Posts Tagged ‘RAF Museum’

RAF Museum supports National Lottery Open Week #ThanksToYou campaign

Monday, March 4th, 2024

RAF Museum Flight Simulator

• The National Lottery Open Week runs 9-17 March 2024
• Any National Lottery ticket, Scratchcard or Instant Win Game can be used to unlock offers
• The RAF Museum is offering lottery players two for one on Flight Simulator and 4D Theatre rides, plus 10% off in the Museum shop and restaurant

This March, The National Lottery, in its 30th year, will once again be saying thank you to players for the £30 million they raise for good causes every week, with the National Lottery Open Week. The focus this year is on encouraging the nation to try something new, by offering an array of free entry and special offers at hundreds of National Lottery funded venues across the UK.

From Saturday 9 to Sunday 17 March, anyone with a valid online or retail National Lottery ticket, Scratchcard or Instant Win Game can enjoy a low-cost day out thanks to special offers at hundreds of National Lottery-funded venues and attractions, including the RAF Museum in both London and the Midlands.

Visit the RAF Museum this National Lottery Open Week and enjoy flying entertainment for the whole family, with two for one tickets on Flight Simulator and 4D Theatre rides. Experiences include flying with the Red Arrows in the amazing 4D theatre, combining motion picture with physical effects. Or feel the speed and agility of the Eurofighter Typhoon onboard the Flight Simulator, with a pilot’s eye view from the cockpit. It’s guaranteed family fun for thrill-seekers of all ages!

National Lottery ticket holders will also receive 10% off in the Museum shop for the duration of the Open Week. Receive money off an extensive collection of clothing, gifts, models and kits, home and kitchenware, toys, games, jewellery and much more!

After exploring the hangars at the Museums Midlands site, relax and refuel in the onsite restaurant and enjoy 10% off a great selection of food and drink, including barista coffees, homemade cakes, hot lunches or snacks from the deli. To redeem your discounts at the Museum, simply show your National Lottery ticket, Scratchcard or Instant Win Game to a member of staff.

The RAF Museum is currently progressing plans to deliver a major regional engagement programme, alongside a site transformation at its Midlands site, supported by an investment from The National Lottery Heritage Fund. The development will transform the Midlands site with an immersive exhibition exploring today’s RAF, a new Learning Centre will provide bespoke facilities, and a purpose-built Collections Hub will enable the Museum’s stored collection to be shared with the public for the first time. The complementary development of a woodland landscape and new public realm will encourage outdoor learning, discovery, and contemplation.

Barry Smith, Director of Visitor and Commercial Development at RAF Museum said:
‘We’re thrilled to be taking part in the National Lottery Open Week this year. As with many other organisations across the UK, The National Lottery has directly helped us, with the funding enabling us to begin progressing plans for our Inspiring Everyone: RAF Museum Midlands Development Programme. We’re delighted to have the opportunity to say thank you to everyone who has bought a National Lottery ticket, making a vital contribution to good causes and in turn, supporting us. We’re looking forward to welcoming players at the RAF Museum during Open Week.’

To view all venues and offers that are available throughout The National Lottery Open Week, visit The RAF Museum is open daily from 10.00am and admission is free.

Terms and conditions and booking instructions across special offers will vary, check the individual offer listing for details.

STAAR Programme: Propelling Young Minds into Aerospace

Wednesday, February 28th, 2024

STAAR at RAF Museum

Register online at (applications close 29 March)
Residential 22-26 July / 29 July-2 August

Students from across the UK have a chance to explore aerospace engineering and technology during a summer residential, delivered by the Royal Air Force Museum in partnership with Northrop Grumman in the UK.

Designed to engage and inspire young minds, the RAF Museum’s Summer Time Advanced Aerospace Residency (STAAR) programme offers participants a unique opportunity to discover the exciting world of aerospace.

Specifically tailored for Year 9 (Scottish S3) students aged 14-15 with a keen interest in STEM, STAAR participants will engage in a series of hands-on activities, including flight simulators, flying drones, exploring aviation engineering, and behind-the-scenes access to the Museum and RAF Cosford. This immersive approach enables participants to explore and enrich their knowledge and understanding of aerospace in a stimulating environment.

During this once-in-a-life-time opportunity, STAAR recruits will be challenged with a series of tasks, encouraging them to apply their knowledge to real-world scenarios. Industry experts in STEM along with RAF personnel will be on hand to mentor participants, sharing valuable insights and experiences.

With a limit of 40 places available, the immersive five-day residential experience will run over two weeks between 22-26 July and 29 July-2 August, with 20 students each week. In addition to the daytime learning, a series of social activities including sports and movie nights will be available each evening, helping STAAR participants build new friendships and improve their teamwork.

Lucy Watkiss, Access & Learning Officer (STAAR & History) at RAF Museum Midlands said:
‘The STAAR programme is not just a fantastic educational opportunity, it’s a journey into the thrilling world of aviation that we hope will inspire and shape the next generation of aviators, engineers, and innovators. By providing a first hand experience of the aviation world, we aim to not only cultivate a love for STEM but also inspire young individuals to pursue their dreams.’

Nick Chaffey, Chief Executive of Northrop Grumman UK said:
‘It is a pleasure to continue our partnership with the Royal Air Force Museum on our groundbreaking STAAR programme, now in its seventh year. STAAR is a unique opportunity to learn, experience and apply STEM subjects taught in the classroom to the real world of engineering. This inspiring programme aims to encourage more students to study STEM subjects, as well as develop a clearer view of the career opportunities and pathways that await them. At Northrop Grumman our mission is to define possible every day. We are a global team of pioneers with a passion for science, engineering, and technology at our heart, and we are constantly working to share that passion with young people across the UK.’

The STAAR programme is fully funded (including travel, food and accommodation) by Northrop Grumman,
with the support of the Northrop Grumman Foundation, and in partnership with the RAF Museum. The residential week will be delivered at the Museum’s Midlands site and on base at RAF Cosford, with support from TA Education.

Applications for the STAAR programme are now open. Students who have an aptitude in STEM subjects who would like to take part in STAAR must complete an online application form, in conjunction with a teacher, school representative or organisation leader. Applications close on 29 March.

For more information on the STAAR programme visit

Operation Percy: Celebrating 80 Years

Thursday, January 25th, 2024

RAF Museum Operation Percy

Date: 29 January – 29 February 2024 (Registration now open)
Cost: £20 per person / £15.00 Armed Forces entry

If your new year’s resolution is to get active, why not join forces with the RAF Museum for Operation Percy, a brand-new fundraising challenge!

Those taking part in Operation Percy will be challenged to complete 80KM or 80 laps in honour of Percy the Parachuting Penguin, the lucky mascot of Flight Lieutenant Stan Chapman of 158 Squadron Royal Air Force. The challenge will commence on 29 January, exactly 80 years since Stan and Percy’s daring parachute escape from a damaged Halifax Bomber.

Once signed up, participants will each receive a welcome pack and exclusive RAF Museum running T-shirt allowing you to complete the challenge in style. Pledge to fundraise £80 for the RAF Museum, and once you’ve hit your fundraising target you will be rewarded with a limited-edition Operation Percy commemorative coin. Challengers will have until the leap year on 29 February to complete the distance.

Percy is one of several lucky mascots on display at the RAF Museum, each with a remarkable tale to tell. Percy’s story began over Berlin on 29 January 1944, when the Halifax HX333 ‘J Jane’ he was on board was hit by flak and badly damaged. Flt Lt Stan Chapman quickly tucked his lucky mascot, Percy the Penguin, inside his flying jacket and parachuted out. They landed safely and were soon captured by German soldiers and spent the rest of the War as prisoners in Germany. Stan believed Percy was lucky because he and all his crew mates survived being shot down that night. The element of risk involved with flying, especially in wartime, is why over the years aviators try to ward off bad luck by having lucky charms or mascots.

RAF Museum Individual Giving Manager, Sophie Wallace said:
‘Support and fundraising from challengers will help the RAF Museum keep stories like Stan and Percy’s alive and shared for many years to come. Challenges like this are a great way for us to share some of the more unknown stories of the RAF, while raising vital funds. Registrations for Operation Percy are now open, and participants can take part in this virtual challenge anywhere in the world, and run, walk, cycle, or swim their way to victory. Those who want to see the real Percy and find out more about his story can visit the RAF Museum Midlands where he’s on public display.’

Let’s make Percy proud! For more information and to register for Operation Percy visit
Entry costs £20 per person and all proceeds go towards supporting the RAF Museum’s mission to preserve the stories of the RAF and the brave men and women who served. Members of the Armed Forces Community (Cadets, serving personnel, veterans, and reservists) can register for the discounted rate of £15.00.

Wing donation to Bomber Command Museum of Canada

Monday, December 18th, 2023

RAF Museum Wing Donation

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT – Direct from the UK – DEC. 14, 2023 Major Donation from the RAF Museum to the Bomber Command Museum of Canada ”Halifax Project”

As your Curator and Halifax Project Manager we are searching worldwide to recover and restore a Halifax heavy bomber for our national memorial museum, BCMC, in Nanton, Alberta.

It is my pleasure to now announce a great donation by the Royal Air Force Museum – a right-hand Hastings outer wing panel – which is the same design as the Halifax outer wing panels except for the aileron attachment points.

After weeks and months of negotiations between BCMC and the RAF Museum – handled in the main by Harry Raffal – Head of Collections and myself as Halifax Project Manager, this ”new” wing section is a great donation to our project and a BIG leap forward in our progress.

Time constraints were tight just before Christmas but thanks to Harry and his team today we were able to bring this wing out of long-term storage at Cosford and transport it to Thirsk, Yorkshire – all thanks to our crane team and our sponsoring transport company ”POTTER PLANT HIRE” and president Giles.

How do you extract a 25 foot wing weighing 1,900 pounds from a big RAF storage hangar, —- with expert help and very carefully. Well done lads.
Today was that exciting day as we lifted – loaded – transported this SECOND 25 foot wing for our Halifax Project from RAF Museum Midlands in Cosford to the storage facility of Patrick Smart at Maddison 4X4 in Thirsk, UK.

At Patrick’s shop we will build the steel shipping cradle needed to hold this RIGHT wing, as the LEFT wing is already prepared in its cradle.

WHY the steel cradles for BOTH of these wings — over 50 feet of outer wing for our Halifax — because the RCAF will be airlifting these 2 wing panels direct from the UK to RCAF TRENTON, Ontario in the weeks ahead.

From there the wings will be going to our Halifax rebuildshop in Arnprior, Ontario – see the Facebook page called ”REBUILDSHOP” to see all of our Halifax rebuild magic performed by KNOX TECH —

See the photos and video of working on this little darling addition today, coming to Canada soon.
Our sincere thanks again to the RAF Museum and their great team for donating this treasure to us for the Halifax.

This is a great example of museums helping museums while sharing and saving our aviation history together.
regards, Karl – Curator

RAF Museum presents Horrible Histories Up in the Air Adventure

Monday, June 26th, 2023

RAF Museum Horrible Histories

Where: RAF Museum
When: Sat 22 July – Sun 3 September
How long: Each session is 2 hours
How much: £7.50 per person, or £25 for 5 people on our group saver ticket

This summer, fasten your seatbelts as the RAF Museum presents Horrible Histories Up in the Air Adventure.

Get ready to experience the (sometimes gruesome) history of flight in the Horrible Hangar. Meet fearless and foolish flyers and solve the clues in this fully interactive experience for all the family.

Based on the Horrible Histories book, ‘Up in the Air’, written by Terry Deary and illustrated by Martin Brown, the RAF Museum will bring characters from the book to life with some of the truly brainless blunderers pursuing the desire to fly! Legendary aviation pioneers from throughout history will be on hand to steer you around six amazing zones for one fantastic adventure, including the Engineer’s Workshop; Barnstorming Braves; Creation Station; Meet the Inventor; Selfie Zone and the Up in the Air Challenge.

Barry Smith, Director of Visitor and Commercial Development RAF Museum said:
‘We are incredibly excited about our partnership with the Horrible Histories team at Scholastic. This is our biggest, most exciting family event of the year. Full of all the hilarious mishaps, mistakes and triumphs we love from Horrible Histories combined with our iconic aircraft and expert knowledge, there is something for everyone. Meet the characters and work together as a family, couple or group to complete the challenges in each zone.’

Elizabeth Scoggins, Publisher Non-fiction, Brands and Licensing said:
‘It’s been a joy to see the Horrible Histories collaboration with the RAF Museum come to fruition. A truly entertaining and immersive experience awaits children and families this summer with exactly the right mix of fantastic fun and foul facts that Horrible Histories has delivered for generations.’

Bespoke Horrible Histories activity packs and a free Twinkletoes Trail around the Museum are also on offer for visitors throughout the summer break. Not only did Twinkletoes the cat feature in the book, she’s the Transatlantic traveller and lucky charm of Arthur Whitten Brown who flew on the first ever non-stop transatlantic flight in 1919. Twinkletoes is the purrfect character to guide you round the Museum and can also be spotted on display at the Museums Midlands site over the summer.

This year celebrates the 30th anniversary of Horrible Histories – the world’s bestselling historical book series for children.

The Horrible Histories Up in the Air Adventure runs from Saturday 22 July until 3 September, with three 2-hours sessions daily. Advanced booking is strongly advised for this immersive experience. Tickets are £7.50 per person, or £25 for 5 people on our group saver ticket. Book now for a great day out this summer, visit

RAF Museum saves Scarf VC for the nation

Thursday, May 4th, 2023

Scarfs medal bar

The Royal Air Force Museum is proud to announce the success of our campaign to keep the Arthur Scarf Victoria Cross and medal bar in the UK and on display at our London site.

The Victoria Cross awarded to Squadron Leader Arthur Scarf for his bravery during the Second World War is a unique and rare artefact which shares the story of the RAF in the Far East.

This important part of history was under risk of being lost to the nation after being sold at auction to a private overseas buyer. With the help of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, generous donations from the public and other charities, and coverage in the press, the RAF Museum has now matched the £660k winning auction bid in order to keep the medals in the UK.

Maggie Appleton, RAF Museum CEO, said:
‘A heartfelt thank you to every single person who supported us. Whether you donated or shared our campaign with friends and family, we couldn’t have done this without you. To have raised £660,000 in three months is simply amazing. Special thanks to the National Heritage Memorial Fund for their major donation of £390k, and to our good friends at the RAFHS and the Bomber Command Association. We will be displaying Arthur’s Medal at our London site this summer and will also make short tour of our Midlands site. So come and visit and discover more about this remarkable story.’

Eilish McGuinness, Chief Executive of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, said:
‘I am delighted that the RAF Museum’s campaign to acquire Arthur Scarf’s Victoria Cross has been successful and that the National Heritage Memorial Fund has been able to support this important acquisition with a grant of £390,000. The National Heritage Memorial Fund works to safeguard the UK’s most significant heritage and form a lasting memorial to those who gave their lives. This rare and unusual medal, which will now form part of the national collection, perfectly encapsulates what NHMF stands for’

Students compete for place on aerospace residential

Tuesday, February 28th, 2023

RAF Museum STAAR Residential

Register online at
Challenges must be completed by 31 March
Residential 17-21 July / 24-28 July

The Royal Air Force Museum, in partnership with Northrop Grumman in the UK, is offering UK students a once-in-a-life-time opportunity to stay on base at RAF Cosford and immerse themselves in aerospace engineering and technology.

Students with a passion for STEM can compete in a series of challenges with the chance to win a place on the fully funded, award winning five-day Summer Time Advanced Aerospace Residency (STAAR) programme in July.

The STAAR competition is open to Year 9 students, who must work together in teams of five to tackle four STEM challenges exploring aerospace concepts. Challenges will require students to decipher secure encrypted communications, complete a reconnaissance and drone building task, and let their imaginations fly when designing their own CAD model aircraft. Each challenge is aligned with the national curriculum and is to be completed by students together in the classroom, culminating in a final presentation.

Teachers can now register a team of students, who they feel have the ambition, aptitude, and interest in STEM subjects to take on the STAAR Challenge. The competition opens on 27 February and challenges must be complete by 31 March. The schools who most successfully complete each task will win their place on the five-day STAAR residential camp at RAF Cosford in Shropshire, where they will develop their skills further. The residential will run over two weeks between 17-21 and 24-28 July for up to 20 students each week.

Julie Brierley, Head of Access, Learning and Participation at RAF Museum Midlands said:
‘Our STAAR mission is to engage the next generation of young engineers and innovators by bringing classroom STEM studies to life. Students from across the UK will have the opportunity to develop their skills by solving real world STEM and aerospace problems, and gain a valuable insight into the exciting and diverse career opportunities available in this field. The top students who make it through to the residential week and STAAR class of 2023 are guaranteed to be inspired by first-hand experience in the aerospace industry and learning from the experts.’

Nick Chaffey, Chief Executive of Northrop Grumman UK, Europe and Middle East said:
‘It is a pleasure to continue our partnership with the Royal Air Force Museum on our groundbreaking STAAR Challenge, now in its seventh year. At Northrop Grumman our mission is to define possible every day. We are a global team of pioneers with a passion for science, engineering, and technology at our heart, and we are constantly working to share that passion with young people from across the UK.

Studying STEM subjects offers students the chance to pursue a career that is inspiring, rewarding and hugely impactful – working on some of the most challenging and complex problems the world has to offer. Programmes like STAAR are vital in nurturing the pioneers of tomorrow, so that one day they too can help define possible.’

How to take part in the STAAR Competition:
• Register your team online at
• 27 February – Competition begins
• 31 March – All four STEM challenges must be complete, and presentation submitted
• 17 April – Work will be judged and results announced. Winning schools will be notified

The STAAR programme is fully funded (including travel, food and accommodation for the residential phase) by Northrop Grumman. The residential week will be delivered at the RAF Museum and on base at RAF Cosford by RAF Museum STEM Ambassadors, industry experts from Northrop Grumman, Tablet Academy professionals and RAF STEM personnel.

All students participating in the STAAR competition will receive an Industrial Cadets Challenger level award. In addition, STAAR students on the residential week will receive an Industrial Cadets Silver level award, a widely recognised skills-based quality framework accreditation, enabling young people to gain industry-led recognition awards.

For more information on the STAAR programme visit

Save the Arthur Scarf Victoria Cross Medal!

Sunday, January 29th, 2023

Scarf VC Medal

The Royal Air Force Museum is calling on the public’s support to help keep Squadron Leader Arthur Scarf’s Victoria Cross medal in the UK.

Arthur Scarf was the recipient of the only Victoria Cross awarded to the Royal Air Force for services in the Far East during the Second World War. This incredibly rare medal, and Arthur’s Story, is a national treasure which represents an extraordinary and highly poignant story of great personal courage, and the RAF Museum is determined for it to remain within the UK.

The Museum is a registered charity and has just a few months to raise £660,000 to match the auction bid placed by an overseas buyer. If successful in the mission to acquire this one-of-a-kind medal, the VC will be preserved in the RAF Museum’s national collection on public display in London, for future generations to see.

The Museum is hoping to raise £250,000 of the required funds through public donations. Money raised will be added to a contribution being made from the Museum’s own funds, and a potential grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund. Donate to #SaveTheScarfVC on the Museum’s dedicated Save the Scarf VC GoFundMe page.

RAF Museum Historian and Head of Collections, Dr Harry Raffal said:
‘Not only does Sqn Ldr Scarf’s Victoria Cross represent his outstanding devotion to duty and supreme act of bravery, it is also a powerful reminder of the sacrifices made by all the British and Commonwealth service personnel fighting in the Far East, and the role of the RAF within this context. This unique medal is part of our nation’s heritage, and a significant element to a decisive moment in British history. There is an imminent risk of it leaving the UK, but we’re hopeful that with public support we can prevent this from happening, and for the medal to remain on our shores. If we’re successful, the medal will be displayed at the Museum, in the heart of our collection, helping us to share the stories of all those RAF personnel who fought, lived and died in the conflict.’

The Victoria Cross (VC) is the highest decoration for valour in the British armed forces, awarded for an act of extreme bravery in the face of the enemy. Such is the medals legendary status, recipients are often revered as heroes. Only 22 Victoria Crosses were awarded to RAF personnel during the Second World War, and just one, for their service in the Far East – the VC that was awarded to Arthur Scarf.

Scarf joined the RAF in 1936 aged 23, and three years later was sent to Singapore with No. 62 Squadron to join the forces in the Far East. On the 9 December 1941, he led a formation of Bristol Blenheim aircraft in a daylight attack on Japanese forces occupying airfields in Burma, what is today Thailand. As Scarf became airborne, a formation of Japanese bombers swept over the airfield destroying every British aircraft on the ground.

Realising that none of his squadron’s aircraft had survived the Japanese bombing, Scarf was determined to complete his squadron’s allotted task. Flying low for some 30 miles into enemy occupied territory, Scarf skilfully evaded several attacks by Japanese fighters, and released the bombs whilst his crew manned the machine guns. With the task complete and now heading home, more Japanese fighters arrived attacking at close range. Greatly outnumbered, hopelessly outgunned and in aircraft slower than the enemies, Scarf flew at tree top height, desperately seeking whatever protection he could find. Despite evading the worst of the Japanese attacks, machine gun fire riddled the Blenheim. Scarf was mortally wounded but continued to fly the aircraft while being held upright by his crew mates and managed to make a controlled crash landing at a nearby British controlled airfield without injury to his crew, but Scarf died from his wounds shortly afterwards.

The Victoria Cross was awarded posthumously in 1946 and was presented to his widow, Elizabeth, by King George VI at Buckingham Palace.

Arthur’s heroic story can inspire future generations for many years to come. To support the RAF Museum’s mission to raise the money needed to save Scarf’s VC medal from leaving the UK, visit the Save the Scarf VC GoFundMe page.

Get moving for the Chinook Challenge

Monday, January 9th, 2023

RAF Museum Chinook

Date: Registration now open
Cost: £20 per person / £15.00 Armed Forces entry

New year, new challenge, wokka you waiting for? Sign up to the Chinook Challenge this January and get active while raising funds for charity!

Kick start your new year with the Royal Air Force Museum’s Chinook Challenge, and walk, run, or cycle your way to reach the 100km, 200km or even 400km distance! Complete the Challenge and be rewarded with a bespoke wooden medal featuring the iconic helicopter.

This virtual Challenge will run throughout 2023 and can be completed anywhere in the world in a time to suit everyone, whether that’s in a day, week, month or even a year! Turn your daily walks with the dog, cycling commute to work, and time on the treadmill in the gym, into part of your Chinook Challenge distance. Once you’ve hit your target distance, you’ll receive your medal in the post within two weeks.

Register now at Entry costs £20 per person and all proceeds will go towards supporting the RAF Museum (registered charity number 1197541) to continue sharing the story of the RAF and the thousands of service men and women who served in it. Members of the Armed Forces Community (Cadets, serving personnel, veterans, and reservists) can register for the discounted rate of £15.00.

RAF Museum Individual Giving Manager, Ella Hewitt said:
‘Support from Chinook challengers will enable the Museum to preserve remarkable aircraft, and share amazing RAF stories of courage and bravery, like those who have flown on the legendary Chinook ‘Bravo November’. This sole surviving Chinook flown by the RAF during the Falklands campaign is displayed at RAF Museum Midlands and has seen four of its pilots awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Participants of the Chinook Challenge will each receive a bespoke wooden medal for their efforts when they achieve their chosen distance. For anyone who would like to support us further by fundraising, you’ll receive a limited-edition Chinook Challenge fundraising t-shirt when you raise £50, and if you raise £100 and you’ll receive a one-of-a-kind water bottle as well.’

Join the RAF Museum Virtual Running Group on Facebook where you can share your progress and meet other Challengers. If you’re posting updates on your social media, don’t forget to tag @rafmuseum or #ChinookChallenge.

For more information and to register for the Chinook Challenge visit Entry costs £20 per person (£15.00 Armed Forces entry), additional booking and postage charges apply for overseas participants. The Challenge is open to participants of all ages, but we recommend under 16’s are accompanied by an adult.

RAF Museum unveils Royal Charter as part of 50th Birthday celebrations

Thursday, December 15th, 2022

RAF Museum Royal Charter

The RAF Museum is delighted to announce that we have been granted the Royal Charter in our 50th birthday year.

On Monday 12th December,  the Representative Deputy Lieutenant for the London Borough of Barnet, Martin Russell and the RAF Museum Chair, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier, formally unveiled our Royal Charter, which is now on public display in our newly refurbished entrance to our Hangar 3 entrance at London.

The Royal Charter was granted by Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who also officially opened the Museum in 1972.

Maggie Appleton, Chief Executive Officer, RAF Museum said:
‘It is a great honour to have been granted a Royal Charter by Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. All the Museum team – Trustees, staff and volunteers – are incredibly grateful for this recognition. We are inspired even further to fulfil our dual role as a National Museum and community resource and partner, collecting and sharing globally significant stories for and with everyone.’

What is a Royal Charter?
A Royal Charter is a formal grant issued by a monarch which confers an independent legal personality on an organisation and defines its objectives, constitution and powers to govern its own affairs. Incorporation by Charter is a prestigious way of acquiring legal personality and reflects the high status of that body.

Only pre-eminent leaders in their field are granted this honour and Charter status provides an appropriate governance structure for the future and is an affirmation of the national importance of the Museum.
According to the Privy Council there are now over one thousand Royal chartered bodies. The first ever organisation to receive a Royal Charter was the Weavers Company in 1155. This year, the RAF Museum became the 1,038th company to receive their charter. Other famous fellow chartered bodies include the BBC, the British Red Cross and the Honourable Company of Air Pilots.

How did the Museum receive the Royal Charter?
The Royal Charter was granted to the Museum in recognition of its objectives to educate and inform the public and members of the RAF about the history and traditions of the RAF; and
the role of the RAF in relation to the armed forces of the realm, other air forces and aviation.

Applications for a Royal Charter take the form of a formal Petition to The Sovereign in Council. The Museum’s own petition included signatures from five previous RAF Chiefs of Air Staff
Air Chief Marshal Sir Richard Johns (1997-2000); Air Chief Marshal Sir Glenn Torpy (2006-2009); Air Chief Marshal Sir Andy Pulford (2013 – 2016); Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier (2016-2019) and Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston – Chief of the Air Staff incumbent.

Original support was given by the Museum’s former Royal Patron, His Late Royal Highness Prince Philip.