Posts Tagged ‘RAFCTE’

Historic Blade Loaned to Jet Age Museum

Monday, April 10th, 2017

Historic Blade

An historic artefact which helped propel aviation into the jet age will go on public display in Gloucester thanks to the RAF Charitable Trust.

The blade, part of the propeller fitted to the experimental turbo-prop Gloster Trent Meteor I EE227, belonged to the late Fred Crawley who donated it to the RAF Charitable Trust, of which he was a Trustee. It is to go on display at the Jet Age Museum. (

Museum archivist Richard Hentschke said: “This turboprop blade has a significant place in the history of the Jet Age, and therefore also for the Jet Age Museum. The world’s first turboprop aircraft was a modified Gloster Meteor used as a testbed for the Rolls-Royce Trent engine. With five-bladed propellers fitted to its two modified Derwent jet engines it pioneered the type of propulsion used by many short and medium range airliners today.”

RAFCT Director Justine Morton said Fred was a long term supporter both of the charity and of the Royal International Air Tattoo. He donated a large number of interesting aviation related items to the charity and donated a significant sum of money that was to be used to benefit the many volunteers who help stage the Air Tattoo each year.

She said: “Fred was very happy for the mounted blade to be loaned to the new Jet Age Museum at Gloucester Airport so people could view it as he recognised it was a significant piece of Gloster Aircraft Company’s history.”

Jet Age Museum historian and Trustee Tim Kershaw said Meteor I EE227 had seen RAF service with 616 Squadron before being transferred to Rolls-Royce at Hucknall for the new engines to be installed. It first flew on September 20, 1945, with Gloster’s chief test pilot Eric Greenwood at the controls.

Mr Kershaw added: “Gloster had schemed the project in January 1944 as Gloster Meteor I type aircraft with Rolls-Royce W2B/37 propeller combination installation after Sir Stanley Hooker’s research team showed the potential fuel economy for speeds below 450mph (724kph) of a jet engine fitted with reduction gear and an airscrew. Although Greenwood suffered 18 complete engine failures in 21 flights, the programme continued until March 1948. It led to Rolls-Royce developing the highly successful Clyde and Dart turboprops.”

The Jet Age Museum is devoted to the preservation, conservation and public display of Gloucestershire’s world-class aviation heritage and holds a major collection of Gloster Aircraft Company aircraft, artefacts and archives.

Trust scoops inaugural innovation award at EAC

Friday, March 10th, 2017


There were celebrations all round as the RAF Charitable Trust (RAFCT) and RAF Air Cadets were presented with an award for innovation at the 2017 European Airshow Council (EAC) convention.

In recognition of their joint efforts, which are helping to inspire and encourage the next generation of aviation minded individuals, the Fairford based charity and Air Cadets were awarded with the inaugural Ann Vanderhaeghen Award for Innovation.

Andy Armstrong, Chief Executive at RAF Charitable Trust Enterprises, accepted the award on behalf of the Trust. He said: “I was delighted to accept the award alongside Commandant of the Air Cadet Organisation (ACO), Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty. Ever since the Trust was established in 2005 it has forged strong relations with the ACO, supporting a wide range of aviation-related initiatives. Through the Enterprises company, the RAFCT organises the annual Royal International Air Tattoo which provides Air Cadets with their biggest and most eagerly anticipated -summer camp each year.

“Over the years, more than £1 million has been spent supporting the Air Cadets on expeditions, through the provision of equipment and flying opportunities as well as providing sponsorships designed to inspire in them a passion for aviation.

“In 2016, the Trust provided a grant of £50,000 to fund special celebrations marking the 75th anniversary of the ACO at RAF Cranwell.

“For this work to be recognised with an award is a tremendous achievement and, as the charity looks ahead to exciting new opportunities presented by both the new Scampton Airshow and next year’s RAF centenary celebrations, the Trust can look forward to continuing to develop its relationship with the ACO, providing even more opportunities to youngsters.”

Each year EAC organisers give out three major awards. The Ann Vanderhaeghen Award was introduced in 2017 to celebrate innovation and recognise the working partnership between organisations. EAC Chairman Gilbert Buekenberghs said: “Ann’s enthusiasm, positive approach and support made her well-respected in the Airshow community.”

The RAF Charitable Trust funds a wide range of projects and initiatives that Promote the Royal Air Force, Support its people and Encourage young people to take an interest in aviation. The Royal International Air Tattoo (14-16 July) is staged annually at RAF Fairford in aid of the Trust and, new for 2017, the Scampton Airshow (9-10 September) has been set up to raise funds for the Trust. To find out more about the RAFCT visit