Posts Tagged ‘November’

Old Buckenham Airfield Opens a Second Museum

Thursday, November 9th, 2017

Old Buckenham Airfield

Old Buckenham Airfield is delighted to announce the opening, on Remembrance Sunday 2017, of its second Museum; the 8th Air Force Heritage Gallery.
This new addition to the Airfield has been designed as a complement to the 2015built 453rd Bombardment Group Museum which houses the largest collection of 453rd memorabilia in existence.

The new Gallery showcases some of the extensive collection of James Clarey. His collection, combined with that of the late Pat Ramm, is partly on display in the 453rd Museum, of which he is also Curator. James, however, did not limit his collecting to the 453rd and has so many exhibits relating to the 8th Air Force (of which the 453rd was a part) that the decision was made to create the 8th Air Force Heritage Gallery, in order to provide a place where they can be on public display.

Based in the Airfield’s ‘Small Blister Hangar’ the Gallery contains a host of displays and exhibits. At its heart is a faithful recreation of the Post Exchange which was a key feature of the lives of all the servicemen at Old Buckenham during the War. The Post Exchange, as the name suggests, was the place for parcels and letters to go back and forth between England and the U.S. and for most servicemen would have been the most tangible link with home. Post Exchanges also served as a shop and social centre on the base.

Remembrance Sunday will also see the unveiling of a new ornamental railing enclosure for the Memorial Garden. Built in house by the airfield, the railings required over a thousand fixings and took over a week to complete. A brand new LED lighting system completes this latest update, the first major improvement since the Garden was created in 2012.

Fittingly, the 8th Air Force Heritage Gallery will be formally opened following the traditional Remembrance Sunday Service, held at 1055 at the War Memorial. The United States will be represented by a senior officer from Lakenheath Air Base.

www.oldbuck.com

Remembrance Sunday Service to be held at Cosford

Tuesday, November 7th, 2017

RAF Cosford Remembrance Service

Date: Sunday 12 November
Time: 10.45am

On Sunday 12 November, the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford will hold a Service of Remembrance, paying respect to those service men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice during their tours of duty.

Visitors who wish to pay their respects and reflect on the sacrifices made by our brave service men and women are invited to join the service, led by the Station Chaplain at RAF Cosford. Those attending will also be treated to renditions from the Cosford Military Wives Choir, who will perform for visitors on arrival and during the service.

The service will take place in the Museum’s Hangar 1 and visitors are politely requested to assemble no later than 10:30am ready for the Service to commence at 10.45am. As well as readings from Museum volunteers, there will be hymns and the sounding of ‘The Last Post’ performed by a bugler, followed by a two minute silence. Students from Muxton Primary School in Telford will also be in attendance, reading a poem they have written especially for the service.

RAF Museum Cosford Events Executive, Nathan Davis said:
“The RAF Museum is a fitting location for this poignant occasion and we hope that local residents will choose to join us on Remembrance Sunday so we can remember together. I would like to thank the Station Chaplain and the Cosford Military Wives Choir for their involvement in this years’ service. I’m sure visitors will enjoy the special service we have planned as well as the performances from the choir.”

During the service, wreaths will be laid by representatives from RAF Cosford and the Museum in honour of those who have fallen in the line of duty. Following the service visitors are free to explore the Museum at their own leisure.

If you would like to find out about Service Personnel who fell serving in the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Air Force during the Great War of 1914 to 1918, or to dedicate a digital poppy, please visit the RAF Museum’s online story vault: www.rafmuseumstoryvault.org.uk

The Museum is open daily from 10am to 4pm and entry to the Museum is FREE of charge. For further information please visit www.rafmuseum.org/cosford.

Air Day Debut for Lithuanian Air Force

Friday, November 3rd, 2017

Lithuanian L-39

RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day is delighted to announce the participation of two aircraft types from debuting nation Lithuania. The Baltic state’s air force will send an Aero L-39 Albatros jet trainer and a Mil Mi-8T utility helicopter for static display. Rarely seen at Western European events, they get Air Day’s international line-up off to the very best of starts.

The L-39 Albatros was a real success for Czech firm Aero Vodochody. During a 25-year production run, 2,900 were built and supplied to almost 50 militaries. Lithuania, plus around a dozen other nations, took delivery of the L-39ZA armed trainer/light attack variant. Its duties include surveying and defending Lithuanian airspace.

The remarkable Mil Mi-8 (NATO codenamed ‘Hip’) is the world’s most produced-helicopter: a staggering 17,000-plus examples of the Soviet-origin design having been manufactured. Lithuania only employs three Mi-8Ts (‘Hip-Cs’) in the troop transport and search and rescue roles.

As the Lithuanian Air Force continues with their modernisation programme these assets are a very welcome addition to the Royal Navy’s air show at Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton on Saturday 7 July. Early bird tickets with no booking fees are now on sale for a limited period only at www.royalnavy.mod.uk/yeovilton-airday.

Air Show Tickets Make Ideal Christmas Presents

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

Pitts Muscle Biplane

With Christmas fast approaching, tickets to the RAF Cosford Air Show are now on sale and they make great presents for all your loved ones. With accompanied under-16s entering for free and early bird tickets costing only £22.00, the Air Show is a great value for money day-out for the entire family.

As well as an action packed six-hour flying display there are also a huge variety of things to do and see on the ground at the RAF Cosford Air Show to excite all ages. With six hangars jammed with interactive exhibitions, the 1960s Vintage Village, plenty of military ground displays, vintage vehicles, funfair and over 1km of trade stalls – you might struggle to see it all in one day!

Another reason to buy your tickets soon is that today the Air Show Organisers announced another aircraft which will wow the crowds on Sunday 11th June 2017; dare-devil pilot Rich Goodwin will be flying his unique Muscle Biplane at the Air Show. Rich’s aircraft is based on the world-famous Pitts Special but a special modification programme has given this aircraft enhanced capabilities which means that Rich’s Muscle Biplane can hover like a Harrier, fly the amazing Tower of Power and master high-alpha knife-edge flypasts!

The Muscle Biplane wears a spectacular colour scheme based on the Union Jack; fitting for a man who served in the Royal Air Force as a Tornado GR1 ground attack pilot and flew in combat. Rich said; “As an ex-RAF pilot I’m honoured to be invited back to display the Muscle Biplane and demonstrate my passion for aviation in front of a capacity crowd. I continue to develop the aircraft and at RAF Cosford I will be flying a new enhanced elevator and wing. I also look forward to updating the crowds on the development of the new Anana Jet Pitts which I hope will be ready to display in 2018.”

Those who purchase their Air Show tickets soon will be able to take advantage of the Early-Bird ticket offer, with adult tickets priced at only £22.00. Accompanied under-16s enter the show for free, making the RAF Cosford Air Show a great value for money day-out!

Early-Bird tickets for the RAF Cosford Air Show 2017 are on sale now, priced at £22.00 and with free entry for accompanied Under-16s. Tickets are available online from www.cosfordairshow.co.uk

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

Christmas has come early at Cosford!

Monday, November 28th, 2016

RAF Museum Cosford Gladiator

It’s being to look a lot like Christmas at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford, as the Shropshire attraction has received a rather large delivery in the form of three Second World War aircraft!  The Boulton Paul Defiant Mk 1, the Gloster Gladiator 1 and the Westland Lysander III have all been safely transported by road from the museum’s London site and are currently being prepared for display at Cosford.

It is a homecoming for the Boulton Paul Defiant Mk 1, the last surviving example of its kind, built by Boulton Paul at its Pendeford, Wolverhampton factory in 1938.  This two-seat turret fighter, operated with mixed fortunes during the Battle of Britain period but found its niche as a night fighter during 1940-42.  They were used extensively later in the war for air-sea rescue and target tug roles in the UK and Middle and Far East. The museum’s example, serial number N1671 was operated by the newly formed No 307 (Polish) Squadron RAF, who became operational in December 1940.  It was painted in its all black night fighter colour scheme the following January and carried out 15 patrols before moving to No 285 (Anti-aircraft Co-Operation) Squadron in June 1942, its last operational user.  It was originally set aside for preservation in 1944 and spent several years moving between RAF bases for display.  N1671 was eventually acquired by the RAF Museum in 1971 and after almost four decades on display at the museum’s London site, the aircraft was completely restored by Medway Aircraft Preservation Society at Rochester Airport in 2009, going back on display at the museum in 2012. Now the sole surviving intact example of its type has made the 130 mile journey from London to Cosford where it will go on public display early in the New Year.

Another new aircraft to wing its way to Cosford is the Gloster Gladiator 1, the first enclosed cockpit and last biplane fighter introduced into RAF service.  Although Gladiators saw operational service at home it was most successfully employed overseas particularly in the defence of Malta.  At the outbreak of the Second World War, four home based RAF fighter squadrons equipped with Gladiators were sent to France and after just ten days of hard fighting, all the aircraft had been lost. In a desperate attempt to provide fighter cover for the ‘little ships’ involved in the Dunkirk evacuation, a detachment of home based aircraft known as ‘G’ Flight was formed at RAF Manston, Kent.  They were quickly deployed to assist with the rescue of more than 338,000 British and French soldiers trapped on the beaches. During the early war years, Gladiators were used by the RAF in several other overseas operations including; Norway, Greece, North Africa and the Middle East.

The museum’s example, serial number K8042 has been displayed at the RAF Museum London since opening in 1972 and this is the first time the aircraft will be displayed at the museum’s Cosford site.  It’s not however, the first time the aircraft has visited the Midlands, having been stationed with No 5 Squadron at RAF Ternhill and No 61 Squadron at RAF Rednal, Shropshire in the early 1940s.  K8042 was also used for gun trials and experiments, whereby an additional pair was fitted under the top wing, giving a total of six guns instead of the usual four. Also joining the aircraft collection at the RAF Museum Cosford is the Westland Lysander III, the only surviving Special Duties variant of this aircraft.  It was designed to operate closely with the Army and had a remarkable performance which enabled it to get into and out of extremely small fields.  A radical change in Army co-operation tactics meant that its lasting fame is not in this role but as a Special Duties aircraft ferrying Allied agents in and out of enemy occupied Europe.  Four Lysander squadrons went to France in 1939 and despite some notable successes the Army Co-operation units suffered extremely high casualties – over 170 Lysander’s were sent to France; only 50 came back.  After their withdrawal from France, they patrolled the coastal areas of south and east England as an anti-invasion reconnaissance measure. Late in 1940 they began air-sea rescue duties in the Channel and North Sea – not only could the Lysander spot airmen in the sea and bring surface vessels to them, it was able to drop a lifesaving dinghy and supplies.

The museum’s example, serial number R9125 first became operational with No 225 Squadron in 1940 as a coastal patrol and photo reconnaissance aircraft, based along the south coast of England.  It took on the Special Duties role with No 161 Squadron in 1944 and was operational for a further two years until they became obsolete from the RAF in 1946.  For a brief period in 1961 the aircraft was placed into storage at RAF Cosford and ten years later it was acquired by the museum and placed on display at its London site, where it has remained until its recent move to Cosford.

The Defiant and Gladiator will both go on public display in the museum’s ‘War in the Air’ hangar in January 2017, whilst the Lysander will be heading to the museum’s Conservation Centre for an in depth inspection and condition assessment, before work is carried out over the next few years to replace its fragile linen outer skin.

Head of Collections at the RAF Museum, Ian Thirsk said:

“It’s been a busy month at Cosford with five new aircraft arrivals.  We took delivery of the Bf109 and the Tiger Moth earlier this month and now we welcome the Defiant, Gladiator and Lysander to the collection at Cosford.  The Junkers Ju 88R-1, a sub-type of the most versatile German combat aircraft of the Second World War will complete the new line-up and is due to arrive before the New Year.  The museum’s centenary plans have provided an exciting opportunity to relocate significant aircraft in the collection closer to aviation fans in the Midlands. In total Cosford will have received six new aircraft in the final few months of this year.”

The new collection of aircraft will enable the RAF’s story to be more comprehensively represented to museum audiences in Shropshire and is in preparation for the centenary of the Royal Air Force in 2018. The centenary plans at Cosford will also include exploring the first 100 years of the RAF, the role it plays today and its future contributions by sharing this story online with a global audience.

Aviation fans can keep up to date with the centenary aircraft moves and on-going developments by signing up to the museum’s free e-Newsletter http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/contact-us/newsletters.aspx

Visitors will be able to see five of the new arrivals fully reassembled and in their new display positions by early 2017.  Entrance to the museum is free of charge and the museum is open daily from 10am until 4pm.  For further information, please visit the museum’s website www.rafmuseum.org/cosford or call 01902 376200.

Chancellor provides RAF Museum with £3m in Autumn Statement

Sunday, November 27th, 2016

Age of Uncertainty

Financial penalties levied on banks involved in the LIBOR lending rate-fixing scandal will benefit the RAF Museum in North West London, the Chancellor Philip Hammond announced today.

In today’s Autumn Statement, the Chancellor Philip Hammond announced that the RAF Museum will receive £3m LIBOR funds for its 2018 RAF Centenary Programme. The money will specifically support the development of a new exhibition and a dedicated Learning Centre – both of which are part of the Museum’s wider RAF Centenary Programme which celebrates and commemorates 100 years of the RAF in 2018.

The new exhibition will explore the impact of the Royal Air Force on world events, society and technology since the Cold War through its many roles during the past 40 years – during an ‘age of uncertainty’. As part of the Museum’s contemporary collecting strategy, it is actively seeking out inspiring objects and stories that will engage visitors with the RAF’s recent history, to display in this innovative new gallery.

The dedicated Learning Centre will underpin the Museum’s Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) programme along with hosting both formal and lifetime learning activities in history, literacy, art and design.

Chief Executive of the RAF Museum Maggie Appleton said “It’s wonderful to be given such a high level of support from the Chancellor of the Exchequer for the Museum’s RAF Centenary Programme. The stories we want to share reflect the bravery, ingenuity and dedication of RAF men and women  working in today’s complex and challenging environment with space for our visitors to reflect on and join in the discussion from their own personal perspectives..” 

The RAF Museum’s RAF Centenary Programme is a £23.5m project which will transform the site in North West London making it more accessible and welcoming to a new generation of visitors. Work has already begun for a completion date of summer 2018 and today’s grant of £3m means that the Museum is now in the final stretch of fundraising.

To find out more on the Museum’s exciting RAF Centenary Programme for 2018 CLICK HERE

 

Plans for Air Show 2017 Take Off

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

Cosford Air Show 2017 flyer

Tickets for the RAF Cosford Air Show 2017 are now on sale! The award-winning Air Show, which will be held on Sunday 11th June 2017, is expected to attract a crowd of 60,000 visitors to the Home of Royal Air Force Engineering.

Accompanied under-16s enter for free, giving families an excellent opportunity to have a fun day out with great entertainment for every generation. Whether it’s children wanting to experience first-hand what it’s like to sit in the cockpit of a fast jet, or a grandparent who wants to reminisce about their childhood while sipping tea in the 1960’s themed Vintage Village, there is something to keep everyone entertained.

For the second year, organisers are offering an incentive to buy your ticket early with early-bird discounted tickets if you buy before Tuesday March 28th 2017. Tickets are once again Advance Purchase only and will not be available to buy on the gate.

The RAF Cosford Air Show 2016 raised £115,000 which will be donated to the RAF Association, RAF Benevolent Fund, RAF Charitable Trust, RAF Museum and local charities to further support and encourage those who are involved with the Royal Air Force and the local community.

The primary focus of the RAF Cosford Air Show is to give visitors the opportunity to engage with the Royal Air Force, and to better understandthe work they do, not only in the West Midlands and the United Kingdom, but across the world. Air Show Director, Clive Elliott, said “Opening the gates of RAF Cosford is a fantastic chance for the public to see what goes on behind the scenes on an operational Royal Air Force base. With early-bird discounts the Air Show is also a great value for money day out!”

www.cosfordairshow.co.uk

Two new aircraft wing their way to Cosford

Sunday, November 13th, 2016

BF109 RAF Museum Cosford

A Messerschmitt BF109G-2 and a de Havilland Tiger Moth II, are the first of six new aircraft to arrive at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford, having been transported by road from the museum’s sister site in London.  Visitors can now view the brand new arrivals on display in the museum’s hangars with four more aircraft due to arrive before Christmas.

The Messerschmitt BF109G-2, designed by Willi Messerschmitt, is a legend alongside the British Spitfire, American P51 Mustang and the Japanese Zero.  First flown in 1935, the Bf109 was obsolescent by the second half of World War Two yet it remained the backbone of the German Air Force’s day fighter force and was flown by many of her allies. In production right up to the end of hostilities, more than 33,000 were built second only to the Russian ‘Sturmovik’ as the most prolific military design, and post-war versions served with the Czech, Israeli and Spanish Air Forces, the latter until the mid-1960s – with Rolls Royce Merlin engines.  Compact, rugged, fast and heavily armed the Bf109 has the distinction of being flown by the highest-scoring fighter aces in history. With the promised availability of the new Daimler-Benz DB 605A German built engine, design work began on the Bf109G series where higher speeds were obtained, but manoeuvrability and handling were adversely affected. The Bf109G series will be forever linked with the daylight bomber-killing missions in defence of the Reich. German fighter pilots found themselves facing heavily armed American B17 Fortress and B24 Liberator bombers and later long range P38 Lightning, P47 Thunderbolt and P51 Mustang fighters. Ground down by the overwhelming odds, few survived the war. 

The museum’s rare example was disassemble by the museum’s team of Aircraft Technicians and Apprentices in London and transported on a low loader lorry along the M1, M6 and M54 before being reassembled in its new display hangar at Cosford. Members of the public can now view the aircraft in the museum’s ‘War in the Air’ hangar alongside fellow German fighter the Focke Wulf Fw190, facing their British equivalents the Supermarine Spitfire 1 and Hawker Hurricane IIc.

The second of the two new arrivals is the 1930s bi-plane the de Havilliand Tiger Moth II, originally produced as a development of the well-known Gipsy Moth.  The Tiger Moth went on to become one of the world’s most famous training aircraft and provided the majority of RAF pilots with their elementary flying training during the Second World War.  In the aftermath of the Dunkirk evacuation in 1940, almost any anti-invasion idea was considered and three extraordinary Tiger Moth conversions were put forward.  Some were fitted with light bomb racks ready to undertake the bombing of enemy troops attempting a landing, whilst others were fitted with a tank in the front cockpit with powder dispensers located under the wings intended to dust the German troops with a poisonous insecticide as they waded ashore.  A more revolutionary idea was the ‘paraslasher’; a scythe-like blade fitted to the aircraft and intended to cut parachutist’s canopies as they descended to earth. Fortunately none of these ideas had to be used, leaving Elementary Flying Training Schools to their vital role of pilot training. 

The Tiger Moth was eventually succeeded and replaced by the de Havilland Chipmunk in the early 1950s and both aircraft can now be viewed alongside each other in Hangar 1 at Cosford, positioned next to the Scottish Aviation Bulldog T Mk 1, a further progression in training aircraft.  The Tiger Moth also travelled by road to Cosford, alongside the Bf109 .

Other aircraft still to wing their way to Cosford before Christmas include the Wolverhampton built Boulton Paul Defiant M1, Junkers Ju 88R-1, Gloster Gladiator 1 and the Westland Lysander III.  Work is already underway at the museum’s London site to prepare the aircraft for transportation by road to Cosford.  Visitors will be able to see all of the new aircraft fully reassembled and in their new display positions by early 2017, with the exception of the Lysander which will spend a short period in the museum’s Conservation Centre before eventually going on display.

RAF Museum Cosford Curator, Al McLean said:

“This will be the first time that we have been able to display a Bf 109 in the War in the Air hangar at Cosford and appropriately it will be seen confronting a Hurricane and a Spitfire.”

The new aircraft arrivals will enable the RAF’s story to be more comprehensively represented to museum audiences in Shropshire, as the museum prepares to celebrate and commemorate the centenary of the Royal Air Force in 2018.  Whilst there are major transformations planned for the museum’s London site, some exciting additions for Cosford will include exploring the first 100 years of the RAF, the role it plays today and its future contributions, as well as sharing the story online with a global audience.

Aviation fans can keep up to date with the centenary aircraft moves and on-going developments by signing up to the museums free e-Newsletter http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/contact-us/newsletters.aspx

Entrance to the museum is free of charge and the museum is open daily from 10am until 4pm.  For further information, please visit the museum’s website www.rafmuseum.org/cosford.

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/