Posts Tagged ‘RAF Museum 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.

Half Term Flying Fun for Families

Monday, October 22nd, 2018

Nimrod Tours at RAF Museum Cosford

Date: 27 October to 4 November 2018
Time: 11am-1pm and 2pm-4pm
Cost: Suggested donation of £3 / Entry to Museum is FREE

Explore a selection of Cold War aircraft throughout half term week at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford, when families will be given rare access to fighter jets and a reconnaissance plane.

The Museum will be opening the Hawker Hunter F Mk.4 cockpit for close viewing, allowing visitors to take a seat inside the McDonnell Douglas Phantom FG1 and running tours on board the Hawker Siddeley Nimrod R.1 XV249.

The Hunter was a transonic British jet powered fighter aircraft developed for the RAF in the late 1940s/early 50s. The Mk.4 as seen at Cosford was the first version that could carry drop tanks or bombs on under-wing pylons. The variant equipped 13 German based RAF day fighter/ground attack squadrons plus 9 others in Fighter Command, including the Museum’s example (Hawker Hunter F Mk. 4 XE670).

The Phantom is one of the most successful and widely-used warplanes of all time, originally designed to meet a US Navy requirement for a supersonic two-seat carrier-borne air defence fighter, entering US Navy service in July 1961. The example on display at Cosford (Phantom FG.1 XV591) is one of 48 production Phantom FG.1 aircraft purchased for British service, 20 for the RAF initially and 24 of the remainder, including XV591, for the Royal Navy.

The Hunter (close view only) and Phantom cockpits are both located inside the National Cold War Exhibition and will be opened daily from 11am-1pm and 2pm-4pm. Both cockpits will be manned by a Visitor Experience Assistant and Volunteer who will be on hand to answer any questions.

Visitor Experience Supervisor, Sam Barrett said:
“It’s important visitors not only get to see the aircraft and exhibits we have on display, but they get to experience them too. By allowing families to step onboard the specially prepared Hunter, Phantom and Nimrod its gives an extra level of understanding and undoubtedly inspires the next generation. Tactile access sparks curiosity and encourages more questions and in turn allows visitors to learn more about the history and the role of the RAF, as well as it being a fun experience!”

Alongside the Hunter and Phantom cockpits will be a Cold War handling collection consisting of helmets, life jackets and a collection of photos, for visitors to try on, and take photos. There is no need to pre-book, just turn up on the day and head into the National Cold War Exhibition. Children must be a minimum of one metre tall in order to sit inside the cockpit and must be accompanied by an adult. Suggested donation of £3 per person.

Daily tours on board the Hawker Siddeley Nimrod R.1 XV249, will run throughout half term week and families will have the exciting opportunity to learn about its intelligence gathering role in the Royal Air Force. During the tours lasting around 15 minutes, aviation fans will learn about the history of the aircraft, hear about the crews on board and view some of its sophisticated surveillance equipment. The Nimrod flew in both the Maritime patrol and electronic intelligence gathering role. Maritime surveillance, anti-submarine operations and intelligence gathering have been key tasks for the Royal Air Force for much of its long history. When the Nimrod was finally retired from service in 2011, the type had operated with distinction for over 40 years in all these roles, and more. Tickets cost £5 per person and are available to purchase online at www.rafmuseum.org/cosford or on the day, subject to availability and weather permitting.

After accessing the historic aircraft, youngsters can also have go at building and painting an Airfix model in a make and take activity. Suitable for children aged 8+ (younger children will require assistance), choose from a number of kits and build your models nestled amongst the Museum’s collection of aircraft on display in Hangar 1. Families with younger children can opt to assemble and decorate a wooden biplane, each kit contains pre-cut wooden pieces, plastic screw and easy to follow instructions. Participation costs £3 per person.

The Museum is open daily throughout half term week from 10am until 5pm and entry is FREE of charge.

RAF Museum’s oldest Volunteer celebrates milestone birthday!

Wednesday, October 17th, 2018

Les Cherrington

Second World War Veteran Les Cherrington, a Volunteer at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford will be celebrating a milestone birthday this week when he turns 100 years old!

To celebrate his big birthday, the Museum will host a special Birthday gathering for its team of staff and volunteers in early November, where Les will be the star of the show, cake included of course! As the Museum’s oldest volunteer, Les enjoys engaging with visitors and school groups, sharing his experiences of his time serving in the Army with the Staffordshire Yeomanry Queens Own Royal Regiment.

RAF Museum Cosford Volunteering Manager, Judith Karena said:
“On behalf of the Museum, we wish Les a very happy 100th Birthday! He’s an absolute delight and we are privileged he continues to visit us each week and share his truly remarkable experiences with our visitors of his time serving with the Army during the war. Working with Volunteer veterans like Les who tell their story is one of our most valuable assets and we would like to thank him for all that he does for us. We have a team of over 400 volunteers across our two sites who regularly give up their time to assist the Museum in a wide variety of roles, but Les is the first to reach 100!”

Local lad Les, from Shifnal, began his military career in June 1938 at a Yeomanry camp at Patshull Park, Wolverhampton, where he practiced using both sword and rifle while mounted. By September the following year, he was called for War Service, reporting to Drill Hall, Wolverhampton and then spent the first six months at Welbeck Abbey, Nottinghamshire.

He travelled to France and later sailed to Palestine, arriving in January 1940. Making their way through the regions along the Jordan valley and into Syria, his regiment became engaged in combat with the Vinchy French Forces. By 1942 horses had been replaced by tanks and Les was sent to the western desert to fight Italian forces who were later joined by the German Afrika Korps. As the war in the desert began to build, the Staffs Yeomanry were transferred into the 7th Armoured Division where it’s exploits in the Western Desert Campaign gained it the ‘Desert Rats’ nickname.

Les took part in the infamous outflanking manoeuvre through Tabega Gap, Tunisia in the Battle of the Mareth Line, where over 100 tanks from three regiments lined up to face the Afrika Korps who were armed with far superior weaponry. In one battle eight British tanks were knocked out by one enemy shell causing a fire to rage through the line of tanks. Les’s tank suffered a direct hit by an 88mm enemy gun capable of more rapid fire, the shell pierced the tank and exploded. Les was the only survivor.

After regaining consciousness to find the tank engulfed in flames and his left arm almost completely severed by shrapnel, Les was almost completely blinded from the effect of Cordite. With one arm, Les dragged himself up and through the open turret, slid down the front of the tank on his belly and was hit in the back by machine gunfire before landing on the ground. He crawled into a slit trench where he lay until the next morning when he was found by an Australian soldier.

After spending weeks in hospital abroad, Les returned to the UK in August 1943 and underwent a number of skin graft operations to his face and hand at the Barnsley Royal Military Hospital in Bromsgrove. These proved so painful that he refused to undergo any more operations to repair the burns on his ear and nose. Unable to continue in service, Les later went on to become a security policeman at RAF Cosford and later transferred to the M.O.D. Police Force and served for 40 years at various stations.

RAF Museum Volunteer and Veteran, Les Cherrington said:
“I’ve got many career highlights, my time in Palestine is one of them. I used to enjoy going out on patrol with the horses around the Arab villages searching for arms and ammunition. I was also a member of the Army Regimental boxing team during this period and I competed in 8 contests against other regiments before we were sent to the desert – we only won one though!

After my accident, I took some time to recover. Once I was back on my feet and feeling better I went back to the Regiment and I was looking forward to going to Normandy the following week, but when they did the medical assessment of my injuries they said my time was over. I was sad I couldn’t go and now I’m the only one from my Troop who is still alive.

I’ve been volunteering at the RAF Museum for three years. I met fellow Volunteer Arthur at a 1940’s do in Ironbridge. I saw the Desert Rat badge on his sleeve so I went over to him and said, ‘hello fellow Desert Rat’ and that’s how we got talking. He volunteered already and suggested that I joined him, so I did and now I come every week. I love talking to the school children and being in the company of Arthur and Denis.

Everyone asks me what’s the secret to enjoying life at 100 and I always say that I live an ordinary life. I do my crosswords every day and I’m a member of the Shifnal Male Voice Choir which I love. I’ve been involved with the Shifnal Carnival since 1950 and get to go on the float and dress up as King of the carnival every year! I take life as it comes, I’m not one for anything fancy, but I do enjoy a drop of whisky in my tea in a morning!”

Any members of the public who are interested in finding out more about Les’s story can do so each Tuesday in the Museum’s Visitor Centre when he’s joined by Volunteers Arthur Jones 92, ex-Army and Denis Thompson 93, ex-Royal Air Force.

More information about volunteering at the RAF Museum can be found online: https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/support-us/volunteering.aspx. Or anyone wanting to share their RAF story can now do so via the Museum’s RAF Stories project, a digital online collection of engaging, historical and contemporary stories of people’s personal connections to the RAF and the service’s influences on their lives. For more information visit www.rafstories.org.

Cosford commemorates Armistice Day with Service of Remembrance

Monday, October 15th, 2018

NCWE Poppies

Date: Sunday 11 November 2018
Time: 10.30am arrival / 10.45am service commences
Cost: FREE

The Royal Air Force Museum Cosford will hold a Service of Remembrance on Sunday 11 November, paying respect to those service men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice during their tours of duty.

Visitors who wish to pay their respects and reflect on the sacrifices made by our brave service men and women are invited to join the service, led by the Station Chaplain at RAF Cosford. Those attending will also be treated to renditions from the Cosford Military Wives Choir, who will perform for visitors on arrival and during the service.

The service will take place in the Museum’s Hangar 1 and visitors are politely requested to assemble no later than 10:30am ready for the Service to commence at 10.45am. As well as readings, there will be hymns and the sounding of ‘The Last Post’, followed by a two minute silence.

Students from Castle Bromwich Junior School in Birmingham will also be in attendance, reading poems they have written especially for the service. Year six students recently took part in a workshop delivered by the Museum’s Access and Learning team, exploring the history behind Remembrance Sunday and the significance of the poppy, using a handling collection to spark discussion. A wall of poems written by the students will go on display in the Museum’s ‘War in the Air’ Hangar over the remembrance period for visitors to view.

RAF Museum Cosford Events Executive, Nathan Davis said:
“The Royal Air Force’s centenary year has been a reminder of the vital role our armed forces personnel have played and still continue to play in all our lives. As the celebrations draw to an end, we invite visitors to join us on Remembrance Sunday for a poignant service so we can remember together. We are delighted to be working in partnership with the RAF, the Station Chaplain and the Cosford Military Wives Choir again this year and I’m confident visitors will enjoy the special service we have planned.”

During the service, wreaths will be laid by representatives from RAF Cosford, RAF Museum staff and volunteers, Cosford Military Wives Choir and Castle Bromwich Junior School in honour of those who have fallen in the line of duty. Following the service visitors are free to explore the Museum at their own leisure.

If you would like to find out about Service Personnel who fell serving in the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Air Force during the Great War of 1914 to 1918, or to dedicate a digital poppy, please visit the RAF Museum’s online story vault: www.rafmuseumstoryvault.org.uk

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

Lysander restoration work will soon be on show

Friday, October 5th, 2018

Lysander at Cosford

Date: 12-18 November 2018
Time: 10:15am-1:00pm
Cost: £5.00 per person

A Second World War Westland Lysander III (S.D.), the only surviving Special Duties variant of its type will soon be on show to the public. The aircraft is currently undergoing conservation work in the Michael Beetham Conservation Centre at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford and this November the centre will be opening its doors, allowing visitors behind the scenes access to aircraft conservation projects and the chance to speak with the team who make them happen.

From 12-18 November visitors can get up close to the current projects undertaken by the team at Cosford and a highlight during this special event will be the remarkable progress on the Westland Lysander III (S.D.) last seen by the public in the static display line-up at the RAF Cosford Air Show in June.

Upon arrival at the Museum some 22 months ago, the Lysander underwent an in-depth inspection and condition assessment and work was carried out on a few minor repairs. The damaged fabric outer skin was removed and focus was put into the aircraft’s engine, preservative treatments were removed and mechanical systems were cleaned and lubricated and are now functional again.

Since it was last viewed in June the aircraft has undergone a major transformation, mainly the recovering of the fuselage in a traditional Irish linen using original doping techniques. The new outer skin has already received its UV microwave protection layer and is currently being primed ready for its 161 Squadron Special Ops colour scheme to be applied within the next few weeks. Aviation fans will be able to view the newly painted fuselage section during the November Open Week and speak with members of the team who have carried out the work.

The Lysander has been a largely Volunteer led project with a team of 4-6 volunteers working two days a week on the cleaning and mechanical elements, whist the new outer skin and paintwork has been applied by the Museum’s skilled Surface Finish Technician.

RAF Museum Conservation Centre Manager, Darren Priday said;
“During the inspection phase, we discovered some original fabric and we’ve taken the decision to conserve this item and keep the original paintwork. Once the fuselage section is complete, work will begin on attaching the ailerons and other flying controls which have already been covered in Irish linen; these will go through the same doping and paint process as the fuselage. The metal cowlings will be resprayed before being refitted. Over the next few months our team of Volunteers will be focussing their efforts on the wings. This work will all be on display to the public in November and in the New Year the undercarriage will be refitted as part of the rebuild phase which is expected to take upwards of 12 months.”

The Museum’s Westland Lysander III (S.D.) is the only surviving Special Duties variant of this aircraft. It was designed to operate closely with the Army and had a remarkable performance which enabled it to get into and out of extremely small fields. A radical change in Army co-operation tactics meant that its lasting fame is not in this role but as a Special Duties aircraft ferrying Allied agents in and out of enemy occupied Europe. Four Lysander squadrons went to France in 1939 and despite some notable successes the Army Co-operation units suffered extremely high casualties – over 170 Lysanders were sent to France; only 50 came back. After their withdrawal from France, they patrolled the coastal areas of south and east England as an anti-invasion reconnaissance measure. Late in 1940 they began air-sea rescue duties in the Channel and North Sea – not only could the Lysander spot airmen in the sea and bring surface vessels to them, it was able to drop a lifesaving dinghy and supplies.

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. For a brief period in 1961 the aircraft was placed into storage at RAF Cosford and ten years later it was acquired by the Museum and placed on display at its London site, where it remained on display until its recent move to back to Cosford.

Visitors will also be able to view the continuing progress on the Vickers Wellington, Range Safety Launch, a project being run by a team of Volunteers, plus see a glimpse of the Dornier Do 17 smaller objects including propellers and engines, plus the First World War German LVG 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 5pm and entry to the Museum is free of charge. For further information, please visit the Museum’s website www.rafmuseum.org/cosford or call 01902 376200.

Coming Soon….Flight Sim 2018!

Thursday, September 6th, 2018

Flight Sim at Cosford

Date: 6 October 2018
Time: 9.30am to 5:00pm
Cost: £8 in advance (includes goody bag) / £10 on the day. Free entry for under-16s when accompanied by a paying adult

Aviation fans can experience the best that virtual flight has to offer this autumn when the Flight Sim 2018 event, hosted by Just Flight, takes place at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford on Saturday 6 October.

The Museum will be hosting this major one-day event for the sixth consecutive year and once again will be giving flight simulation enthusiasts a chance to try some of the very latest aircraft and other software. Visitors can view new technology from specialist flight sim PC and cockpit equipment builders, have a chat with developers, publishers and fellow virtual aviators – and no doubt pick up a bargain or two!

More than 30 exhibitors have already confirmed their attendance, with more expected to follow, and a full day of presentations is scheduled in the adjoining auditorium. Leading companies in flight simulation, including Laminar Research, Orbx, Aerosoft and Infinite Flight are all confirmed to attend the popular show.

Flight Sim ticket holders will enjoy the very best of both the virtual and the real worlds of aviation in the same venue, as entrance to the RAF Museum is free. Suitable for new and veteran desktop pilots alike, the show will run from 9.30am until 5.00pm, giving aviation enthusiasts plenty of time to find out more about life in the virtual skies.

Tickets for Flight Sim 2018 are now on sale, save money by booking in advance for just £8 via the shows website. Entry for children under 16 is free of charge when accompanied by a paying adult. Visit www.flightsimshow.com for all the show details.