Posts Tagged ‘RAF Museum 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.

Trustees kick start playground fundraiser

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019

RAF Museum Trustee Nick Sanders

Date: 5 – 9 June 2019

A Trustee from the Royal Air Force Museum is set to lead a march of over 100 miles to raise money for a bespoke outdoor children’s playground at the Museum site in Cosford. The aviation themed playground will include miniature versions of iconic aircraft and is set to enhance the visitor experience for local families and school groups visiting the Museum.

Cosford has seen a 20% increase in visitor numbers on the back of the RAF Centenary year. Now in the 101st year, Museum Trustees are taking the first steps to build on that success with their sights firmly set on raising funds for a playground that will engage the Museum’s youngest visitors with the RAF story.

Nick Sanders of Sutton Coldfield will be leading other Trustees and VIPs associated with the RAF Museum on the walk between RAF Cranwell near Lincolnshire and the RAF Museum at Cosford in the West Midlands. The 101 mile route is steeped with RAF history and will pass former RAF stations and memorial sites as the Trustees head towards Cosford.

Nick will be joined by his RAF Museum colleagues Alan Coppin of Bourne End and Robin Southwell of Cobham.

The walk of just over 100 miles will take-off from RAF Cranwell at 9am on Wednesday 5 June and will follow a route passing through the east of Nottingham, crossing over the River Soar at Kegworth, through Lockington, Walton on Trent and Coven before a safe landing at the Cosford Air Show at 11am on Sunday 9 June.

Nick Sanders, is an aerospace engineer by training and has spent many years turning around struggling industrial businesses.

Nick Sanders, Trustee of the Royal Air Force Museum said:
“Alan, Robin and I are looking forward to the RAF Museum 101 Walk. It is fair to say that none of us are in the first flush of youth but we have been training hard to make sure we are good shape for the hard miles ahead. We are raising money to build a children’s play area at the RAF Museum in Cosford so that there is something for all ages and interests to get involved with when they visit. The new playground at Cosford will provide a fantastic space for families to spend time with their children.”

To sponsor visit the donate page: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/RAFMuseum101Walk or for more information about the fundraising walk and the RAF Museum, visit www.rafmuseum.org. The RAF Museum is a registered charity, number 244708.

Nostalgic family fun planned for Armed Forces Weekend

Sunday, May 19th, 2019

Armed Forces Weekend at Cosford

Date: 29-30 June 2019 / Time: 10am-5pm / Cost: FREE

Join in the Armed Forces Day celebrations at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford on 29 and 30 June, with a weekend packed full of nostalgic activities for the whole family to enjoy!

The ‘Armed Forces Weekend’ will see re-enactors, living historians and a variety of activities bring the Museum to life with authentic experiences nestled amongst the historical aircraft on display. Period settings and performances throughout the hangars will showcase decades of military history in a fun engaging way! Families can look forward to engine demonstrations, military and civilian vintage vehicles, a close look inside several cockpits, plus plenty of activities for children to participate in as they work their way around the Museum.

WHAT’S ON over the Armed Forces Weekend:
• Learn how the plotting table played a vital role in the pilots 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
• 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
• The Museum’s restaurant will be serving a selection of Armed Forces treats all weekend

An exciting highlight over the weekend will be the ‘Greyhounds’ play performed by Time & Again Theatre Company on Saturday 29 June. Set in 1941 in the fictional village of Shuttlefield; whilst the country is in the grips of the Second World War, the hapless residents are preparing to perform Shakespeare’s Henry V to raise money for their local Spitfire fund. Performances will run at 11.00am and 3.00pm and tickets are available at rafmuseum.org/cosford for just £5 per person. Following their performance, the cast will be available to answer questions and pose for photos next to the world’s oldest Spitfire.

RAF Museum Public Events Executive, Nathan Davis said:
“Armed Forces Weekend is an opportunity to reflect and pay tribute to our heroes past and present, including current serving personnel, service families, veterans and cadets. On the 29 and 30 June, we will be celebrating the contributions made by our Armed Forces, spanning over 100 years of history with everything from re-enactments and a play to vehicle displays and engine demonstrations. The event is very much family focussed and there will be plenty to do for all ages.”

Following its preview at the Cosford Air Show, Armed Forces Weekend will be the first opportunity for visitors to try out the new Virtual Reality Lounge and experience the thrill of flying a Spitfire! The Spitfire 360° is a brand-new experience developed by the RAF Museum which puts the visitor in the cockpit and 10,000 feet in the air to enjoy a fully interactive panoramic view around them. The 6-minute flight includes an insight in how the pilot handles the controls during engine start, taxi, take off and a circuit of the airfield with low passes, swoops, banks and a loop-de-loop, before landing and taxiing into the hangar. This experience costs £5 per person and is suitable for visitors aged 13+.

The Museum’s RAF Stories team will also be available over Armed Forces Weekend to speak with anyone wishing to share stories of their personal connections to the RAF and the service’s influences on their lives. RAF Stories is a digital online collection, accessible globally by anyone wishing to share and explore engaging, historical and contemporary stories relating to the RAF. Look out for the team in the National Cold War Exhibition if you have a story to share!

The ‘Armed Forces Weekend’ will run from 10am to 5pm on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 June 2019. On arrival, make sure to pick up your free handy site map to help guide you round the Museum 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. Vehicles and re-enactment groups subject to change.

Rare Reconnaissance Spitfire joins Air Show line-up!

Friday, May 10th, 2019

Spitfire PR-XIX at RAF Cosford Air Show

A collection of aircraft from the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford, including a rare reconnaissance Spitfire, will be joining the line-up in a static display at the RAF Cosford Air Show on Sunday 9 June 2019.

The Supermarine Spitfire Photo Reconnaissance PR. XIX PM651 will be the centre of a Museum display in the Air Show’s popular Vintage Village which transports visitors back to the 1940s. Visitors to the Museum’s stand, themed ‘Summer of Spitfire’, will be amongst the first to get up close to the last of the specialised photo reconnaissance Spitfires, for a view inside the cockpit. This exclusive access to Britain’s most iconic aircraft is guaranteed to prove popular with families attending the one day show which attracts in excess of 50,000 visitors each year.

The much more modern PR. XIX has a number of stark differences to the Mk1 on display at the Museum, fitted with the Griffon engine as opposed to the Merlin engine used in earlier models and was notably faster than its predecessor. The PR. XIX had extra fuel tanks in place of the machine guns, a retractable tail wheel making its profile more streamlined, and a pressurised cabin critical for the high-altitude reconnaissance flights.

RAF Museum Curator, Tom Hopkins, said:
“The Spitfire has only once made a brief appearance at Cosford, back in 2011, but regularly travels overseas to Kuwait, UAE and Bahrain for display at the British Embassy amongst other prestigious locations. Following its appearance at the Air Show the PR. XIX Spitfire will be displayed alongside the world’s oldest Spitfire, a Mk1 in the Museum’s War in the Air hangar as part of the Summer of Spitfire programme of events and activities. The two aircraft side by side will illustrate the diverse roles in which the Spitfire served, ranging from a fighter interceptor to high altitude photographic reconnaissance.”

Other Museum aircraft confirmed for the shows ground displays include the Gloster Gladiator 1, Harrier GR3, de Havilland Devon, Percival Provost T1 and the Hunting Percival Pembroke C1. The aircraft will be rolled out of the Museum’s Hangar’s especially for the weekend, providing aviation fans and photographers the perfect opportunity to capture stand-alone photos.

RAF Museum Public Relations Executive, Michelle Worthington said:
“An exciting new addition being previewed on the 9 June is a Spitfire Virtual Reality Experience which gives visitors the thrill of flying in a Spitfire! Those attending the Air Show will have an exclusive first look at this brand-new experience which puts the visitor in the cockpit and 10,000 feet in the air. Once you’re wearing the VR goggles you can enjoy a fully interactive panoramic view of a real Spitfire flight. We will also be offering families visiting our stand free Spitfire themed face painting throughout the day, as well as the opportunity to try on uniforms and hats from the Second World War handling collection.”

A fantastic Spitfire merchandise range including many exclusive items will be available to purchase from the Museum’s Spitfire Shop on the airfield. The Spitfire range includes clothing, jewellery, models, prints, toys, books and homeware to name but a few, plus a NEW Swift collection, an exclusive range designed for the RAF Museum inspired by the Swift featured on the tail fin of the World’s oldest Spitfire.

In addition to the Summer of Spitfire stand and aircraft displays, the Museum’s Access and Learning team will be running workshops in the Whittle Innovation Hub, situated on the airfield. Families can enjoy some hands-on fun and take part in rocket car activities during free drop-in sessions, just one of the many STEM themed activities running throughout the day within the hub.

Tickets for the RAF Cosford Air Show are advanced sale only and cost £29 per person with free entry for accompanied under 16s. Tickets will not be available to purchase on the gate so to avoid disappointment, visit the show’s website cosfordairshow.co.uk and book online. Tickets are also available to purchase in advance from the Museum.

To view the Spitfire PR. XIX and to experience the Spitfire 360° virtual reality, head to the Museum’s Summer of Spitfire stand at the Air Show on the 9 June. For more details on the packed Summer of Spitfire programme of events and activities and to book tickets visit: www.rafmuseum.org/cosford.

The Museum is open daily from 10.00am until 5.00pm, entry is free.

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.