Posts Tagged ‘RAF Museum’

Online fans assist RAF Museum with reopening plans

Tuesday, June 30th, 2020

RAF Museum Poster Competition Winners

As the Royal Air Force Museum prepares to open its doors to visitors for the first time in more than three months, they have enlisted the help of their social media fans to help get the message out.

Posters designed by members of the public are being used by the Museum through their online platforms to promote the Museum’s reopening on Monday 6 July.

Over May half term the Museum launched a poster competition through its social media channels, calling on members of the public to design a poster to be used by the Museum during the reopening phase. 100 entries were received across three age categories – Over 18s, 10-18 Years and Under 10s.

The three winning designs now feature on the Museum’s website home page and social media accounts, and along with six runners up designs, will be displayed at both the Cosford and London sites for a period over the summer. A photo gallery and video of all the entries received can now be viewed on the RAF Museum’s Facebook page.

Winners will each receive a £100 prize bundle from the RAF Museum Shop, kindly sponsored by The Art Society Wrekin and six runners up get an RAF goody bag thanks the RAF Youth & STEM Team. Entries were received from across the country with two of the winners being local to RAFM London in Borehamwood and High Barnet, and two of the runners up local to RAF Museum Cosford in Telford and Birmingham.

Michelle Worthington, RAF Museum Communications Manager said:
“We were blown away with the response we received to the Poster Competition, across all age categories. It’s been wonderful to see the huge effort people have put into their designs; we have been really impressed with the creativity shown and have thoroughly enjoyed seeing them all. We are thrilled to be showcasing the winning designs online as we prepare to reopen, and we look forward to seeing them on display within the Museum soon.”

The Museum will be reopening its doors on Monday 6 July with a range of measures in place to ensure a safe and great day out for the whole family. While still offering FREE entry to all, visitors are kindly asked to pre-book their arrival time online at

RAF Museum at Cosford and London to reopen Monday 6 July

Saturday, June 27th, 2020

RAF Museum Cosford

RAF Museum welcomes back visitors to a great and safe day out

Following recent advice from the Government and Public Health England, the RAF Museum is pleased to announce that we will be re-opening our doors to visitors on Monday 6 July.

With the health and safety of visitors and colleagues in mind, the Museum will now be asking visitors to pre-book their arrival time at While still offering free entry to all, the new timed ticket approach will guarantee the space needed for a safe an enjoyable day out.

The Museum has been working hard behind the scenes to prepare new social distancing measures in preparation for re-opening, a one-way visitor flow and a limit of the number of people in each building will be in place when the Museum reopens on 6 July. Hand sanitiser will be available at the entrance to each hangar and throughout each building. Hand washing facilities are also available in all Museum buildings. We also encourage visitors to act in a manner that respects the safety of others.

The RAF Museum is unique in terms of our size, we offer wide open spaces – both inside and out, and a range of exhibits that will engage the whole family. Both sites have large green spaces, ideal for a summer picnic and we are also offering take-away food at our restaurants. Onsite parking is available, and the Museum shop will also be open and take contactless payment.

Barry Smith, Director of Visitor and Commercial Development, RAF Museum:
“We are incredibly happy to welcome our visitors back and have implemented a range of measures across both sites to ensure a safe and great day out for the whole family. Our friendly staff are also committed to creating a considerate and respectful environment for all our visitors. With our expansive spaces and engaging exhibits, we are the ideal day out for the summer.”

RAF Museum Spitfire marks the 75th anniversary of VE Day

Thursday, May 7th, 2020

RAF Museum Spitfire VE75

The world’s oldest Supermarine Spitfire Mk1 on display at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford is illuminated red, white and blue to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

The Spitfire is the most famous British fighter aircraft in history and a symbol of victory. Its groundbreaking design and superior specifications gave the British a decisive advantage over their rivals. The Spitfire was produced in greater numbers than any other British combat aircraft before or since the War.

The Royal Air Force Museum, the National Army Museum and the National Museum of the Royal Navy are joining forces to host their first tri-service celebration with a Virtual VE Day 75 Festival taking place online from 7-9 May 2020, bringing to life the stories of those who helped deliver Victory in Europe.

Find out more about the Virtual VE Day 75 Festival at

National Military Service Museums join forces to bring nation together (at home) in Virtual VE Day Festival

Tuesday, April 28th, 2020

VE Day Celebration

•  Tri-service museums host Virtual VE Day 75 Festival from 7-9 May 2020
•  Joint Command? Debunking the myths behind the Navy, Army and Air Force roles as they vied for victory 75 years ago
•  Free virtual events bring WW2 to life, for the nation at home

Tuesday, 28 April 2020 – The three historical institutions of the British Armed Forces invite the public to ‘stand with your services’ to celebrate 75 years since VE Day on Friday 8 May. The National Museum of the Royal Navy, National Army Museum and Royal Air Force Museum are hosting their first tri-service celebration with the Virtual VE Day 75 Festival taking place online from Thursday 7 May to Saturday 9 May 2020, inclusive.

In a way that the British do so well, the three museums of the Armed Forces will keep calm and carry on with their Virtual VE Day 75 Festival to replace individual pre-Covid ambitions for marking this important anniversary. The service museums encourage members of the public to come together, while staying at home, in conjunction with the government’s communications to ‘stay home and save lives’.

The virtual programme kicks off on Thursday 7 May, the date of Germany’s unconditional surrender, with ‘Vying for Victory: Britain’s Navy, Army and Air Force in Myth and Memory’. Chaired by historian and broadcaster, James Holland, this will see each museum fight their corner, discussing the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force’s respective roles during the closing stages of the Second World War. This free event will be broadcast on YouTube at 5pm on Thursday 7 May, followed by a live Q&A on CrowdCast at 7pm.

The Second World War was the first major conflict which saw the implementation of a truly joint operations and command. This involved three different services with three different sets of traditions, cultures and experiences. Leading military historians, Matthew Sheldon (National Museum of the Royal Navy); Dr Peter Johnson (National Army Museum) and Dr Harry Raffal (Royal Air Force Museum); will explore how each of the services has cemented its own contribution in myth, tradition and popular culture and question the accuracy of that representation via the highs and lows of this unique working relationship.

On Friday 8 May, members of the public are invited to get their gardens and homes decorated and prepare for a VE Day party. Enjoy learning about life on the Home Front, get thrifty with a Make Do and Mend session, and learn how to dig for victory. Discover some of the experiences of Women in War with poignant stories from the each of the museums’ archives. Such as that from Dorrie Thomas, who served as a Telegraphist in the Women’s Royal Navy Service and sent news of peace in Europe to members of the British Naval Fleet.

Historian and author, James Holland will speak to the National Army Museum’s Dr Peter Johnston at 2pm in a live webinar discussing ‘Why the Allies Won’, just before the nation tunes into the BBC to hear Churchill’s famous VE Day broadcast at 3pm. Victory celebrations commence at 4pm with a live Swing Dance Class followed by a sing-along concert with the Bluebird Belles.

Saturday 9 May brings living history to living rooms with reenactors sharing stories from real service personnel during the Second World War. Dr Peter Johnston takes a live webinar with historian Dr Jonathan Fennell on ‘Fighting the People’s War’, and an immersive walk-through of HMS Alliance will provide an insight into the extraordinary self-isolation experience of submariners as the rest of Europe celebrated.

Defence Minister Baroness Goldie said, “As plans for VE Day 75 have been forced to change hugely due to the pandemic, this imaginative and innovative virtual festival will provide a much-needed distraction in these uncertain times. This is a chance to rediscover the Second World War and will be a poignant reminder for us all of the sacrifice our Armed Forces made in honour of King and country.

“The cooperation of these three historic institutions is a fantastic achievement and will ensure that all generations are aware of the importance of VE Day and the unforgettable impact of events which took place 75 years ago.”

The museums are encouraging those joining to share pictures on social media with the hashtag #StandWithYourServices

RAF Museum Coronavirus Closure

Wednesday, March 18th, 2020

RAF Museum Coronavirus Closure

This is to inform you that in the light of Government recommendations regarding the Coronavirus/COVID.19 outbreak, the RAF Museum has closed its public sites at London and Cosford to the public. This includes cancellation of any events in that period.

I have been advised that the closure period will be at least until Friday May 1 2020.

Until then, our Business Continuity Team have put in place systems which will enable the Museum to continue our business operations with staff working from home and accessible by email or mobile.

We will also share updates on plans for re-opening through our website and social media channels.

This will inevitably mean restricted/ no access to archives and exhibits, however please do not hesitate to contact me with regards any Museum matters – always willing to try!

I look forward to inviting you back in to the RAF Museum soon.

Kind Regards

Ajay Srivastava

Commemorate Battle of Britain 80 at the RAF Museum

Thursday, February 20th, 2020

504 Squadron Scramble

2020 is the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain (BoB) which is recognised as the country’s finest hour. This summer the Royal Air Force Museum is inviting the country to remember this significant story of bravery, international alliances and ingenuity both at the Museum and on tour.

The RAF Museum is FREE to enter and has sites at both London and the West Midlands. Both sites are an amazing day out for all the family and will be commemorating the BoB 80 with a series of special events and exhibitions.

On tour:
The Museum is giving members of the public a rare chance to see a real Spitfire from our collection in various public spaces. This will include Coventry, Telford, Shrewsbury, Birmingham, Cosford, Wolverhampton and Barnet. The Spitfire on tour will enable members of the public to find out more about this iconic aircraft and the role each town and city played during the BoB.

The London Museum is home to the most complete set of Battle of Britain aircraft in the world including the ‘fighter four’: Spitfire, Hurricane, Messerschmitt 109 and Fiat CR42, all participants in the BoB. This year they will be supported by new displays telling the wider BoB story, including a fine art exhibition. There will also be a series of events for all the family, including The Battle of Britain Vintage Festival, Spitfire 10K and Family Run, and a Battle of Britain Aircraft Access event.

Home to the world’s oldest Spitfire, the Cosford Museum houses both British and German aircraft from the BoB era. See the RAF’s frontline fighters, the Spitfire, Hurricane, Gladiator and Defiant face to face with their German rivals the Me 109 and Ju88, all examples of the type used in the BoB. Previously unseen objects from the Museum’s archive collection and a Dowding System interactive area will enhance the aircraft displays. The summer events programme will include the popular Spitfire 10K and Family Run and a BoB Proms with musical acts suitable for all the family.

Earlier this year the RAF Museum launched the Hurricane 80K Challenge, a virtual race commemorating 80 years since the BoB. Participants have exactly 80 days to complete 80K and be rewarded with a bespoke challenge medal, proceeds will go the RAF Museum, registered charity 244708.

The RAF Museum is open daily from 10am and entry is FREE. For more details visit

Have you got what it takes to be a STAAR?

Wednesday, February 5th, 2020

The Royal Air Force Museum is offering young adults aged 14-15 years the chance to become a high-flyer in STEM, as applications for the highly commended Summer Time Advanced Aerospace Residency (STAAR) programme officially open on 10 February 2020.

With 60 places up for grabs, the Museum is calling on secondary school teachers across the UK to nominate students who they feel demonstrate an interest in and aptitude for one or more STEM subjects. Successful STAAR recruits will experience life as an RAF engineering trainee, and over a five-day period they will live, work, learn and solve tasks together.

With exclusive access to real aircraft and engines, this immersive hands-on programme will see recruits exploring aircraft design, gaining an understanding of an aircraft’s needs and test how innovative new materials and technologies are changing the landscape of aviation. Recruits will learn about important historical missions, explore current conflicts and potential ways in which technology will need to evolve in the future. Working together in teams, recruits will plan mock missions, fly drones to gather intelligence, and by the end of the week develop their own advanced aerospace system.

Julie Brierley, Royal Air Force Museum Cosford Access and Learning Manager said:
“The STAAR week will challenge participants and encourage them to think outside the box. 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. We hope by the end of the week, they will leave with a sense of achievement and an enthusiasm for the future.”

STAAR is fully funded by the global aerospace and defence technology giant, Northrop Grumman, in partnership with the Royal Air Force Museum. Created to address a skills gap in the STEM industries, STAAR is an engaging programme that develops the skills needed by the next generation of engineers and innovators, encouraging them to study and consider taking up careers in STEM related fields. The programme of activities is delivered by the RAF Museum in association with RAF Cosford, RAF Youth and STEM team and Tablet Academy.

Nick Chaffey, Chief Executive of Northrop Grumman UK and Europe said:
“The STAAR programme is an incredible opportunity for students to learn new skills and experience the challenges and excitement of the aerospace industry. We are proud to support STAAR because we know it is vital to bring classroom STEM studies to life and provide young people with the opportunity to learn practical skills; it also gives them visibility of tangible career paths that they can pursue. Our work with the teams at the Royal Air Force Museum and RAF Cosford makes the STAAR programme stand out as an exemplar of hands-on STEM activity and we hope inspires the next generation into the aerospace sector.”

Two STAAR residential weeks are planned for up to 60 students and will be held jointly at RAF Cosford and the RAF Museum Cosford on 20-24 and 27-31 July 2020, with 30 recruits taking part each week. Two places each week will go to students on the Jon Egging Trust Blue Skies programme. Participants will also work towards a CREST Award and an Industrial Cadet Award during the programme.

Applications open on 10 February and must be completed by a teacher explaining why their student is suitable. For more information on the STAAR programme visit The closing date is 24 April, successful applicants will be notified early May. The class of 2020 will then be invited to attend the RAF Cosford Air Show on 14 June, where they will have the opportunity to meet with fellow recruits, STAAR partners and enjoy a day viewing the very pinnacle of the aerospace industry.

In memory of ‘The Few’: Hurricane 80K Challenge

Wednesday, January 29th, 2020

Hurricane 80k Challenge Medal

Date: 21 April – 10 July 2020 (registration now open)
Cost: £20 per person

To commemorate 80 years since the Battle of Britain, the Royal Air Force Museum has launched the Hurricane 80K Challenge, encouraging keen runners and novices alike, to run 80K in 80 days.

The Hurricane 80K Challenge is a virtual race that commences on 21 April 2020 and runners have exactly 80 days to run, walk, swim or bike 80K in a location of their choice. Participants will have access to a downloadable log sheet to record their 80K before being rewarded with a bespoke, commemorative 80K Challenge medal.

As a virtual race, the 80K challenge can be completed anywhere in the world. Online registration is now open and runners from across the UK and as far as Germany and Norway have already signed up. Participants have 80 days until 10 July, poignantly the start of the Battle of Britain, to complete the challenge.

Entry costs £20 per person and all proceeds from the Hurricane 80K Challenge will go towards the RAF Museum, registered charity 244708. Limited edition Hurricane 80K Challenge t-shirts are also available to purchase when registering online.

RAF Museum London Public Events Manager, Ella Hewitt said:
“The Hurricane 80K Challenge is an opportunity for people across the globe to challenge themselves and pay respect to ‘The Few’ who served and lost their lives during the Battle of Britain 80 years ago. 80K in 80 days is quite a task, but it can be completed anytime, anywhere, and we’ve already had lots of interest from abroad and RAF bases across the UK. It’s great to see people getting behind the challenge.”

The Hurricane, often overshadowed by the Spitfire, was the number one fighter plane during the Battle of Britain, inflicting the most losses and causing the most amount of damage to the Luftwaffe during the engagement. Having fought in all major theatres of the Second World War and playing a crucial role in protecting Britain during the summer of 1940, the Hurricane 80K Challenge is giving the aircraft the spotlight it deserves.

 To register for the Hurricane 80K Challenge visit Entry costs £20 per person, or £32 per person with the souvenir t-shirt. Additional booking and postage charges apply for overseas participants.

The annual Spitfire 10K will also be returning to the RAF Museum London on 29 August and RAF Museum Cosford on 30 August 2020. All runners will be given the name of a Battle of Britain RAF pilot to wear with their race number, in memory of those who defended our skies during the summer of 1940. Spaces are limited and filling up fast. For further details or to register you place visit

Writing home for Christmas…

Thursday, November 28th, 2019

letter home at Christmas

Date: 30 November – 5 January 2020 / Time: 10.00am to 3.00pm / Cost: £3 per person

Join us at the Royal Air Force Museum this festive season and take part in the Letters Home trail, inspired by letters sent during the war from personnel serving overseas, to their loved ones back at home. Families will be given a letter created using real extracts, but to read the letter in full, youngsters will need to search the hangars to find all the missing words. With nine words to find across huge hangars packed full of aircraft, it’s no easy task and will require lots of eagle eyed youngsters!

To assist with the search, which takes place from 30 November 2019 – 5 January 2020, the Museum has produced a Letters Home trail sheet so you can fill in the gaps as you make your way around the hangars in search for the missing words. For everyone who successfully manages to find all the missing words, get your letter stamped with the RAF badge and then receive your chocolate reward.

RAF Museum Public Events Manager (London), Ella Hewitt said:
“The Letters Home trail uses real letters from the RAF Museum’s archive, sent during the First and Second World War from serving personnel in the Armed Forces to their family, friends and loved ones over the Christmas period. They talk of their Christmas experience whilst deployed overseas, some are sad other are humorous, but all are sent with great fondness. By combining extracts from several letters, the Museum has created its own ‘letter home’ and now requires the help of families to complete it.”

RAF Museum Public Events Manager (Cosford), Abi Betteridge said:
“Families will also have a rare opportunity to wish those serving abroad this festive season a very happy Christmas by writing a ‘Bluey’ to serving RAF personnel in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Falklands or Cyprus (RAF Aktrotiri) for them to open in the New Year. Our specially designed Bluey is inspired by the Armed Force’s Aerogrammes, known as Bluey’s, which are a way of sending letters and messages for free to Force’s personnel on operational duty. Children can choose which base they would like to send their letter to by adding one of our special stamps and posting it in the Museum’s post box. In the new year all the letters will be posted by the Museum to the four RAF bases across the globe for the personnel to read.”

Families can purchase their Letters Home trail on arrival for just £3 per person and they have until the Museum closes to complete the trail and collect their chocolate reward. The trail is suitable for children of all ages, but younger children may require some assistance. Writing a Bluey is a free activity for all Museum visitors wishing to take part. Before you head home, why not pose for a photo with one of the giant Christmas pudding and Christmas Tree selfie boards as a fun memento of the day.

Each participant will also get a 10% discount in the Museum shop on the day of their visit by showing their trail sheet when making a purchase from the Museum Shop.

The Museum is open daily from 10.00am and entry is free of charge (excluding 24-26 December and 1 January). For more information on the Christmas activities taking place at the Museum visit

RAF Museum Partnership with Chelsea FC to celebrate Jewish RAF Heroes

Friday, November 22nd, 2019

Jewish pilots prayer book

Chelsea Foundation has today announced a partnership with the Royal Air Force Museum. The partnership is sponsored by Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich and will support the RAF Museum’s development of the Jewish ‘Hidden Heroes’ project.

The RAF Museum has developed the ‘Hidden Heroes’ project to raise awareness about the previously untold story of Jewish personnel in the RAF during the Second World War and the vital role they played. These heroes joined the Royal Air Force from all over the world, to fight against tyranny, racism and anti-Semitism, fully aware that they risked torture and execution if captured.

The RAF played a crucial part in the defeat of the Luftwaffe in the famous ‘Battle of Britain’, preventing the Nazis from invading Britain, the last democratic stronghold in Europe. The RAF Museum is committed to sharing the story of the important role the Jewish personnel played across the RAF in winning the Second World War and defeating Hitler. Their fascinating stories are a powerful window to the past through which we can make links to today and inspire future generations.

The new project will be launched next year for the 80th anniversary of the ‘Battle of Britain’ and seeks to tell the stories of Jewish veterans to preserve their memory, and act as a challenge to antisemitism, racism and discrimination.

The RAF Museum and Chelsea Foundation are now inviting people from all over the world to submit their own stories – as well as those of families and friends, of Jewish personnel in the Second World War – so they can be preserved and shared online and at the Museum’s public sites.

On December 4th, the partnership will formally be launched at Stamford Bridge. The launch event will feature Jewish RAF veterans, as well as specially invited guests.

Maggie Appleton MBE, CEO at the RAF Museum, said:

‘We are tremendously grateful to Roman Abramovich and Chelsea FC for supporting the RAF Museum’s Jewish ‘Hidden Heroes’ project.’

‘The Battle of Britain was the RAF’s defining moment, when they stood firm against Hitler and fascism. With many Jewish RAF personnel playing crucial roles, the 80th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain in 2020 provides the perfect opportunity to remember these incredible people.’

‘By highlighting their stories, we want to play our part in calling out the rise in anti-Semitism – and wider racism – in our society.’

Bruce Buck, Chelsea FC Chairman, said:

‘We are delighted to be able to support the RAF Museum with this project. ‘

‘Chelsea FC is committed to tackling antisemitism through education and the Jewish ‘Hidden Heroes’ tells important stories about the bravery of Jewish RAF personnel during the conflict.’

‘Since we launched our ‘Say No to Antisemitism’ campaign in January 2018, and under the leadership of Roman Abramovich, we have been focussed on tackling racism and discrimination in the stands and in wider society.’

‘There can be no place in our society for anti-Semitism or any form of discrimination – and we are determined to join with others to tackle this vital cause.’

Stage One of the Jewish ‘Hidden Heroes’ project involves the collation of stories from Jewish RAF personnel within the Museum’s RAF Stories digital storytelling site. The project will include:

• Video interviews with Jewish veterans and family members
• Animated videos of Jewish stories drawn from RAF Museum archives
• On-screening of these videos in the RAF Museum Galleries

To discover more about RAF Stories, please visit:

To share a story, please download the RAF Stories app or contact their team at or on 01902 376 237.

More detail of Chelsea’s Say No To Anti-Semitism campaign can be found here:

More details about the RAF Museum can be found here: