Posts Tagged ‘RAF Museum London’

Royal Air Force Museum secures National Lottery investment for RAF Centenary Programme

Sunday, October 16th, 2016

RAF Museum 2018

The Royal Air Force Museum is delighted to announce that it has been awarded £4,595,600 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the next phase of its RAF Centenary Programme at its London site.

2018 will mark the centenary of the Royal Air Force (RAF) and will be an occasion of national celebration and commemoration. As the oldest and longest serving independent air force in the world, the RAF has affected the lives of millions, driven technological innovations, pushed the boundaries of human achievement and become part of the UK’s cultural identity.

To connect a global audience with this remarkable story, the RAF Museum is delivering a series of ambitious capital changes to its London site, creating a world-leading visitor destination.

The first phase of this redevelopment, the ‘First World War in the Air’ exhibition, supported by HLF, opened to public acclaim in December 2014, winning Best Heritage Project in the National Lottery Awards 2015.

The Museum is delighted to announce that, with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the next phase of the transformation will be delivered for 2018.

Two innovative exhibitions will explore the first 100 years of the RAF through the stories of its people and invite visitors to imagine its future contribution and technology.

A warm welcome will be provided in a new visitor centre with clear orientation, café, shop, Members’ room and flexible-use spaces. A new restaurant will revitalise a disused historic building, connecting visitors with the site’s RAF heritage.

Through ‘RAF Stories’, a digital project, people will contribute personal stories to enhance our understanding and sharing of RAF heritage, onsite and online.

A new learning programme will aim to inspire young people in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). Additionally, new apprenticeships and volunteering activities will help the Museum conserve and display more of the incredible 1.3 million objects within its collection representing the national memory of the RAF at work and play, war and peace.

As a result, an expanded, more diverse audience will enjoy richer engagement with RAF heritage through our site, collections and people-focused  interpretation.

Further planned phases of the RAF Centenary Programme will bring to life the stories of the London Aerodrome and RAF Hendon – from which the first airmail, parachute jump, night flight and aerial defence of a city took place.

Maggie Appleton, CEO of the Royal Air Force Museum, said: “I would like to thank the Heritage Lottery Fund on behalf of all our staff, volunteers and Trustees for the generous support they have given us – we could not be happier! The story of the RAF is one of bravery, ingenuity and dedication which echoes within all our lives and will endure and enrich future generations. We are very excited to be given the opportunity to tell this story through the Museum’s collections and the voices of the individual men and women who served in the RAF and whose lives have been influenced by it.”

Stuart Hobley, Head of HLF London, said: “The RAF was one of the most significant legacies of the First World War and today, as we approach its Centenary of the organisation’s creation, millions of us have a direct family connection to the oldest and longest serving air force in the world. Thanks to National Lottery players, this investment will provide some fantastic learning opportunities and insight into the RAF’s heritage for people of all ages as well as give the stories and achievements of the men and women of the RAF a permanent legacy as part of the Royal Air Force Museum.”

Appeal for RAF memories

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

Falklands postcard

Calling all Penguins, Bluebirds & ‘Erbs – Your Museum Needs You!

2018 marks the centenary of the Royal Air Force. 

The award-winning Royal Air Force Museum will celebrate and commemorate this anniversary through a major transformation of our visitor experience sharing the RAF story on site and online. New, innovative galleries will explore the first 100 years of the RAF, its roles today and invite visitors to imagine its future contribution and technology. A new digital sharing project will promote a conversation with a global audience and help connect people to the RAF story.  

For the past two years the Museum’s curators, have been researching our world-class collections to select stories and objects that will best enable our visitors to engage with the story of the Royal Air Force. As a result, gaps in our collections have been identified and we are calling upon current and ex-Service personnel, who served in the RAF from 1970 to 2015, their families and members of the public to assist us in filling them.

If you served with the RAF during this time, and particularly in Northern Ireland, the Falklands War, the First or Second Gulf Wars, Libya, Afghanistan or on any humanitarian mission since the 1970s, we would love to hear from you.

We are focussing on collecting personal papers, photographs, recent campaign medals from RAF sources, and any operational kit or clothing which can be linked to specific operations or stories – particularly any ‘Black Bags’ received from Operation HERRICK or TELIC.

Nina Hadaway, Archive Library and Research Manager for the Museum, explains:

“We are aware that our current holdings are quite thin for the most recent 40 years of RAF history. As we look towards the RAF’s Centenary in 2018, now is an ideal time to try and fill these gaps. With the help of the public, former and current serving personnel we hope to strengthen the Museum’s collections. This will enable us to share more fully the experiences of those serving in the RAF from the 1970s to the present day with all our visitors.”

We would also welcome contact from volunteers who would be happy to be interviewed about their RAF experiences.

If you are able to assist us, please email us in the first instance at:

This will enable us to arrange for a member of our curatorial team to contact you. Alternatively, please complete a ‘Donate an Artefact’ form in the Support Section of our website.

For a full list of the items that we are searching for, please visit the Museum’s website at:

New RAF Chief visits Museum

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier

Today Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier, the RAF’s new Chief of Air Staff visited the RAF Museum in North London

Whilst at the Museum, Sir Stephen spoke to CEO Maggie Appleton about the Museum’s plans for the RAF’s Centenary in 2018 as well as the fundraising campaign ‘Names on a Plane’

Sir Stephen also took a tour of the Museum and also dropped into our Archive department where he was shown documents and prints relating to his time at 2 Sqn.

Say’s Maggie Appleton, RAF Museum CEO: “It was wonderful to share our plans to celebrate and commemorate the RAF’s Centenary with Sir Stephen. We are committed to making our London site more accessible, vibrant and focused on the RAF’s story. Our multi-million pound transformation will use our collections as dynamic storytellers and ensure the site becomes an inspiring space for all our visitors, reflecting our historic roots as RAF Hendon, exploring today’s RAF and imagining the future.”

Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier is the Chief of the Air Staff, in command of the Royal Air Force, leading a Whole Force of some 35000 Regular and Reserve personnel, and 5000 Civil Servants, supported by thousands of contractors. He is personally accountable for the safe and effective operation of over 700 manned and unmanned aircraft and for meeting the airpower needs of Defence, which currently means thousands of people and every front-line force committed to operations world-wide. In addition to sustaining his people and this exceptionally high level of commitment, he is also responsible for delivering the significant growth in the RAF’s front-line capability announced in the 2015 Defence Review.

Pokémon Go at the RAF Museum!

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

Pokemon at RAF Museum

The RAF Museum is over run with Pokémon Go characters and facilities!

The RAF Museum is known for its legendary aircraft collection but alongside these iconic exhibits it now houses 6 Pokéstops, a Gym and numerous characters from the game that has taken over the world!

Say’s Kevin Carter, Head of Digital Experience: “My kids are gamers and they popped in to the Museum last week and were excited about the huge number Pokémon characters on site. Since then we have noticed a number of visitors playing the game here. As a free Museum with free wifi, they are most welcome!”

Visitors to the RAF Museum are able to use our FREE WIFI facilities to help them catch characters like Hypno, Drowzee, Spearow and many more!

The Museum has a Gym by the replica aircraft in the car park. We also have a total of 6 Pokestops, which usually placed on locations of interest or tourist spots. These are popular destinations for players as they deliver items such as Pokeballs (to catch other pokemon), Potions and Revives (to heal or revive a fainted Pokémon) and are very important to the game.

Chocks away for visitors with smart phones!

On your marks, get set… SCRAMBLE!

Monday, July 11th, 2016

Spitfire 10k Run RAF Museum

The Spitfire 10k Run is back at the RAF Museum this September

Date: Saturday 3rd September 2016

Time: 9.00 am

Location: RAF Museum London

Last year over 600 runners helped to raise over £10,000 for the RAF Museum’s Historic Hendon Appeal.

Due to the success of the event the Museum is inviting runners back for another 10k run to commemorate the Anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

There will be an onsite warm up session conducted in 1940’s period style. The race begins in the shadow of one of the RAF Spitfires and takes you on a special journey, including a section through the Bomber Hangar and around the iconic Lancaster, before leaving the Museum for two loops of a flat road course. Your finish will be commemorated with an exclusive Spitfire medal.

Entrants are also welcome to run in period costume

The Spitfire 10km run starts and ends at the RAF Museum in Grahame Park Way, Colindale, with a section through the bomber hangar and around a Lancaster, before leaving for two loops of a flat road course through Colindale.

Entry form:

The Red Baron

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

The Red Baron

Written and Directed by Robert Gillespie

Date: 27 to 31 July

Book now: 020 8038 4614

Location: RAF Museum London,

Grahame Park Way, London NW9 5LL

The Royal Air Force Museum and Jane Nightwork Productions presents a ‘World Premier’ theatre production of The Red Baron, written and directed by TV actor Robert Gillespie.

Manfred von Richthofen was one of the Great War’s aerial super-stars.   An aristocrat and huntsman, he loved the new medium and trained himself to be a superb air-borne killer

He was never seen with a girl, though – or hardly ever.   Hacked off with being pestered and nudged by his friends, he calls on Coco.   She’s one of the girls in a house near the front.   Where all the squadron goes.

But all Manfred does is talk about planes and guns – and shooting down enemy flyers.

For most of us, World War One means trench warfare.

But in 1915, for the first time in history, young men were soaring the skies.   Fighting in flimsy machines for country and personal glory. This play is about them. And one man’s astonishing change of mind.

Robert Gillespie began his acting career with two years with the Old Vic Company, beginning in autumn 1953 for Michael Benthall’s Shakespeare seasons. In the company were Richard Burton, Clare Bloom, Fay Compton and Michael Hordern. The second year was headed by Paul Rogers, Ann Todd, Virginia McKenna and John Neville. His TV roles include Hugh and I Spy, The Good Life, Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads, Robin’s Nest, George and Mildred, Rising Damp, The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, Porridge, Dad’s Army (in which he played Charles Boyer playing Napoleon Bonaparte), Butterflies, The Liver Birds, Beggar My Neighbour, Agony, Terry and June and It Ain’t Half Hot Mum.

RAF Museum London

Grahame Park Way, London NW9 5LL

27-31 July Wed-Sat, 7-30pm and Sun 3 & 7pm

Box Office: 020 8038 4614

Tickets £8


Get Your Name on a Red Arrows Plane

Monday, April 4th, 2016

The Royal Air Force Museum have announced an exciting new campaign which offers members of the public the opportunity to have their name written on the wings of an RAF Red Arrows Hawk Jet that will fly throughout the Red Arrows’ 2017 display season.

For one spectacular season of air shows and celebrations, the underside of one of the Red Arrow’s Hawk Jets will display names chosen by members of the public who have contributed to this unique campaign. From a donation of just £30, these can be the names of the people themselves, or dedications to friends and relatives.

The ‘Names on a Plane’ campaign will raise funds for the Museum’s RAF Centenary Programme. 2018 marks the centenary of the Royal Air Force. The award-winning RAF Museum will celebrate and commemorate this anniversary through a major transformation of its visitor experience, sharing the RAF story on site and online.

RAF Museum CEO Maggie Appleton MBE said: “This is a fantastic chance for the public to be part of the RAF’s history and to receive something unique in return for their support. The Museum is looking forward to transforming itself in time for the 2018 anniversary to make us more accessible, engaging and up to date.”

Squadron Leader David Montenegro, Red 1 and Team Leader of the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, said: “Through the Names on a Plane campaign, thousands of people will be joining us as the Red Arrows fly in 2017, displaying to millions of people.

“On each of these occasions, the team aims to showcase the excellence of the Royal Air Force and, as we approach the Centenary of the Service in 2018, we are especially delighted to be supporting the RAF Museum.

“The Museum’s Centenary Programme will transform its London site, providing an enduring legacy for the Royal Air Force.

“This development will help to tell the story of the Royal Air Force and the vital roles the Service continues to provide, such as securing the skies of the United Kingdom, every hour of the day, 365-days a year.”

Five naming packages are available ranging from £30 – £25,000. Supporters will also receive:

– A thank you and a commemorative RAF ‘bluey’ (specially made airmail letters for sending to and from the Forces)

– Updates during the flying season with an app to follow your name on the plane

– Name acknowledged at the Museum’s redeveloped site in 2018

The appeal will officially run from April until September 2016, with the ‘Names on a Plane’ appearing on a Red Arrow Hawk throughout their 2017 display season. For more information visit

Author Tom Palmer takes to the skies at the RAF Museum

Sunday, March 20th, 2016

On 16 April 2016, acclaimed author Tom Palmer will be reading from and talking about his new book – the first in a new series; WINGS – next to the Sopwith Camel at the RAF Museum London in a series of short events at 1pm, 2pm and 4pm.

Date: Saturday 16th April

Time: 1pm; 2pm & 4pm

Location: RAF Museum London, Grahame Park Way, London NW9 5LL

The Wings series is centered around four children at a football summer camp, who find themselves propelled back in time. If they can learn how to fly the great RAF planes – the Sopwith Camel, Spitfire and Typhoon, history will lead them on a flightpath back to the present. The books were inspired by Tom and his daughter making an Airfix kit of a Lancaster Bomber two summers ago. Each book also comes with a simple model plane you can make yourself!

Tom is writing the WINGS books with help from the RAF Museum as part of his role as Children’s Writer In Residence. In the lead up to the Royal Air Force centenary in 2018, Tom will be working with the museum’s visitors to help them get the best out of their experience. He will be offering advice on writing short stories which help visitors engage with the museum’s amazing collection. Read a wonderful blog about the setting and work with the RAF Museums here:

“Wings: Flyboy is a wonderful, warm tale. Stories highlighting the diversity of Britain’s troops during both world wars are rare and this one deserves a wide audience. It is a cracking read.” Bali Rai

Women in Aviation, Science and Engineering

Saturday, March 12th, 2016

On Saturday 19 March the Royal Air Force Museum, in partnership with Techmaids are holding an event in honour and celebration of women in science and engineering. The Month of March marks International Women’s Day and Women’s history Month.

Date: Saturday 19th March

Location: Historic Hangars, RAF Museum London

Time: 1100 – 1545

Entrance: FREE

We will be hosting various women who work in science and engineering who will be giving pop up lectures beneath our Bristol Beaufighter.

Event Schedule and Speakers

11.00 Maggie Appleton MBE, Chief Executive Officer at the Royal Air Force Museum

11.30 Hillary Taylor, Director, Zumiya Consulting

12.00 Linsey Birkett, Technical Engineer, Interserve Industrial Services – Power Division

12.30 Noor Ul-Ain, Graduate Engineer, Reading University

13.00 Claire Curtis-Thomas, Chief Executive Officer at the British Board of Agrement

13.30 Carla Curtis-Tansley, Student at the Royal College of Art, Imperial College London

14.00 Q&A: Meet the British Airways aircrew

14.45 Francesca Perona, Fab Lab London

15.15 Rahmat Iyabode Balogun, Founder of TechMaids

15.45 Cassie Kolyda, Founder & CEO of StraDia Coaching

About the Speakers

Maggie Appleton MBE, Chief Executive Officer, Royal Air Force Museum

Maggie took up her current post as Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Air Force Museum in January 2015.

Maggie has 25 years’ experience in the sector and is passionate about the difference that museums and culture can make to people’s lives. Before joining the Royal Air Force Museum, Maggie worked in Luton for 12 years, for six as director of museums and latterly as the Chief Executive of Luton Culture, the charity that comprises the arts, libraries, community centres and museums in the town. Her previous roles were in Stevenage and at the Royal Armouries.

Maggie led the consultation, fundraising and development of the HLF-funded Stockwood Discovery Centre in Luton that opened in 2008 and welcomes over 200,000 visitors a year. She was also responsible for securing the medieval Wenlok Jug for the UK after it was export stopped in 2006.

Maggie is also the Vice President of the Museums Association, Board Member of the Heritage Lottery Fund East of England Committee and the co-Chair of the Women Leaders in Museums Network.

Maggie is married with two boys and is a keen cyclist and reader.

Hillary Taylor, Director, Zumiya Consulting

I have lived and travelled the world, learned different languages and worked on ground-breaking projects. In parallel I work for and with communities to develop individuals, communities and communication, both in formal and informal roles. Opportunities exist every day for new and exciting challenges. In addition to technology, I’m also very involved in working to equal access for all (regardless of backgrounds, with or without disabilities) to our exciting STEAM (STEM including Arts and creativity) world and futures. I’m a published writer, work in a range of networks and am also very part time artist.

From my original degree in Electrical Engineering, through software, hardware, manufacturing, test and business development, today I work in creative thinking in tech, arts and social worlds. Problem solving, (technical, business, or other), I help develop strategies, understand risk, project, organisation and personal development. I take part in various community/ arts development and individual projects.

Linsey Birkett, Technical Engineer, Interserve Industrial Services – Power Division

Linsey Birkett is a Technical Engineer in the Power Division at Interserve Industrial Services. She fell into the Power Industry by accident 8 years ago and has thrived in the electrical arena, studying part time for an ONC and then a HNC in Electrical Engineering the latter of which she graduated from in June 2015 with a Distinction. Her day to day role is to provide support to the Extra High Voltage Underground team in the form of cable system design including cable calculations, cable pulling tensions and outage planning. In addition, she is heavily involved in the tendering, development and planning of projects anywhere from £5k to £25m for a wide range of Clients.

Noor Ul-Ain, Graduate Engineer, Reading University

Noor Ul-Ain, was born in a small village in Pakistan and moved to the UK when she was 11. Noor grew up in Swansea, studying at Dylan Community School. Her first introduction to engineering was a Saturday taster course in Electronics and Mechanic in year 9.

Noor then did her BEng and MEng at the University of Reading. Growing in a conservative family, she really enjoyed the freedom in University. It provided her with a great platform to further pursue her interest in Engineering. During her degree, she undertook a 6 month placement with EnSilica, an Engineering consultancy firm in Wokingham. Noor absolutely loved her time there, returning after graduation.

Ensilica is an SME, which has provided great opportunities for Noor. Working in smaller teams ensures that she is handed greater responsibilities than you what you would expect in a graduate position. The range of work projects are also highly varied, making her job very interesting. Noor has learnt to create PCB designs to do place and route. Also applying the same theory on a chip level. She have learnt a variety of skills schematic drawing, PBC layout, timing simulations, FPGA programing and numerous learning programming languages.

Claire Curtis-Thomas, Chief Executive at the British Board of Agrement

Claire Curtis-Thomas graduated in Mechanical Engineering from University College, Cardiff, and went on to obtain an MBA at Aston University. She also has an honorary PhD in Technology.

Her industry experience was gained with Shell UK. This was followed with roles at Birmingham City Council, initially as Head of Corporate Affairs and later as Chief Executive of Birmingham City Council Laboratories. Claire then returned to university life as Dean of the Engineering and Business Department of the University of Wales, Newport, before moving into politics when she was elected MP for Crosby.

During her time in parliament, Claire championed a number of issues on behalf of the construction industry and sat on three select committees: Trade & Industry, Home Affairs and Science & Technology. She also chaired All-Party Parliamentary Committees on Construction and Utility related subjects and founded the Construction & Development Partnership, a charity dedicated to bringing schools and education to the children of Sierra Leone.

Claire left politics in 2010 and before joining the BBA in 2013, she was Chief Executive of the Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers (IGEM), a Chartered Institution providing services, training, and standards to the gas industry.

Francesca Perona, Fab Lab London

Francesca Perona is a London-based interdisciplinary designer, FabLab London associate, Ravensbourne Sessional Lecturer and STEM educator. Trained and experienced as textile designer, she graduated with a MA in Computational Arts at Goldsmiths Department of Computing in 2012 and with a Fabacademy diploma at FabLab Barcelona/MIT in 2015.

Francesca’s practice sits at the intersection of experimental materials and digital technologies. She has run a number of workshops and courses on interactive technologies in local schools, community centres and Universities in the UK and abroad. Having worked on research projects for companies such as Unilever and Philips, she has also won digital arts residencies and presented her work at institutions such as the V&A, Abertay University and UCA Canterbury.

Rahmat Iyabode Balogun, Founder of TechMaids

After working for many years in corporate IT, based on the challenges faced during her professional career Rahmat decided to set up TechMaids to enable young people especially women into STEM careers and non traditional professions.

Rahmat has trained a significant number of women in Grahame Park. She continues to trailblaze by promoting gender diversity and awareness of digital skills to improve personal and economic wellbeing.

Rahmat is a STEM finalist, ambassador and role model. She is on a mission to inspire social change and empower the next generation for a digital economy.

Cassie Kolyda, Founder & CEO of StraDia Coaching

Female Engineer and Founder & CEO of StraDia Coaching, an international company helping High Powered Women to start and grow profitable businesses or successful careers in the corporate arena doing what they are passionate about.

Her true passion is to empower women to raise their Profile in male dominated arenas, develop unique personal brand to stand out, market their expertise, monetize their knowledge, leverage their time, add new revenue streams, not settle for less than they are worth!

Discover the Secret Life of… Spitfires and Hurricanes

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016

RAF Museum London Hurricane

The RAF Museum is offering enthusiasts and visitors a rare chance to get ‘under the skin’ of some of their iconic Battle of Britain aircraft.

The Museum is conducting an ‘open’ condition survey of its aircraft as part of its on-going plans to commemorate and celebrate the RAF’s Centenary in 2018.

The first of these surveys is now underway in the Battle of Britain Hall at its London site and will last until November. During this time visitors will be able to see under the skin of some of the aircraft as panels are removed and parts are dismantled for a closer inspection.

For the first time ever, the Museum is enabling visitors to see the ‘nuts and bolts’ under the panels as qualified technicians asses each aircraft and is also encouraging public photography and filming of the process.

Watch this video:

If you would like to learn more about the Museum’s plans for the RAF Centenary in 2018 please sign up to our RAF Centenary Programme e-Newsletter. To do this, just go to the bottom of any page on our main website, and click on the e-Newsletter link.