthcoming events taking place at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford during 2018:

Date Event
9 February 100 Cockpits and Cabs
17 – 23 February Airfix Make and Take
21 February Talk: Airfix and 100 years of the RAF
24 March Pillows and Pilots Sleepover
1 April – 10 July Spitfire 100K Challenge
1 – 2 April 100 Years Festival
3 – 15 April Feathers and Flight Family Trail
5 April Eagles at Easter Display
12 April Eagles at Easter Display
28 April Pillows and Pilots Sleepover
12 May Pillows and Pilots Sleepover
19 May 100 Cockpits and Cabs
26 May – 3 June First World War Half Term
10 June RAF Cosford Air Show
30 June Armed Forces Day
7 – 8 July Large Model Aircraft Rally
21 – 22 July Cosford Food Festival
1 – 31 August Summer of Spies Trail
1 August Summer of Spies Workshops
8 August Summer of Spies Workshops
11 -12 August Vintage and Handmade Festival
15 August Summer of Spies Workshops
22 August Summer of Spies Workshops
29 August Summer of Spies Workshops
2 September Spitfire 10K and Spitfire Family Run
15 September 100 Cockpits and Cabs
21 – 22 September Outdoor Cinema
27 October – 2 November Airfix Make and Take
11 November Remembrance Service
12 – 18 November MBCC Open Week
7 December 100 Cockpits and Cabs

Further details on each event will be issued nearer the time. Admission charges apply for some events and activities. Events may be subject to change and additional events may be added during the year, please visit the Museum website www.rafmuseum.org/cosford for more details.

RAF Museum Cosford Public Events Manager, Abi Betteridge said:

“We will be celebrating the centenary of the Royal Air Force throughout 2018 with a number of events tailored towards commemorating this milestone. Across both our London and Cosford sites we will be opening up the doors to 100 Cockpits and Cabs so visitors can get up close and inside more of our collection than ever before, with the first of four dates at Cosford in February.

Over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend on 1-2 April, we will be marking the official formation of the Royal Air Force with a 100 Years Festival, packed with re-enactors, displays and activities for families. There will also be a new permanent display celebrating the RAF through the decades with artefacts from within our collection interpreting the RAF story.

One of our most popular events, the Spitfire 10K will be returning in September, where up to 1,200 runners this year can race across the airfield. In addition, we’ve set a new centenary challenge to run 100K in 100 days in a virtual race and we’re busy working on a suitably spectacular medal for those who rise to the task. All proceeds from these races will go towards the RAF100 Appeal, a joint venture between the Royal Air Force and four major RAF charities.

These new events are in addition to activities running throughout each of the school holidays as well as our major summer event, the Cosford Food Festival. Plus the Outdoor Cinema Screening will be returning for two nights in September and of course, the chance to see behind the scenes in our Conservation Centre during the Open Week in November.”

For further information on the 2018 events, please visit the Museum’s website www.rafmuseum.org/cosford or call 01902 376200. The Museum is open daily from 10am and entry is FREE of charge.

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.

London Gate Guardians to Fly to Cosford

Sunday, January 29th, 2017

RAF Museum Gate Guardians

As part of the preparations for next year’s RAF Centenary, the gate guardians at RAF Museum London is transforming are being renovated. This week, the Museum’s Mk II Hurricane and Mk IX Spitfire replicas were dismantled and prepared for transportation to the Michael Beetham Conservation Centre in Cosford.

Both Gate Guardians will be returned back to the Museum’s London site in time for the Museum’s commemorations and celebrations of the centenary of the foundation of the Royal Air Force on 1 April 2018. They will be positioned so that they welcome members of the public as they enter through the Museum’s new entrance on Grahame Park Way.

One of the finest developments of the Rolls Royce Merlin engine series, the Mk IX was originally intended as a match for the German Focke Wulf 190. In comparison the Hawker Hurricane Mk II with its greater armament and simple, sturdy construction made it an effective ground attack fighter during the mid-war years.

Its markings are currently those of No 121 (Eagle) Squadron, based at Kirton-in-Lindsey, Lincolnshire during the summer of 1941.

These markings will be changed to that of the Mk I Hawker Hurricane flown by Sgt Ray Holmes of No.504 Squadron from RAF Hendon on 15 September 1940.

In an act of selfless bravery, and with no thought to his own safety, Sgt Holmes prevented a Dornier Do17 Bomber from destroying Buckingham Palace by ramming it with the wing of his aircraft, forcing the Bomber to crash in the forecourt of Victoria Station. His Hurricane was badly damaged, crashing near the grounds of Buckingham Palace.

Holmes bailed out injured but survived eventually becoming a journalist in Liverpool after the Second World War. The adoption of this new colour scheme is indicative of the Museum’s stated aim to tell more stories about its aircraft and the people who flew and maintained them to aid a greater understanding of the RAF amongst its visitors.

In 2004, parts of his Hurricane were successfully excavated and can currently be viewed by visitors in foyer to the Museum’s Historic Hangars. The new scheme for the Spitfire has yet to be decided.

The Museum’s London site will remain open from 10 am daily during the works for the RAF Museum’s Centenary 2018 Transformation Programme. Admission to the site is free of charge. Please note : that from mid-February parking at the site will be restricted until summer 2017. We therefore recommend travelling via public transport to reach us. The nearest Underground Station to the Museum is Colindale on the Edgware Branch of the Northern Line. The nearest main-line station is Mill Hill Broadway. For full details on how to reach us please visit www.rafmuseum.org/london.