Posts Tagged ‘RAF Museum Cosford’

Plane marvellous weekend ahead!

Wednesday, October 9th, 2019

Valiant at RAF Museum Cosford

Date: 19-20 October 2019
Time: 10.00am-4.00pm
Cost: £13.50 per person (Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult)

The Royal Air Force Museum Cosford will be opening the doors to thirteen aircraft during a two day Open Cockpits Weekend on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 October. Aviation fans and families with budding young pilots can enjoy a closer look inside some of the unique and historic aircraft from the Museum’s collection, including one of the RAF’s iconic V-Bombers.

Ticket holders will be given up to six hours to explore everything from British, German and Japanese Second World War fighter aircraft, to the pioneering research and development aircraft, many of which are sole examples.

The popular Vickers Valiant B1, one third of Britain’s strategic nuclear strike force during the 50s and 60s, known as V Force, is guaranteed to be one of the weekend highlights. The Valiant was the first of Bomber Command’s V class aircraft and established Britain’s air-borne nuclear deterrent force before pioneering operational in-flight refuelling in the Royal Air Force. Not only was it the first V-Bomber to enter service, it was also the first to drop an operational British nuclear weapon over Christmas Island in 1957. The Valiant is displayed alongside the Handley Page Victor H2 and Avro Vulcan B2 in the Museum’s National Cold War Exhibition, the only place in the world where you can view all three aircraft together.

Also in the event line-up is the Bristol 188, often a talking point for the Museum’s younger visitors, curious by its unusual design. Built mainly of stainless steel, this aircraft was designed to investigate the effects of heat on aircraft structures at very high speeds. To protect the pilot against heat build-up a special cockpit refrigeration system was installed. Nicknamed ‘Flaming Pencil’, only two Bristol 188s ever flew, a third being used for ground tests.

Families will get the chance to climb on board and explore the Short Brothers Belfast, a giant of the RAF’s Cold War air fleet and take a seat inside the Focke Wulf FW 190, one of the most successful combat aircraft of the Second World War and the backbone of the Luftwaffe’s fighter force. Marvel at the cockpit of the world’s oldest Supermarine Spitfire I, the most iconic aircraft of all time (close view only) and view inside the fuselage of the Avro Lincoln B2.

Other aircraft open exclusively for the event include: Hunting H126, English Electric P1A, Fairey FD2, Saunders-Roe SR53, Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR3, Kawasaki Ki-100-1b (close view only) and the Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer CCII. Aircraft will be manned by over 70 volunteers and cadets.

A total of 300 tickets per day are available for Open Cockpits Weekend on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 October and are available to purchase through the Museum’s website www.rafmuseum.org/cosford or on the day subject to availability, costing £13.50 per person. The ticket price also includes parking and a 10% discount on purchases made in the Museum shop on the day. For an additional £1.00, ticket holders can purchase a Log Book to keep a record of the aircraft they’ve accessed! A minimum height requirement of 1.07 metres applies for this event. Entry to the Museum is free of charge.

Lysander restored to former glory

Thursday, October 3rd, 2019

Lysander at Cosford

A Second World War Westland Lysander III (S.D.), the only surviving Special Duties variant of its type has been restored to its former glory at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford.

The aircraft has undergone conservation work including a new fabric outer skin and complete repaint in the Museum’s Michael Beetham Conservation Centre. Formerly displayed at the Museum’s London site in No 225 Squadron markings, the Lysander is now painted in No 161 Squadron Special Ops colour scheme, reflecting its service towards the end of the war in non-operational special transport services.

Following the Lysander’s arrival at Cosford in November 2016, the aircraft underwent an in-depth inspection and condition assessment followed by a few minor structural repairs. The airframe’s damaged fabric covering was replaced while a team of volunteers cleaned and lubricated mechanical systems back to a functional state.

The aircrafts biggest transformation comes from the recovering of its airframe in a traditional Irish linen fabric, hand sewn by the Museum’s Surface Finish Technician and then strengthened using original doping techniques.

RAF Museum, Surface Finish Technician Clive Roberts said:
“Thousands of stiches were made attaching the linen to the fuselage, wings and tailplane followed by six coats of doping, a UV microwave protection layer, primer and then finally painted in its 161 Squadron Special Ops colour scheme. It’s a slow process but essential to preserving the aircraft for as long as possible. We sought the help of a Lysander expert based in Switzerland, who provided us with original photographs and technical drawings to help with the paint scheme. One of the photos shows that during R9125’s service with 161 Squadron the cooling gills were incorrectly fitted so the camouflage no longer lined up. Since this has been documented we will change ours to match that.”

The Museum’s example, serial number R9125 first became operational with No 225 Squadron in 1940 as a coastal patrol and photo reconnaissance aircraft, based along the south coast of England. It took on the Special Duties role with No 161 Squadron in 1944 and was operational for a further two years until they became obsolete from the RAF in 1946.

The Lysander was originally designed for Army Co-operation duties including artillery spotting and reconnaissance. However, its lasting fame is not in this role, but as a Special Duties aircraft ferrying Allied agents in and out of enemy occupied Europe. Despite some notable successes, the Army Co-operation units suffered extremely high casualties – over 170 Lysanders were sent to France in 1939 and only 50 came back. Following their withdrawal from France, Lysanders patrolled the coastal areas of south and east England as an anti-invasion reconnaissance measure and later, began air-sea rescue duties in the Channel and North Sea.

Visitors to the RAF Museum Cosford will get the first glimpse of the aircraft during the annual Conservation Centre Open Week in November, before it’s transported in the new year to the Museum’s London site for public display.

RAF Museum Conservation Centre Manager, Darren Priday said:
“It’s been a real privilege to work on such a beautiful aircraft. The reason she came to the Conservation Centre at RAF Museum Cosford was because the Irish Linen was deteriorating and needed to be replaced; this was not the original Second World War covering. Apart from this work our main aim was to conserve as much of the original aircraft as possible; the majority of the aircraft has had little work done to her apart from a clean and an application of a museum standard wax to help protect any bare metal areas. We have a few tasks still outstanding as we are looking at fitting a long-range fuel tank and a ladder as this would have been standard fit in her Special Ops role. The fresh paint scheme has given her a new lease of life and she is going to look great when she goes back on public display. The aircraft will return to our London site in 2020 but anyone who would like to view the aircraft will have the chance at our Open Week in November.”

From 11-16 November visitors can get up close to the current conservation projects undertaken by the team of Technicians, Apprentices and Volunteers at Cosford during the annual Conservation Centre Open Week. In addition to the Lysander, visitors will also be able to view the continuing progress on the Handley Page Hampden, Vickers Wellington, Range Safety Launch, Messerschmitt Me 410, Dornier Do 17 and the LVG C.VI and speak with the teams who carry out this vital work.

The Conservation Centre will open from 10.15am to 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 display hangars will open from 10.00am until 4.00pm and entry to the Museum is free of charge. For further information visit www.rafmuseum.org/cosford.

Flight simulation show just got bigger!

Monday, September 16th, 2019

Flight Sim 2019 at RAF Museum Cosford

Date: 5-6 October 2019
Time: 9.30am to 5:00pm (4.00pm Sunday)
Cost:
£10 per day/ £18 weekend pass (advance)
£12 per day/£22 weekend pass (on the day)
Free entry for under 14’s, when accompanied by a paying adult.

Aviation fans can experience the best that desktop flying has to offer when Flight Sim 2019 takes place at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford next month.

The Museum will host the event delivered by Just Flight, for a seventh consecutive year which attracts more than 2,000 visitors. Due to popular demand, this year’s show has been extended to a two-day event and will take place in the Museum’s Hangar 1 on Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 October. Set against a backdrop of aircraft including the world’s first jet airliner, the Comet, visitors can enjoy a weekend packed full of the latest software and presentations from the experts.

Over 30 exhibitors are already confirmed to attend which includes leading companies in flight simulation; Laminar Research, Orbx, Aerosoft, Honeycomb Aeronautical and Infinite Flight to name but a few. With more exhibitors expected to join the line-up and a full weekend of presentations taking place in the adjoining auditorium, organisers are looking forward to welcoming visitors to their biggest show to date.

Suitable to new and veteran desktop pilots alike and any aviation enthusiasts who are keen to find out more about life in the virtual skies. Flight Sim attendees can enjoy the very best of both the virtual and the real worlds of aviation at the same venue, as there will be ample opportunity to explore the aircraft and exhibits at the RAF Museum over the weekend, where entry is free.

Whilst exploring the Museum, make sure you step inside the new Virtual Reality Zone and experience the thrill of flying in a Spitfire. The VR goggles place you in the cockpit and 10,000 feet in the air for a panoramic view of a real Spitfire flight…..it’s a must for those who love virtual reality!

Save money by booking your ticket in advance at www.flightsimshow.com, where you can also keep up to date with all the latest news about exhibitors and events over the weekend. Flight Sim 2019 is organised and hosted by Just Flight, in association with media sponsor PC Pilot magazine.

The RAF Museum Cosford is open daily from 10.00am and admission is free. Further information can be found at www.rafmuseum.org/cosford.

‘Father of the RAF’ Lord Trenchard’s truck now on display

Friday, September 6th, 2019

Bedford truck at RAF Museum Cosford

A Bedford MWC 15cwt Truck that was specially prepared to act as the bier for the ‘Father of the Royal Air Force’, Lord Trenchard’s funeral in 1956 is now on display at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford.

After years in storage, the truck has undergone conservation work led by the Museum’s team of volunteers from the Conservation and Engineering team. This latest addition to the collection can now be seen on display in the Museum’s Hangar 1 in its original condition.

The Bedford War Department type truck was designed as a light utility military truck. During the Second World War period (1939-1945) nearly 66,000 examples were produced for service use. The RAF utilised them as general crew and transport trucks, and some were also made as anti-aircraft gun platforms and mobile water tanks.

The Museum’s example, registration 05 AS 35, was especially prepared to tow the trailer carrying the first Marshal of the Royal Air Force, Viscount Hugh Trenchard’s coffin at his funeral on 21 February 1956. The procession saw his coffin taken from the Air Ministry in Whitehall to Westminster Abbey where his ashes were laid to rest in the RAF Chapel.

The RAF Chapel at Westminster Abbey is dedicated to the RAF aircrew casualties of the Battle of Britain and Viscount Trenchard himself headed a committee to raise funds for a stained-glass window and the furnishing of this chapel. His ashes are interred there along with Air Chief Marshal Hugh Dowding and Marshal of the Royal Air Force Bomber Harris. A service is held there each year on the Sunday following Battle of Britain Day (15 September) to remember the RAF personnel who lost their lives during the Battle of Britain.

RAF Museum Cosford Assistant Curator, Clare Carr said:
“We’re delighted to add the Bedford MWC 15cwt Truck to our collection of vehicles on public display at Cosford. It was a versatile military vehicle and this particular example played an important role in Viscount Trenchard’s funeral, arguably the man who single-handedly laid the foundations for the Royal Air Force during the inter war years, earning him the affectionate title the ‘Father of the Royal Air Force’.

The truck was last on display for the RAF 50th Anniversary Royal Review at RAF Abingdon on 14/15 June 1968 and was acquired by the RAF Museum shortly after. Now, after more than 50 years in storage, the Bedford truck can be seen on display alongside other aircraft and vehicles in Hangar 1.”

The RAF Museum Cosford is open daily from 10.00am and admission is free. Further information can be found at www.rafmuseum.org/cosford.

Life Stories: the RAF and me

Thursday, August 22nd, 2019

Air Commodore Paul Godfrey

Date: 31 Aug / 14 Sep / 12 Oct 2019
Time: 2.00pm – 3.00pm
Cost: FREE

A new series of talks from the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford entitled ‘Life Stories’, will share the unique experiences of guest speakers, from their time serving in the Royal Air Force.

The new ‘Life Stories’ talks form part of the Museum’s RAF Stories project, an online collection accessible for everyone to submit, share and explore stories of people’s personal connections to the RAF.

RAF Museum Community Engagement Officer: RAF Stories, Jess Boydon said:
“The forthcoming talks are an opportunity for interested members of the public to hear first-hand some of the great stories already captured by the project. Held in the Museum’s National Cold War Exhibition Lecture Theatre, each talk held on Saturday afternoons, will have a key guest speaker and will cover a range of thought provoking topics.”

31 August: Battle of Britain Memorial Flight
Air Commodore Paul Godfrey spent three seasons with the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF), flying the Spitfire, Hurricane and Chipmunk aircraft. During this talk, Paul will share his knowledge of the BBMF and his most memorable experiences. The mission of the RAF BBMF is to maintain these priceless artefacts of our national heritage in an airworthy condition, so that the BBMF may commemorate those who have fallen in the service of this country, promote the modern day Air Force and inspire the future generations. Flown by regular serving RAF Aircrew, the Flight operates six Spitfires, two Hurricane Mk 2Cs, a Lancaster as well as a C47 Dakota and two Chipmunk aircraft.

14 September: Life Stories: From Basra to Sydney
Sgt Paul ‘Twitch’ Twitchell will take you on a gritty, emotional, funny and inspirational journey through his battle with mental health illness. Following several tours of Iraq carrying out bomb disposal duties, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) all but destroyed everything dear to him. Saved by an extremely unlikely stranger, Prince Harry sparked the fire under Twitch that would see him transform from a suicidal PTSD sufferer to an Invictus Games medallist.

12 October: Life Stories: True Colours
Caroline Paige is a retired Royal Air Force navigator with a thirty-five year flying career that includes air defence fighters during the Cold War and troop helicopters in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. But against a background of contemporary conflict, and the demanding environment of military aviation, her story reveals a remarkable journey of inspirational courage and endurance, in overcoming adversity in an unforgiving world. In 1999, after a life-long struggle to hide her gender identity became too much to bear, Caroline informed the RAF of her intention to transition gender. Controversially at the time, she was permitted to remain in service, becoming the first transgender officer to openly serve in the British Armed Forces. Her story tells how she rose against extraordinary challenges to remain on the front-line of military flying, serving a further sixteen years, and silencing outspoken critics by earning several commendations for ‘exceptional service’ in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The talks will commence at 2.00pm and are free to attend, lasting approximately one hour, including time for questions. As spaces are limited, visitors are advised to book their tickets in advance via the Museum’s website www.rafmuseum.org/cosford to avoid disappointment.

For anyone who would like to contribute to the RAF Stories project, download the free RAF Stories App, where you can discover and share the stories of others, or record and upload your own using your mobile device, keeping the story alive and relevant for generations to come. Visit www.rafstories.org for more details.

The RAF Stories project is proudly supported by National Lottery Players through the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Sky’s the limit as ‘Star Wars’ takes on ‘Top Gun’ at outdoor cinema

Friday, August 16th, 2019

Cosford Outdoor Cinema

Date: 20-21 September 2019
Time: Gates open 6.00pm / film starts 8.00pm
Cost: £13 per person in advance / £15 on the gate (subject to availability)
Film: Rated 12A (children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult)

The Royal Air Force Museum Cosford is providing the ultimate outdoor cinema screening experience this September, with two nights of iconic flicks projected onto a massive screen, movie fans can expect plenty of snacks, flowing drinks and a truly unique night out.

The highest grossing Star Wars movie ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ and one of the most iconic aviation movies ever ‘Top Gun’ will be shown on a giant inflatable screen, set against a backdrop of aircraft on 20 and 21 September respectively. Film buffs can enjoy watching light sabre battles and Maverick under the moonlight in what is the perfect setting for films about flight.

Digital projectors and surround sound equipment will create a true cinematic experience, but no movie would be complete without popcorn, which is why the Museum will be transforming the Hercules aircraft into a popcorn bar where visitors can step on-board to purchase their essential movie snacks.

The big movie event will kick start with the epic space opera ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ on Friday 20 September. Set 30 years after the defeat of the Galactic Empire, the film follows defector Finn (John Boyega) and tough scavenger Rey (Daisy Ridley), whose droid contains a top-secret map concerning the whereabouts of Luke Skywalker, the last of the Jedi Knights. The young duo join forces with Han Solo (Harrison Ford) to ensure the Resistance, led by General Leia Organa receives the intelligence and unite in the fight against the new threat to the Galaxy from the evil Kylo Ren and the First Order, a successor to the Galactic Empire.

It’s been over 30 years since the 80’s cult classic military movie ‘Top Gun’ first graced the big screen but the magic of characters Maverick and Goose will be flying high during this special evening event on Saturday 22 September. 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.

In the build up to the movie, why not take advantage of some of the tasty hot food and beverages on offer, including a delicious selection of American inspired street food. Then sit back, relax and enjoy some cocktails, beer or a glass of fizz served from a converted VW Campervan, or keep a look out for the vintage caravan where you can purchase a range of hot beverage, including freshly ground coffee and delicious hot chocolate.

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.

Both films are certified 12A and may contain material that is not generally suitable for children aged under 12. Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

Ticket holders will also have exclusive after-hours access to the Museum’s Hangar 1 when gates open at 6pm. 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 8.00pm (film start time may alter slightly, depending on light conditions). The running time is approximately 2hrs 15mins for ‘Star Wars’ and 1hr 50mins for ‘Top Gun’.

RAF Museum Cosford Public Events Manager, Abi Betteridge said:
“Both movies are fitting for us as a venue, where else can you watch movies about flight surrounded by real military aircraft and get the chance to climb inside an aircraft to buy your popcorn? We hope that two iconic films, combined with the unique setting and all the added extra’s, plus the chance to dress up as your favourite character from the film, will create an enjoyable and memorable cinema experience for our visitors.”

If you feel the need for speed, grab your wingman and head to the Museum’s website where tickets are now available to purchase in advance http://www.rafmuseum.org/cosfordpriced at £13 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.

Students take-off on RAF Stories mission!

Wednesday, July 24th, 2019

RAF Stories

Calling all North Wales residents…the Royal Air Force Museum needs you!

The RAF Museum has teamed up with students at Bangor University in North Wales, on an exciting community project to capture the memories of residents who share connections to the RAF.

RAF history is imbedded in North Wales which is home to RAF Valley and the Museum wants to tap into this wealth of knowledge, experiences and personal recollections.

Over the last two years, the Museum has captured stories up and down the country with hundreds now available online for the public to view. By working together with the University, the Museum has expanded its reach, with a team of student’s ready to work throughout the summer capturing stories, whether that be about courage, love, tragedy, friendship, bravery, triumph, humour, happiness, sadness and everything in between. Together this catalogue of stories will expand and enrich our understanding of the RAF today.

Students have undergone interview and recording training with the Museum’s Community Engagement Officer and Digital Content Producer and will now spend the summer months interviewing and recording residents. All stories captured will then be uploaded to the RAF Stories website for audiences around the world to hear first-hand some of the inspirational and ground-breaking recollections from former RAF personnel and their families about their RAF journey.

Dr Teresa Crew, Employability Lead for the School of History, Philosophy and Social Sciences at Bangor University said:
“It’s an honour to be involved with the RAF Museum on this interesting and worthwhile project. Our students are excited to be involved as the project will help them gain extra knowledge that they can apply to their course. It will help them develop transferable skills for employment and further education, but importantly they can be part of the RAF Museums drive to tell the stories of the men and women who served in the Royal Air Force.”

In 2018 the Museum worked with fifteen students from the University of Leicester and De Montfort University, who contributed over 200 hours of volunteer time, collecting memories from fifteen residents in the Leicestershire area. The Museum is hoping to have similar success in North Wales during its second project working with students.

RAF Stories is a global oral history project which digitalizes and makes accessible engaging, historical and contemporary stories of people’s personal connections to the RAF and the service’s influences on their lives.

RAF Museum Community Engagement Officer – RAF Stories, Jess Boydon said:
“We are looking for stories from anyone with a connection to the Royal Air Force. You could be a current serviceman or servicewoman, a veteran, an air cadet, have family links to the RAF or any other connection. You could share an hour with us, or a quick five-minute anecdote. All stories help to widen our understanding of what’s it like to be a part of or influenced by the RAF. We believe everyone has or knows someone with an RAF story and by working with students at the University we’re making it easier for more people to get involved with the project and we hope people will take up the opportunity.”

If you live in North Wales or beyond and would be happy to visit Bangor University to have your stories recorded please get in touch by email rafstories@rafmuseum.org or telephone 01902 376237.

Visitors to the RAF Museum Cosford can hear first-hand some of the remarkable stories collected to date. A new series of free talks sharing some of the widely diverse RAF Stories, will take place at the Museum, commencing on Saturday 3 August with guest speaker Candida Adkins, daughter of famous female Spitfire Pilot, Jackie Moggridge. Candida will be sharing stories about her mother who, after becoming the first woman to do a parachute jump in South Africa, travelled to England when the war broke out. She joined the Air Transport Auxiliary where she flew 72 different types of aircraft and was given the Kings Commendation for valuable services in the Air. She later joined the Women’s Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, got her Wings and went on to fly commercially, as an airline captain.

 The talk will commence at 2.00pm and is free to attend, lasting approximately one hour, including time for questions. As spaces are limited, visitors are advised to book their tickets in advance via the Museum’s website www.rafmuseumorg/cosford to avoid disappointment.

For anyone who would like to contribute to the RAF Stories project, the new RAF Stories App is available to download for free, where you can discover and share the stories of others, or record and upload your own using your mobile device, keeping the story alive and relevant for generations to come. Visit www.rafstories.org for more details.

The RAF Stories project is proudly supported by National Lottery Players through the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Spitfire, Hurricane and Lancaster fly in for Large Model Air Show

Thursday, June 27th, 2019

BBMF at Large Model Aircraft Rally

Date: 6-7 July 2019

Time: Gates open 8.30am

Cost: £8.00 in advance (until 3 July) / £10.00 on the gate

A flypast from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Spitfire, Hurricane and Lancaster is set to wow crowds at the forthcoming Large Model Air Show taking place at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford on Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 July. The flypast is in addition to the hundreds of model aircraft taking to the skies during the two-day family event.

The Large Model Air Show is part of the Museum’s ‘Summer of Spitfire’ programme of events and activities where visitors can expect to see a spectacular mass formation Spitfire flypast, followed by the chance to get a closer look at the models in the static display line-up later in the show. Listen out for the unmistakable sound of a real Spitfire as the BBMF treat visitors to a Spitfire and Hurricane flypast on Saturday and Lancaster flypast on Sunday, an exciting highlight both days not to be missed! (weather permitting)

The popular event takes place on the airfield at RAF Cosford and even offers visitors the unique opportunity to camp on the airfield, so why not turn the weekend into a mini break and enjoy the exclusive overnight airfield access and weekend entertainment.

On offer both days will be the chance for flying novices to get behind the controls and have a go at flying a scale model aircraft in the ‘Future Pilots Zone’. Families will be kept fully entertained with children’s fun rides, trade stalls and a craft tent to peruse around, alongside an assortment of military vehicles and a Rolls Royce car display (Saturday).

Ticket holders will also have access to the RAF Museum where they can view over 75 historic aircraft including the world’s oldest Spitfire Mk1 and a rare reconnaissance Spitfire PR. XIX. Displayed side by side until 1 September, these aircraft illustrate the diverse roles in which the Spitfire served, ranging from a fighter interceptor to high altitude photographic reconnaissance.

The Spitfire theme will continue throughout July and August as the Museum pays homage to one of the most iconic aircraft in history with a packed programme of events and activities.

On selected dates throughout August interactive family friendly Spitfire Storytelling will take place in the War in the Air hangar located next to the Spitfire and delivered by costumed re-enactors. Enjoy Behind the Barriers access for a closer look inside the world’s oldest Spitfire, accompanied by a Second World War handling collection. Capture the fun in the Spitfire Selfie Station packed with giant Spitfire props and uniforms to try, a perfect memento of your visit.

There will be more Spitfire fun throughout two of the Museum’s big summers events, the Cosford Food Festival and Vintage and Handmade Festival taking place on the 20—21 July and 17-18 August respectively. Soak up the festival atmosphere whist sipping on a glass of Spitfire Heritage Gin, keep a look out for the stand at both events selling the prestige gin by the glass and the bottle. There will be plenty of Spitfire themed fun for youngsters to enjoy at the Cosford Food Festival including Spitfire cupcake and biscuit decorating. At the Vintage and Handmade Festival children can get crafty in the mini makers tent making peg Spitfires before heading to Spitfire School in the Second World War hut!

The Museum will host two exclusive RAF Stories Spitfire talks with Candida Adkins, daughter of female Spitfire Pilot, Jackie Moggridge who will be sharing her personal stories about her mother on 3 August. On 31 August, listen to the first-hand experiences from Air Cdre Paul Godfrey who enjoyed a distinguished RAF career, including three seasons with the BBMF flying the Spitfire, Hurricane and Chipmunk.

Step inside the new Virtual Reality Zone and experience the thrill of flying in a Spitfire. Located in the Test Flight hangar, this brand-new experience places you in the cockpit and 10,000 feet in the air for a panoramic view of a real Spitfire flight. With the use of VR goggles, fun focussed visitors can enjoy a 6-minute flight and see first-hand what it’s like to taxi and take-off in a Spitfire, and of course….no flight would be complete without a circuit of the airfield, including low passes and a loop de loop, before landing and taxiing into the hangar. The footage developed exclusively for the RAF Museum is the first of several new VR experiences on board real aircraft to become available, with more flights arriving soon. The experience costs just £5 per person and is suitable for visitors ages 13+.

The Summer of Spitfire will conclude on the 1 September at the annual Spitfire 10K and Spitfire Family Run. The 10K will see 1,500 runners take to the airfield and sprinting down the runway, each wearing their roll of honour card, paying tribute to Pilots who lost their lives during the Battle of Britain. Upon completion, runners will be rewarded with a bespoke 2019 Spitfire 10K medal. The 10K is already sold out but there are a limited number of places still available for the Family Run that will see hundreds of families with younger children run a shorter 1km race route around the Museum grounds, past iconic aircraft.

For more details on the packed Summer of Spitfire programme of events and activities and to view a wide range of Spitfire Merchandise including many exclusive items visit www.rafmuseum.org/cosford.

The Museum is open daily from 10.00am. Admission is free.

Museum launches Summer of Spitfire at Armed Forces Weekend

Thursday, June 20th, 2019

RAF Museum Armed Forces Weekend

Date: 29-30 June 2019 / Time: 10.00am-5.00pm / Cost: FREE

The Royal Air Force Museum Cosford will launch its ‘Summer of Spitfire’ season of family activities centred around the most iconic aircraft ever built, at the Armed Forces Weekend celebrations taking place on 29 and 30 June.

This family weekend packed full of nostalgic activities will offer visitors the first opportunity to step inside the NEW Virtual Reality Zone and experience the thrill of flying in a Spitfire. This brand-new experience places you in the cockpit and 10,000 feet in the air for a panoramic view of a real Spitfire flight. With the use of VR goggles, fun focussed visitors can enjoy a 6-minute flight and see first-hand what it’s like to taxi and take-off in a Spitfire, and of course….no flight would be complete without a circuit of the airfield, including low passes and a loop de loop, before landing and taxiing into the hangar.

The footage developed exclusively for the RAF Museum is the first of several new VR experiences on board real aircraft to become available, with more flights arriving soon. The experience costs just £5 per person and is suitable for visitors ages 13+. Doors to the six new VR stations will open on 29 June and is just one of the many exciting activities taking place across the site over Armed Forces Weekend.

Re-enactors, period settings, engine demonstrations and military and civilian vintage vehicle displays will bring the Museum to life with authentic experiences nestled amongst the historical aircraft on display. Exclusively for the Summer months, the Museum will display its rare photo reconnaissance Spitfire PR. XIX alongside the World’s oldest Spitfire Mk 1.

WHAT’S ON over the Armed Forces Weekend:

• Learn how the plotting table played a vital role in the pilot’s flying missions
• Join a Vulcan pilot and his team preparing to scramble under the wings of the real aircraft
• View the airships display and find out more about their use during the First World War
• ‘Greyhounds’ play, a second World War Theatre performance by Time & Again Theatre Company on Saturday 29 June (£5 per person).
• Find out how sea mines were recovered and detonated, or in some cases not, during special talks
• Take a closer look inside the cockpit of the world’s oldest Spitfire and enjoy a rare view of the photo reconnaissance Spitfire PR. XIX
• Walk amongst the Second World War tents, meet members from Women’s Voluntary Service and take part in rifle and bayonet drills
• See a range of military and civilian vehicles on display
• Climb inside the Hunter and Phantom cockpit and experience what it was like to fly these aircraft
• Meet the pilot and find out more about the Japanese Kawasaki Ki-1001b
• Watch as RAF Bomber Command ground crew prepare themselves for a mission, including the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force
• Watch Rolls-Royce Merlin Mk500 and Bristol Hercules Mk216 demonstrations
• Dress up in RAF attire and grab some props from the Museum’s handling collection and take photos as a memento of your day
• Families can enjoy decorating their own Armed Forces flag to take home
• Share your stories and personal connections to the RAF with the Museum’s RAF Stories team who will be on site capturing contemporary stories relating to the RAF for the digital online collection
• The Museum’s restaurant will be serving a selection of Armed Forces treats all weekend

(Vehicles and re-enactment groups subject to change.)

The ‘Armed Forces Weekend’ will run from 10.00am to 5.00pm on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 June 2019. The Museum’s Summer of spitfire programme will conclude on 1 September at the sell-out Spitfire 10K. For more information visit www.rafmuseum.org/cosford.

Skies the limit for Large Model Air Show

Saturday, June 1st, 2019

Model Aircraft Rally at Cosford

Date: 6-7 July 2019
Time: Gates open 8.30am
Cost: £8.00 in advance (until 3 July) / £10.00 on the gate

Take-off to the Large Model Air Show at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford on the 6-7 July for a weekend packed with spectacular flying displays. Not only will the skies be filled with miniature models of iconic aircraft, there with be plenty of action on the ground to keep families, aviation and modelling enthusiasts alike entertained.

The popular event takes place on the airfield at RAF Cosford and even offers visitors the unique opportunity to camp on the airfield, exclusively for the weekend of the show.

Model aircraft heading to the show have been designed and built by members of the Large Model Association, after years of dedication creating perfect replicas of the real thing. With everything from biplanes to modern jets, these not so mini replicas can take anything from two weeks up to seven years to assemble, reaching speeds of up to 200mph, powered by engines similar to petrol lawn mowers or even miniature jet engines.

This year’s event will kick start the Museum’s ‘Summer of Spitfire’ programme of events and activities and visitors can expect to see a spectacular mass formation Spitfire flypast, followed by the chance to get a closer look at the models in the static display line-up later in the show. Listen out for the unmistakable sound of a real Spitfire as the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight treat visitors to a Spitfire and Hurricane flypast on Saturday 6 July. There will be more flying action on the Sunday and those attending the show can look forward to a flypast from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Lancaster, an exciting highlight not to be missed! (Flypasts are weather permitting)

Exclusively for the Cosford show will be a flying display from all three V Bombers, the Vulcan, Victor and Valiant flown together by the show organiser and three generations of the same family. The real V Bombers can of course be seen on display in the Museum’s National Cold War Exhibition. (All model aircraft displays are serviceability permitting)

NEW to the show this year will be a ‘Future Pilots Zone’ where youngsters and flying novices can get behind the controls and have a go at flying a scale model aircraft. Children’s fun rides will be on offer all weekend, alongside an assortment of military vehicles and a Rolls Royce car display (Saturday) for visitors to peruse.

The Large Model Air Show promises to be a great day out for modellers and families alike with plenty of exhibitors signed up to showcase some of the latest model kits and aviation accessories. Also NEW to the shows line-up this year will be a large craft tent offering a variety of unique and hand-crafted products.
Keeping visitors fuelled for the day will be a fantastic range of food, a beer tent and plenty of ice cream.

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 shuttle bus service will run continuously throughout the day between the airfield and Museum grounds, making getting around the site even easier.

Advanced tickets to the Large Model Air Show cost £8.00 per adult and are now on sale at the Museum or online at www.largemodelassociation.com. Tickets purchased on the gate cost £10 per adult, children under the age of 16 are FREE.

Make the most of the weekend’s flying activities by camping on site, the only opportunity throughout the year where members of the public can enjoy a night under the stars on an active RAF airfield. Camper tickets include entrance to the show both days and your weekend pitch for either a tent or caravan. Prices start from only £40.00 in advance (until 3 July) and any visitors interested in camping should email public-camping@largemodelassociation.com or call 07827 675665 to reserve their pitch.

For further information about the event visit www.rafmuseum.org/cosford.