Posts Tagged ‘RAF Museum Cosford’

STAAR recruits are ready for take-off!

Thursday, April 18th, 2019

STAAR Engines

The Summer Time Advanced Aerospace Residency (STAAR) class of 2019 has been selected from a record breaking number of applications from students across England, Scotland and Wales.

This summer, sixty Year 10 students aged 14-15 will participate in two, week long residentials that will see recruits experiencing life as an aerospace engineer, where they will live, work, learn and solve tasks together!

Over 260 students applied for the 60 places available for this year’s summer camp which offers a unique insight into the exciting world of aerospace for youngsters interested in future careers in STEM related fields. Prior to selection, applications were verified ensuring students met the criteria and then placed into a random draw of girls and boys for week 1 and week 2. The draw took place on board the VC10 aircraft by representatives of the organisations who help deliver the programme.

STAAR is fully funded by the global aerospace and defence technology giant, Northrop Grumman, with the support of the Northrop Grumman Foundation in partnership with the Royal Air Force Museum. The residential weeks will accommodate 30 students per week and is delivered by the RAF Museum, Royal Air Force Cosford, RAF Youth and STEM Engagement Team and Tablet Academy.

Sophie Millward, Access and Learning Administrator STAAR Programme, RAF Museum said:
“As we head towards the third year of the STAAR programme, it’s brilliant to see the demand for places growing year on year. We received hundreds of applications from schools spanning the entire length of the country, more than double the number compared to last year. We look forward to welcoming students in July for what will be a truly unique, engaging and memorable experience working with some of the best mentors in the aerospace industry.”

Gillian Arnott, Communications Manager and Corporate Citizenship Lead at Northrop Grumman UK said:
“This year, we are delighted to welcome and work with the Jon Egging Trust Blue Skies Programme, to offer STAAR places to four of their students, each of whom has met the STAAR recruit criteria. The mission of the Blue Skies Programme, to create opportunities to engage and inspire young people, particularly with an interest in aviation, is closely aligned with Northrop Grumman’s STEM educational outreach mission.”

Laura Carey, Area Director Central, Jon Egging Trust said:
“We are excited for our Blue Skies students who will be taking part in this fantastic opportunity to develop their skills in STEM in such an inspirational environment. The Jon Egging Trust delivers accredited programmes to increase young peoples’ self-confidence, self-esteem and other vital life and work skills and was set up in memory of Red Arrows Pilot Jon Egging who tragically lost his life at the Bournemouth Air Festival. The Trust realises Jon’s dreams of inspiring young people through his love of aviation, teamwork and leadership, helping them to overcome adversity, identify their strengths and work towards their ambitions.”

The class of 2019 will be invited to attend the RAF Cosford Air Show on 9 June, 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 kit ready to start the residential week on 22-26 July and 29 July-2 August 2019.

For more information on the STAAR programme visit www.rafmuseum.org/STAAR.

RAF Museum’s numbers grow to almost a million

Tuesday, April 16th, 2019

RAF Museum Cosford

Numbers: 989,593 people
Date: 1 April 2018 – 31 March 2019
Growth: 39% increase on previous year

The Royal Air Force Museum is proud to announce that its visitor figures enjoyed substantial growth on the back of a major redevelopment of its London site and a re-invigorated public events programme for the RAF Centenary at both its London and Cosford sites.

In total, 989,593 people visited the RAF Museum from 1 April 2018 – 31 March 2019. This represents a spectacular growth of 39% on the previous year’s figures.

The Museum’s London site recorded 544,628 visitors, up an unparalleled 59% on the previous year, while its site at Cosford in the West Midlands welcomed 444,965 visitors, a leap of 20%.

Commenting on this growth in visitor numbers, Maggie Appleton, CEO for the Museum stated:
“This growth is a fabulous response to the huge investment that the Museum made in the redevelopment of our London site in 2018 and a reflection on the public’s support for the RAF during the UK’s commemorations of the RAF Centenary. It also reflects how the Museum’s new vision of inspiring everyone with the RAF story – the people who shape it and its place in our lives – has struck a resonant chord with both our longstanding visitors and those new to the Museum.

This was achieved by sharing RAF stories through our collections in new immersive ways, with inspiring exhibitions, in landscaping that recalls our aviation heritage, and across our fabulous event and activity programmes.

I should like to take this opportunity to thank all our funders, in particular the National Lottery Heritage Fund, BAE Systems, the State of Kuwait and the Libor Fund, whose major contributions ensured this success, as well as each member of our team who contributed so much passion and hard work to ensure that the Museum enjoyed its most successful year ever.

It is a very fitting tribute to the men and women who serve the RAF so valiantly today that so many people explored their stories and those of the people who came before them during its Centenary year.”

The Royal Air Force Museum is open daily from 10.00am. Admission is free.

www.rafmuseum.org

Wing your way to Cosford for Open Cockpits Weekend

Monday, April 15th, 2019

RAF Museum Cosford Hercules Cockpit

Date: 22-23 June 2019 / Time: 10.00am-4.00pm / Cost: £13.50 per person

The Royal Air Force Museum Cosford will be opening the doors to thirteen aircraft from its collection during a two day Open Cockpits Weekend on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 June. It’s the perfect opportunity for aviation fans and families with budding young pilots to get a closer look inside some of the historic aircraft on display and take to the flying controls whilst sitting in the pilot’s seat.

Just 300 spaces per day are available for this exciting event which gives ticket holders up to six hours to explore everything from jet fighters to airliners, including aircraft from British, American and Russian Air Forces.

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

The popular Lockheed Hercules C130K Mk3 is guaranteed to be an event highlight. The C-130 Hercules has been a key component of the Royal Air Force’s frontline for over fifty years and continues to provide service to the present day. A familiar sight, at home and abroad, the Hercules can rightly claim to have been the ‘first in and last out’ in numerous campaigns and operations. As a tanker, and as transport, it has delivered vital strategic and tactical mobility – providing the platform for the Royal Air Force’s operational capabilities, through the Cold War and beyond.

Ticket holders will also be able to step on board another RAF transporting giant, the Vickers VC10 during the special event. 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. This is the first time the VC10 will be opened to visitors using its new fully accessible boarding ramp, kindly donated to the Museum by local based aviation ground handling manufacturer, Aviramp.

From the Cold War collection, aviation fans can take a seat inside the cockpit of the General Dynamics F-111 F-CF, a two-seat American fighter-bomber. The F-111A variant became the first variable-geometry combat aircraft to enter service, seeing extensive action 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 that families will get the chance to climb on board and explore during the Open Cockpits Weekend include the Short Brothers Belfast, Handley Page Hastings, Avro York C1, and the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG 21PF (close view only).

Head down to Hangar 1 and you will find the Museum’s transport and training aircraft, used for moving troops and equipment and retained to teach aircrews the wide variety of skills they must master before becoming operational. Aircraft from this collection open during the June event will include the 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 Hawker Siddeley Andover E3A, a short take-off and landing transport aircraft that operated in trooping, paratrooping, airdropping, freighting and casevac roles. Plus, the de Havilland Devon, Hunting Percival Pembroke C1 and the Junkers Ju52/3M will also be included in the aircraft line-up.

The final aircraft in the event programme is the advanced navigation trainer, Scottish Aviation Jetstream T Mk1 which will be featured outside with the hangar backdrop. Access to all the external aircraft will be weather permitting.

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 300 tickets per day are available for the event on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 June and aviation fans will have up to six hours to enjoy the exclusive access. 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 1.07m). Ticket holder will also receive a 10% discount on purchases made in the Museum shop during the Open Cockpits Weekend. Entry to the Museum is free of charge.

Additional places for Aerospace Summer Camp are up for grabs!

Wednesday, March 20th, 2019

STAAR Graduation at RAF Museum Cosford

An additional twenty places have been added to the 2019 Summer Time Advanced Aerospace Residency (STAAR) programme, now allowing sixty Year 10 students aged 14-15 to participate in the aviation summer camp.

STAAR offers a unique insight into the exciting world of aviation for youngsters interested in future careers in STEM related fields and is fully funded by the global aerospace and defence technology giant, Northrop Grumman, with the support of the Northrop Grumman Foundation in partnership with the Royal Air Force Museum. The two week-long residentials will now accommodate 30 students per week and is delivered by the Museum, Royal Air Force Cosford, RAF Youth and STEM Engagement Team and Tablet Academy.

Applications have been flying in since applications opened in February from keen students across the country, as far as Glasgow, Plymouth, Cardiff as well as locally and from the surrounding counties. Now into its third year, the STAAR programme will accommodate more students than ever before thanks to the additional support of a new STAAR partner, RAF Youth and STEM Engagement Team. The deadline for applications has been extended until Monday 8 April, giving students more time to apply.

Taking place on 22-26 July and 29 July-2 August 2019, STAAR provides students with five intense days, experiencing life as an RAF engineering trainee, where they will live, work, learn and solve tasks together! The immersive programme is designed to inspire diverse and talented young people to become the next generation of experts in the innovative and high-technology aerospace sector. Through a series of workshops, recruits will be immersed into aerospace design, exploring all the elements required to plan a mission, getting hands on working with real aircraft and engines, as well as learning about important historical missions such as the Dambusters raid. Recruits will also develop critical thinking and team-building skills throughout the week, as well as having a lot of fun!

This year students will work towards a CREST Award, a nationally recognised scheme for student-led project work in the STEM subjects and an Industrial Cadet Award, an industry-led accreditation which gives recruits a unique insight into industry – skills and knowledge are built and enhanced whilst being mentored by industry role models.

Julie Brierley, Access and Learning Manager, Royal Air Force Museum Cosford said:
“We’re thrilled to be offering additional places to this year’s STAAR residential week and have a new partner on board to help deliver it. The programme truly is top-notch, a unique, educational and memorable experience, delivered by experts in their fields. The value STAAR can add to a recruit’s development is reflected by the number of applications we’ve received and the wide reach from students across England, Scotland and Wales all wanting to be part of it. We’re also excited to announce that the STAAR programme has been shortlisted in the Museums and Heritage Awards for ‘Educational Initiative of the Year’ due to take place in May.”

Nick Chaffey, Chief Executive, Northrop Grumman UK & Europe said:
“Four years ago, the idea for an aerospace-related STEM camp was just a vision, and in a little over three
years we and our partners – the RAF Museum, RAF Cosford and Tablet Academy – have not only turned this into a reality, we have developed STAAR into a nationally recognised and sought-after STEM educational programme, attracting young people from across the UK.

We are immensely proud of how much STAAR has grown, and this year are delighted that we have been joined by the RAF Youth and STEM Engagement Team to help facilitate the delivery of the curriculum, which means we are now able to offer the STAAR experience to 60 students; a 200% increase on the places we offered for the ‘pilot’ programme in 2017. The STAAR Recruits who graduate in 2019 will also receive both a Crest Award and an Industrial Cadet Award accreditation, which they can add to their personal portfolios and leverage as they continue through their education, and hopefully on to careers in the Aerospace Sector.”

If you’ve got what it takes to be a STAAR and want to join the class of 2019, visit the Museum’s website www.rafmuseum.org/STAAR to apply. The programme is open nationwide to any UK Year 10 students showing an interest in and aptitude for STEM subjects. Applications are open until 8 April and must be completed by a teacher explaining why their student is suitable for the programme.

Modellers Head to Cosford for Miniature Show

Wednesday, February 27th, 2019

Model Show at RAF Museum Cosford

Date: 7 April 2019
Time: 10.00am to 4.00pm
Cost: FREE entry

The popular Shropshire Scale Model Show is returning to the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford on Sunday 7 April, showcasing the very best in the miniature world of modelling. With everything from model aircraft and cars to science fiction and cartoon characters, the one day show is expected to attract thousands of visitors.

Nestled amongst the world-class collection of aircraft and exhibits and filling each of the Museum hangars will be over 100 modelling clubs and traders from across the country, including model making giants Airfix who are exhibiting at this year’s show.

Modelling clubs from across the UK will be exhibiting their pint-sized creations, many of which have taken hours of dedication to perfect. It’s the perfect opportunity to get tips and advice or seek inspiration from the experts and enjoy the day with like-minded individuals.

As one of the region’s largest modelling events, traders will be selling materials and kits to suit modellers of all abilities. So, whether you’ve got youngsters in the family who are just discovering their passion for modelling, or you’re an avid modeller who’s been building kits for many years, there will be plenty of kits, glues, paints and other detailed sets available to purchase.

Event organiser, Gary Stevens Secretary of the Shropshire Scale Modellers and The Telford Branch of The International Plastic Modellers Society says:
“We have lots of the popular traders and exhibitors returning to the show again this year and we look forward to welcoming model fans from across the country to the event. I am particularly delighted that Airfix will be making a welcome return to this year’s event displaying their latest and future releases to the public.”

To make reaching the Museum even easier, there will be a free shuttle bus for the day to cope with the additional visitors, running from Cosford train station. The show will be open to the public from 10am until 4pm and entry to the event is FREE of charge. For further information, please visit the museum website at www.rafmuseum.org/cosford.

Advanced Aerospace Residency applications are now open!

Tuesday, February 12th, 2019

STAAR Aircraft Access

Applications for the 2019 Summer Time Advanced Aerospace Residency (STAAR) delivered by the global aerospace and defence technology giant, Northrop Grumman, in partnership with the Royal Air Force Museum, are now officially open!

This unique summer camp for young adults aged 14-15 years is delivered in association with RAF Cosford and Tablet Academy, providing students with five intense days, experiencing life as an RAF engineering trainee, where they will live, work, learn and solve tasks together!

Suitable for students with a demonstrable interest in and aptitude for one or more STEM subjects, STAAR recruits are introduced to aircraft design and important historical missions such as the Dambusters raid. During the week, students learn about all the elements required to plan a mission, identify an aircraft’s needs, including speed, refuelling and wing design. They do this through a series of workshops and getting hands-on working on real engines and real aircraft.

With a focus on innovative new materials and technologies, recruits get the opportunity to understand how to use unmanned aircraft (drones) and fly them during a mock mission. Working in teams, STAAR recruits investigate a 3-D model town, using drones and iPads to gather intelligence. They also learn to think about how different aerospace systems need different capabilities to successfully carry out a variety of roles and missions, as well as exploring current conflicts and potential ways in which technology will need to evolve in the future. The week concludes with a team mission where they will be challenged to design their very own advanced aerospace systems.

Two STAAR residential weeks are planned for up to 40 students and will be held jointly at RAF Cosford and the RAF Museum Cosford on 22-26 July and 29 July-2 August 2019, with 20 recruits taking part each week. The hands-on summer camp is fully funded by the Northrop Grumman Foundation and this year participants will also work towards a CREST Award and an Industrial Cadet Award during the programme.

Royal Air Force Museum Cosford Access and Learning Manager, Julie Brierley said:
“The STAAR programme is designed to inspire young adults, helping them 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. As an ex Avionics Mechanic with the RAF myself, I know what an exciting, challenging and fulfilling career it can be. The opportunities and resources that STAAR offers students is second to none and invaluable for those interested in future careers in the world of advanced aerospace. Now in its third year, I am proud to be involved in such a unique, impactful programme, it’s great to see the students grow in confidence over the week and face the challenges with enthusiasm. I look forward to meeting this year’s students.”

Northrop Grumman UK & Europe, Nick Chaffey, Chief Executive said:
“Northrop Grumman is proud of the success of this unique, immersive and stimulating STEM experience, and the deep relationships we have formed with our partner, the RAF Museum, and supporters RAF Cosford and Tablet Academy. Hearing about the positive impact the programme has had on students who participated in 2017 and 2018, and seeing the growth and development planned in 2019 reaffirms our commitment to creating a legacy STEM programme. One that supports the vision of RAF100 – to inspire diverse and talented young people to become the next generation of experts in the innovative and high-technology Aerospace Sector.”

The programme is open nationwide to any UK Year 10 students showing an interest in and aptitude for STEM subjects. Applications for the 2019 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 25 March and successful applicants will be announced on 28 March. The class of 2019 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.

Lights, Camera, Take-off…to the RAF Museum Night Shoot!

Friday, January 25th, 2019

VC10 at RAF Museum Cosford

Date: 16 March 2019
Time: 5.00pm to 9.00pm
Cost: £25 per person (Over 16’s only)

Photographers are being given the unique opportunity to capture rare images of the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford’s external aircraft collection during an exclusive Photography Night Shoot. Taking place on Saturday 16 March, just 200 places are available for the nighttime aircraft event and tickets are selling fast!

The Museum has teamed up with Threshold Aero, specialists in aviation night shoot photography, to deliver this brand-new event. Aircraft including the Bristol Britannia 312 and the Hawker Siddeley Nimrod R.Mk.1 will be lit with LED lights, giving photographers the chance to capture shots of the aircraft in their Museum setting, showcased like never before.

The Night Shoot will commence at 5.00pm allowing those attending the chance to capture images in changing lighting conditions at sunset, before the light fades and after dark. The illuminated aircraft are guaranteed to provide a spectacular photo opportunity.

Eight historic aircraft from the RAF Museum’s collection will be illuminated for the evening, ranging in size from the single seat fighter Hawker Siddeley Hunter F6A to the giant long range airliner Vickers VC10 C1K. Other highlights will include the Hawker Siddeley Dominie T.Mk.1, Lockheed Hercules C130K Mk3 and the Lockheed SP-2h Neptune. As a special addition to the event, the Scottish Aviation Jetstream T Mk1, usually housed inside Hangar 1, will be displayed outside the hangar, giving photographers another aircraft to capture on the night.

RAF Museum Cosford Public Events Manager, Abi Betteridge said:
“We’re excited to be showcasing our iconic aircraft in a completely different light for this brand-new event which we hope will appeal to photographers and aviation fans alike. You don’t need to be a professional photographer to enjoy the Night Shoot, it’s suitable for all abilities and there will be a team from Threshold Aero, Museum Staff and Volunteers on hand throughout the evening to provide assistance. So far the interest has been incredible with over a third of the tickets already gone in just under a week.”

Event organisers are confident the Night Shoot will not only appeal to photographers but also aviation fans who want to enjoy exclusive after hours access to view the aircraft in a different light. Tickets to the Photography Night Shoot event are now available to purchase in advance via the Museum website and cost £25 per person (including onsite parking fee). Ticket holders must be aged 16 years and over. Visit www.rafmuseum.org/cosford for more details.

RAF Museum Cosford 2019 Events Diary

Sunday, January 13th, 2019

Armed Forces Weekend at RAF Museum Cosford

Forthcoming events taking place at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford during 2019:

events at RAF Museum Cosford

RAF Museum Cosford Public Events Manager, Abi Betteridge said:
“We have another busy events programme scheduled this year and visitors can expect to see all the big favourites making a return, including the Cosford Food Festival and Spitfire 10K.

We’ve increased the number of exhibitor pitches for the Food Festival this year to give foodies even more choice and we’re making plans to incorporate our VC10 aircraft in a special way, so watch this space!

The Spitfire 10K is one of our sell out events and of the 1,200 places available we only have around a third of the places remaining. We would encourage any runners who want to experience the unique opportunity to race across the airfield and get their hands on one of the highly sought after bespoke Spitfire 10K medals to sign up soon so they don’t miss out.

Brand new for 2019 will be a Night Shoot photography event taking place in March, that will see lighting used to illuminate our external aircraft, creating the perfect photo opportunity for aviation enthusiasts and keen photographers alike.

Also new this year will be our Armed Forces Weekend in June, taking on a similar format to the 100 Years of the RAF Festival we held in 2018, which attracted in excess of 11,000 visitors. There will be plenty of nostalgic activities for families to enjoy, plus re-enactors, engine demonstrations and even a play taking place across the entire site, celebrating and paying tribute to our heroes past and present.

Now into its second year the Vintage and Handmade Festival in August will be expanding with the addition of a vintage fairground and more exhibitors with plenty of added extras including access on board the VC10 and Hercules, making this event one not to be missed for those who love all things vintage!

It’s a busy schedule that caters to our wide and diverse audience and we look forward to welcoming back repeat visitors, along with those just discovering us for the first time. We’re confident that the RAF Museum’s great offer, combined with our exciting events programme will make a visit to remember!”

For further information on the 2019 events, please visit the Museum’s website www.rafmuseum.org/cosford. Admission charges apply for some events and activities. Events may be subject to change and additional events may be added during the year.

The Museum is open daily from 10am and entry is FREE of charge.

Experimental Jet and German bomber are highlights at open cockpit event

Tuesday, November 27th, 2018

Ju88 at RAF Museum

Date: 7 December 2018 /Time: 6pm-9pm / Cost: £13.50 per person

Aviation fans will have the rare opportunity to take seat inside the cockpit of the Cold War era British Aircraft Corporation TSR2 and get a close look inside the Second World War Junkers Ju88 at the final ‘100 Cockpits and Cabs’ event, taking place at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford on Friday 7 December.

The event which has celebrated the Royal Air Force Centenary throughout 2018 at both its Cosford and London sites has given ticket holders exclusive access to 100 aircraft and vehicles, spanning the service’s entire career. The series of events concludes at Cosford in December, themed around aircraft and vehicles from the Museum’s Test Flight and War in the Air collection.

From the Test Flight collection and for the first time ever, visitors can enjoy on-board access to the British Aircraft Corporation TSR2, the only complete airframe remaining and one of only two examples in the world. Although never developed beyond the prototype stage, the TSR2 was one of the most exciting and controversial British combat aircraft designs of the 1960s. The increasing sophistication of air defence systems led the RAF to consider the procurement of a high speed, low level strike and reconnaissance aircraft to replace the English Electric Canberra. Christened the TSR2 (Tactical Strike and Reconnaissance Mach 2), eleven prototypes were ordered in October 1960, with the first maiden flight in September 1964. Initial reports indicated that the TSR2 was an outstanding technical success, however, political opposition to the project led to it being cancelled by April the following year. The cancellation of the project is a subject of great debate to this day.

Other Test Flight aircraft and vehicles open on the night include the sole example British Aerospace Experimental Aircraft Programme (EAP) (close view only). Built as an advanced technology demonstrator, many of the features pioneered by EAP, including the wing layout, were later refined for the Eurofighter Typhoon, in service with the RAF today. Also included in the event is the Bristol Type 188, Short Brothers SB5 WG768 (close view only) and the Hunting H126.

The event theme also extends to include a selection of the Museum’s War in the Air aircraft and vehicles and for the first time ever the Junkers Ju88R-1 will be open for close viewing. The Ju88 was the most versatile German combat aircraft of the Second World War, beginning life as a bomber, before becoming a night fighter and intruder; undertook anti-shipping operations and flew long-range reconnaissance missions. It was during the Battle of Britain, that Ju88’s played a major role in a number of daylight actions against British radar stations, airfields and ports. The aircraft was reasonably manoeuvrable for its size, and could take a great deal of punishment, however its lack of armoured protection and insufficient defensive armament meant that it was relatively easy prey for British fighters. At the time of the Battle of Britain the Ju88 was at the beginning of its service career and its remarkable adaptability, particularly as a night fighter, had still to be exploited by the Luftwaffe.

Also open on the night in War in the Air hangar will be fellow German fighter the Focke Wulf FW190A-8/R6, the Hawker Hurricane IIc (close view only), Sopwith Pup (close view only), Boulton Paul Defiant Mk1 (close view only), Crossley Ptn 1940 and the Museum’s latest arrival the Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR3.

To ensure visitors get the most out of the event, there will be a large team of Volunteers manning each aircraft or vehicle who will be available to answer any questions.

A total of 300 tickets are available for the event taking place on Saturday 7 December and aviation fans will have up to three hours to enjoy the exclusive after-hours access from 6pm-9pm. The Museum will close at 4pm, however the Visitor Centre and Refuel Restaurant will remain open for ticket holders, before doors to the aircraft and vehicles open at 6pm. Plus, visitors can also enjoy perusing the Museum Shop from 4.30pm and take advantage of their 10% off discount voucher!

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).

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.

Second World War Hampden bomber is brought back to life at Cosford

Sunday, October 28th, 2018

Hampden at RAF Cosford

Date: 12-18 November 2018
Time: 10.15am-1.00pm
Cost: £5.00 per person

A rare example of a Second World War Handley Page Hampden being restored at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford is making huge steps forward. As one of the Museum’s longest running conservation projects, the aircraft has undergone a major transformation and for the first time since the mid-1940s you can see a complete fuselage section in the UK.

The aircraft now has all four fuselage components fully assembled, attached and painted in its original 144 Squadron colour scheme and serial number. It’s been a labour of love for one of the Museum’s skilled Aircraft Technicians who has built a large section of the aircraft from scratch using original Handley Page pre-production drawings from the late 1930s and where possible, measurements taken from the partial wreckage remaining from the original aircraft. And it won’t be long before aviation fans can catch a glimpse of the Hampden, as it goes on show during the Museum’s Conservation Centre Open Week taking place 12-18 November.

The Museum’s Hampden, serial number P1344, is one of only three examples of the type remaining and was recovered from a crash site in northern Russia in 1991 and acquired by the RAF Museum. The night it was shot down (5 September 1942), the aircraft was one of nine aircraft lost out of 32 that departed Sumburgh, Shetland Islands, heading to northern Russia to provide protection for the Arctic Convoys; a costly night in terms of both human and aircraft loss. Three crew members died, two survived and become prisoners of war and the aircraft suffered significant damage. The wreckage lay on the Kola Peninsula, Northern Russia undiscovered for almost half a century, but now the British twin-engine medium bomber of the Royal Air Force is being lovingly brought back to life.

Since it was last viewed by the public some 12 months ago, restoration on the badly damaged airframe has progressed significantly and the unmistakable Hampden silhouette can now be seen. Damage to the tailboom was structurally too much to repair and a new tail was built in-house. Within the last few weeks this newly constructed section has been painted by the Museum’s Surface Finish Technician and attached to the original rear fuselage which still bears the marks of bullet holes from the night it was fatally shot down. Adding the tailplane, which is 30-40% original, and the newly constructed forward fuselage, the RAF Museum Cosford aircraft is one of only two Hampden’s worldwide, with the other on display in the Canadian Museum of Flight, Vancouver and a nose section in East Kirkby, UK.

RAF Museum Conservation Centre Manager, Darren Priday said:
“We’re delighted with how the Hampden, a lesser known aircraft of the RAF inventory, is finally coming together after all these years. We are currently trying to source an original rear undercarriage and tail wheel, but if one can’t be found it will be replicated and made in the Centre. The aircraft has been populated internally with items from the Museum’s reserve collection and the next twelve months will see work commence on manufacturing flying control wires to enable the elevator and rudder to move as well as fabricating new bomb bay doors.

Hampden’s, along with Wellington’s, which we also have here at the Centre, bared the brunt of the early bombing campaign over Europe. They played a vital role in the RAF and our nation’s history and I’m confident this rare example will be warmly received by visitors at our Open Week next month.”

Aviation fans will be able to view the newly painted fuselage section from 12-18 November when the Michael Beetham Conservation Centre opens its doors to visitors, giving behind the scenes access to aircraft conservation projects and the chance to speak with the team who make them happen.

Other projects include the Westland Lysander, Vickers Wellington, Range Safety Launch, Dornier Do 17 and the First World War German LVG CVI aircraft will also be on display to visitors. Museum Technicians, Apprentices and Volunteers will be available throughout the week to speak with visitors about their work and answer any questions they may have.

The Conservation Centre will open from 12-18 November between 10.15am and 1.00pm each day and admission is £5.00 per person (children under 16 are free and must be accompanied by an adult). The Museum’s other hangars will be open from 10am until 4pm and entry to the Museum is free of charge. For further information, please visit the Museum’s website www.rafmuseum.org/cosford.

Visitors attending the Open Week on Saturday 17 November may also be interested in attending ‘The Glider Pilot Regiment and the RAF’ talk taking place at 2.00pm in the Museum’s Conference Room located in the Visitor Centre. Chaired by the Glider Pilot Regiment Society Chairperson, Jane Barkway-Harney, the talk will discuss the genesis of the Regiment, the selection and training of its volunteers, and the role the RAF played in preparing these Army soldiers to take to the skies. The talk will also focus on the 75th Anniversary of the Invasion of Sicily, the longest military glider tow in history and Operation Varsity – the largest single Airborne lift and final operation of the Glider Pilot Regiment during Second World War. This operation saw RAF crews seconded to the Glider Pilot Regiment as glider pilots to make up for previous losses. The talk will last approximately 1hr 15 minutes and costs £5 per person. Further details can be found on the Museum’s website.