Posts Tagged ‘September’

New Scampton Airshow a Huge Success

Saturday, September 16th, 2017

Red Arrows and Sentinal en route to Scampton

The inaugural Scampton Airshow has been hailed by organisers as a huge success with more than 50,000 people attending the event at RAF Scampton over the weekend. In total, 104 aircraft took part in the airshow, 41 in the flying display and 63 in the static line-up.

Aerial highlights included a display by a civilian Boeing 727, an oil spill response aircraft which demonstrated its environmental capabilities by dramatically spraying the runway with water. There was also a special joint flypast by the Reds and an RAF Sentinel.

On the Saturday, visitors were treated to an evocative and moving display by the BBMF Lancaster which was joined by a Spitfire and Hurricane. On Sunday, a US Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker from the New Hampshire Air National Guard performed a special flypast from its deployed base at Geilenkirchen, in Germany. The airshow climaxed on both days with a dynamic Typhoon display, performed by Flt Lt Ryan Lawton from 29 Sqn based at nearby RAF Coningsby.

International participation included stunning fast jet displays by a French Alpha Jet and Belgian F-16 which raised both decibel levels and pulses around the airshow to the delight of the many visitors.

On the ground, visitors could view seldom seen gems provided by Scampton-based Hawker Hunter Aviation including a Sukhoi Su-22M4, a Buccaneer and a former Luftwaffe F-4F Phantom. They were joined by a quartet of rare visitors from the Swedish AF Historic Flight.

Guests who attended the airshow included the Chief of the Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach; Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier and the last surviving British member of the legendary Dambusters Raid, 95-year-old George ‘Johnny’ Johnson.

Other special guests included the Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire, Toby Dennis; Gainsborough MP, Sir Edward Leigh; the High Sheriff of Lincolnshire, Andrew Clark and Lincolnshire County Council CEO Tony McArdle. Representing Northrop Grumman, the airshow’s title sponsor, was John Parker, Sector Vice President, GM Technical Services.
The Scampton Airshow was particularly poignant for Squadron Leader Mike Ling, who performed his last UK commentary as a member of the Red Arrows, having joined the aerobatic display team in 2008. He said: “It’s been an amazing experience.”

The event’s emergency services team said there were very few incidents reported over the weekend.

Scampton Airshow Chief Executive Andy Armstrong said the event’s success had exceeded his expectations.

He said: “Launching a new airshow involves a huge amount of planning and I must pay tribute to the many agencies that have come together to deliver a very safe and successful event. We had our fair share of sunshine amongst a few short showers but this failed to dampen the spirits of our very enthusiastic and supportive visitors. It was great to see so many people enjoying themselves over the weekend.”

Bournemouth 10th Air Festival – Fabulous Flying & Records Broken

Sunday, September 10th, 2017

Red Arrows at Bournemouth

As thousands gathered for what could be summer’s last shout, the 10th Bournemouth Air Festival presented three full days of fantastic action in the air, on the ground and at sea. Taking place from 31 August – 3 September, this year’s festival featured a wide range of displays from WWII fighters and fast jets to parachute jumpers and wingwalkers. And it wasn’t just the daytime flying that wowed the crowds – dusk displays, pyrotechnics and live music meant that families could enjoy the action well into the evening. In celebration of 10 years, the award-winning event took on a very vintage feel – with historic aircraft across the weekend and culminating in a display of classic cars on the East Overcliff..

Now in its 10th year the event is stronger than ever with its value to the local economy estimated at more than £31million per year supporting 500 full time jobs. Records were broken with more than 15,000 ice creams sold in one day, an estimated 1,020 boats in the bay recorded by HM coastguard and approx 450,000 festival goers who attended ‘Super Saturday’.

Mark Smith, Director of Tourism for Bournemouth, said: “The enduring success of the BAF is down to three things, having the world’s finest display arena, the amazing talents of the pilots and display teams and the wonderful support of the Armed Forces.

Despite a few scattered showers on the first day, all programmed displays took place as aircraft fans welcomed back festival favourites including the Blades, the Royal Air Force Chinook Display Team and aerobatic pilot, Gerald Cooper. Day one signed off in style with a performance from HM RM Band Collingwood in the Lower Gardens’ bandstand and live music on the beach.

Friday’s glorious dawn heralded a meet and greet with the RAF Red Arrows, who – thanks to sponsorship from Morgan Sindall – performed their awe-inspiring display every day except Sunday. Squadron Leader Mike Ling, Red 10, said: “The Red Arrows always feel at home in Bournemouth, we have such an affinity with the event and it’s been a privilege to take part in each of the ten festivals.”

The hot weather continued into Saturday, providing breath-taking views across the bay and the perfect backdrop for spectacular feats of derring-do. Firm friends of the festival the Tigers Parachute Display Team were back once again diving onto Bournemouth’s golden sands from knee-trembling heights and a solo Breitling Wingwalker limbered and flexed through the clear blue skies.

As well as the popular Red Arrows, high speed fun continued with jets including the MIG, Vampire Pair, Strikemasters and, back for the first time since 2009, the Russian Yakovlevs performed tandem twists and turns above the sparkling sea.

Dusk displays returned for another year with the Twister Duo, Otto the Helicopter and the Red Devils Parachute Regiment performed magical pyrotechnic displays against the weekend’s clear moonlit skies. Live music stages starring tribute acts and party bands, as well as children’s entertainment in the Lower Gardens and fireworks in the bay, completed the 2017 Night Air programme.

The forecast rain and high winds eventually set in on the final day but didn’t dampen the festival feel. The Royal Navy carried out their final amphibious beach assault demonstration and those who braved the weather, saw a selection of classic motors on the East Overcliff.

Although Sunday’s flying programme was cancelled, the spirit of the wartime tribute had already been honoured with a huge variety of historic aircraft across the weekend.

Hordes of enthusiasts had already seen a Hurricane, Spitfire, P-51 Mustang, the ever-popular Sally B and a Blenheim featured in recent Hollywood blockbuster, Dunkirk. The Great War Display Team also put on a magnificent show in their flying machines on both Saturday and Sunday.

As ever, armed forces support for Bournemouth’s biggest event was evident with military personnel and assets across the resort. The Royal Marine reservists’ impressive amphibious beach assault demonstrations were supported by the Royal Navy’s Primary Aviation Training Ship and Primary Casualty Receiving Facility (PCRF) RFA Argus, as well as Hawk jets and a Wildcat attack helicopter. The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Collingwood also performed musical extravaganza, the Beat Retreat sunset ceremony, on the East Overcliff.

Overseeing his last BAF before retiring from the Navy after a 48-year career, Commodore Miller Royal Navy Regional Commander said: “I leave this role as Naval Regional Commander since 2004 with a legacy of which I’m proud.

“This major high profile event in Bournemouth is an important national public occasion for the Navy. It gives us, in uniform, the chance to tell the public what we do and why.

“It’s so rewarding to be appreciated, especially by the people of Bournemouth and others. When the chips are down and we’re at war for instance, this feeling gives us a morale boost and fortifies us knowing we are being supported back home.”

Bournemouth Air Festival is back again next year and dates are 30 August – 2 September 2018.

Hampden bomber gets new lease of life

Sunday, September 25th, 2016

Hampden bomber

A rare example of a Handley Page Hampden being restored at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford is making huge steps towards completion of the fuselage section.   As one of the Museum’s longest running conservation projects, the aircraft is starting to take shape now thanks to one of the museum’s skilled Aircraft Technicians who is building a large section of the aircraft from scratch!

The museums Hampden, serial number P1344 is one of only three examples of the type remaining and was recovered from a crash site in northern Russia in 1991 and acquired by the RAF Museum the following year.  Restoration on the badly damaged airframe has been a slow labour of love for the team at Cosford, but since it was taken under the wings of full time Aircraft Technician Dave Carr 18 months ago, the project has been propelled and the unmistakable Hampden silhouette can now easily be recognised.  

With the project now stepped up a gear, visitors who viewed it during last year’s open week just ten months ago will remember seeing the tailplane assembly, a predominantly new build manufactured on site at Cosford.  The Hampden’s salvaged fin and rudder parts were fully restored and with little else of the original tailplane remaining following the aircrafts crash landing, Dave used pre-production drawings and built formers to create the components he needed including a new elevator.  Following the build, the rudders received a new covering of Irish linen and the tailplane assembly was given a new coat of paint in its initial Bomber Command camouflage colour scheme; the assembly was well received by aviation fans who visited during the open week last November. 

Eagle eyed visitors will have also noticed that work had just started on the forward fuselage and the beginning of the frame work was starting to take shape.  Since then Dave has focussed his efforts on the forward fuselage and cockpit section and in just twelve months the section is now almost 75% complete and is estimated to be fully manufactured by Spring 2017.  Work on this section began with creating formers and building the entire framework from scratch.  Some components including instrument panels, seat mounting and windscreen frames have also been produced and fitted. Castings and a few components from P1344 have been restored and fitted to the newly built forward fuselage and work is now underway skinning the section.

The entire new section has been assembled using original Handley Page pre-production drawings from the late 1930s and where possible, measurements taken from the partial wreckage remaining from the original aircraft.   As the build procedure for the Hampden is not documented on any of the original drawings, the build has required a lot of forward thinking to ensure components were fitted in the correct order, as not to cause complications further down the line. 

RAF Museum Aircraft Technician, Dave Carr said:

“I have worked at the RAF Museum for over 18 years and this has by far been the biggest project I have worked on from a scratch build point of view; usually we are conserving and repairing aircraft. Because I don’t have a build procedure, I always have to work about five steps forward to ensure the correct components are fitted before the aircraft is skinned i.e. anchor nuts, brackets etc. It is being constructed as accurately as possible, although there will be some subtle differences as I’ve had to manufacture with hand tools and limited machinery, rather than the original factory machinery which doesn’t exist anymore. It’s very rewarding and motivating to see the aircraft coming together.”

The lower forward frame work is still to be complete as well as frame work for the nose section followed by the instillation of electrical and hydraulic components.  An original Hampden seat salvaged from a crashed Hampden in Patricia Bay, Vancouver will also be incorporated into the new cockpit.  Once complete, the next phase will see the new section programmed into the museums paint shop where it will undergo a full re spray to match the tailplane.

All effort on the aircraft is going into manufacturing the fuselage section which is hoped will be completed sometime in 2018.

Visitors to the museum will be able to view the continuing progress on the Hampden during the Conservation Centre Open Week from14-19 November.  By November it is hoped that the lower longerons will have been manufactured and fitted to the forward fuselage so visitors will see an almost fully complete frame.  Work is also continuing on the rear fuselage repairing damage caused during its crash landing.  The Conservation Centre will open between 10.15am and 1.00pm each day and admission is £5.00 per person (children under 16 are free and must be accompanied by an adult).

The Museum’s other hangars will be open from 10am until 5pm and entry to the museums is free of charge.  For further information, please visit the museum’s website or call 01902 376200.

Newark Air Museum Indoor Aeroboot Aviation & Avionics Sale

Saturday, September 24th, 2016

Newark Air Museum Aeroboot

Saturday 15th October 2016

The next Newark Air Museum Indoor Aeroboot / Aerojumble Sale at the museum’s site in eastern Nottinghamshire takes place on Saturday 15th October 2016. This charity fund raising event has attracted interest from a wide range of sellers and once again looks set to be a sell-out event.

The funds that the museum raises from organising the event will be used to support the Project Panini (Mod) fund raising campaign to build new Café & Toilet facilities at the museum, which is located in eastern Nottinghamshire close to the Lincolnshire border.

Around 45 tables, featuring a host of different sellers, who come from around the UK will be arranged amongst the aircraft in Display Hangar 2 at the museum.

Buyers / visitors who attend this fund raising event will have the opportunity to search through a varied selection of aviation and avionic items: including books, paintings, prints, DVDs, plastic kits, die-cast models, clothing, radio equipment and aircraft parts. Regular updates / sellers information are being posted on the news page of the museum website

Buyers / visitors at this event will be able to access the museum site on Saturday 15th October, 2016 at a special discounted admission price of just £5.00 per person.

The museum opening times will be 09.00 to 17.00 hours; with the sale taking place between 09.00 and 14.00 hours; to get the best bargains we suggest that you get there early.

Further details are available on the Events Page of the museum website or by telephoning 01636 707170.

Air Tattoo DVD Ready For Take Off

Thursday, September 15th, 2016


Relive the thrills, buzz and excitement of the 2016 Royal International Air Tattoo with the airshow’s officialsouvenir DVD and special Collector’s Editiondue to hit the shelves soon.

Expertly shot in high definition and ultra-high 4K resolution by aviation film specialistsPlanesTV, the Air Tattoo DVD includes in-cockpit footage, behind-the-scenes features and pilot interviews alongside coverage of the extensive flying display, arrivals and departures.

All the highlights from the world’s biggest military airshow have been captured including the show-stopping international display debut of the F-35B, whose manoeuvrability and hovering capabilities were demonstrated for the first time to a UK audience by RAF test pilot Squadron Leader Hugh Nichols. The aircraft also appears in an iconic joint flypast with the Red Arrows and two RAF Typhoons, which provided a dramatic demonstration of UK airpower to the Air Tattoo’s sell-out crowd.

The final ever display by French Air Force display team Ramex Delta also features as does the Croatian Air Force’s aerobatic display team KrilaOluje (Wings of Storm), who became the first participants from the country to appear at the airshow.

Viewers will be able to experience a pilot’s eye view thanks to extensivecockpit footage captured during thrilling aerial displays by aircraft such as the RAF Typhoon, Strikemaster, Solo Turk, the Polish MiG-29 as well asF-16s from Belgium, Greece and Poland.

In addition to the main programme, there’s a further two hours of special features including an extended look at the F-35, the Air Cadets’ 75th Anniversary celebrations and in-cockpit features with running pilot commentary.

Also featured on the DVD is the first official engagement for two-year-old Prince George, who attended the airshow with his parents, Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The visit saw the Royal trio meet the Red Arrows and sit in a Squirrel helicopter, the same aircraft the Duke trained on whilst based at RAF Shawbury.

Sold in support of the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust, the official Royal International Air Tattoo 2016Official Souvenir DVD is priced £20 (Blu-ray, £25). The two-disc Collector’s Edition DVD, featuring anadditional two hours of special features including extended in-cockpit action, and full coverage of arrivals and departures, is priced £30 (Blu-ray, £35).

A must-buy for aviation fans of all ages, the official Air Tattoo 2016 official souvenir discscan be pre-ordered from

Air Tattoo to Salute US Air Force

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016

F-35A and P51

THERE will be a distinct American flavour at next summer’s Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford as it pays a special tribute to one of the world’s largest air forces on its 70th anniversary.

The airshow, which takes place on July 14-16, will showcase the wide range of operational roles performed by the US Air Force (USAF) as well as the strong relationship it enjoys with the Royal Air Force and its other NATO allies.

Over the years the Air Tattoo has staged memorable celebrations marking significant USAF anniversaries, most notably in 1997 when the stealthy B-2 bomber made its first ever landing in the UK and in 2007, with the hugely popular appearance of the USAF Thunderbirds aerobatic display team.

Super Earlybird admission tickets for next summer’s airshow go on sale this week for a limited period.

The £29 cost of a Friday ticket has been frozen at this year’s price whilst the Saturday and Sunday Super Earlybird ticket, priced at £42,represents a saving of almost 25 per cent on the cost of a standard admission ticket. They will be available until January 31, 2017.

The Air Tattoo’s close relationship with the US Air Force stretches back to 1973 when the Americans provided the airshow with a home, first at RAF Greenham Common, and then, in 1985, at RAF Fairford.

Air Tattoo Chief Executive Andy Armstrong said: “Where better to stage an international celebration of the US Air Force on its 70th anniversary than at a USAF base that happens to be the home of the world’s biggest and most exciting military airshow. I’m confident that once again the airshow will be a sell-out success so I urge people to buy before February and avoid paying top dollar!”

The Royal International Air Tattoo is staged annually at RAF Fairford in support of the RAF Charitable Trust. To purchase Super Earlybird admission tickets and to view enclosure options, visit All accompanied under-16s are admitted free of charge. Free parking.

Air Tattoo Confident Of Future Success

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

Air Tattoo 2016 inspiring innovation

Following the sell-out success of last summer’s Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford in the Cotswolds, organisers say the 2016 airshow will be looking to the future – with the focus set firmly on the pilots, aircraft and technology of tomorrow.

Details of the theme The Next Generation: Inspiring Innovationwere announced as specially-priced tickets for the three-day airshow, which takes place on July 8-10, went on sale this week for a limited period.

Super Earlybird admission tickets, priced at £29 for the Friday and £39for Saturday and Sunday will beavailable until January 31, 2016. The prices represent a saving of more than 20 per cent off the cost of a standard admission ticket. All under-16s are admitted free of charge.

Visitors can expect to see cutting-edge aircraft technology on display both in the air and on the showground featuring fast jets, multi-engine transporters, helicopters and surveillance platforms as well as the world’s greatest international aerobatic display teams.

In seeking to provide inspiration to the next generationand in keeping with its commitment to youth, Air Tattoo organisers are planning to stage official celebrations marking the 75th anniversary of the Air Cadet Organisation. They will also be building on the success of the airshow’scritically-acclaimed Techno Zone and will offer even more children the opportunity to participate in the hugely popular Schools Engineering Challenge.

Air Tattoo Chief Executive Andy Armstrong said the airshow was the perfect place to present a vision of the future of aviation as well as the technology that underpins it.

He said: “Our eight-hour flying programme, large static aircraft park and interactive showground zones provide a dynamic and entertaining environment that consistently engages and challenges young minds.Where better to fire the imagination of the next generation of engineers, scientists and aviators?”

The Royal International Air Tattoo is staged annually at RAF Fairford in support of the RAF Charitable Trust. To purchase Super Earlybird admission tickets and to view enclosure options, visit Free parking.

Important safety information for The Battle of Britain Anniversary Air Show this weekend

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

Ahead of The Battle of Britain Anniversary Air Show this weekend, IWM Duxford has released some important safety information that it wishes to share:

IWM Duxford takes great care to ensure its air shows are as safe as possible for everyone involved.

It is not safe to occupy the fields immediately south of the runway during the air show. If you do so you are putting yourself and the display pilots in harm’s way.

In support of this, Grange Road will be closed on 19 and 20 September 2015.

In the event of an incident it is imperative that the emergency services have clear, unhindered access to the tracks across this land.

There is no public access to these fields at any time.

Jointly issued by IWM Duxford, Cambridgeshire Constabulary and the landowners.

New Apprentices join award winning Conservation Centre team

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

RAF Museum apprentices

The Michael Beetham Conservation Centre (MBCC) at Royal Air Force Museum Cosford is delighted to welcome the arrival of three new Apprentices. The new recruits will join the Museums growing conservation team and multi award winning apprenticeship scheme, now in its tenth successful year.

Adam Ellis aged 18 from Wolverhampton, Joshua Sault aged 17 from Brownhills and Maddie Whiting aged 17 from Bewdley recently joined the team which now has a total of six Apprentices.

After starting their three year apprenticeship with the Museum on 1 September 2015, all three Apprentices are settling into the new working environment and have been partnered with a senior Apprentice who offers guidance and support. After only a few weeks in the new job Adam, Joshua and Maddie have already been busy working on test pieces of sheet metal, assessing their ability to achieve precision and accuracy whilst using various hand tools and materials.

RAF Museum Apprentice Maddie Whiting said:

“Since the age of ten I have always wanted to be an engineer and having spent several years in the RGS Worcester Cadets, I developed a fondness for the Armed Forces. I started looking into apprenticeships as way into this career path and found a lot were standard factory based schemes. When I saw the vacancy at the RAF Museum, I jumped at the chance and applied. I am thrilled to be given such a unique opportunity to work with historical aircraft and long term I hope to pursue a career within the Royal Air Force as an engineer.”

RAF Museum Apprentice Joshua Sault said:

“I am a huge aviation fan! I am a member of a flying club and was in 1444 Brownhills Squadron Air Cadets for 4 ½ years and I regularly visited the RAF Museum Cosford as a child. I attended the Conservation Centre Open Week two years ago with my Cadet group and the Conservation Centre Manager spoke to us about the current projects, in particular the Handley Page Hampden. This really sparked my interest in becoming an aircraft engineer and now I’m actually working here I feel like I’m living the dream! The progress on the Hampden in the last two years is amazing and I can’t wait to start contributing to the project.”

RAF Museum Apprentice Adam Ellis said:

“I took a construction course at school and have twelve months experience as a carpenter, but engineering is what I would like to pursue. I used to visit the RAF Museum Cosford as a child and when the opportunity came up for an engineering role based here, I took it. I hope that the skills I learn at the Museum will broaden my horizons for future employment.”

The RAF Museum Apprentices undertake all their hands-on heritage skills training in-house at the Museum’s Conservation Centre, where they each work side by side with a Master Craftsman who mentors them through their daily tasks. Many of the aircraft within the Museum’s collection are sole survivors and supporting documentation and procedures don’t exist. Museum Apprentices are encouraged to use their own initiative to develop, in consultation with their mentor, novel ways around complex and unusual engineering issues. This way of learning has been proven with past Apprentices to make them extremely capable, competent and self-confident individuals. Like those before them Adam, Joshua and Maddie will work on a wide variety of aircraft during their apprenticeship and will each be given a specialist project which may include some work on the long term restoration and conservation of the Museum’s Vickers Wellington and Handley Page Hampden Bombers.

Over the ten years the Museum’s apprentice programme has been running, adjustments have been made to ensure our youngsters get the very best practical training and the associated support they need to give them the best possible start in their chosen careers. As well as working at the RAF Museum, this year’s new recruits are attending City of Wolverhampton College. At College they will learn modern Fabrication and Welding Techniques as well as studying the associated legislation and the supporting academics. At the end of year 1 they should have completed Performing Engineering Operations – Fabrication and Welding Level 2 and gained an Intermediate Apprenticeship in Fabrication and Welding. They will then move on to level 3 courses and work place vocational assessments leading to Level 3 Technical Certificate in Fabrication and Welding as well as their Advanced Apprenticeship in Fabrication and Welding.

The Museum is committed to preserving Aviation Heritage through its conservation of aircraft and associated exhibits, whilst recognising the need to ensure that unique skills are retained, nurtured and developed amongst the younger generation in respect of fostering ongoing aircraft conservation efforts for the foreseeable future.

Aviation fans will be able to gain behind-the-scenes access to aircraft conservation work when the Conservation Centre opens to the public from 9-14 November 2015. Visitors will have a rare opportunity to view current projects and the chance to speak with the skilled Technicians, Apprentices and Volunteers about their work. Open from 10.15am – 1.00pm and admission is £5.00 per person. For more information on the Conservation Centre Open Week visit

The Battle of Britain Anniversary Air Show is now Sold Out

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

All tickets have now been sold for The Battle of Britain Anniversary Air Show on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 September.IWM is now advising:

· Anyone without a ticket should not attempt to travel to IWM Duxford on either Saturday 19 or Sunday 20 September as it will not be possible for them to gain entry to the air show.

· Visitors who have purchased their tickets for The Battle of Britain Anniversary Air Show should allow plenty of time for travelling and follow the AA signs for the air show rather than sat nav.

· Those who have tickets for the air show and are travelling by car should display the car parking passes in their car window to help ensure speedy parking and access to IWM Duxford.

Those who may be disappointed by this news can still experience the build-up to The Battle of Britain Anniversary Air Show by visiting throughout this week as final preparations are made across the museum and aircraft practice their flying displays above the historic airfield.

Duxford’s historic Battle of Britain atmosphere can be experienced by visitors to IWM Duxford throughout the year. It was at RAF Duxford that the first Spitfires came into service, with the pilots of No.19 Squadron. In IWM Duxford’s Battle of Britain exhibition, contained in the hangar that was home to those Spitfires, visitors can discover how Britain defended its skies during this epic aerial battle and can hear the memories of those young Spitfire pilots. The 1940 Operations Room demonstrates how fighter aircraft were directed into battle, while the Historic Duxford exhibition shows what life was like on a busy RAF fighter base. Duxford’s People in the Battle of Britain, a new permanent exhibition at IWM Duxford, presents the personal stories of seven people who served at RAF Duxford during the demanding days of the Battle of Britain.