Posts Tagged ‘RAF Museum’

Pass on something wonderful

Thursday, August 26th, 2021

RAF Museum - Remember a Charity 2021

This year’s Remember A Charity Week (6-12 September), the Royal Air Force Museum is offering a free Will writing service for supporters who wish to leave a gift to the Museum in their Will.

After taking care of your family and friends, even a small legacy donation can make a huge impact, assisting the Museum, a registered charity, in its vision of inspiring future generations with the RAF story.

No matter how big or small your gift is, supporters can access free advice and a Will writing service through the Museum’s partnership with Bequeathed, an accredited legal firm.

Charities and museums underpin so much of community life in the UK and bring people together. Now more than ever, the RAF Museum is relying on gifts in Wills from supporters to help conserve the nations RAF heritage.

The last 18 months have prompted many of us to reflect on the things that matter the most – family, friends, and the causes close to our hearts. We’ve also been reminded of the value of planning for the future, to help look after the things we care about most.

Aimee Pitchford, Legacy Manager at the RAF Museum says:
‘Remember A Charity Week, from 6 to 12 September, is the perfect opportunity to consider passing on something wonderful by leaving a gift in your Will. By leaving a gift in your Will to the Royal Air Force Museum, your gift can reflect your own interests and passions, inspiring others through our collections and exhibitions as we continue to inspire everyone with the RAF story, the people who shape it and its place in our lives.’

The RAF has been responsible for some of the greatest stories ever told…not just of the heroism of the Battle of Britain that took place over the skies of Britain 80 years ago, but also of the RAF today. Underpinning these stories is a collection of more than 1.3 million objects, ranging in size from aircraft to lapel badges, and spanning more than a century of aviation history.

If you would like to find out more about leaving a gift to the RAF Museum in your Will, please visit www.rafmuseum.org.

#RememberACharityWeek

Adoptions help keep the RAF Museum flying

Monday, July 19th, 2021

RAF Museum Fighter Fund

Within its first year, the Royal Air Force Museum’s Adopt an Artefact initiative has helped raise more than £65,000 to help keep the Museum flying, with over 200 adoptees supporting the Museum in one of the toughest years faced by visitor attractions.

‘Adopt an Artefact’ highlights a selection of iconic and unusual objects from the Museum collection which span more than a century of aviation and RAF history. It’s also a unique opportunity for everyone to be part of the RAF’s story while raising funds for the Museum.

To celebrate the first anniversary, the Museum is introducing five new objects for people to adopt, each with their own fascinating story to tell. The new objects joining the list of over 60 already available to adopt include a flying car, dog lead, RAF Cosford hospital tag, fighter fund card and even a toothbrush. These five new items have all been specially selected from the Museum’s collection of more than 1.3 million items and can be adopted online at rafmuseum.org.

The NEW Anniversary artefacts available for adoption include the Nylon Halex toothbrush. But this is no ordinary toothbrush and concealed within the handle is a small, magnetised compass swinger. This is an example of the work of Section 9 of the Directorate of Military Intelligence (MI9). One of MI9’s specialities was smuggling escape aids into prisoner of war camps in otherwise unremarkable looking objects. It’s the perfect adoption for any budding spies and can be spotted on display at the Museums London site.

The RAF Cosford Hospital Key Tag for the female nurses’ quarter is a poignant adoption for the medical staff who worked there. Opened in 1940 and housed in a series of inter-connected wooden huts, the RAF Cosford hospital treated more than 42,000 patients during the Second World War, including returning prisoners of war and burns victims. Following the war, the hospital’s remit was widened to include care for the local population, and thousands of military and civilian patients were treated at the hospital before its closure in 1977. Visitors to the Museums Cosford site can view the tag on display.

The sky’s the limit with Handley Page HP120 Flying Car adoption! Developed in 1950s when there was considerable interest in the concept of a flying car, this model was built for wind tunnel testing. Before building full-sized prototypes, designers often use large accurate models to observe the behaviour of proposed new aircraft under simulated flight conditions. Powered by a jet engine and fitted with folding wings and a moveable tail, this flying car concept never went beyond the wind tunnel model stage. Adoptees can view this unique item on display in London.

Calling all dog lovers…the heavy-duty Dog Lead used with patrol dogs at RAF Scampton in the 1970s is the perfect adoption for you. RAF police dogs have their own RAF service numbers and non-commissioned ranks. This sometimes means that the dog will outrank its handler! The RAF Police have used dogs in the protection of airfields and military installations since 1945. RAF police dogs are trained in two distinct roles, either patrol and guarding or as specialist search dogs. This object, which recognises the important contribution of service dogs, is proudly on display at Cosford.

The Fighter Fund Card of Honour now available for adoption is an example of the many Fighter Funds established in 1940 to raise the £5,000 required to purchase an RAF fighter aircraft which was then named after an individual, business, town or city. They enabled ordinary people to contribute to the war effort and brought communities and Allied counties together. Savings cards encouraged the public to donate a small but regular amount to a Fighter Fund. Stamps could be purchased for a penny and, on completion of the card, the owner was issued with a large Stamp of Honour. Eighty years on, you can help support the Museum’s public fund by adopting the Fighter Fund Card of Honour! Look out for this artefact next time you visit the Museums Cosford site.

Adopt online at www.rafmuseum.org, where you can discover more about the new artefacts and browse through more than 60 items up for adoption, including everything from a Red Arrows flying suit, to lucky mascots, and even a commemorative beer mat, there really is something for everyone! Adoptions can be made on an individual or corporate basis; join Mars and Chelsea FC by adopting one of our amazing aircraft!

Starting at £25.00, adoptions last 12 months from the date they are adopted. As recognition for their adoption, all adoptees will receive a digital adoption certificate and photo, exclusive updates, and the option to include a dedicated message along with the name of the adoptee alongside the object on Collections Online, the Museum’s digital collections system.

Abi Betteridge, Individual Giving Manager RAF Museum said:
‘Since we launched Adopt an Artefact last year, dedication messages from adoptees have continued to flood our web pages. We have seen many personal tributes to loved ones, like Twinkletoes the Cat who was adopted in memory of someone’s father, a wartime Hurricane pilot and cat lover. One of the more humorous dedications we have seen was for the Elsanol Chemical Toilet Fluid, it read ‘Lest we forget all the little underappreciated jobs that make the world go around’. There have also been messages of reflection, encouragement and support, it is very moving to read through them.

Adopting an artefact can help make a real difference to the services we continue to deliver. The money raised through adoptions could help fund places for students on our three-year engineering Apprenticeship in the Michael Beetham Conservation Centre, or provide our Access and Learning team additional members of staff, enabling them to deliver our amazing learning programme to even more learners.’

Edward Sharman, Head of Development RAF Museum, said:
‘As a result of the pandemic, the Museum has seen a reduction in our self-generated income of over £3m. By adopting one of our amazing objects in the collection, support from our adoptees is helping the Museum continue inspiring everyone with the RAF story. It is also a fantastic opportunity for individuals and organisations to be part of the RAF’s history and to receive something unique in return for their support. We hope adoptees have enjoyed being part of Adopt an Artefact and will consider continuing to support us and adopt for another year.’

All adoptees can view their adopted artefact during a visit to the Museum, where each object can be found on display at either the Museum’s Cosford or London site.

The Museum is open daily from 10.00am and admission is free, simply pre-book your arrival time online at www.rafmuseum.org/cosford. Then it’s chocks away as you explore the Museum’s vast collection of aircraft, vehicles, artefacts and the fascinating story of the RAF!

WALKING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF OUR FORCES

Tuesday, June 8th, 2021

#FootstepsOfOurForces

PUBLIC ASKED TO MARK THIS YEAR’S ARMED FORCES WEEK BY WALKING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF OUR FORCES

• The National Museum of the Royal Navy, National Army Museum, Royal Air Force Museum and Commonwealth War Graves Commission are marking this year’s Armed Forces Week by launching a virtual walking event, In the Footsteps of Our Forces
• The four organisations are appealing to the public to take inspiration from Captain Sir Tom Moore and get active; by participating in a 5,10 or 25K walk around historic sites in their local community, reflecting on the incredible contribution of our service personnel
• Participants can choose their distance and join hundreds of others across the country to walk in honour of those who serve. As a virtual walk they can participate and complete the challenge from anywhere in the world and all will receive a medal for their achievement

The National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN), National Army Museum (NAM), the Royal Air Force Museum (RAFM) and Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) are delighted to announce the launch of a country-wide celebration of our service personnel in conjunction with this years Armed Forces Week (21 – 27 June). All four organisations have come together to host a virtual walk event In the Footsteps of Our Forces, and are appealing to the public to reflect on and celebrate the role of our Armed Forces today and in the past.

The virtual walk will kick off on Monday 21 June, Armed Forces Week, and will end on Sunday 4 July. The public will have two weeks to complete their chosen distance of either 5, 15 or 25K. They will also be able to download one of the suggested routes which will take then around museums, war graves, memorials, historical sites and places of remembrance. All of those who complete the walk will be awarded a commemorative medal to mark their achievement

Entry for the In the Footsteps of Our Forces walk is £18 and the money will go towards the three museums, and the Commonwealth War Graves Foundation (CWGF), which are all registered charities. A discounted ticket of £15 is offered for the Armed Forces Community (including veterans, cadets and serving personnel). If five or more friends or family members enter, they will be eligible for a 10% discount on tickets. If a group of 10 or more enter then a 15% discount will apply. Tickets must be purchased in a single transaction, and medals will be posted to one address.

All four charities preserve the history of the Armed Forces and inspire with stories of sacrifice and courage and have seen visitations to their sites severely impacted in the last year. The money raised will support each organisation in helping to continue to tell the stories of those who served and are still serving in the Armed Forces today.

Amongst the suggested routes includes the routes around historic Hendon, the home of the RAF Museum or through the streets of military Chelsea, the home of the National Army Museum. You can explore the historic docks of the Navy in Portsmouth or use the War Graves app to discover the War Graves and memorials on your doorstep.

The four organisations who worked together last year in creating virtual programmes to commemorate the 75th anniversaries of VE and VJ Day and have been nominated for a Museums and Heritage Award for best Partnership and, are excited to working together again.

Dominic Tweddle Director General of the National Museum of the Royal Navy says: “Only last week in Portsmouth alongside Admiral Nelson’s Flagship, HMS Victory, we bid farewell to the Strike Carrier Group as it undertook its deployment. This was the largest concentration of maritime and air power to be deployed from the UK in a generation and demonstrates the scale of the UK’s military commitment still today. It is proof that our role as a museum continues to be connecting the work of our service personnel today, with the experience of those 100, 200 and 300 years ago and we hope that that is something that participants in this walk will reflect on.”

Justin Maciejewski, Director of the National Army Museum says “Last Summer we were all humbled at the incredible efforts of Captain Sir Tom Moore as he celebrated the work of our NHS through a personnel walking challenge. Inspired by this spirit and determination we hope the public will undertake their own walking challenge in support of the heritage organisations that celebrate and commemorate the work of our Army, Navy and Air Force and perhaps pay a visit to Captain Sir Tom’s Portrait now proudly on display in our Chelsea Museum.”

Maggie Appleton, CEO of the Royal Air Force Museum continues: “The pandemic has required us to think again about the way we commemorate important anniversaries and events. Last year’s incredibly successful VE and VJ Day virtual events in collaboration with our partners, has driven us to seek more ways in which we can work together and it is wonderful to be commemorating the work of our three services together with our colleagues at the other service museums and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.”

Claire Horton, Director General of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission says: “We think that this walking challenge is a fantastic opportunity to get people out and exploring the war graves and memorials in their local areas and to connect those with the stories of historic and modern service personnel told at our partner museums. Working together in this way helps us all to illustrate the evocative, inspiring and poignant stories we all seek to highlight throughout our work.”

Defence Minister Baroness Goldie said: “Our Service Museums and the CWGC do vital work in keeping the story of our Armed Forces and their sacrifice alive for future generations. I hope that during this Armed Forces Week, service personnel and members of the public can reflect upon their incredible contribution through this endeavour.”

For further information on how to get involved in In the Footsteps of Our Forces please visit one of the partner websites www.nmrn.org.uk, www.nam.ac.uk, www.rafmuseum.org.uk, www.CWGC.org.

Freedom Fighters: Diverse Identities in the RAF

Monday, May 24th, 2021

Freedom Fighters at the RAF Museum

This new RAF Museum workshop explores the lives of African, Caribbean, South Asian and Irish volunteers who served in the RAF despite being opposed to British rule in their home countries.

Speakers will include Sunday Times best-selling author Shrabani Basu and RAF Museum Curator Peter Devitt, and the event will explore and celebrate the stories of key individuals from diverse backgrounds who served in the RAF and connect their experiences to the story of wider participation in the British armed forces during the Second World War.

As well as exploring the diverse nature of those who served in the RAF the panel will also critically examine the motivations of those who fought in the RAF and identify a complexity that is marginalised in British Military History.

The event is moderated by Dr Harry Raffal, who says: “Freedom Fighters takes place within the context of the rapidly evolving debate about Britain’s imperial past, with the issues of slavery, the growth of nationalism and the cultural legacy of empire under close examination. The event is timely as it comes shortly before landmark anniversaries in the histories of Indian, Caribbean and Irish independence.”

Three volunteers will be considered in detail: Noor Inayat Khan from India; Errol Walton Barrow from Barbados; and Irishman Robert Gregory. The speakers will examine their individual motives for joining up, their treatment by British colleagues, and how they reconciled military service to the Crown with their political beliefs. These individual experiences will be set into wider context by two papers considering the experiences of Indian personnel and refugees and émigrés in the RAF during the Second World War.

Our Panel:
• Sunday Times best-selling author Shrabani Basu will speak about Indian SOE agent Noor Inayat Khan GC, executed at Dachau concentration camp on 13 September
1944.

• RAFM Curator Peter Devitt will deliver a paper about Major Robert Gregory MC, immortalised in W.B. Yeats’ ‘An Irish Airman Foresees His Death’ in 1918.

• Early Career Researcher Session (Second World War): Papers will include ‘Flying Officer Errol Walton Barrow: Navigator, Prime Minister’, ‘Indian service in the RAF’,
and ‘Refugees and émigrés at war’.

Tiegan Byrne, RAFM Access and Learning, will read the Yeats poem and selected quotations from Noor Inayat Khan and Errol Barrow.

• Roundtable discussion of the issues raised by the presentations, moderated by RAFM Historian Dr Harry Raffal.

www.rafmuseum.org

RAF Museum welcomes new Head of Collections and Research

Wednesday, May 19th, 2021

Peter Johnston

The RAF Museum is pleased to announce that we have appointed our new Head of Collections and Research: Dr Peter Johnston.

Dr Peter Johnston is a military historian and Museum professional. Most recently he was the Head of Collections Research and Academic Access at the National Army Museum. He joined the Museum in 2014 as the Collections Content Manager, responsible for running the curatorial team working on the new displays, before becoming Head of Collections Development and Review in 2017. He spends the majority of his time conducting research and working with academics and the military. He has acted as an expert and accompanying academic on battlefield tours from Flanders to the Falklands, as well as regularly appearing across media channels. His first book, British Forces in Germany: The Lived Experience, was the authorised history of the British forces in Germany from 1945-2019, and published by Profile Editions in October 2019. He has also published on recruitment propaganda and museum collections.

Peter studied History and Modern History for his Undergraduate and Masters degrees at the University of Durham, and completed his PhD at the University of Kent, focusing on recruitment and culture in the British Armed Forces. He has previously worked as an Assistant Lecturer at the University of Kent, Visiting Lecturer at the University of Westminster, and as a researcher in social policy.

Says Peter: ‘I’m thrilled to be joining the RAF Museum at this exciting time. The Museum has big, ambitious plans and I’m looking forward to getting involved and playing my part in taking these forward. The history of the RAF has shaped not only our country, but our world, and it continues to have a relevance to each and every one of us. It really is a privilege to be a part of. The Museum has a unique, world-class Collection, and a great team, and I cannot wait to get started.’

Peter will officially start at the Museum on Monday 7th June.

www.rafmuseum.org

RAF Museum to reopen Monday 17 May

Wednesday, May 12th, 2021

RAF Museum staff

Run through your checklist and get ready for take-off, the RAF Museum Cosford is about to reopen!

• Hangars full of amazing aircraft? Check!
• NEW airfield-inspired playground for kids? Check!
• Big outdoor areas for summer games and picnics? Check!
• Car parking and café? Check!
• Social distancing signage and sanitiser? Check!
• Gift shop with toys to keep the kids quiet on the way home? Check!
• FREE to enter!? Check!

View the fly through drone footage

It’s time to get #BackToMuseums and the RAF Museum Cosford’s new outdoor airfield-inspired playground, along with huge hangars packed full of aircraft is the perfect place to ‘jet off’ to for a family friendly staycation.

While still offering free entry to all, visitors are kindly asked to pre-book their arrival time online at www.rafmuseum.org. The timed ticket approach will guarantee the space needed for a safe and enjoyable day out, and once you’ve checked in, you are welcome to stay as long as you like!

With May half term just around the corner, planning days out for the family could not be simpler. The Museum’s new RAF themed playground is guaranteed to be the number one destination for future pilots and ground crew alike. Bring your little ones along to test-fly the new playground, carry out refuelling missions onboard the Victor and Vulcan cockpit, and become an air traffic controller for the day in the mock control tower, overlooking the mini hangar.

Getting the Museum ready for take-off following months of closure has required a head for heights, as the aircraft have been given a spring clean on an epic scale. The work required a specialist team to abseil from the 30m high roof to access the suspended aircraft displayed in the National Cold War Exhibition hangar, including a Vulcan bomber and a vertically suspended Lightning. Aircraft and exhibits on the ground have also been spruced up by the Museum’s Technicians and Apprentices, and even the external aircraft were given a wash, ensuring they look their best for when visitors return.

Visitors can expect some pre-flight safety checks and social distancing measures in place upon the Museum’s re-opening on 17 May, including a one-way visitor flow and a limit on the number of people in each building. Hand sanitiser will be available throughout each hangar, along with hand washing facilities in all Museum buildings. Visitors are encouraged to act in a manner that respects the safety of others.

Events are cleared for take-off, here is what’s coming up at the RAF Museum Cosford this summer:

19 June: Aviation Art Workshops
The Museum has partnered with the Guild of Aviation Artists to deliver two Aviation Art Workshops. With the aircraft as your muse, the drawing course will focus on drawing techniques, observation, shading and composition, delivered by David Calow, an award-winning aviation artist and illustrator. Or, if painting is your passion, sign up for the hands-on painting course and develop your brush techniques, paint application and composition skills, delivered by Nigel Morris, an artist, graphic designer, illustrator and lecturer in art and design. Both workshops will take place in Hangar 1 which will be exclusively open to workshop participants.

22 July – 30 August: Summer of Fun ‘n’ Flight
The Museum’s Summer of Fun ‘n’ Flight programme features a range of high-flying activities. Visit us throughout the summer months and discover something new each time you return!
• Crazy Golf (22 July – 30 August)
• Climbing Wall (22 -31 July)
• Cavebus (1-10 August)
• Trampoline Trailer (11-20 August)
• Bungee Trampolines (21-30 August)

24-25 July: RAF Museum Foodie Market
While it will be another year before the Cosford Food Festival makes a triumphant return, a selection of popular exhibitors will be bringing a taste of the festival to the Museum in July with a smaller Foodie Market. Nestled in between the aircraft near the Visitor Centre, more than 20 stallholders will showcase their products. Visitors can roam the market stalls in between viewing the aircraft hangars and show their support for small local businesses.

13-15 August: Outdoor Cinema
The Outdoor Cinema will be making a welcome return in August, offering movie fans the ultimate cinema experience, with two screenings per day to look forward to, on a huge LED screen alongside the VC10 and Hercules aircraft. The afternoon screening at 5.00pm each day is suitable for the whole family; our evening screenings at 8:30pm are suitable for everyone over 12 years. Films will be announced in early June.

29 August: The Spitfire 10K is back!
Chocks away! The Spitfire 10K will return to the RAF Museum Cosford in August. Begin the race with a loop of the Museum site past iconic aircraft, before heading onto the airfield at RAF Cosford. It’s a unique opportunity to run alongside the wartime hangars, the air traffic control tower and sprint down the runway. Once you cross the finish line you will receive the highly coveted Spitfire 10K race medal. It will also be held virtually – giving runners from all over the UK, and across the world, the opportunity take part.

For a full list of events taking place at the RAF Museum Cosford this summer and to book tickets visit www.rafmuseum.org/Cosford.

And what’s coming up at the RAF Museum Hendon this summer:

Saturday 31 July and Sunday 1 August: Family Festival of Flight

Our family festival is back again this year. Come and discover the wonders of flight and get involved in our activities for all ages.

Friday 20 August to Sunday 22 August: Sundown Cinema at the RAF Museum

The big screen is landing outdoors to the RAF Museum this summer. Bring the whole family along to watch loads of fun films, including Moana, Greatest Showman and of course Top Gun.

Our vintage fairground will be on site to make your trip to our outdoor cinema even more memorable. Have a go on the swing boats or high striker before sitting down to watch one of our family favourites..

Saturday 28 August: Spitfire 10K
The Spitfire 10K is back! Enter now and race through the Museum, before setting off around the pavements of Colindale. The historic location RAF Hendon Airfield will form the route of your race, running down residential streets which were once landing strips for Spitfire’s.

For a full list of events taking place at the RAF Museum London this summer and to book tickets visit www.rafmuseum.org/London

Chelsea Foundation and Royal Air Force Museum unveil new exhibition plans for Jewish Hidden Heroes project

Thursday, May 6th, 2021

Hidden Heroes Project

The Chelsea Foundation and the RAF Museum are pleased to announce an extension of their partnership for a further three years.

The partnership is sponsored by club owner Roman Abramovich and will support the expansion of the Museum’s Jewish ‘Hidden Heroes’ project which will feature a new Bomber Command exhibition at both the London and Cosford sites, launching in 2023.

The new displays will help the Museum to continue to raise awareness of the previously untold story of the Jewish personnel in the RAF during the Second World War and the vital role they played in defeating the Luftwaffe in the famous ‘Battle of Britain’, preventing the Nazis from invading Britain, the last democratic stronghold in Europe. These heroes joined the RAF from all over the world, to fight against tyranny, racism and antisemitism, fully aware that they risked torture and execution if captured. Their fascinating stories are a powerful window to the past through which we can make links to today and inspire future generations.

The London exhibition is already home to an iconic Avro-Lancaster which was ‘adopted’ in 2020 by Roman Abramovich and the Chelsea Foundation to commemorate the many Jewish Hidden Heroes of Bomber Command. This year the Museum is celebrating the 80th anniversary of the first test flight of the Avro Lancaster.

New additions to the exhibition will include in-gallery screens exploring the contributions of the personnel to Bomber Command, a small object display with links to the ‘Hidden Heroes’, RAF Museum’s online display of objects commemorating both the Bomber Command and Jewish Hidden Heroes and the Avro-Lancaster will be accompanied by an Augmented Reality interactive experience, sharing the stories of Jewish RAF personnel.

The partnership will also bring to life the Jewish ‘Hidden Heroes’ Community Outreach Programme, which will extend to the wider community through school networks in London, sharing the positive narrative of the Jews fighting for their country and the survival of their race. It will also support the continuation of recording Jewish Hidden Heroes stories for the Jewish section on the RAF Stories website and the Community Programme of Jewish Hidden Heroes presentations for Key Stage 2 and 3 audiences.

Bruce Buck, Chelsea FC Chairman: ‘We are delighted to announce a further three-year extension to our partnership with the Royal Air Force Museum. This will see the continuation of the Hidden Heroes project and enable the Museum to expand upon it and introduce new educational tools. 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.”

Maggie Appleton, RAF Museum CEO: ‘More than ever we need to challenge prejudice in all its ugly forms, and more than ever we need to educate young minds as to the experiences of previous generations – those who suffered as well as those who fought back. I am incredibly proud of our partnership with the Chelsea Foundation and the Jewish Hidden Heroes project and hope that it goes some way to challenging the rise of anti-Semitism and wider racism in society. These are inspiring stories of courage and human spirit which will endure and resonate.’

You can find out more information about the RAF Museum, including how to pre-book tickets at www.rafmuseum.org. The Museum will be ready for take-off when it reopens on 17 May.

To find out more information about the club’s ‘Say No to Antisemitism’ campaign, visit the new website here. If you would like to keep up to date with the club’s latest antisemitism updates and key events, you can register for the newsletter here.

Search for UK’s brightest STEM students

Monday, April 19th, 2021

STAAR residential experience

Register online at rafmuseum.org/STAAR.
Competition commences on 10 May to 28 June online.
Residential places are available for four schools.

The Royal Air Force Museum in partnership with Northrop Grumman in the UK is on the lookout for enthusiastic STEM students to take part in an exciting new competition. Each school team will compete against other school teams in a series of STEM challenges posted online, with the chance to win a two-day residential educational and vocational experience at RAF Cosford later this year.

The new STAAR programme will consist of six STEM challenges that together create the overall Mission. Students will be part of an elite team called upon to monitor earthquakes and volcanoes, provide aid to citizens, assess the damage to national communications, transport and power and help the elected Government of a UK ally to maintain civil control of the country after a series of natural disasters.

To complete their mission the team must design an unmanned aircraft that is low cost, lightweight and capable of being remotely piloted over difficult terrain in the emergency zone. They will also demonstrate how their mission planning skills, decrypting of messages and code, and skills in creating or using a high-tech C4ISR system (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance) helps to manage all their data, planning and control of the mission.

Open to all Year 9 students across the UK, the competition is the 2021 edition of the RAF Museum and Northrop Grumman’s successful Summer Time Advanced Aerospace Residency (STAAR) programme. In its fourth year, STAAR has adapted to the limitations of Covid-19 and continues to engage the next generation of young engineers and innovators by bringing classroom STEM studies to life.

The challenges will be released over a number of weeks at www.rafmuseum.org/STAAR and students have the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of each challenge to successfully complete their Mission, which will culminate in a final presentation judged by a panel of experts. Each individual challenge is aligned with the national curriculum and can be completed by students together in the classroom, or remotely if they are studying from home.

Teachers can now register a total of up to 20 students, in teams of 5 students each, that the teachers feel have the ambition, aptitude and interest in STEM subjects to take part in the STAAR Challenge. The four schools who most successfully meet the overall mission objectives across each of the six challenges, will win a two-day STAAR residential camp at RAF Cosford in Shropshire, where they will develop their skills further and complete phase two of their mission.

Nick Chaffey, Chief Executive of Northrop Grumman UK, Europe and Middle East said:
“I am extremely proud of our STAAR programme and our new 2021 approach to make it even more accessible to a larger group of young people whilst ensuring that it is still an exciting and competitive opportunity. STAAR aims to bring STEM subjects and their real world applications to life and to provide inspiration and opportunity for students to study and pursue careers in STEM. The aerospace and defence sector drives innovation and ingenuity, and the pace of development and change is ever increasing. The sector needs talented young people and STAAR helps to provide an insight into careers in our industry by understanding the importance of teamwork, critical thinking, problem solving, agile approaches and thinking outside the box – those who push the envelope and are willing to try will see how they can make an impossible mission, possible.”

Julie Brierley, Head of Access and Learning at RAF Museum Cosford said:
“We were forced to rethink our usual STAAR format due to Covid, and as a result, we now have the opportunity to engage with more students than ever before with our online curriculum-based STEM challenges, while still offering a residential experience for the four winning teams later this year. The STAAR Competition encourages students to develop their scenario-based problem-solving skills by overcoming each of the mission challenges. They will also experience the excitement of the aerospace industry through a range of activities, including programming drones to swarm. The residential is fully funded and students will get to experience elements at both RAF Cosford and the RAF Museum.”

How to take part in the STAAR Competition:
• 19 April – Applications for the competition open.
• 10 May – Mission commences, visit rafmuseum.org for the first STEM activity.
• 28 June – All six STEM challenges must be complete, and findings submitted.
• 12 July – Work will be judged and results announced. The four winning schools will be notified.

The residential camp is provisionally planned for the Autumn term, dates will be confirmed with the winning schools once they have been notified. The residential will be for up to 20 students from one class bubble at a time. The winning schools will be judged by a panel of experts from the Royal Air Force and the Aerospace Industry.

The STAAR programme is fully funded (including travel, food and accommodation for the residential phase) by Northrop Grumman and is delivered in partnership with the RAF Museum and Tablet Academy, with the generous support of RAF Cosford and the RAF Youth and STEM Engagement Team.

For more information on the STAAR programme visit www.rafmuseum.org/STAAR.

RAF Rugby 7’s take Lancaster Challenge to new heights

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021

RAF Rugby 7's

Date: Register online now, complete your Challenge by 17 May 2021
Cost: £20 per person / £17 Armed Forces Personnel
RAF Rugby 7’s: 24-hour Challenge, 21 May 2021, RAF Museum Cosford to Derwent Reservoir, Derbyshire

On 9 January the Royal Air Force Museum launched the Lancaster Challenge, a virtual event where participants could choose whether to complete 80K, 150K, or 500K in celebration of the 80th anniversary of the first flight of the Lancaster. Showing their support for the Museum, members of the RAF Rugby 7’s team will be taking the challenge to new heights when they attempt to complete more than 500K in just 24 hours!

Since the Challenge launched in January, more than 4,700 participants from around the world have used the Lancaster Challenge as motivation to keep them moving during lockdown. There is still time to register and reach your chosen distance, before the challenge closes on 17 May, the anniversary of the Lancaster’s famous Operation Chastise, better known as the Dambusters Raid, and then get your hands on the bespoke Lancaster Challenge medal.

RAF personnel stationed across the UK and overseas, are showing their support for the Museum’s virtual event by taking part, none more so than the RAF Rugby 7’s. While the majority of the team members are already clocking up the kilometres, walking, running and cycling their way through the start of 2021, on Friday 21 May two teams of RAF Rugby 7’s players will undertake the mammoth task of competing day and night, by foot or in the saddle, to complete their 500K Challenge in just 24 hours.

This huge fundraising effort to help keep the RAF Museum ‘flying’, will be run in line with the latest government guidelines. A cycling team will set off from RAF Museum Cosford in Shropshire, cycling the 135km route to the Derwent Reservoir, Derbyshire, where they will join the running team completing relay laps of the reservoir, and together they will continue for the remaining hours of the challenge. The reservoir is significant for the Lancaster having been selected by the RAF’s celebrated 617 Squadron to perform low-level practice sorties in Lancaster’s, in preparation for Operation Chastise and the use of their ‘bouncing bombs’.

Find out more about the RAF Rugby 7 members taking part in this extraordinary take on the Lancaster Challenge and how you can support them at www.rafmuseum.org.

RAF Museum Individual Giving Manager, Abi Betteridge said:
“We are delighted to have the RAF Rugby 7’s team supporting the challenge in this rather unique way, and we look forward to cheering them on as they set of from Cosford in May. The team are not only working hard training in preparation for the Challenge, they are also working hard to fundraise. The impact of the pandemic and closure of our two Museums has been immense. We estimate that the crisis has reduced our total self-generated income by over £3M and this figure continues to grow whilst we continue to be closed to the public.

Sponsorship from the RAF Rugby 7’s and more than 250 individual Lancaster Challenge fundraisers will enable the RAF Museum, as a registered charity, to continue to share the stories of the crews who showed incredible bravery flying missions for Bomber Command, and the wider RAF story, to engage, inspire and encourage future learning. So far, in addition to entry fee’s, we have raised over £29,000 plus £5,000 in Gift Aid, we had originally set a target of £30,000, so we are well on our way to exceeding this. Anyone wanting to support the Rugby 7’s can do so by visiting their JustGiving page.”

If you are looking for some inspiration to get outdoors and get moving now Spring is on its way, it’s not too late to sign up. As a virtual event, the Lancaster Challenge can be completed anywhere, anytime, to fit in with your daily routine either individually, or with members of your household bubble. To join the 4,700 Challenge participants go to www.rafmuseum.org, simply choose whether to complete 80K, 150K or 500K, record your distance on the downloadable log sheet and once the Challenge closes on 17 May you will be rewarded with an exclusive, Lancaster Challenge medal!

Participants can stay connected, meet other Challengers and share their progress as they complete the Challenge by joining the RAF Museum Virtual Running Group on Facebook. When sharing updates on social media, Tag @rafmuseum in your photos on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or with #LancasterChallenge2021.

Limited edition Lancaster Challenge T-shirts are also available to purchase when registering online. The souvenir T-shirts cost £14.00 and will be delivered with your medal following the end of the challenge. Sizes range from small to XX Large. Or why not join the Museum’s growing team of fundraisers, pledge to raise £80 for the RAF Museum and receive your souvenir Lancaster Challenge t-shirt for free. Select the sponsorship option when signing up online and the Museum’s fundraising team will be in touch with some handy tips to kick start your fundraising.

To register for the Lancaster Challenge visit www.rafmuseum.org. Entry costs £20 per person, or £17 for Armed Forces Personnel, all proceeds will go towards supporting the RAF Museum (registered charity number 244708), additional booking and postage charges apply for overseas participants.

Striding into the New Year with the Lancaster Challenge

Monday, January 11th, 2021

Lancaster Challengre Medal

Date: Registration now open, challenge finishes on 17 May 2021 Cost: £20 per person

The Royal Air Force Museum is striding into the New Year with a brand-new virtual challenge, where participants can choose whether to complete 80K, 150K or even 500K!

Registrations for the Lancaster Challenge opened on Saturday 9 January 2021, exactly 80 years since the first test flight of the Avro Lancaster. Whether you need to walk off the Christmas calories, or get outdoors to beat the lockdown blues, participants of the Lancaster Challenge can walk, run, hike, swim, cycle or row their way to the finish line. Participants will have access to a downloadable log sheet to record their 80K, 150K or 500K distance, before being rewarded with an exclusive, Lancaster Challenge medal after the challenge closes on 17 May, the anniversary of Operation CHASTISE, better known as the Dambusters Raid.

As a virtual race, the Lancaster Challenge can be completed anywhere in the world. Within the first 48 hours of registrations opening, more than 1,850 people have signed up to participate, with entries flying in from across the globe, including Australia, New Zealand, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, Canada, America, Singapore and Thailand. The Armed Forces Community are also showing their support for the Challenge with more than 400 Armed Forces Personnel already taking part.

Online registration is now open at www.rafmuseum.org, entry costs £20 per person and all proceeds will go towards supporting the RAF Museum (registered charity number 244708) to enable the Museum to continue sharing the RAF story – past, present and future.

RAF Museum London Public Events Manager, Ella Hewitt said:
“The Lancaster Challenge was due to start on the 2 March, 79 years since the Lancaster’s first mission with the RAF, but we want to keep people motivated and moving in lockdown, so you can begin the challenge as soon as you sign up! Whether you choose to complete 80K, 150K or 500K, participants can select the distance to suit their ability and complete it anytime, anywhere, individually, or with members of their household bubble. The Challenge is open to participants of all ages, but we do recommend under 16’s are accompanied by an adult.”

This year’s bespoke medal design features the Lancaster, arguably the most famous, and certainly the most successful heavy bomber operated by the RAF during the Second World War. With an impressive performance and excellent flying characteristics, the Lancaster soon established its superiority over its rivals. Indeed, it was described by Marshal of the RAF, Sir Arthur Harris, Commander-in-Chief of Bomber Command, as ‘the greatest single factor in winning the war’. The Lancaster on display at RAF Museum London, known as S for ‘Sugar’ has a distinguished operational record having flown 139 missions during the Second World War.

RAF Museum CEO Maggie Appleton said:
“During these difficult times, looking after our mental and physical health is important for us all. Key to planning our recovery during the next few weeks and months is that we concentrate more than ever on looking after ourselves and each other and that is why we are encouraging all our staff to take time-out of their day, while working from home, to get outdoors and enjoy some daily exercise. Our staff will be leading the way by participating in the Lancaster Challenge and we hope families, participants from our previous challenge events, along with our friends in the RAF and partner organisations will join us. Support from our Challengers enables us to keep the doors of our Museums open for all generations to enjoy.”

Participants can stay connected and make new friends as they complete the Challenge by joining the RAF Museum Virtual Running Group on Facebook. Meet other Challengers, share your progress and ask fellow participants for advice. However you choose to complete the challenge, the Museum would love to hear from you! Tag @rafmuseum in your photos on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or with #LancasterChallenge2021.

Limited edition Lancaster Challenge T-shirts are also available to purchase when registering online. The souvenir T-shirts cost £14.00 and will be delivered with your medal following the end of the challenge. Sizes range from small to XX Large.

Or why not consider fundraising for the RAF Museum, pledge to raise £80 and receive your souvenir Lancaster Challenge t-shirt for free, delivered with your medal at the end of the challenge. Starting your fundraising could not be simpler, select the sponsorship option when signing up online and head to our Lancaster Challenge JustGiving page. Once you have set up your JustGiving page, our team will be in touch with some handy tips to kick start your fundraising.

To register for the Lancaster Challenge visit rafmuseum.org. Entry costs £20 per person, additional booking and postage charges apply for overseas participants.