Posts Tagged ‘RAF Museum Hendon’

RAF Museum launches new Dambusters Virtual Reality Experience

Sunday, March 17th, 2019

Dambusters by All Seeing Eye

The Royal Air Force Museum invites you to take a seat on board a Lancaster during the legendary Dambusters raid of 1943, using Virtual Reality technology.

The Dams Raid was the greatest feat of arms performed by the Royal Air Force and one of the key stories of the Second World War. Its success captured the public imagination at the time and over the next 70 years inspired a multitude of books, films and documentaries.

Dambusters: Immersive Histories at the RAF Museum London, is the newest part of the Dambusters offer that also includes a replica of the ‘bouncing bomb’, Barnes Wallis’ office and the original moulds of the first test bombs.

The Virtual Reality Experience (VRE) puts the user inside a moment in history. For the first time ever, visitors to the Museum can step inside the story of the iconic operation through an authentic, interactive recreation of the Dambusters’ first mission on 16 May 1943 attacking the Möhne Dam.

360° first person views, spatialised audio and haptic feedback vests reinforce the experience of being aboard a No. 617 Squadron Lancaster bomber during Operation CHASTISE.

Participants suit up in a vest and step inside an accurate physical set of a Lancaster. They are completely immersed and able to reach out to feel the window, fuselage and desk’ of the Lancaster bomber. As the aircraft continues it’s mission, users will also feel the ‘roar of the Lancaster’s Merlin engines’, through their haptic vests.

The Dambusters Immersive Experience has been created by All Seeing Eye with input from No. 617 Squadron official historian, Robert Owen.

Barry Smith Director of Visitor and Commercial Development “At the RAF Museum we are very interested in new ways of interpreting and sharing the stories of the Royal Air Force. The opportunity to actually invite our visitors to be part of the Dambusters story is one that we are very excited about. I can honestly say that our visitors are in for a treat!”

Olie Kay Associate Creative Director, All Seeing Eye Ltd “This experience isn’t about explaining all the facts of the mission. It’s about exploring the human story of the real people who were on the aircraft and communicating an authentic sense of place of what it may have been like to be there.”

Dambusters: Immersive Histories at the RAF Museum London is available from Friday 15 March. Tickets are £10

www.rafmuseum.org

Hawker Typhoon Back on Display

Friday, November 30th, 2018

Hawker Typhoon at RAF Museum

The RAF Museum London is proud to announce the Hawker Typhoon is back on display in Hangar 3

HAWKER TYPHOON IB MN235
MUSEUM ACCESSION NUMBER 74/A/27

Ordered by Air Ministry from Hawker Aircraft Ltd, contract no.943/SAS/C.23 (A). Sub-contracted by Hawker Aircraft Ltd to Gloster Aeroplane Co Ltd, sub-contract no.B.12148/39. Glosters built all but 15 of the 3,317 Typhoons built.

1944 Built by the Gloster Aeroplane Co Ltd at Hucclecote, Gloucester. Fitted with 2,180hp Napier Sabre IIA Engine. Given airframe No.153219. Part of Typhoon batch MN229 – MN269 which formed part of the 5th production batch of 800 aircraft, delivered Dec 43 -Jun 44.

O8 Feb 44 First flight at Hucclecote Aerodrome, Glos – a 40 minute flight flown by Squadron Leader Allan H Smith DFC, serving as a test pilot for the Gloster aircraft company on rest after completing his first operational tour with No 486 (NZ) Squadron. Squadron Leader Smith later commented that it must have been a good aircraft because he signed it ‘off test’ for delivery to the RAF after 40 minutes flying without any faults that would require another test flight. See logbook copy DoRIS ref. MF10029/12.

16 Feb 44 Off contract and allocated to 51 MU Lichfield, Staffs for storage.

Mar 44 Allocated to USA for flight evaluation, in response to a USAAF requirement to investigate the Typhoons’ potential as a fighter-bomber and to increase its fuel capacity.

12 Mar 44 To 47 MU RAF Sealand, Cheshire for packing.

24 Mar 44 Shipped to New York on the `SS American Manufacturer’.

16 Apr 44 Arrived in New York. Last entry on movement card.

6 May 44 To Wright Field, Ohio

After arrival in the United States the Typhoon was intended for fighter comparison and evaluation trials by the USAAF. On an unknown date it was issued with the Flight Test evaluation serial number T2-491/FE-491, though it is thought that it did not fly with this number applied. The `FE’ stood for `Foreign Experimental’. The aircraft was evaluated at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio. Due to changing requirements the Typhoon did not undertake the test programme originally envisaged and following a minor accident after only nine hours flying was put into store.

Examination of the aircraft as part of the assessment of its condition after 21 years at Hendon revealed that on the starboard side of the cockpit there is a small wooden container marked `Airplane Defect Reports’.

The aircraft also carries, on the reverse of a removable panel below the cockpit (port side) a `Data Case’ that has the following pencilled on it: `P38-G-3-LO, Aircraft 42-12791′. If this is indeed from a P-38 Lightning then these would seem to be two small modifications made by the Americans during their brief evaluation of the aircraft.

Jul 44 Noted at Freeman Field, and photographed 6 Jul 44 after assembly. Photo assembled in USA – Aeroplane June 2004 p.82.

24 Jul 46 Again at Freeman Field. Engine prepared for storage. Total flying hours – nine.

03 Jan 49 Allocated to the National Air Museum and eventually placed in crated storage at the reserve collection of the Smithsonian Institute, Washington. Apparently never on public display whilst in USA.

On this date the aircraft passed from USAAF ownership but its location remained unchanged – Chicago Orchard Place Airport, Park Ridge, Illinois, used for storage of museum aircraft since late 1948. It appears to have been dismantled for storage by this date.

Also transferred was a spare Napier engine sent out with the aircraft in 1944 – in 2016 this remained in store, complete and in good condition, with the Smithsonian Institution.

Aug 1953 Letter in Air Pictorial (page 249) from Keith Boyer, who had seen `a Hawker Aircraft’ serialled MN235 – The Typhoon – at O’Hare International Airport, Chicago. Air Pictorial mis-identified the aircraft as a Hurricane, despite the correctly quoted serial number. The aircraft was stored for a future National Air Museum along with some 135 other aircraft.

In the late 1940s, General Henry `Hap’ Arnold, Chief of Staff of the US Army Air Force, collected together sixty WW2 aircraft from all over the world and had them stored in an unused Douglas Aircraft Company factory at Park Ridge, Chicago, Illinois. However the aircraft – presumably including the Typhoon – were evicted when the factory re-opened in1952 with the on-going Korean War. The factory site later became O’Hare International Airport. After a period of external store the aircraft were crated by the time Mr Boyer saw them, and they were moved to the newly acquired storage facility at Silver Hill, Suitland, Maryland by early 1955 from whence the Typhoon was extracted in 1967. This is now the Paul E Garber facility of the National Air and Space Museum.

Apr 67 RAFM request to Smithsonian for Typhoon to be returned to the UK. Aircraft prepared for shipment.

Jul 67 Presented to RAFM by Smithsonian. Hurricane IIc LF686/5270M given in exchange by RAF 1969.

04 Jan 68 Shipped back to England from Baltimore to Liverpool Docks on S S Samaria. Taken by road to 71 MU Bicester for survey of work needed for restoration.

09 Apr 68 Transported by road by 71 MU to 27 MU Shawbury for restoration to display condition by a largely civilian team, restoration beginning 26 April 1968.

Arrived in UK missing one 20mm cannon, spinner, most engine cowlings, starboard aileron, undercarriage parts, radiator/oil cooler unit, side panels below cockpit and various inspection panels.
The missing cannon was replaced from RAFM stocks; the spinner was adapted from a HP Hastings spinner and other parts were made by 27 MU. The aircraft was in generally good condition with only slight corrosion.
Replacement engine cowlings were made from sheet aluminium, and the missing radiator was replaced by a cut-down Bedford lorry unit made to look like the original from the front at least. The incomplete state of the aircraft delayed the restoration team who had hoped to have the aircraft ready for the Royal Review of the RAF at Abingdon in June 1968; the intended display of the aircraft on Horse Guards Parade September 1968 also had to be postponed. See Form 700 issued at 27 MU 19 November 1968 – DB351.

19 Nov 68 Restoration completed and aircraft formerly presented to Dr John Tanner of the RAFM by Wg Cdr D A Gifkins, CO of 27 MU. Aircraft remained in store at Shawbury. Photos: Aircraft Illustrated Feb 69 p.48; Aero Modeller Feb 69 p.63; Royal Air Force News 14 Dec 1968. Colour photos at Shawbury – Aircraft Illustrated Apr 71 p.151 and Wrecks and Relics – The album p.55; Hawker Typhoon Special Mach 1 (Thomas) p.13; Flypast May 2008 p.20.

Feb 1972 Repainted by 27 MU at Shawbury.

By Nov 1972 Moved to Hendon for Museum opening and displayed in Camm Hall area ever since. This area is now known as the `Fighter Hall’.

1994 Centrepiece of `D-Day’ display – some repainting scheduled.
`Invasion’ stripes applied to wings and fuselage. Photos as latterly displayed – Aviation News February 2014 p.78; Flypast May 2014 p.10.

4 Nov 2013 Dismantling underway for move to MBCC RAFM Cosford for attention.
Removal of the cannon fairings revealed traces of the original wartime paint scheme on the wing leading edge – yellow leading edge band, upper surface grey and even clearly delineated black underside stripes – original Typhoon identification stripes to avoid confusion with Fw190.

7 Nov 2013 By road to MBCC at RAFM Cosford. Photos as delivered – Flypast January 2014 p.7 and April 2014 p.32; February 2014 pp. 90-91; Wrecks and Relics 24th Edition (2014). Repainted in representative markings of a Typhoon of No 440 Squadron RCAF, codes I8-T; fuselage repainted by 10 March 2014. Photos of fuselage and wings; Napier Heritage News 83 Spring 2014-cover; Flightpath Vol 25 No 4 p.27, 2014.

Nov 2013 Excavations by the volunteer Freeman Field Recovery team found the complete missing Typhoon Radiator core and at least one engine cowling amongst other buried aircraft parts, plus a complete Typhoon main undercarriage leg, propeller blades and other spares.
Photo of radiator – Britain at War Magazine Jan 2014 p.12.

8 May 2014 Despatched by road to RAF Brize Norton en route to Canada for loan to the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, Rockliffe, Ottawa. Flown out by RCAF C-17 17 May 2014. Photo being unloaded – Classic Wings Issue 93 p.15.

4 June 2014 Following assembly, towed from conservation hangar to main display hall at Rockcliffe. Formal unveiling on 6 June 2014 – 70th anniversary of D-Day. Photos on display; Flypast August 2014 p.16; Aeroplane August 2014 p.8; Flightpath Vol 26 No 1 (2014) p.6..

12 Apr 2018 Arrived back in UK via Liverpool docks.

18 Apr 2018 Following its return from Canada, to temporary storage at RAF Museum Stafford.

23 July 2018 By road from Stafford – Temporarily on loan to BAE Systems/RAF Coningsby. ‘Rolled Out’ at Coningsby on 27 July. Photos- Aeroplane September 2018 p.8.; Aviation News September 2018 p.22; Britain at War September 2018 p.6. For display in BBMF hangar.

18 Oct 2018 Returned by road from RAF Coningsby to Hendon

26-28 Nov 2018 Re-assembled at Hendon and placed back on public display

www.rafmuseum.org

HRH The Earl of Wessex opens transformed RAF Museum London

Saturday, June 30th, 2018

RAF museum London

His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex today attended the opening ceremony of the transformed RAF Museum London as part of the centenary celebrations of the Royal Air Force.

After arriving in a 32 Sqn RAF helicopter, His Royal Highness met members of Museum staff, volunteers and partners who worked on and supported the transformation. Other VIPs at the ceremony included Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier (RAF Chief of Air Staff), HE Mr Khaled Al-Duwaisan (Ambassador of Kuwait) and Viscount Trenchard (grandson of the founding father of the RAF).

Maggie Appleton, RAF Museum CEO said ‘It was a pleasure and an honour to have The Earl of Wessex open our transformed London site in the RAF’s Centenary year. Our new exhibitions not only explore the Royal Air Force’s extraordinary history and people, but also give visitors the opportunity to look ahead into the cutting-edge future of the service. The Museum’s transformation is a celebration of the RAF’s breadth and diversity – and we look forward to welcoming visitors from London and beyond to experience it with us.’

Sir Peter Luff, Chair of Heritage Lottery Fund, one of the Programme’s leading supporters, said ‘As a pioneer and leader of international aviation, and in its Centenary year, the Royal Air Force deserves a world-class museum. Now, thanks to National Lottery players, visitors can explore the powerful, inspiring and often surprising stories of the world’s oldest independent air force in a dynamic new setting.’

Sir Roger Carr – Chairman, BAE Systems, Founding Partner of the RAF Museum’s RAF Centenary Programme said: “The histories of the Royal Air Force and BAE Systems have been inextricably linked since the foundation of the Royal Flying Corps. Since 2014 we are proud to have been a Founding Partner for the regeneration of the RAF Museum. The Museum plays an important role inspiring the next generation of airmen, airwomen and engineers.”

The Museum’s ambitious redevelopment features new immersive galleries, supported by a transformed visitor experience which includes a new learning centre, new landscaping drawing on the heritage of the London Aerodrome and RAF Hendon, a new visitor centre including a café and shop, and a new restaurant housed in a 1930s RAF building at the heart of the site. The transformation makes the RAF Museum the only place where visitors can test their flying skills, explore RAF stories, sit inside an iconic cockpit and enjoy a picnic in a single day.

Programmes have also been designed to deliver small object conservation skills and workshop spaces, additional apprenticeships, increased volunteering and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) formal and informal learning activities.

Historic Hendon projects are engaging the Museum’s local community with the heritage of their neighbourhood.

A digital project, ‘RAF Stories’, has been developed through which the public will be encouraged to create and curate their own online scrapbooks using photographs, memories, film and audio recordings to share their experiences or those of their loved ones within the RAF and the broader RAF family. These stories will be shared internationally online as well as being embedded in the new exhibitions, enhancing the Museum’s storytelling: http://www.rafstories.org

The transformed free-to-enter Museum in Colindale, North-West London includes:

• The Duke of Cambridge’s Sea King helicopter, from his days as a pilot in RAF Valley
• Three new innovative galleries which explore the first 100 years of the RAF, its roles today and invite visitors to imagine its future contribution and technology
• Perfect for picnicking – a new open, grassed landscape reflects the heritage of the site as The London Aerodrome and RAF Hendon
• A new themed outdoor play area for under 11’s
• A new restaurant, Claude’s
• A packed programme of family activities and events for all ages.

The new exhibitions are ‘RAF Stories: The First 100 Years’, ‘RAF: First to the Future’ and ‘The RAF in an ‘Age of Uncertainty’.

The Museum will open with a celebration of Armed Forces Day on Saturday 30 June, which includes an outdoor concert, craft activities, talks, tours, storytelling and more activities for all the family.

The RAF Museum’s RAF Centenary Programme is supported by National Lottery Players through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

For more information about the RAF Museum’s RAF Centenary Programme visit www.rafmuseum.org

RAF Search and Rescue Boats on the Move

Sunday, May 20th, 2018

RAF Search and Rescue Boats

The move of our RAF search and rescue boats to their new position.

2018 marks the centenary of the Royal Air Force and the award-winning RAF Museum is set to welcome visitors into a newly transformed London site when it formally reopens on Saturday 30 June

The Museum’s ambitious redevelopment features new immersive galleries, freshly landscaped green spaces, a children’s playground and new restaurant, making it the only place in London where visitors can test their flying skills, explore RAF stories, sit inside an iconic cockpit and enjoy a picnic in a single day.

Our newly transformed site will open to the public on Saturday 30 June.

www.rafmuseum.org

Over 1,000 RAF Veterans and Current Serving Personnel gather for an exclusive London site preview

Friday, May 11th, 2018

RAF Day at Hendon
2018 marks the Centenary of the Royal Air Force and the award-winning RAF Museum is set to welcome visitors into a newly transformed site when it formally reopens on Saturday 30 June.

Yesterday, the Museum welcomed over 1,000 RAF veterans and current serving personnel for a special ‘RAF Day’ get together and treated them to a special preview of London’s new Hangar 1, which houses two new, innovative galleries exploring the first 100 years of the RAF, its role today and invites visitors to imagine its future contribution and technology.

The Museum’s RAF Day also enabled us to establish closer relationships with RAF bases around the country and helped to ensure we are sharing their stories. As part of our RAF Centenary Programme, the Museum will also be launching a new digital project called RAF Stories; an online digital project which aims to inspire participants to share accounts of the Royal Air Force. RAF Stories seeks to find stories, not just from former and serving personnel, but also from their friends and family as well as extended partners who work closely with the RAF.

The day’s events also included a welcome speech by Air Marshal Stuart Atha CB DSO MA BSC RAF, live music from the UK’s premier jive and swing band – The Jive Aces, as well as tours, talks, refreshments and the chance to catch up with colleagues old and new. With service men and women joining in from across the country, it was a truly memorable and sentimental gathering.

Event organiser Anji Patel, stated: “RAF Day was a huge success and it was wonderful and emotional to have such a large gathering of both current serving personnel and veterans. We want to make this an annual event and look forward to inviting them again next year.”

The RAF Museum’s RAF Centenary Programme is supported by National Lottery Players through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

For more information about the RAF Museum’s RAF Centenary Programme visit www.rafmuseum.org