Posts Tagged ‘RAF Museum Cosford’

Lancaster flies in for Armed Forces Day celebrations

Sunday, June 17th, 2018

BBMF Lancaster by Terry Lee

Date: 30 June 2018
Time: 12.00pm invited lunch / 1.45pm concert
Cost: FREE (register at www.rafmuseum.org/cosford)
Flypast: Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Lancaster 3.35pm (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 30 June for Armed Forces Day.

The highly decorated Glebe Symphonic Winds Orchestra will be performing for veterans, serving personnel and visitors alike, in a special one hour concert celebrating the RAF’s Centenary. This intimate musical performance will include classical pieces with everything from ‘Their Finest Hour’ by Nigel Clarke, ‘The Dam Busters’ by Eric Coates, to ‘The Royal Air Force March Past’ by Walford Davies 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. Concert ticket holders will also receive a 10% discount voucher for the RAF Museum Shop, redeemable on the day.

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 3.35pm (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.

Nathan Davies, RAF Museum Cosford Public Events Executive said:
“It’s an extra special Armed Forces Day this year with it being the RAF’s Centenary year. We are thrilled that the Glebe Symphonic Winds Orchestra will be returning for this year’s event, they are always really popular with our visitors, veterans and serving personnel. The day will be supported by two local cadet squadrons who will be welcoming visitors and helping families create their own Armed Forces Day flags. A real highlight of the day will be the BBMF Lancaster flypast which will be a poignant end to the days activities.”

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 Veterans, Serving Personnel and their families a special Armed Forces Day Ploughman’s Lunch. Guests will dine in a reserved area in the Refuel Restaurant overlooking the Museum grounds. Tables must be booked in advance by emailing whatson-cosford@rafmuseum.org.

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.

The ultimate celebration and commemoration of the past 100 years of RAF service is now available in the form of a new RAF Commemorative Anthology, produced by Extraordinary Editions in association with the RAF Museum. The anthology commemorates a hundred years of service and sacrifice, courage and honour, whilst celebrating the spirit and values of the people who have contributed to the RAF story is now available to order.

The RAF Commemorative Anthology consists of over 650 pages of documents, orders, operational reports, maps, air diagrams, diaries, letters and ephemera, recording RAF life over its first 100 years.

The entire edition is limited to just 1500 copies worldwide and books will be allocated on a strictly first come first served basis. Full details can be found at http://extraordinaryeditions.com/our-books/the-raf-commemorative-anthology/ A donation from all sales will be made to the RAF100 Appeal supporting the RAF Association, Charitable Trust, Benevolent Fund, Museum and the Royal Air Force.

NEW display commemorates 100 years of the RAF

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018

First 100 Year of RAF

Date: Now open
Cost: FREE

A bold new display celebrating and commemorating the centenary of the Royal Air Force is now open to visitors at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford.

Entitled ‘RAF Stories: The First 100 Years 1918-2018’, the new display showcases the diversity and history of the RAF through the use of personal stories and a collection of previously unseen artefacts. It has also been carefully designed to offer a compelling snapshot of the RAF’s principle roles:

• Prepare: The RAF’s Red Arrows display team represent the pinnacle of the services training and ethos. A Red Arrows pilots’ flying suit and distinctively marked helmet feature as part of the display.

• Attack: A selection of objects illustrating the RAF’s attack role ranging from an early aerial reconnaissance camera to an arming key for a nuclear bomb are now on show.

• Defend: The Battle of Britain in 1940, which tested the RAF’s defensive abilities to the limit, is represented in the display including rare and unique artefacts.

• Support: Featured in the display will be the story of a ground crewman Antony Ford who served on the Operation Bushel famine relief effort in Ethiopia in 1984-85, as well as a helicopter winch operator’s rescue strop and an air-to-air refuelling.

RAF Museum Assistant Curator, Clare Carr said:
“Items for the new display have been carefully selected for their potential to engage visitors with a fresh perspective on the RAF story. Some of the more unusual items include rock blown from the Mohne Dam during the renowned Dambusters raid of 1943, a set of wire cutters smuggled into a POW camp, contents from a Christmas gift box given to personnel serving in Iraq in 2004, and a parachute release handle used by a pilot to escape his crashing Hurricane during the Battle of Britain. Many of the objects look perfectly ordinary but have remarkable stories to tell.”

The new display comes ahead of the newly transformed London site which formally reopens in June The ambitious multi million-pound redevelopment of the London side will feature new immersive galleries, freshly landscaped green spaces, and themed restaurants.

The ‘RAF Stories: The First 100 Years 1918-2018’ display is supported by National Lottery Players through the Heritage Lottery Fund and founding sponsor BAE Systems. It is part of the RAF Museum’s RAF Centenary Programme across its two sites in London and Cosford.

The Museum is open daily from 10am and entry is FREE of charge. For more information visit www.rafmuseum.org/cosford.

The RAF100 Baton Relay is en route to Cosford!

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018

RAF100 Baton

Date: 5 May 2018
Time: 10am – 4pm

On 1 April, one hundred years since the formation of the Royal Air Force, a specially designed baton set off on a journey around the UK and abroad. On Saturday 5 May the baton will be heading to the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford and will be an opportunity for members of the public to see and be part of this historic journey.

The baton is being carried by RAF personnel, cadets, veterans and members of the many sporting associations that make up the RAF. Over 100 days the RAF100 Baton will visit sites associated with the RAF, throughout the UK and across the globe.

Amongst many means of travel, the baton will be transported by boat along the River Thames by the RAF Rowing Club, carried by the RAF Falcons as they parachute from an aircraft, be ridden on horseback and power kited along Benbecula.

The relay team will be heading to RAF Cosford on Friday 4 May to meet with Station Commander, Group Captain Tone Baker for a tour of the station and an overnight stay in the Officers’ Mess, before spending a day at the Museum on Saturday 5 May from 10am to 4pm meeting with members of the public.

In addition to meeting the team and plenty of time for a selfie with the baton, the relay team will be offering a free ‘Name Your Plane’ activity for families, a nationwide call to action, inviting schools, community groups and members of the public to commemorate one of the 4,805 British Air Service personnel who lost their lives in the First World War. Visitors can cut out and decorate their plane template, and emblazon the name of a RAF, RFC, RNAS or WRAF service person across the wings. The completed planes from events across the country will then be collected up and included in a display at an iconic location later on in the year. All materials for this free activity will be provided.

The relay began its journey at the Royal Courts of Justice on 1 April 2018, followed by a trip to the RAF Museum’s London site where they were met by CEO Maggie Appleton who ran the last leg of the relay with them. The journey will end 100 days later on 10 July on Horseguards Parade.

RAF Museum Cosford General Manager, Alan Edwards said:
“It’s an honour to be part of the RAF100 celebrations and commemorations and to share in the RAF Baton Relay Team’s journey. We hope that visitors and local residents will show their support by joining us on Saturday 5 May and take the opportunity to speak with the team, participate in the free activity before they set off on the next leg of their journey which will take them on to Tywyn and Snowdonia.”

RAF Cosford Media Officer, Squadron Leader Chris Wilson said:
“The Baton has already been travelling throughout the UK and Cyprus during April so it’s great to see it arrive in Shropshire. Working in conjunction with the RAF Museum we have a unique opportunity to not only highlight some of the great activities that RAF personnel get involved with but to share the Baton with lots of members of the public.”

Keep up to date with the relay team on social media by searching #RAFBatonRelay or for more information about the relay route visit: https://www.raf.mod.uk/raf100/news/raf100-baton-relay/

Climb on board the F-111 and VC10!

Saturday, April 21st, 2018

RAF Museum Cosford VC10

Date: 19 May 2018
Time: 1pm-4pm and 6pm-9pm
Cost: £13.50 per person

The second of four ‘100 Cockpits and Cabs’ events taking place at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford this year, will be held on Saturday 19 May. Up to 600 aviation fans will have the opportunity to get a closer look inside more aircraft and vehicles from the Museum’s collection, during an afternoon and evening session.

The RAF Museum Cosford and London is home to over 200 aircraft, tanks and vehicles and event organisers have selected 100 from the collection that they believe visitors will be keen to get a closer look inside. The ‘100 Cockpits and Cabs’ events will celebrate the Royal Air Force Centenary by giving visitors access to aircraft and vehicles, spanning the services entire career.

The May event at Cosford will be themed around aircraft and vehicles from the National Cold War Exhibition, the transport and training collection in Hangar 1 and a selection of aircraft in the Museum grounds.

From the Cold War collection, aircraft and vehicles on the night include the General Dynamics F-111 F-CF. Built as a two-seat fighter-bomber, the F-111A variant became the first variable-geometry combat aircraft to enter service, seeing extensive service during the Vietnam War. As well as serving with US forces, the F-111C variant were produced for the Royal Australian Air Force. The final production variant, the F-111F (as seen at Cosford) featured improved avionics, including navigational and digital computer systems, improved wing structure and landing gear, and more powerful engines. Their main offensive load was Paveway laser-guided bombs, with Sidewinder missiles carried for self-defence. A total of 106 were built from 1972 and they saw much service during the first Gulf War in 1991.

Other Cold War aircraft and vehicles open for the special event include the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15bis, Leopard tank, Bv 202 Over snow, and the Green Goddess (close view only).

The event theme also extends to include a selection of the Museum’s transport and training vehicles, used for moving troops and equipment and retained to teach aircrews the wide variety of skills they must master before becoming operational. The Museum’s collection consists of some of the largest and smallest machines flown by the Royal Air Force and one of the event highlights will include the Vickers VC10 (weather permitting). Designed as a long-range airliner able to operate from short runways at airfields in hot and high conditions, the VC10 had a high cruising mach number with very good short field performance. In the later part of its service the aircraft was modified for the tanking role but kept its passenger and freight carrying ability. The ‘100 Cockpits and Cabs’ event in May will be the first-time aviation fans have been given the opportunity to step on board the aircraft since its arrival at the Museum in 2015.

Another transporting giant of the RAF, the Lockheed Hercules C130K Mk3 (weather permitting) will also be open to visitors, along with the advanced navigation trainer Hawker Siddeley Dominie T.Mk.1.

Aircraft and vehicles from the Museum’s Hangar 1 collection will include the de Havilland Chipmunk, one of the RAF’s longest serving aircraft types Vickers Varsity T Mk I brought into RAF service in 1951 for crew training as a replacement for the Wellington T10. Aviation fans will also have the rare opportunity to step inside the Morris Minor Traveller, Hunting Percival Pembroke C1 and the Junkers Ju52/3M during the May event.

To make sure visitors get the most out of the event, there will be a large team of Volunteers manning each aircraft or vehicle and available to answer any questions. A special Log Book can be purchased for an additional £1, allowing ticket holders to keep a record of the aircraft and vehicles they have accessed during the event!

A total of 600 tickets are available for the event taking place on Saturday 19 May and aviation fans will have up to three hours to enjoy the exclusive access. The afternoon session will run from 1pm-4pm, followed by an evening session 6pm-9pm. The Museum will close at 5pm, however the Visitor Centre and Refuel Restaurant will remain open for ticket holders, before doors to the aircraft and vehicles open at 6pm.

Tickets 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.

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.

RAF centenary celebrations begin this weekend!

Wednesday, March 28th, 2018

RAF100 events at RAF Museum

100 Years of the RAF                 Festival Spitfire 100K Challenge
Date: 1-2 April 2018                   100K in 100 days
Time: 10am-5pm                        Date: Launches on 1 April
Cost: FREE                                 Cost: £20 per person

The Royal Air Force Museum Cosford will be celebrating 100 years of the Royal Air Force (RAF) with a nostalgic Bank Holiday weekend event taking place on 1 and 2 April 2018, alongside a new display marking the service’s first 100 years and the launch of the centenary year Spitfire 100K Challenge.

100 YEARS OF THE RAF FESTIVAL
The ‘100 Years of the RAF Festival’ taking place on the 1 and 2 April 2018 will see re-enactors bring the Museum to life with authentic experiences for visitors to enjoy. A walk-through RAF history will include a First World War display, have a go anti-aircraft game (charges apply), engine demonstrations (Monday only), plotting table, vintage vehicle display, interactive storytelling, Second World War Camp and a Vulcan Scramble to name but a few! Activities and displays will be spread across the entire site for the FREE two day event which runs from 10am until 5pm both days. On arrival, make sure to pick up your free handy festival site plan to help guide you round the site and ensure you don’t miss out on any of the displays!

The Museum’s on-site caterers Kudos will be joining in the celebrations serving RAF100 birthday cupcakes, plus, woodfired pizzas and real dairy ice-creams will be served from vintage vehicles outside the Visitor Centre all day. The Museum will be operating a free shuttle bus service from Cosford train station for any visitors travelling by train or using the park and ride and will run continuously throughout the day.

SPITFIRE 100K CHALLENGE
To celebrate 100 years of the Royal Air Force, the RAF Museum has set a new centenary year challenge to complete 100K in 100 days. The Spitfire 100K Challenge is virtual and launches on 1 April 2018, challengers have exactly 100 days to walk, jog or run 100K in a location of their choice. Participants will be given a distance log to record their 100K before being rewarded with a spinning propeller Spitfire 100K Challenge medal. Registration is still open via the Museum website www.rafmuseum.org with over 600 people signed up from multiple RAF bases and countries across the world including; New Zealand, Canada, Japan and America. Limited edition Spitfire 100K Challenge t-shirts are also available to purchase when registering online.

Entry costs £20 per person and all proceeds from the Spitfire 100K Challenge will go towards the RAF100 Appeal, a joint venture between the Royal Air Force and four major RAF charities – Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund, Royal Air Forces Association, Royal Air Force Charitable Trust and the Royal Air Force Museum.

RAF STORIES: THE FIRST 100 YEARS 1918-2018
A new display celebrating the first 100 years of the RAF will be open to visitors in time for the festival weekend. Highlighting the principal roles of the RAF; Attack, Defence, Support and Prepare, the display also incorporates a snapshot timeline and artefacts spanning 100 years including uniforms, equipment, tools, personal possessions and commemorative items. In addition, a collection of life-size photographic metal cut outs will be positioned around the Museum site, sharing the stories of RAF personnel who have held a variety of roles within the service. The new display is supported by National Lottery Players through the Heritage Lottery Fund and founding sponsor BAE Systems. It is part of the RAF Museum’s RAF Centenary Programme across its two sites in London and Cosford.

GUILD OF AVIATION ARTISTS DISPLAY
A brand new collection of paintings from The Guild of Aviation Artists is now on display in the Museum’s Hangar 1 Art Gallery. Representing 100 years of the Royal Air Force in its centenary year, the paintings on display in the Art Gallery have been specially selected to demonstrate the variety and scope of members’ work. Formed in 1971 The Guild of Aviation Artists is recognised throughout the world for the promotion of aviation art. The paintings on display are all for sale and the RAF Museum receives a commission from sales. For more information about the Guild of Aviation Artists please visit their website www.gava.org.uk.

For more information on the RAF Museum Cosford’s centenary celebrations, visit www.rafmuseum.org/cosford

Shooting STAARs: Aerospace STEM summer camp launches for young adults

Friday, March 16th, 2018

STAAR Drone Activity

Northrop Grumman and Royal Air Force Museum are joining forces to deliver the Summer Time Advanced Aerospace Residency (STAAR) programme, a unique summer camp for young adults aged 14-15 years. The STAAR programme, being delivered also in association with RAF Cosford and Tablet Academy, will be rolled out in July 2018 with two residential weeks planned for up to 40 students.

The programme will be held jointly at RAF Cosford and the RAF Museum Cosford on 16-20 and 23-27July, with 20 recruits taking part each week. This fully-funded residential week has five busy days packed with hands-on activities as well as social activities each evening.

What better way to experience the power of aerospace engineering than by discovering first-hand how it’s applied to the design and development of manned aircraft and other advanced aerospace systems? It stimulates innovation, pushes boundaries of scientific research and development to create next-generation technologies and manufacturing capabilities, producing a skilled workforce for now and in the future. This STAAR programme has been designed to provide a unique experience that will inspire young adults, help them to understand more about advanced aerospace systems engineering and encourage them to study and take up careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related fields.

STAAR recruits will explore advanced aerospace systems concepts: seeing how the need for solutions to achieve an air mission shapes the way engineers and scientist’s research, develop and design aerospace systems.

Maggie Appleton, Chief Executive Officer, Royal Air Force Museum said:
“At the RAF Museum we are passionate about inspiring young people into STEM careers, capturing their imaginations through stories of the RAF and its partners, stories drawn from the rich shared history and innovative vision of the future. We are working in partnership with Northrop Grumman, RAF Cosford and Tablet Academy to develop and deliver an exciting new residential aerospace programme for young people which will be launched this summer.”

Andrew Tyler, Chief Executive, Northrop Grumman Europe said:
“Science-based expertise is at the very heart of the high-technology culture of our industry and at Northrop Grumman we share the RAF Museum’s commitment to promoting STEM education to help inspire young men and women to pursue academic studies and careers in STEM-related areas. We have built a strong partnership with the RAF Museum through our support of the redevelopment programme for the Hendon site, and we are pleased that we have been able to extend this to include the creation of our new aerospace STEM programme.”

The partnership between Northrop Grumman, RAF Museum, RAF Cosford and Tablet Academy was first announced at the 2017 RAF Cosford Air Show. In July, 20 students from four local schools took part in a successful STAAR ‘pilot’ programme and this summer the programme is being rolled out nationally for students across the country who may want to apply for places.

Applications for the 2018 STAAR residency are now open online via the Museum’s website www.rafmuseum.org/STAAR and must be completed by a teacher explaining why their student is suitable for the programme. The closing date for applications is 7 May and successful applicants will be announced on 21 May. The class of 2018 will be invited to attend the RAF Cosford Air Show where they will have the opportunity to meet with fellow recruits, STAAR partners and enjoy a day viewing the very pinnacle of the aerospace industry. Recruits will also be handed their starter packs and t-shirts ready to start the residential week in July.

New 2018 lecture series launches with the unsung Cold War strategist

Tuesday, March 6th, 2018

V Force

Date: 16 March 2018
Time: 12.30pm
Cost: FREE
Location: National Cold War Exhibition lecture theatre at RAF Museum Cosford

On 16 March, the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford will be hosting the next Cold War Lunchtime Lecture with a talk entitled ‘Air Marshal Sir John Slessor: An Unsung Cold War Strategist and His Role as the Architect of British Airborne Nuclear Deterrence’. In this talk, Mr Bill Pyke, an independent Cold War researcher with an MA in Air Power Studies will look at the influence of senior military leaders and the pivotal role they played in making British nuclear deterrence a physical reality during the Cold War.

Within this lecture, Mr Bill Pyke will look at how a declared policy of strategic nuclear deterrence has been at the heart of British defence thinking since the early 1950s. Prior to this time, Clement Attlee’s post-war government had sanctioned the development of Britain’s atomic bomb programme in January 1947.

The lecture will discuss how the means of nuclear weapons delivery: the development of the revolutionary four-engine jet bomber, did not proceed at the same pace. In any event, at a time of continuing post-war austerity, some senior politicians from both sides of the political spectrum were not in favour of an independent British nuclear deterrent, preferring to leave it all to the Americans.

This talk will focus on Air Marshal Sir John Slessor as a Cold War strategist and his role as the architect of Britain’s airborne nuclear deterrent. Slessor was Chief of the Air Staff between January 1950 and December 1952 at a time of heightened Cold War confrontation. Many Cold War historians have focused primarily on the key politicians, international crises, and the threat of nuclear weapons. However, little attention has been paid to the influence of senior military leaders, of whom Slessor was a notable example. Slessor played a pivotal role in making British nuclear deterrence a physical reality. His involvement through strategic vision, leadership, courage, and dogged persistence ensured the implementation and build-up of the RAF’s complement of strategic jet bombers (the V-force) designed to deliver Britain’s nuclear weapons. That policy of defence through nuclear deterrence established the bedrock of British strategic defence thinking that continues to the present day.

This FREE lecture will be held in the Museum’s National Cold War Exhibition lecture theatre at 12.30pm on Friday 16 March 2018, lasting approximately one hour. As spaces are limited, organisers advise visitors to book their tickets in advance via the Museum’s website www.rafmuseum.org/cosford to avoid disappointment.

The Cold War Lunchtime Lectures are delivered by emerging and established researchers. They explore key events and air power developments from the Cold War period. ‘Air Marshal Sir John Slessor: An Unsung Cold War Strategist and His Role as the Architect of British Airborne Nuclear Deterrence’ is the first lecture taking place at Cosford this year, with more planned throughout 2018. The series forms a part of the RAF Museum’s Research Programme for 2018 which also consists of the Trenchard Lectures in Air Power Studies, First World War lunchtime lectures at the Museum’s London site and conferences.

For further information about the Museum’s research programme or to book your FREE ticket to the lecture, please visit the Museum website www.rafmuseum.org/cosford. The Museum is open daily from 10am and entry to the Museum is FREE of charge.

Festival celebrates 100 years of the RAF

Friday, March 2nd, 2018

Merlin and Herc Engine

Date: 1-2 April 2018
Time: 10am-5pm
Cost: FREE

The Royal Air Force Museum Cosford will be celebrating 100 years of the Royal Air Force (RAF) with a nostalgic Bank Holiday Weekend event on 1-2 April 2018, packed with displays and activities for the whole family to enjoy.

Founded on the 1 April 1918, the centenary year provides a unique opportunity to commemorate the world’s first and most famous independent Air Force and the extraordinary success, achievement and sacrifice of the RAF.

The ‘100 Years of the RAF Festival’ will see re-enactors, living historians, interpreters and a variety of entertainers bring the Museum to life with authentic experiences for visitors to enjoy. A walk-through history, exploring the 100 years of the Royal Air Force, vintage vehicles and children’s activities will be nestled amongst the historical, pioneering aircraft on display and will engage visitors throughout their tour of the Museum site.

WHAT’S ON over the festival weekend:
• Chat amongst Second World War pilots, have a go at plotting maps, or relax in the Officer’s Mess.
• Take aim and fire with a have-a-go anti-aircraft area. For the young and the young at heart, take a seat behind replica anti-aircraft guns and see whether you can catch the enemy (charges apply).
• Join family friendly interactive talks; get involved in tactical mapping, learn how to scramble to all manner of aircraft and explore RAF missions in the wider world.
• Wonder at the skills of pilots in the new Jet Age and practice your own Scramble to the Vulcan.
• Watch Rolls-Royce Merlin Mk500 and Bristol Hercules Mk216 demonstrations (2 April only).
• Meet the originators of the Royal Flying Corps and see up close what these young pilots undertook to defend our skies 100 years ago.
• Meet serving personnel from the RAF today and hear more about their roles.
• Marvel at some of the earliest technologies in flying machines, from bi-planes to airships, and hear how integral their roles were in making the Royal Air Force what it is today.
• Hear the stories of peacetime operations throughout history, the Royal Air Force’s wider community involvement, and its continuing spirit.
• Dress up in RAF attire and grab some props from the Museum’s handling collection and take photos as a memento of your day.

The ‘100 Years of the RAF Festival’ will run from 10am to 5pm on Sunday 1 and Monday 2 April 2018. On arrival, make sure to pick up your free handy festival map to help guide you round the site and ensure you don’t miss out on any of the displays! The Museum will also be operating a free shuttle bus service from Cosford train station for any visitors travelling by train or using the park and ride and will run continuously throughout the day. For more information about the event visit www.rafmuseum.org/cosford.

Plus, a new display which celebrates the first 100 years of the RAF will be open to visitors in time for the festival weekend. Highlighting the principle roles of the RAF; Attack, Defence, Support and Prepare, the display also incorporates a snapshot timeline and artefacts spanning 100 years including uniforms, equipment, tools, personal possessions and commemorative items. In addition, a collection of life size silhouettes will be positioned around the Museum site, sharing the personal stories of RAF personnel throughout the years, spanning a variety of roles within the service. The new display is supported by National Lottery Players through the Heritage Lottery Fund and with support from BAE Systems and is part of the RAF Museum’s RAF Centenary Programme across its two sites in London and Cosford. For more information about the RAF Museum’s RAF Centenary Programme visit www.rafmuseum.org

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.

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.