Posts Tagged ‘RAF Museum Cosford’

Museum Publishes Smuts Report

Thursday, August 17th, 2017

On 17 August 1917 General Jan Smuts presented his recommendations to the War Cabinet for the creation of an Air Ministry to control and administer all matters in connection with air warfare of every kind.

Smuts report specified that the new ministry should proceed to work out the arrangements for the amalgamation of the two (Air) services; the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) and the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) and for the legal constitution and discipline of the new Service.

The report stated that ‘the day may not be far off when aerial operations with their devastation of enemy lands and destruction of industrial and populous centres on a vast scale may become the principle operations of war, to which the older forms of military and naval operations may become secondary and subordinate.’

This report laid the foundations for the creation of the Royal Air Force on 1 April 1918 and may be read in full online via the RAF Museum’s website: https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/cosford/whats-going-on/news/museum-publishes-smuts-report/

Forged in the crucible of the First World War, the story of the Royal Air Force has shaped the modern world. By inspiring technological development, pioneering cultural change and pushing the boundaries of human achievement, the RAF has touched the lives of millions around the globe.

With the services 100th anniversary approaching next year, the RAF Museum is hard at work preparing for the historic occasion by delivering a £26m RAF Centenary Programme at its London site, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The new exhibition halls at London will be opening in Summer 2018 as part of the wider calendar of national RAF events. Until then it’s business as usual at both RAF Museum sites, open daily from 10am and admission is FREE.

Grab your wingman….Top Gun is heading to Cosford!

Thursday, August 17th, 2017

Date: 23 September 2017
Time: Gates open 7.00pm / film starts 8.30pm
Cost: £10 per person in advance / £15 on the gate (subject to availability)

Jumpsuits…check! Aviators…check! Pilots…engage screen!

One of the most iconic aviation movies of all time ‘Top Gun’ will be showcased on a giant inflatable screen at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford on Saturday 23 September 2017. This 80’s cult classic military movie is the first to be shown in the Museum’s new outdoor event which will take place in the spacious grounds, against a backdrop of aircraft.

Film buffs can enjoy watching Maverick under the moonlight in what is the perfect setting for a film about flight. This evening event will see a huge 24ft inflatable screen erected alongside the VC10 and Hercules aircraft, including digital projectors and sound equipment for a true cinematic experience. No movie would be complete without popcorn and for one night only, the Museum will be transforming an aircraft into a popcorn bar where visitors will be able to step on-board to purchase their essential movie snacks.

It’s been over 30 years since ‘Top Gun’ first graced the big screen but the magic of characters Maverick and Goose will be flying high during this special evening event at the RAF Museum Cosford. This American romantic military action film stars Tom Cruise as Lieutenant Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, a hotshot fighter pilot who’s reckless attitude puts him at odds with his fellow pilots. The film follows Maverick and his Radar Intercept Officer Nick “Goose” Bradshaw’s journey to refine their elite flying skills, coupled with fighting for the attention of the beautiful flight instructor. Packed with plenty of flying action and romantic comedy, ‘Top Gun’ is a timeless classic suitable for film lovers aged 12 and over.

In the build up to the movie, why not take advantage of some of the tasty hot food and beverages on offer. The Ironbridge Catering Company will be joining the event, serving a delicious selection of American inspired street food, all served from their converted yellow American School Bus. Then why not enjoy some themed cocktails or a glass of fizz courtesy of Champavan who will be serving drinks throughout the evening from their converted VW Campervan. For those who prefer a hot beverage, Drink Up will be serving hot drinks and snacks from ‘Hank’, their converted American Dodge Van.

Film fans are encouraged to bring picnic chairs and blankets for their own comfort as the film will be screened outdoors on a grassed area – there is no allocated seating, so arrive early to get the best spot! Visitors are also welcome to bring their own food and drink on the night, all drinks must be in plastic bottles or cans and no BBQ’s are permitted.

Ticket holders will also have exclusive after-hours access to the Museum’s Hangar 1 when gates open at 7pm. There will be plenty of time to enjoy some of the tasty street food, a cocktail or two and of course stock up on your popcorn, before you settle down to watch the movie at 8.30pm (film start time may alter slightly, depending on light conditions). The running time is approximately 105mins and the movie is certified 12 years and over, under 16’s will not be admitted unless accompanied by an adult.

RAF Museum Cosford Public Events Manager, Abi Betteridge said:
“We are excited to be launching our first ever outdoor cinema event here at the RAF Museum Cosford with the screening of ‘Top Gun’. It’s such an iconic film and so fitting for us as a venue – where else can you watch a military movie surrounded by real military aircraft? We hope that a great movie, combined with the unique setting and all the added extra’s like our aircraft popcorn bar will create an enjoyable and memorable cinema experience for our visitors. Plus, if visitors have any suggestions as to what film they want us to screen next time, we would love to hear their ideas.”

If you feel the need…..the need for speed, head to the Museum’s website where tickets are now available to purchase in advance www.rafmuseum.org/cosford priced at £10 per person. Tickets will also be available on the evening priced at £15 per person, subject to availability. Parking for ticket holders is free of charge.

Wolverhampton built Defiant is highlight of Open Cockpits Evening

Sunday, August 6th, 2017

Boulton Paul Defiant

Date: 15-16 September 2017
Time: 6.00pm to 9.00pm
Cost: £12.50 per person

The Wolverhampton built, Second World War British Battle of Britain fighter aircraft, Boulton Paul Defiant Mk1 will be one of the highlights at the forthcoming ‘Open Cockpits Evening’ taking place at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford on 15-16 September 2017.

The Boulton Paul Defiant Mk 1 joined the aircraft display at Cosford only a few short months ago and with just 300 tickets available per evening, organisers are anticipating the event will be hugely popular with aviation fans eager to get the first close look inside (no internal access). The aircraft is 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.

The RAF 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.

RAF Museum Cosford Curator, Al McLean said:
“After four decades on display at the RAF Museum London, the sole surviving intact Defiant example of its type was transferred to Cosford for aviation fans in the Midlands to enjoy. The new arrival has been added to the list of aircraft open at the September Open Cockpits Evening, making this the first time enthusiasts will be able to view inside the cockpit of this iconic British fighter.”

Also new to the ‘Open Cockpits Evening’ line-up is a former frontline fighter 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 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. Like the Defiant it’s displayed alongside, the Gladiator is also a new addition to the aircraft display at Cosford and the September event is the first opportunity for aviation fans to view the interior (no internal access).

Other highlights for visitors on the night will include the Fairey Delta 2 (FD2) – one of only two FD2S ever built, devised in response to Britain trailing behind in supersonic aircraft design during the late 1940s. Plus, the Saunders-Roe SR53 – this interceptor used a rocket motor to climb rapidly to high altitudes and reached Mach 2 (twice the speed of sound) at high altitude during trials.

RAF Museum Cosford Public Events Manager, Abi Betteridge said:
“Visitors will also be able to view inside the rear fuselage of the Avro Lincoln B2, never before opened to the public. Just too late to see service during the Second World War, the Lincoln became the mainstay of Bomber Command post-war, but was destined for a short front line career as the Cold War and the jet age brought the shortcomings of its performance into sharp relief. It’s one of our most popular aircraft and this is the first time it’s been included in the event, we hope visitors will enjoy the rare opportunity to take a look inside the fuselage.”

Ticket holders will also have exclusive after-hours access to the Museum from 6pm to 9pm to experience what it feels like to sit inside a military aircraft that’s seen action around the world and marvel at the advanced technologies on unique airframes. A total of 15 aircraft will be available on the night and to make sure visitors get the most out of the event and access as many cockpits as possible, there will be a large team of Volunteers manning each aircraft to answer any questions from visitors.

Tickets are now available to purchase through the Museum’s website http://www.rafmuseum.org/cosford and cost £12.50 per person which includes parking. Minimum height restrictions of 1.07 metres will apply. The Museum will close at 5.00pm both days; however the Visitor Centre and Refuel Restaurant will remain open for ticket holders and will be serving a special ‘Open Cockpits Evening’ menu.

Modellers gear up for flying weekend

Monday, June 19th, 2017

Model Aircraft Rally

Date: 15-16 July 2017
Time: Gates open 8.30am
Cost: £8.00 in advance / £10.00 on the gate

The Large Model Aircraft Rally is returning to the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford next month for a weekend of spectacular flying displays. Taking place on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 July, this air show in miniature is set to entertain thousands of aviation and modelling enthusiasts with two full days of flying and family fun.

Aircraft heading to the show have all been designed and built by members of the Large Model Association, who have dedicated years into making them a perfect replica of the real thing. Gates open at 8.30am and with a full day of flying displays including mid-air dog fights, plus a static aircraft line up, crowds are guaranteed to be wowed from 9am through to 5.30pm both days.

This year’s event will have a Cold War flying theme with model aircraft including a 20ft Vulcan bomber (courtesy of the shows organiser) taking to the skies. The Vulcan model will be joined by fellow Cold War aircraft including; a Victor, Lightning, Canberra and Javelin……all of which can be viewed in full size inside the Museum’s National Cold War Exhibition. Plus, a Russian Bear and Mig 29 will also be joining the line-up. The event will also showcase bi-planes from the early days of aviation through to the modern jets of today, both on the ground and in the air!

The Large Model Aircraft Rally promises to be a great day out for modellers and families alike with more than 60 exhibitors signed up to showcase some of the latest model kits and aviation accessories. NEW to the event this year is a craft fair selling a range of items including jewellery and books.

Families are guaranteed to enjoy the fun-filled lined up which includes a children’s entertainment area packed with bouncy castles and inflatable slides. Plus, keeping visitors fuelled for the day, there will be a fantastic range of food and drink on offer including a beer tent and visitors will have access to the RAF Museum where they can view many of the aircraft flown during the show in full size. A free bus service will take visitors from the event to the Museum throughout the day, making getting around the site even easier.

Anyone wishing to attend the event can save money by purchasing tickets in advance at a discounted rate by visiting www.largemodelassociation.com. Advance tickets are also on sale at the RAF Museum Cosford, priced at just £8 per adult. Tickets purchased on the gate cost £10 per adult and children under the age of 16 are FREE.

Exclusively for the Large Model Aircraft Rally, visitors are able to camp on site, meaning you can make the most of the weekend’s flying and activities by being at the centre of all the action. On site camping, including entrance to the show both days is only £40.00 in advance (until 1 July) or £45.00 on the gate and any visitors interested in camping should email public-camping@largemodelassociation.com or call 07827 675665.

Museum lecture series continues with two new RAF talks

Monday, June 5th, 2017

Indian Air Force pilots

Academics, military enthusiasts and interested members of the public are being invited to attend two FREE forthcoming lectures this month focusing on two very different RAF subjects. The lectures form part of the 2017 series of lectures from the Royal Air Force Museum’s Research Programme and will explore the expansion of the Royal Indian Air Force during the Second World War and the RAF strategic thinking during the latter Cold War years.

‘The Expansion of the Royal Indian Air Force in World War II, 1939-46’
Date: 8 June 2017
Time: 6.30pm
Cost: FREE
Location: University of Wolverhampton, MC001, Millennium City Building, Wolverhampton Campus

The first of two lectures is being held on Thursday 8 June at the University of Wolverhampton and is a continuation of the joint partnership between the University’s Department of War Studies and the Royal Air Force Museum. This evening lecture commencing at 6.30pm will examine how the establishment of the Indian Air Force (IAF) in 1933 was a consequence of the colonial Government of India’s policy of handing Indians token military control to forestall popular calls for greater Indian control of the Indian armed forces. The lecture entitled ‘The Expansion of the Royal Indian Air Force in World War II, 1939-46’ will be presented by Aashique Iqbal, a DPhil candidate in History at the University of Oxford.

In this lecture, Aashique will explore how the outbreak of the Second World War led to the reversal of earlier policies and saw the tenfold expansion of the IAF. Though the Indian Air Force would go on to perform well in the war, earning the prefix ‘Royal’ in 1945, the suddenness of wartime expansion had severe consequences. Plagued by a shortage of equipment and personnel the RIAF struggled to expand. Though equipment shortages were eventually overcome by Allied wartime production, personnel shortages remained a problem throughout the war. The RIAF responded to these in a variety of ways including drawing on foreign personnel, lowering recruitment requirements, increasing pay and embarking on the largest recruitment propaganda programme launched by any wing of the Indian military during the Second World War.

The rushed expansion of the RIAF would have two key consequences. First, it would result in the RIAF strikes of 1946. Coming on the heels of the RAF strikes, the Indian National Army trials and the Royal Indian Navy mutiny, the strikes had a destabilising effect on British military control in the subcontinent. More critically it revealed the divide between Indian officers and ranks that had emerged during the war. Further, the process of ‘Indianisation’ or the replacement of foreign personnel with Indians remained incomplete as it became increasingly difficult for the RIAF to tap India’s limited pool of educated labour. This would have significant consequences, not the least of which was independent India’s reliance on British personnel to command the RIAF long after the achievement of formal independence.

‘RAF Strategic Thinking and Doctrinal Vacuum, 1970-1989’
Date: 16 June 2017
Time: 12.30pm
Cost: FREE
Location: RAF Museum Cosford, National Cold War Exhibition Lecture Theatre

On Friday 16 June, Dr Viktoriya Fedorchak, a graduate of the University of Hull (PhD) will be presenting the second 2017 Cold War lunchtime lecture, being held in the lecture theatre at the RAF Museum Cosford at 12.30pm. Entitled ‘RAF Strategic Thinking and Doctrinal Vacuum, 1970-1989’ Dr Viktoriya Fedorchak will look at the development of RAF air power thinking in the late Cold War period.

The Royal Air Force has a long history of using doctrine in its practice. The first RAF doctrine Confidential Document (CD) 22: Operations Manual, Royal Air Force was published in July 1922. This document introduced the concept of strategic bombing and key principles of cooperation with the Army and the Navy. The Air Power (AP) 1300 series followed. The first edition of AP1300 was published in July 1928, followed by a further three editions (1940, 1950, and 1957). However, after 1957, AP1300 was reissued a few times without any substantial changes, thus paving the way to stagnation of strategic thinking and doctrinal vacuum.

Within this lecture, Dr Viktoriya Fedorchak will examine how until 1971, the service was not only without a conceptual framework but also lacked creative and strategic thinking on air power. For the service to get a second life, it required stimulation of intellectual thinking on air power. The starting point was 1977 when the position of the Director of Defence Studies (DDefS) for the RAF was established by the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Neil Cameron. The role of this post was ‘to be responsible for reviving and maintaining an interest in the study of present and future uses of air power in its various military applications.’

The first DDefS was then Group Captain Tony Mason. The primary aim of this talk is to look at the reasons why strategic thinking declined in the 1960s, and why the RAF had to establish the position of the DDefS. A connection is made between strategic thinking, the significance of a conceptual component for organisational development and the future of the service. In this talk, institutional scepticism of formalised conceptual framework in the studied time frame is also addressed.

Dr Ross Mahoney, RAF Museum Aviation Historian said:
“In June, as part of the RAF Museum’s Research Programme, we have two fascinating talks looking at different aspects of the RAF’s history. Aashique Iqbal’s talk on the Royal Indian Air Force offers an examination of a much forgotten organisation in British imperial history while Viktoriya Fedorchak’s lecture will highlight some of the challenges faced by the RAF in the late-Cold War period concerning how it thought about the employment of air power. Both talks will be insightful and through our Research Programme, the RAF Museum is pleased to give a platform for emerging and early career scholars to disseminate their research to a wider public audience.”

As spaces are limited to both lectures, organisers advise visitors to book their FREE tickets in advance via the Museum’s website to avoid disappointment www.rafmuseum.org/cosford. Additional information about both lectures and the Museum’s Research Programme is also available online.

Museum celebrates Armed Forces Day with concert and flypast

Sunday, June 4th, 2017

Glebe Symphonic Wind Orchestra

Date: 24 June 2017
Time: 1.15pm
Cost: FREE (Register at www.rafmuseum.org/cosford)
Flypast: Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Lancaster 2.30pm (weather permitting)

The Royal Air Force Museum Cosford will once again celebrate the contributions made by Her Majesty’s Armed Forces, by hosting an orchestra concert and a Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Lancaster flypast on Saturday 24 June for Armed Forces Day.

The highly decorated Glebe Symphonic Winds Orchestra will be performing for veterans, serving personnel and visitors alike, in a concert lasting 45 minutes. This intimate musical performance will include classical pieces with everything from ‘The White Russian’ by Rob Wiffin, ‘Tchaikovsky Masque’ by Kenneth Hesketh, to ‘The Crown of Roses’ by Piotr Ilyitch and many more.

The concert will take place in the Museum’s National Cold War Exhibition Auditorium with seating for up to 200 guests. Attendance to the concert is free of charge and as places are limited, anyone interested in attending is asked to pre-register now via the Museum’s website in order to guarantee their place.

The annual Armed Forces Day is an opportunity to reflect and pay tribute to our heroes past and present, including current serving personnel, service families, veterans and cadets. In addition to performances from one of the UK’s leading orchestras, organisers have lined-up a flypast from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Lancaster at 2.30pm (weather permitting). This icon of the Second World War will be flying overhead at Cosford and is sure to be popular with visitors young and old.

Abi Betteridge, RAF Museum Cosford Public Events Manager said:
“We are delighted to see that lots of our regular Armed Forces Day visitors have already booked their place for this year’s event and we look forward to hosting them for another special day later this month. We are lucky to have the support of three local cadet squadrons this year who will be on hand to welcome visitors on arrival. With the orchestra concert, Lancaster flypast and craft activities for families, we are sure everyone will have a good time.”

Families can also take part in a free craft activity whereby youngsters can colour in and make their own Armed Forces Day flags ready to show their support as the Lancaster fly’s overhead on the afternoon. All materials will be provided and children get to take their flags home as a memento of their day.

The Museum’s on-site caterers Kudos will be offering all serving personnel and veterans a 20% discount off the lunch menu, on production of ID, which visitors can enjoy in the Refuel Restaurant overlooking the Museum grounds. Concert ticket holders will also receive a 10% discount voucher for the RAF Museum Shop, redeemable on the day.

To guarantee your place at the concert, book your ticket now via the Museum website www.rafmuseum.org/cosford. Tickets on the day will be subject to availability. Guests are asked to arrive 10 minutes before the performance starts in order to be seated.

Me 262 rejoins Cosford’s German aircraft collection

Friday, June 2nd, 2017

Me262

Auf Wiedersehen London, Hallo Cosford!

The most advanced fighter aircraft of the Second World War, the Messerschmitt Me 262, has been transported by road to its new home at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford. This particular aircraft, Messerschmitt Me 262A-2a Schwalbe (Swallow) can already be seen by members of the public in its dismantled condition within one of the Museum’s display hangars.

The Me 262 is returning to Cosford after 14 years on display at the RAF Museum London. Prior to the move the aircraft was dismantled by Museum Technicians and Apprentices and arrived safely at Cosford just under a week ago. Over the coming weeks it will be re-assembled and displayed alongside fellow German fighters the Me109, FW190 and the Ju88 night fighter in the ‘War in the Air’ hangar. This fleet of rare Second World War Luftwaffe aircraft is a huge pull for Cosford, which is also home to their rival RAF equivalents.

The Me 262 was the only jet fighter to see air-to-air combat in the Second World War and its appearance was a great shock to the Allies. It was a significantly more advanced design than its British counterparts and many of its aerodynamic secrets were eagerly incorporated in later post-war combat aircraft.

Preliminary design work on what was to become the Me 262 began in 1938. Persistent problems with the turbojets intended for the aircraft delayed the project and the first flight by a Me 262 using jet power alone did not take place until July 1942. In December 1943 Hitler decreed that the Me 262 Schwalbe (Swallow) should only be manufactured as a fighter bomber. Senior Luftwaffe officers believed that the Me262 was more valuable as a fighter, and Hitler’s wishes were initially ignored much to his subsequent fury.

Small numbers of Me 262 fighters and fighter bombers were used operationally by the Luftwaffe from mid-1944. Allied pilots found the Me 262 a formidable opponent and special tactics were adopted to meet the new threat. However, chronic supply shortages meant that few Me 262s saw combat and the true potential of the Me 262 was never realised.

Ian Thirsk, Head of Collections at the RAF Museum said:
“The first Messerschmitt Me 262’s entered service in the autumn of 1944, as the first turbojet fighter to do so it heralded a new era in aerial warfare and represented a step change in technology. Today very few original examples survive so we are delighted to present this significant aircraft to our visitors at Cosford. Following the RAF Cosford Air Show on 11 June, the Me 262 will be reassembled so now is a good opportunity to catch a rare glimpse of this famous aircraft in its dismantled state.”

The new arrival isn’t alone….a second aircraft to move up to Cosford from London in recent weeks is the Hawker Hart Trainer, an advanced trainer version of the original Hawker Hart bomber. The Hart was introduced in 1930 and immediately became a great success; its performance exceeding that of contemporary fighters. The basic design was readily adapted for other roles including a fighter variant (the Demon) and an Army Co-operation version (the Audax). Aviation fans can now view the Hart in Hangar 1.

Both new arrivals are in addition to the six aircraft transported to Cosford at the end of 2016/early 2017 which include the Messerschmitt BF109G-2, the de Havilland Tiger Moth II, the Junkers Ju88 and the Gloster Gladiator 1, all four aircraft are now on display. The Wolverhampton built Boulton Paul Defiant Mk.1 will be joining the new line-up in the ‘War in the Air’ hangar soon and will be positioned alongside the Gladiator, whilst the Westland Lysander III will remain in the Conservation Centre and will undergo some minor repair work to its fragile linen skin.

The aircraft moves come as the Museum prepares for the Royal Air Force’s centenary celebrations in 2018 that will see the Museum transform its London site with a series of new permanent exhibitions opening in the summer of 2018. The multi-million pound development programme will see investments in new exhibitions, improved education and volunteering opportunities, and landscaping that will emphasise the site’s importance as a heritage airfield. It will improve the visitor experience, extend the Museum’s reach to new audiences and create a lasting legacy to mark the Centenary.

The enhanced aircraft collection at Cosford will enable the RAF’s story to be more comprehensively represented to Museum audiences in the Midlands. In addition, plans for 2018 will include displays exploring the first 100 years of the RAF, the role it plays today and its future contributions. Making the RAF story available to a global audience there will be a huge investment in the Museum’s online offer.

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

The Museum is open daily from 10am until 5pm and entry is FREE. For further information, please visit the Museum’s website www.rafmuseum.org/cosford.

Airfield run returns in September

Sunday, May 28th, 2017

RAF Cosford Spitfire 10k Run

Date: 3 September 2017
Time: Race starts at 10am
Cost: Standard entry £22.50 per person (15 years and over)

Calling all runners….the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford needs you! The Spitfire 10K will 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, in an exclusive charity run raising money for the RAF Museum!

Taking place on Sunday 3 September 2017, registration is now open for runners to sign up and set themselves a new and unique sporting challenge.

Taking-off from the Museum’s Hangar 1, visitors 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 2017 Spitfire 10K medal, a perfect and well-earned memento of their day.

RAF Museum Public Events Manager, Abi Betteridge said:
“In 2016 we had over 650 runners participate in the first Spitfire 10K and this year we hope to beat that number and see even more people sprinting down the runway. 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 phenomenal. We already have over 300 runners signed up for the 2017 Spitfire 10K and we have been working hard designing the new 2017 medal and t-shirts we’re sure runners will love.”

This UK Athletics licenced race over an accurately measured course 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 running for years, or you’re just getting into the sport for the first time, the race at Cosford is guaranteed to be a fun and memorable one.

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 2017 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 and it will be ready, steady….scramble at 10.00am sharp!

To register for the event visit the Museum’s website www.rafmuseum.org/cosford. Entry costs £22.50 per person with proceeds going towards the RAF Museum (registered charity number 244708), to support work conserving and sharing the story of the RAF for current and future generations. Armed Forces Personnel and members of UK Athletics affiliated clubs are eligible for the discounted entry fee of £20.50 per person. For further details about the event, visit the Museum’s website or call 01902 376200.

German front line duo are highlights of Open Cockpits Evening

Saturday, April 1st, 2017

Focke Wulf 190

Date: 19-20 May 2017

Time: 6.00pm to 9.00pm

Cost: £12.50 per person

Two Second World War German front line fighter aircraft, the Messerschmitt BF109G-2/Trop and the Focke Wulf Fw190A-8/U-1 have been announced as highlights at the forthcoming ‘Open Cockpits Evening’ taking place at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford on 19-20 May 2017.

With just 300 tickets available per evening, organisers are anticipating the event will be hugely popular with aviation fans eager to get a look inside two former Luftwaffe aircraft. In addition, a wide range of transport aircraft, jet fighters and unique research airframes from each of the Museum’s display hangars and within the Museum grounds will be open on the night for close viewing.

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. The museum’s rare example is a recent edition to the aircraft display at Cosford following its arrival in November 2016 and this is the first time the aircraft will be opened up to the public to have a closer view inside (no internal access).

Also new to the ‘Open Cockpits Evening’ line-up is fellow German fighter the Focke Wulf Fw190 – a single-seat single-engine multi-role fighter-bomber, capable of carrying a larger bomb load than its counterpart the Messerschmitt Bf109. Entering Luftwaffe service in August 1941, the Fw 190 proved superior in many respects to the Royal Air Force’s main frontline fighter, the Spitfire V. It took the introduction of the much improved Spitfire IX in July 1942 for the RAF to gain an aircraft of equal capability. One of its more unusual roles was as part of the twin-aircraft drone combination, code-named mistletoe or Mistel where a single engine fighter was mounted on top of a twin engine bomber, and on lining up with the target the fighter detached itself, leaving the bomber, packed with explosives, to impact the target. Cosford’s Fw 190 is a unique survivor of a Mistel combination and was part of a combination with a Junkers Ju 88. Although not its original partner aircraft, the Museum’s Ju88 example is now on display alongside the Fw190. Visitors to ‘Open Cockpits Evening’ will be able to sit inside the cockpit of the Fw190 on the night.

RAF Museum Cosford Curator, Al McLean said:
“The event in May is a rare chance to see inside the two most iconic German fighter aircraft of the Second World War, positioned directly opposite their British counterparts.”

Other highlights for visitors on the night will include the British Aircraft Corporation TSR 2, BAe Harrier GR9A, General Dynamics F-111F-CF and the Lockheed Hercules C130K Mk3 to name but a few.

Ticket holders will also have exclusive after-hours access to the Museum from 6pm to 9pm to experience what it feels like to sit inside a military aircraft that’s seen action around the world and marvel at the advanced technologies on unique airframes. To make sure visitors get the most out of the event, there will be a team of Volunteers manning each aircraft on the night to answer any questions from visitors.

Tickets are now available to purchase through the museum’s website www.rafmuseum.org/cosford and cost £12.50 per person which includes parking. Minimum height restrictions of 1.07 metres will apply. The Museum will close at 5.00pm both days; however the Visitor Centre and Refuel Restaurant will remain open for ticket holders and will be serving a special ‘Open Cockpits Evening’ menu.

A second Open Cockpits Evening will take place on 15-16 September and will feature a different line-up of aircraft.

Trustees march 130 miles for Museum

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

Trustee's run 5 Marathons

Date: 8-12 May 2017
Time: 9am, depart RAF Museum Cosford

Two Trustees from the Royal Air Force Museum are set to walk a marathon a day for five days in order to raise funds for the Museum’s £26m RAF Centenary Programme.

Alan Coppin and Robin Southwell, both Trustees of the RAF Museum will walk between the Museum’s two public sites; from Cosford in the West Midlands to Colindale in North West London and aim to raise £100K along the way.

The 130 mile walk will take-off from the RAF Museum Cosford at 9am on Monday 8 May after a sleepover in the Officer’s Mess at RAF Cosford. Following a grueling 30 miles on day one, Alan and Robin aim to reach their first stopover point in Solihull by 9pm. There will be no rest for the wicked, as it will be another early start on day two for a 26 mile leg of the journey towards Leamington Spa in Warwickshire. Stopovers will also include RAF Halton and RAF High Wycombe on nights three and four respectively, before they eventually reach the RAF Museum London on the Friday evening, completing their marathon mission.

The money raised will go towards the award-winning RAF Museum’s million-pound transformation of the visitor experience at its London site in 2018, coinciding with the centenary of the Royal Air Force. This £26m major transformation will celebrate and commemorate this anniversary with a national lasting legacy for the Royal Air Force, sharing the story of the RAF through its people and collections.

The new landscaping will welcome visitors to discover a new green heart of the community in Colindale, reflecting the historic RAF Hendon airfield. New, innovative galleries will explore the first 100 years of the RAF, its roles today and invite visitors to imagine its future contribution and technology. Plus, a new digital sharing project will promote a conversation with a global audience and help connect people to the RAF story, ensuring it endures and enriches future generations.

The development plans will also include new exhibitions at Cosford, exploring the first 100 years of the RAF and new aircraft displays which are already underway, to enable the RAF’s story to be more comprehensively represented to Museum audiences in the Midlands.

RAF Museum Trustee, Robin Southwell said:
“It’s an important time for the Museum and we are all excited at the opportunities that lie ahead. Our aim is to raise awareness and funds for the Museum’s RAF Centenary Programme and we are grateful for the support from the Royal Air Force.”

To sponsor the Trustees five marathons in five days and support the RAF Museum visit their donate page: https://mydonate.bt.com/events/5marathonsin5days/423881 or for more information about the fundraising walk and the RAF Museum’s Centenary plans, visit www.rafmuseum.org . The RAF Museum is a registered charity, number 244708.