Posts Tagged ‘RAF Museum Cosford’

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.

Valiant V-Bomber doors open for special event

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2018

Valiant at Duxford

Date: 15 September 2018
Time: 1pm-4pm and 6pm-9pm
Cost: £13.50 per person

The third of four ‘100 Cockpits and Cabs’ events taking place at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford this year, will be held on Saturday 15 September. Up to 600 aviation fans will have the exclusive opportunity to get a closer look inside more aircraft and vehicles from the Museum’s collection including the Valiant, one third of Britain’s V-Bomber force, during an afternoon and evening session.

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

The September event at Cosford will be themed around aircraft and vehicles from the National Cold War Exhibition and the transport and training collection in Hangar 1.

From the Cold War collection, aircraft and vehicles open on the night include the Vickers Valiant B1. 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. Event organisers hope aviation fans will seize the rare opportunity to step on board one of Britain’s nuclear strike force aircraft, which played a vital role during the critical Cold War years.

Another highlight will be the chance to get up close to the Museum’s collection of Cold War vehicles including the Russian BMP-1. The BMP-1 went into production in the early 1960’s and marked an important departure from previous armoured personnel carriers. Not just an infantry carrier, it provided a measure of combat capability with the vehicle. Its high mobility, effective anti-tank weapons combined with its armoured protection made it a significant addition to Soviet battlefield forces.

Other Cold War aircraft and vehicles open for the special event include the Alvis Saladin armoured car (close view only), Trabant vehicle, British Aerospace Tracked Rapier, Short Brothers Belfast, Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer CCII and the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG 21PF (close view only).

The event theme also extends to include a selection of the Museum’s transport and training vehicles displayed in Hangar 1 and for the first time ever, the Westland Wessex HC2 helicopter will be open for close viewing. The HC Mk2 entered RAF service in the early 1960s and became a familiar sight on anti-terrorist operations in Northern Ireland and supporting UN Peacekeeping forces in Cyprus. In the mid-1970s twelve aircraft were converted to the HAR Mk2 variant, given a bright yellow high-visibility colour scheme and with the addition of a winch were used for search and rescue duties around the UK coast. The last RAF Wessex helicopters (Cyprus based HC Mk 2s) retired in 2003. This is the first time the Wessex has been included in an open evening event and visitors will be able to view the helicopter from a raised platform being installed especially for the event.

Also open on the night in Hangar 1 will be the Landrover Series 1, de Havilland Devon, Hawker Siddeley Andover E3A and the Scottish Aviation Bulldog T Mk 1.

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

A total of 600 tickets are available for the event taking place on Saturday 15 September and aviation fans will have up to three hours to enjoy the exclusive access. The afternoon session will run from 1pm-4pm, followed by an evening session 6pm-9pm. The Museum will close at 5pm, however the Visitor Centre and Refuel Restaurant will remain open for ticket holders, before doors to the aircraft and vehicles open at 6pm.

Tickets are now available to purchase through the Museum’s website www.rafmuseum.org/cosford and cost £13.50 per person which includes parking (minimum height restrictions apply). The final ‘100 Cockpits and Cabs’ event at Cosford will take place on Friday 7 December, details on this and the events taking place at the RAF Museum London are also available online.

Attending the exclusive ‘Open Cockpits and Cabs’ events is an opportunity to raise vital funds for the RAF100 Appeal, which is a joint venture between the Royal Air Force and the four major RAF charities – the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund, the Royal Air Forces Association, the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust and the Royal Air Force Museum. The aim of the Appeal is to raise money for the RAF family and to create a lasting legacy as we celebrate 100 years of the Royal Air Force.

‘Star Wars’ takes on ‘Top Gun’ in a movie weekend at Cosford

Friday, August 17th, 2018

RAF Cosford Open Air Cinema

Date: 21-22 September 2018
Time: Gates open 6.00pm / film starts 8.00pm
Cost: £13 per person in advance / £15 on the gate (subject to availability)

‘Star Wars’ and ‘Top Gun’ fans are in for a treat this September as the Outdoor Cinema event returns to the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford. The third highest grossing film of all time ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ and one of the most iconic aviation movies ever ‘Top Gun’ will be showcased on a giant inflatable screen at the RAF Museum on 21 and 22 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. This evening event will see a huge 30ft inflatable screen erected alongside the VC10 and Hercules aircraft, including digital projectors and sound equipment for a true cinematic experience. No movie would be complete without popcorn and especially for this evening event, the Museum will be transforming an aircraft into a popcorn and snacks bar where visitors will be able to step on-board to purchase their essential movie snacks.

The big movie weekend will kick start with the epic space opera ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ on Friday 21 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 joins forces with Han Solo (Harrison Ford) to ensure the Resistance, led by General Leia Organa receives the intelligence and team up in their fight against the new threat to the Galaxy from the evil Kylo Ren and the First Order, a successor to the Galactic Empire. This ‘Star Wars’ episode is suitable for movie fans aged 12 and over and visitors are welcome to come dressed as some of their favourite characters from the film.

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, ‘Top Gun’ is a timeless classic suitable for film lovers aged 12 and over.

In the build up to the movie, why not take advantage of some of the tasty hot food and beverages on offer. The Ironbridge Catering Company will be joining the event, serving a delicious selection of American inspired street food, all served from their converted yellow American School Bus. Then why not enjoy some cocktails, beer or a glass of fizz courtesy of Jockey Box who will be serving drinks throughout the evening from their converted horse box. A selection of hot beverages will also be available on the night.

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.

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’ and both movies are certified 12A, under 16’s will not be admitted unless accompanied by an adult.

RAF Museum Cosford Public Events Manager, Abi Betteridge said:
“Both movies are so iconic and fitting for us as a venue – where else can you watch movies about flight surrounded by real military aircraft? Last year’s event was a total sell out, so this year we have increased the size of the screen and surround sound to enable even more movie fans to join us. We hope that great movies, combined with the unique setting and all the added extra’s like our aircraft popcorn bar 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.

Museum shares RAF Stories through a series of talks

Sunday, August 12th, 2018

RAF Stories

Date: 6 Sep / 4 Oct / 8 Nov / 5 Dec 2018
Time: 7pm – 8pm
Cost: FREE (advanced booking recommended)
Location: National Cold War Exhibition Lecture Theatre, RAF Museum Cosford

The Royal Air Force Museum Cosford is introducing a series of talks later this year, sharing the inspirational stories of RAF personnel who have played an important role in shaping the service during its first 100 years.

These new talks are an extension of the RAF Stories project launched by the RAF Museum earlier this year as part of the RAF’s Centenary celebrations and commemorations. RAF Stories is a digital online collection, accessible globally by anyone wishing to share and explore engaging, historical and contemporary stories of people’s personal connections to the RAF and the service’s influences on their lives.

In the RAF’s 100th year, the project is already capturing the spirit of what it means to be part of the RAF family and the community of servicemen and servicewomen spread across the globe, supporting and relying on each other both professionally and personally. The forthcoming talks are an opportunity for interested members of the public to hear first-hand, just some of the great stories already captured by the project. Held in the Museum’s National Cold War Exhibition Lecture Theatre, each evening talk will have a key guest speaker focusing on different topics, held on the following dates:

6 September: Michelle Partington
Michelle was operationally deployed as the first female paramedic with the RAF Regiment as well as various tours on the Medical Emergency Response Team taking emergency lifesaving care to those injured on the front line in Afghanistan. Michelle was medically discharged after becoming a victim of PTSD, which left her housebound. Her road to recovery saw her compete in the 2017 Invictus Games. (This talk contains some graphic content and may not be suitable for children under the age of 16.)

4 October: Candida Adkins
Daughter of famous female spitfire pilot Jackie Moggridge, Candida Adkins, will share stories about her mother. After becoming the first woman to do a parachute jump in South Africa, Jackie travelled to England when the war broke out. She joined the ATA where she flew 72 different types of aircraft and was given the Kings Commendation for valuable services in the Air. She later joined the WRAFVR, got her Wings and went on to fly commercially, as an airline captain.

8 November: Ayla Holdom
Former Search and Rescue Sea King pilot, Ayla Holdom became the first openly transgender pilot in the British Armed Forces in 2011. Ayla will share stories about her selection, Search & Rescue, her challenging moments and her RAF family, which included HRH The Duke of Cambridge.

5 December: Peter Ramrayka
Peter Ramrayka was born in what was then colonial British Guiana (now Guyana). The grandson of indentured Indian labourers, he was brought up to believe that, despite his Indian cultural heritage, Britain was, in fact, the ‘Mother Country’. With a steely ambition to become a lawyer, he travelled to England in 1961. He joined the Royal Air Force as an option to both work and study. This led to successful careers and endeavours: the National Health Service; the Magistracy; political activist; Mission Director of a flying teaching eye hospital and much more.

RAF Museum Community Engagement Officer: RAF Stories, Jess Boydon said:
“We’re delighted to offer visitors at the RAF Museum Cosford the exciting opportunity to hear first-hand some of the inspirational and ground-breaking recollections from former RAF personnel and their families about their RAF journey. They have fascinating stories to tell, ranging from a female Spitfire Pilot given the Kings Commendation having flown over 70 different aircraft types, to the first openly transgender pilot in the British Armed Forces, highlighting the inclusivity and diversity of the Royal Air Force.

The talks are free to attend and are a snapshot of some of the widely diverse RAF Stories we have collected over the last 18 months. So far, we have collected stories about courage, love, tragedy, friendship, bravery, triumph, humour, happiness, sadness and everything in between, which expand and enrich our understanding of the RAF today. We believe everyone has or knows someone who has an RAF story and we would encourage people to download the RAF Stories app and share theirs alongside others that tell the story of the RAF.”

The talks taking place on 6 September, 4 October, 8 November and 5 December 2018 start at 7pm, lasting approximately 1 hour, including time for questions. They are free to attend, but 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 Heritage Lottery Fund. It is part of the RAF Museum’s RAF Centenary Programme across its two sites in London and Cosford.

Flypast and street food are on the menu at Cosford next Weekend!

Sunday, July 15th, 2018

RAF Cosford Food Festival

Date: 21-22 July 2018
Time: 10am to 5pm (last admission 4pm)
Cost: £6 adult / £2 child (5-15 years / under 5’s free) / £14 family (2 adults and up to 4 children)
Flypast: 2.21pm on Saturday 21 July (weather permitting)

With just days to go until the annual Cosford Food Festival and with the warm weather showing no signs of fading, organisers are gearing up for their biggest and best event yet! This year’s festival is packed with over 90 local food and drink producers, a busy line-up on the cooking demo stage and live performances from the Cosford and Shawbury Military Wives Choir. Plus, there will be plenty of hand-on foodie fun and entertainment for families and a Spitfire flypast on Saturday as the cherry on top!

Taking place on 21 and 22 July, the festival is being held in the unique setting at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford, with the VC10 and Hercules aircraft acting as a backdrop to the bustling food market. There will be plenty of delicious food for visitors to buy and enjoy at the festival, with some of the best street food vendors in town cooking up flavours from around the world. The diverse menu on offer will include everything from African, Indian, Italian, Greek and Japanese cuisine to a taste of the ocean with softshell crab to tempt visitors. Plus, gourmet burgers, stonebaked pizzas and gourmet vegan street food means there really is something for all festival goers to enjoy.

As well as a wide choice of locally brewed beverages to accompany the great food on offer, why not wash your lunch down with a glass of fizz from the Champavan, a little tipple from the Gin Spot, or perhaps a funky summers cocktail courtesy of the Beetle Juice bar! Freshly ground coffee and refreshing cold drinks will be available from converted vintage vehicles and for those who can’t resist something sweet, traditional dairy ice creams, crêpes and huge selection of desserts to go including brownie and pancake skewers, will all be on offer to tempt foodies.

A guaranteed highlight on Saturday afternoon will be the unmistakable sound of a Second World War aircraft, as the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Spitfire flies overhead during a spectacular flypast (scheduled for 2.21pm weather permitting).

With a jam packed programme of demonstrations over the festival weekend, visitors can learn from the experts on how to prepare, cook and present a range of exciting dishes. Festival organisers have signed up some exciting new chefs for this year’s festival including celebrity chef Cyrus Todiwala OBE as well as Stu Harmer – Ex-Flight Sergent, RAF Chef. Both are contributors to The RAF100 Cookbook, created by RAF personnel spanning 100 years, 100 countries and 100 recipes, celebrating the centenary of the RAF. Visitors can also sample dishes and purchase signed copies of the book from the RAF Tips and Tasters stage. Plus, local speciality chefs will be showcasing their passion for great food, ensuring the demo stage has an entertaining and varied line up.

Visitors can sit back and relax with a summer’s drink in hand, whilst dining alfresco and enjoying some of the weekend’s entertainment. Kick starting the weekend’s live music is festival favorite and acoustic musician Anthony Doyle, who will be encouraging visitors to sing along and even have a go with the musical instruments. Bringing a touch of vintage sounds to the festival will be the fabulous The Bluebird Belles, a 1940s vintage trio who specialise in retro sounds. After proving popular last year, The Dirty Rockin Scoundrels are back…bringing you the best Rock ‘n’ Roll music of the 50’s and 60’s – that’s guaranteed to get you moving and grooving!

RAF Museum Public Events Manager, Abi Betteridge said:
“The glorious summer we’ve been experiencing recently is certainly getting people in the mood for a great family day out like the Cosford Food Festival, advance ticket sales are up on previous years which is really encouraging.

2018 is an exciting year for us as the RAF celebrates its centenary and we’ve incorporated this theme into the festival in several ways. We’re delighted to have an RAF Chef on the demo stage as well as personnel showcasing The RAF100 Cookbook on the Tips and Taster stage both days. The RAF recruitment team will also be with us, along with the Cosford and Shawbury Military Wives Choir who will be kickstarting the live music, and not forgetting the Spitfire flypast on Saturday!

This is one of our biggest events and we are confident there will be something for everyone to enjoy.”

Ensuring there is plenty to do for the little foodies, Kid’s Corner is an entire area packed with entertainment for youngsters. Kiddy Cook will be running five cookery workshops each day where children will get hands-on decorating cupcakes and biscuits in the shapes of RAF roundels and planes! Spaces are limited to 20 children per session and cost £3 per person, so if you have any future chefs in the family, book now to guarantee your place by visiting www.rafmuseum.org/cosford.

Also in Kid’s Corner, children can try their hands at circus skills, create painting using colourful plastic bottle tops, have fun on the RAF STEM bus and of course, no festival would be complete without some face painting and festival glitter! But if all that’s not enough, why not have a go at the craft activity peg planes, enjoy playing with the giant outdoor games or get into the festival spirit with an airbrush tattoo. Artist Spencer Trickett will also be in the Kid’s Corner all weekend signing copies of his RAF inspired books.

Actor John Challis, who is best known for playing the character Boycie in the popular BBC sitcom ‘Only Fools and Horses’ will be at festival bringing along a range of his books for people to have signed. Organisers are thrilled to have this local legend at the festival for a second year after proving popular with foodies at last year’s event.

The Cosford Food Festival will run from 10am to 5pm on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 July and admission is just £6 per adult, with family rates available. Tickets to the festival are now available to purchase in advance via the RAF Museum website www.rafmuseum.org/cosford where you will also find a full list of exhibitors. Festival goers will also be able to enjoy exploring the aircraft and exhibits on display at the RAF Museum Cosford – with their wristband on, they can pop in and out of the festival to the Museum throughout the day.

In addition to the parking at the Museum, there will be a FREE shuttle bus operating from the large car park at Cosford train station over the festival weekend. There will be two busses running continuously throughout the day and they will drop visitor’s right at the entrance to the festival! Disabled parking is available at the Museum. Keep up to date with the latest festival info by following the event on Facebook/CosfordFoodFestival.

Large Model Air Show returns to Cosford next month

Sunday, June 24th, 2018

Vulcan model aircraft

Date: 7-8 July 2018
Time: Gates open 8.30am
Cost: £8.00 in advance (until 4 July) / £10.00 on the gate

The Large Model Air Show is returning to the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford next month for a weekend of spectacular flying displays. Taking place on Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 July, this air show in miniature is set to entertain thousands of aviation and modelling enthusiasts with two full days of flying and family fun.

Aircraft heading to the show have all been designed and built by members of the Large Model Association, who have dedicated years into making them a perfect replica of the real thing. With everything from biplanes to modern day jets, model aircraft at the show can take anything from two weeks up to seven years to assemble and some can even reach speeds of up to 200mph, powered by engines similar to petrol lawn mowers and or miniature jet engines.

This year’s event will have a celebratory RAF100 flying theme with model aircraft representing 100 years of the Royal Air Force. Appearing at the show for the first time this year will be a giant Lockheed Constellation, a propeller-driven, four-engine airliner. Plus, exclusively for the Cosford show will be 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.

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.

Families are guaranteed to enjoy the fun-filled line up which includes a children’s entertainment area. Plus, keeping visitors fuelled for the day, there will be a fantastic range of food and drink on offer including a beer tent and 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 bus service will take visitors from the event to the Museum throughout the day, making getting around the site even easier.

Anyone wishing to attend the event can save money by purchasing tickets in advance at a discounted rate by visiting www.largemodelassociation.com. Advance tickets are also on sale at the RAF Museum Cosford, priced at just £8 per adult. Tickets purchased on the gate cost £10 per adult and children under the age of 16 are FREE.

Exclusively for the Large Model Aircraft Rally, visitors are able to camp on site, meaning you can make the most of the weekend’s flying and activities by being at the centre of all the action. On site camping, including entrance to the show both days is only £40.00 in advance (until 4 July) or £50.00 on the gate and any visitors interested in camping should email public-camping@largemodelassociation.com or call 07827 675665.

Lancaster flies in for Armed Forces Day celebrations

Sunday, June 17th, 2018

BBMF Lancaster by Terry Lee

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

The Royal Air Force Museum Cosford will once again celebrate the contributions made by Her Majesty’s Armed Forces, by hosting an orchestra concert and a Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Lancaster flypast on Saturday 30 June for Armed Forces Day.

The highly decorated Glebe Symphonic Winds Orchestra will be performing for veterans, serving personnel and visitors alike, in a special one hour concert celebrating the RAF’s Centenary. This intimate musical performance will include classical pieces with everything from ‘Their Finest Hour’ by Nigel Clarke, ‘The Dam Busters’ by Eric Coates, to ‘The Royal Air Force March Past’ by Walford Davies and many more.

The concert will take place in the Museum’s National Cold War Exhibition Auditorium with seating for up to 200 guests. Attendance to the concert is free of charge and as places are limited, anyone interested in attending is asked to pre-register now via the Museum’s website in order to guarantee their place. Concert ticket holders will also receive a 10% discount voucher for the RAF Museum Shop, redeemable on the day.

The annual Armed Forces Day is an opportunity to reflect and pay tribute to our heroes past and present, including current serving personnel, service families, veterans and cadets. In addition to performances from one of the UK’s leading orchestras, organisers have lined-up a flypast from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Lancaster at 3.35pm (weather permitting). This icon of the Second World War will be flying overhead at Cosford and is sure to be popular with visitors young and old.

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

Families can also take part in a free craft activity whereby youngsters can colour in and make their own Armed Forces Day flags ready to show their support as the Lancaster fly’s overhead on the afternoon. All materials will be provided and children get to take their flags home as a memento of their day.

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

To guarantee your place at the concert, book your ticket now via the Museum website www.rafmuseum.org/cosford. Tickets on the day will be subject to availability. Guests are asked to arrive 10 minutes before the performance starts in order to be seated.

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

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

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

NEW display commemorates 100 years of the RAF

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018

First 100 Year of RAF

Date: Now open
Cost: FREE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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