Posts Tagged ‘RAF’

RAF Junior Rank Scholarship Takes Flight

Friday, February 8th, 2019


200 members of the RAF Junior Ranks have applied for one of 30 flying scholarships funded by the RAF Charitable Trust and operated by the RAF Flying Clubs’ Association (RAFFCA).

The potential scholars, all of whom must be under 25 years old, could have the opportunity to undertake 15 hours’ flying training on a light aircraft.

The scholarship also enables successful applicants to learn about Air Law, Meteorology and Navigation, helping them go from zero flight experience to flying an aircraft solo as pilot in command.

All necessary equipment to undertake the training at selected RAF flying clubs will also be provided through the scholarship, including flying suits and study packs.
Following a recognised syllabus, the training may count towards the award of a Light Aircraft Pilot Licence.

To apply, Junior Ranks had a two-month window to complete a lengthy online application detailing their knowledge of, and passion for aviation.

Project Officer Ben Durham said: “We have been overwhelmed with the number of applications for the 2019 scheme. It’s great that so many young people have a passion for aviation that they want to pursue, although it does make the selection process more difficult!”

Last year – the year of the RAF’s centenary – the scheme celebrated its 100th Scholar, SAC Seb Ayling achieving solo flight.

Seb said: “The JRPSS has been a life-changing experience for me – I cannot thank the RAF Charitable Trust enough. The feeling of being in the air is nothing like I have ever experienced and being the ‘100th Solo’ in the RAF’s centenary year was the icing on the cake”.

The Trust’s mission is to promote the Royal Air Force, support its people now and into the future and encourage air-mindedness and the aviation-related education of youth.

Director of the Trust Justine Morton said: “The scheme is an initiative run by the RAFFCA that embodies our mission to get young people interested and involved in aviation.

“The Trust recognises that although JRs operate in an environment surrounded by aviation, there is little opportunity for them to actually get into the air. Not only does the JRPSS provide them with the support they need to get airborne, but it also ignites desire and enthusiasm for personnel to learn more about aviation”.

The thirty successful applicants will be notified in March, before shortly beginning their training at their nearest RAF flying club.

Upon completion of the scholarship, candidates can also apply to the prestigious JRPSS Top-Up-Scheme which provides additional funding for a select number of applicants to continue their flying training and gain their Private Pilot’s Licence.

For information on next year’s scholarship, visit

Airfix to unveil new Dambusters kits at Model Show

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

7th April 2013
10.00am – 4.00pm
FREE entry

Modelling fans from across the Midlands are invited to attend one of the region’s largest modelling events, taking place at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford on Sunday 7th April 2013. Nestled amongst a world-class collection of aircraft and military vehicles, thousands of intricately detailed models will be displayed alongside many of the real aircraft for the annual Shropshire Model Show.

This year Airfix will be attending the show and launching their brand new 1:72 Lancaster model kits, which go on sale for the first time worldwide to visitors at the Shropshire Modellers’ Show. A specially commissioned display, including 19 Airfix model Lancaster’s, a Wellington bomber, and Photo Reconnaissance Spitfire, depicting the Dambusters Raid will be a focal point at the show. These have been kindly donated by Airfix and built by members of the Shropshire Modellers’ Club. This bespoke Dambusters diorama will remain on display at the Museum throughout April and May, marking the 70th Anniversary of the Dambusters Raid.

Darrell Burge, Airfix and Humbrol Marketing Manager says:

“We’re very excited to be at this show, especially as it gives us the chance to show off our new Dambuster Lancaster model to the public for the first time. It’s always great to work with the RAF Museum Cosford, and this is no exception. We’ll have other new Airfix products on show, alongside new products from our sister brand Humbrol as well.”

With everything any dedicated modeller could want or need, all in one place, thousands of visitors are expected to attend the one day show. More than 80 modelling clubs from across the UK will be exhibiting their pint sized models which have taken hours of dedication to perfect. Plus, it’s not just models of aircraft that will be on show, there will be hundreds of cars, bikes, trucks and science fiction items including Dr Who and Star Wars.

In excess of 40 traders will be selling a range of modelling materials and kits to suit modellers of all ability’s, from young children who are just discovering their passion for modelling, right through to the avid modellers who have been building kits for many years. There will be everything from plastic kits in various sizes along with glues, paints and other detailed sets available to purchase on the day.

Event organiser, Gary Stevens Secretary of the Shropshire Scale Modellers and The International
Plastic Modellers Society says:

“I am particularly delighted that, for the first time in the history of this show, the world famous kit manufacturer AIRFIX and their sister brand HUMBROL will be in attendance, along with the person who creates their box art.

This year the show will feature a special Dambuster anniversary display featuring 1/72nd scale models of all 19 Lancasters that took part in that famous raid, and I thank Darrell Burge for providing us with the kits. There will also be a model of the Wellington Bomber which carried out the trials for the famous bouncing bomb, the Spitfire which carried out reconnaissance sorties before and after the raid, and some anti-aircraft guns to show what the aircrew were up against.

The show will also feature many other models from exhibitors and traders who travel from all over the country to be with us. With the show getting bigger every year it really is a great family day out.”

To make reaching the Museum even easier, organisers have introduced a free park and ride for the day to cope with the additional visitors. The show will be open to the public from 10am until 4pm and entry to the show is free of charge.

For further information, please call the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford on 01902 376200 or visit the Museum website at

RAF Cosford Air Show Includes BBMF In Tribute To Historic Aircraft

Saturday, March 23rd, 2013

The RAF Cosford 75th Anniversary Air Show is pleased to confirm the attendance of the Royal Air Force Battle of Britain Memorial Flight to the event on Sunday 9th June.

The BBMF preserves the heritage of much loved RAF World War II aircraft and stands as a poignant reminder of those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in conflict. The Memorial Flight consist of Spitfire, Hurricane, Dakota and Lancaster aircraft, all of which are scheduled to make their way to RAF Cosford as flying and static displays on the 9th June and will be sure to perform an awe inspiring display.

In addition to the RAF BBMF, Cosford will welcome back an old friend of the Station in the form of civilian owned Spitfire PRXI serial number PL965. Built at the Aldermaston factory in mid-1944 as a photo reconnaissance aircraft, she was designed to operate at high altitudes of over 30,000ft as well as at high speeds in excess of 400 mph. She was allocated to No.9 Maintenance Unit, RAF Cosford on 1st October 1944 for installation of service equipment and the Air Show is delighted to welcome her back this year as part of the packed flying programme.

Air show spokesman Ashley Claber-Aikman said: “We are extremely pleased that the BBMF are joining us for this year’s anniversary event. One of our key themes for the show is celebrating the 75 years since the introduction of the Spitfire and having so many here along with the majority of the BBMF will really be something special and a delight for our visitors.”

Visitors to the event will have the opportunity to marvel at the historic icons, alongside a number of current RAF aircraft including the Typhoon, Tucano and the famous RAF Red Arrows, during the flying display lasting over 5 hours. The organisers this year have also introduced several new hospitality enclosures for the 2013 Air Show aimed to enhance the visitor’s experience. For details of the range of packages on offer to suit all requirements and budgets, please visit the air show website

All profits made from the RAF Cosford Air Show are donated to service and local charities.

Air show tickets can be purchased online at or by calling the 24-hour ticket line on 0871 230 1083. Advance tickets are priced from £20, representing a 20 per cent discount on tickets bought on the day (£25). There’s FREE car parking and FREE admission for all under-16s accompanied by an adult.

RAF Cosford Spread Wings To Coventry

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

As the list of exciting displays and attractions starts to build momentum, RAF Cosford Air Show will begin selling tickets from public outlets on Wednesday (March 6).

Ashley Claber-Aikman, from RAF Cosford Air Show (pictured left), handed over the tickets to Dianne James, manager of Midland Air Museum (Coventry), one of the many outlets that this week will begin selling tickets to the air show on Sunday, June 9.

The announcement follows confirmation that RAF Cosford has been nominated to feature within the 2013 display season for the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows. Last year more than 38,000 people attended the air show and organisers are anticipating another bumper turn-out at the West Midlands’ largest aviation event.

Event organisers have tried to make it as easy as possible for the public to purchase their tickets to the Midlands’ premier aviation event. As well as the Midlands Air Museum, tickets can be acquired from the RAF Museum at Cosford, Tourist Information Centres in Stoke-on-Trent, Stafford, Solihull & Shrewsbury and selected branches of Midcounties Co-operative. Alternatively, people can choose to travel by rail and enjoy combined travel and admission when travelling with Arriva Trains Wales.

Air show tickets can also be purchased online at or by calling the 24-hour ticket line on 0871 230 1083. Advance tickets are priced from £20, representing a 20 per cent discount on tickets bought on the day (£25). There’s FREE car parking and FREE admission for all under-16s accompanied by an adult.

All profits made from the RAF Cosford Air Show are donated to local and service charities.

Cosford Club Snaps Up Major Photographic Sponsor

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Following on from the exciting announcement of the brand new hospitality and enthusiast enclosures at the 2013 RAF Cosford 75th Anniversary Air Show, organisers have unveiled that Nikon will officially sponsor the exclusive “The Cosford Club”.

The Cosford Club is a keenly anticipated feature to this year’s air show, providing a dedicated crowd line enclosure designed to keep guests close to the action with an unrestricted view of the flying display and providing private toilet facilities and refreshment outlets.

Guests to The Cosford Club will also enjoy the opportunity to trial some of the newest Nikon equipment available. Photographs taken whilst trying out the Nikon products can be downloaded instantly via the stand and even entered into the air show photographic competition with an exclusive prize up for grabs. They will also have a demonstration stand in the public trade area to raise awareness of the latest Nikon technology.

One lucky member of The Cosford Club will be chosen at random to win an amazing “day in the life of…” behind the scenes at RAF Cosford including the opportunity to ride in the back of a taxiing Jaguar T2 jet aircraft. For further information about how to become a member of the exclusive The Cosford Club then visit the official air show website at

All profits made from the RAF Cosford Air Show are donated to service and local charities.

Standard admission air show tickets can be purchased online at or by calling the 24-hour ticket line on 0871 230 1083. Advance tickets are priced from £20, representing a 20 per cent discount on tickets bought on the day (£25). There’s FREE car parking and FREE standard admission for all under-16s accompanied by an adult.

First Air War gallery receives Heritage Lottery Fund support

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

Royal Air Force Museum London is pleased to announce that it has received initial support* from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the redevelopment of the exhibitions within the historic Graham White Factory building. This will showcase the Museum’s unique First World War collections to mark the centenary of the conflict in 2014. The initial support of £74,500 will enable the Museum to progress their plans to obtain a full HLF grant of £706,300.

The new exhibition will use the world-class collection of planes, letters, film and photographs to help people understand what it was like to be involved in the earliest days of the Royal Flying Corps and how our world was changed by the technology and innovation during the war.

The content of the renewed exhibition area will be shaped by public participation through the selection of its exhibits through the “100 First Air War Objects” online survey and other initiatives. The project will help local people to understand how much their neighbourhood changed as a result of the development of the aerodrome and aircraft industry in Colindale during the First World War.

The First World War was the first conflict fought in the air. The RAF Museum’s varied and comprehensive, world-class collections will be used to highlight the lives of ordinary men and women who came together to create the world’s first independent Air Force. Important historic documents such as casualty records and personnel lists will be made digitally available to the public, which will help family historians to discover the fate of their ancestors.

Peter Dye, Director of the Royal Air Force Museum, explained the importance of the project: “We’re delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us this support. The aircraft shown in the Grahame-White Factory wing represent a very small part of our vast First World War collections, which includes equipment, art, film and sound recordings, photographs, and a unique archive of documents. The grant will enable us to showcase a larger and more diverse range of collections and our new interpretation strategy will help people to learn about the importance of the first war in the air and to understand the lives of all those who participated.”

Sue Bowers, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund for London said: “We’re extremely pleased to give initial support to this project. With the approaching First World War centenaries this 5 year project aims to bring to life the vast collections held by the RAF Museum and convey the significance of the first war in the air. We shall watch the developing plans with interest.”

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Blades Just the Ticket For Air Show

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

As tickets start to go on sale today for this summer’s Cosford Air Show, organisers have unveiled the first aircraft to take part in the thrilling six-hour flying display.

The Blades aerobatic display team, who perform their breathtaking manoeuvres around the world, have confirmed they will be among a number of star attractions at the air show on Sunday, June 9, joining celebrations marking the 75th anniversary of the West Midlands’ RAF station.

During their display, the four pilots, all former members of the RAF Red Arrows, perform 30 separate manoeuvres in their high-performance Extra EA-300s.

The announcement comes on the same day tickets for the popular Royal Air Force airshow go on sale (February 1). Last year more than 38,000 people attended the air show and organisers are anticipating another bumper turn-out at the West Midlands’ largest aviation event.

Air show spokesman Amanda Butcher said: “To mark RAF Cosford’s 75th anniversary, we are working on a special opening sequence to the flying display which I am sure the crowd will enjoy. Visitors will also be able to view a wide range of ground exhibits and displays demonstrating the various activities carried out at the Shropshire base since 1938.”

Air show tickets can be purchased online at or by calling the 24-hour ticket line on 0871 230 1083. Advance tickets are priced from £20, representing a 20 per cent discount on tickets bought on the day (£25). There’s FREE car parking and FREE admission for all under-16s accompanied by an adult.

Visitors to the website will also be able to view details of the new hospitality enclosures, offering a range of packages to suit all budgets. This includes information on the keenly-anticipated “The Cosford Club”; a dedicated crowd line enclosure designed to keep guests close to the action with an unrestricted view and providing private toilet facilities and refreshment outlets.

One lucky member of The Cosford Club will be chosen at random to win an amazing “day in the life of…” behind the scenes at RAF Cosford including the opportunity to ride in the back of a taxiing Jaguar T2 jet aircraft. Details of pricing and further information can be found on the official air show website.

All profits made from the RAF Cosford Air Show are donated to local and Service charities.

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The Other Side of 1963

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

The London RAF Museum yesterday helped launch author Roger Annett’s new book “Borneo Boys”…

Early in 1963 a British-backed military campaign got under way, fighting to save three future South East Asian Tiger Economies from Indonesian expansionist aggression. For nearly four years, British and Commonwealth armed forces were embroiled in conflict on the island of Borneo. For the large part, this remarkable example of British military success was kept in low profile by the governments involved, however Singapore, Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia are three Commonwealth countries that the Borneo Boys’ exploits helped save in the 60’s.

Borneo’s difficult terrain and lack of adequate road networks proved to be one of the biggest challenges from a military perspective, a challenge met in great part by the mobility of the helicopter.

The helicopters worked in close support of Claret Raids – cross-border clandestine operations carried out by SAS, Paras and Gurkhas. These proved a key to success and the Malaysian Federation came into being 15 September 1963 (though the conflict lasted until 17 August 1966).

What makes this story even more remarkable is that the RAF helicopter pilots were in their early 20’s and low in number. There were 16,000 British & Commonwealth troops at the peak, serviced by no more than 75 helicopters (by comparison, in Vietnam the Americans and their Allies had close on 3,000).


This unique part of British military history is now uncovered in a new book written by one of its Veterans and featuring contributions from a range of participants. Published by Pen & Sword Books Limited at £25 rrp, it has 300 pages and over 110 illustrations, most in colour.

The book is focused on the new breed of RAF helicopter pilots, recruited straight from the sixth form to officer and pilot training, and sent on their first flying-tour to the action in Borneo – called upon to fly over the confusion of jungle warfare, far away from home. The reader will share their daily adventures, learning trajectories and camaraderie and how, thrown in at the deep end, the ‘Borneo Boys’ quickly became men.

All the excitement of the aviator’s adrenaline ride is translated into elegant prose, strengthened by the kind of confident delivery achievable only by a man who was himself involved in the action. A fascinating book for those with a passion for helicopter flying and general aviation alike.

When asked about his motivation for writing the book, Roger told Airscene “In the summer of 2010 I was giving a presentation to the helicopter crews of RAF Benson on the Borneo Campaign, based on my 2006 book on the air-supply.

As I usually do, I asked whether anyone in the room had heard of the campaign, Indonesian Confrontation having been such a low-profile, clandestine affair. To my surprise, two chaps of about my age in the front row raised their hands – they not only knew about it but also served in it, as very youthful Whirlwind pilots.

It turned out that they were currently holding down jobs as instructors on the rotary simulators at Benson. That made close on 50 years in rotary aviation, and counting! With that angle, the book just had to be written. They, and their ‘Old Rotor’ colleagues came forward with all the material an author could ask for.”

Roger Annett served in the RAF between 1959 – 1967, including two and a half years on supply-dropping action in Borneo. Borneo Boys is available now at Pen & Sword Books: (priced at £20)

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The Royal Air Force Museum 2013

Monday, January 14th, 2013

In 2013 the FREE to enter Museum will be unveiling an exciting range of new exhibitions and events, some of which include:

Airfix Birthday Parties:

The Museum has introduced an exciting new Airfix themed birthday party package for children. Each booking will include model kit for each child to take and make at home; lunch or afternoon tea in Wings restaurant; storage availability for birthday cake; goody bag for each child with activity trail and extra gift for the birthday boy or girl

For more details contact: / 020 8358 4849

Fresh Air – a new perspective on aviation art: January to May

Over the last decade David Bent’s modern and distinctive style of aviation art has won a plethora of devoted fans including the Red Arrows, with whom he has collaborated as Artist in Residence. Big, bold and captivating – whether wittily subverting the destructive power of nuclear arms race, celebrating the sheer joy of pilots in flight or enticing the viewer to work out the hidden imagery contained within his works – David Bent’s style is considered by many to be a breath of fresh air for aviation art.

RAF Photographer Exhibition: 13 Jan-30 April

In conjunction with RAF and Ministry of Defence, this is an exciting display of winning photos from currently serving men and women in the RAF. The exhibition as a dynamic birds eye view from inside the RAF.

The Royal Air Force in ‘RAF in Oman’ Exhibition: 1 May-30 September

Celebrating and highlighting the RAF’s achievements in Oman. The exhibition will include first-hand accounts, documents, uniforms and equipment detailing the long standing relationship.

Airfix exhibition: From June 2013:

The Royal Air Force Museum London will be launching in summer 2013, a signature exhibition commemorating and celebrating the national institution that is Airfix. This exhibition will chart the history of this Great British Institution by displaying original Box Art as well as Airfix’s most popular models from the 50s, 60s and 70s in the Museum’s Art Gallery.

Dambusters 70th Anniversary Exhibition: From May

The Museum has a dedicated exhibition area featuring a specially made film, a recreation of the Barnes Wallis office and a life size bouncing bomb. It will also be displaying items from its archives such as Guy Gibson’s DFC and log book. Other commemorative events will include a concert underneath the Lancaster, a 4D Dambuster experience, special podcasts and a model show (see website for full listing).

Family weekend: 13-14 July

An outdoor weekend of fun packed activity and entertainment. One for all the family, the weekend will include outdoor re-enactments, bouncy castle and fairground rides for kids, dance lessons, gym drill, face painting, DJ skills, nail painting and much more. Outdoor activities will include bouncy castle, fairground rides, American Civil War battle re-enactors, Bollywood dance classes,

World War I in 100 Objects: Vote now online for the exhibition in September

Curators from the Royal Air Force Museum have selected 100 artefacts from its rich and diverse First World War collection. Each object is specifically selected to tell a story about the experiences of those men and women, at home and overseas, who lived, fought, worked & died during this cataclysmic period. You are invited to tell us which objects and their stories you find the most inspiring.

Battle of Britain Weekend: 14-15 September

The Museum celebrates our finest hour with film screenings, outdoor re-enactments, temporary exhibitions, special tours and military vehicles.

Black History Month: 1st -31 Oct

The Museum celebrates the Afro-Caribbean contribution to the RAF – the first service to instigate an equal ops policy. Beginning with WWI through to WWII and The Cold War to currently serving members, the exhibition will include personal recollections, photos and more.

Call 020 8205 2266 or visit

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Museum Curator Tracks Down Lost Historic Local Artefact

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

RAF Museum curator Andy Simpson recently followed a trail from Colindale to Stanbridge and unearthed a rare wooden carving once owned by Claude Grahame-White.

The carving which is in the shape of the Grahame-White logo, was built around 1916 and used as the central motif of the large electrical panel currently on display in the Watch Office at the Museum in Colindale.

After WWI the site was handed over to the War Office and became an RAF station (RAF Hendon). At some point in the site’s history, the carving was mysteriously removed.

Recently Mr Simpson uncovered documents from the Defence Land Sales and discovered that the item was actually removed when the RAF were vacating the site, in order to protect it from vandalism. Along with other items it was being kept at RAF Stanbridge

Following on from this Mr Simpson met representatives from RAF Stanbridge who were only too happy to return the carving along with other items so that it could be displayed in its rightful place.

The carving is currently at the Museum’s site in Cosford undergoing restoration work by our National Award winning apprentice Laura Pringle and will be on display at the Museum in Colindale next year.

Mr Simpson: “The discovery of the wooden carving is important as it represents the history of the local community. More than that it also completes the display of the electrical panel in the Watch-Office. We’re glad to have it back in its rightful place!”

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