100th Anniversary of RAF Open Cockpits Day
Sunday 1st April 2018, at Newark Air Museum
On Sunday 1st April 2018 the Newark Air Museum is organising an event to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the formation of the Royal Air Force (RAF).
In addition to giving visitors the opportunity to view the cockpits and interiors of many of the museum’s collection of RAF aircraft, cockpits and CIMs; the event will also feature a host of visiting displays. The event will be open to the public from10am until 5pm (last admission at 4pm.
The cockpits and aircraft may not be open at all times during the day and access will depend on the availability of the museum’s team of volunteer cockpit openers. A small additional donation will be requested for access into the aircraft and cockpits.
As of 15.03.18 the supporting / visiting displays include:
Museum model aircraft display in Hangar 1
Mainly Military Models display in Hangar 2
RAF Recruiting posters display from the Museum Archive
RAF Balderton Memorial Group
WAAF 1940s display
Air Sea Rescue & Marine Craft Club, displays of marine craft models & storyboards
Canberra PR7 test cockpit
Phantom cockpit XV490 – with David Gledhill
Wingless Wonders cockpit display – Buccaneer XZ431; P1127 XV280 & 2 LWB Land Rovers
HS125 cockpit G-AVAI
Airfield Research Group
The event is open to everyone and normal museum admission rates will apply:
Adults £9.00; Over 65s £8.00; Children £4.50; and Family ticket [2 adults & 3 children] £24.00.
(A small additional fee / donation will be applicable when going inside the museum aircraft – this will go towards funding the restoration & refurbishment of our aircraft.)
RAF Balderton Commemoration & Book Launch
Newark Air Museum
8 April 2018
RAF Balderton was a little known Nottinghamshire airfield that was associated with many significant activities during World War II. Located just south of Newark on Trent the airfield was home to a range of national and international units that were in some cases critical to key moments during the war.
These national and international connections are being commemorated on Sunday 8th April during a reunion event and book launch that is being arranged in association with the RAF Balderton Research Group and hosted at the Newark Air Museum site in north eastern Nottinghamshire. The reunion aspect of the day will involve the participation of surviving personnel and the families of former personnel who served at RAF Balderton from 1941 to 1954.
In the museum’s Memorial Garden there will be a ceremonial dedication of a commemorative tree (a ‘Crimson King’ Maple), and the laying of a piece of RAF Balderton’s runway, with a plaque dedicated to all those that served at RAF Balderton. Invited guests attending will include Councillor Linda Tift, Chairman of Newark and Sherwood District Council and representatives from the Canadian Embassy. A warm welcome is also extended to members of the public and museum members.
The commemoration will also coincide with the launch of the latest book by Newark Air Museum Trustee, Colin Savill; entitled “Station of Nations”. The book charts the history of RAF Balderton and the diverse collection of Canadian, British and American units that were based there. This includes the specialist Rolls-Royce trials unit that was involved in development testing of early British jet engine technologies.
Chinook arrives at Newark Air Museum
In a timeframe of a little over ten (10) days, the Newark Air Museum has purchased and moved the fuselage of BV Chinook HC.1 helicopter, ZA717 from RAF Cranwell Lincs to the museum site in eastern Nottinghamshire. In doing so the museum has become the first independent aviation museum in the UK to acquire and display a Royal Air Force (RAF) registered Chinook helicopter.
The helicopter was transported by local contractor Hutchinson Engineering Services of Weston, Notts, the short distance from RAF Cranwell, Lincs; where, like the recently acquired Puma helicopter it had been used to train Loadmasters in slinging techniques and load securing methods.
Today’s arrivals was witnessed by around seventy (70) school children from two Lincolnshire Schools, who were visiting the museum as part of an Aviation Heritage Lincolnshire arts based education project, entitled ‘Fly Away Day’. This was a particularly apt welcome for Chinook ZA717, as eventually the museum plans to use it as an interactive education space / resource for visiting groups of school children, Scouts, Cubs and Beavers.
ZA717’s arrival was also particularly poignant for the museum’s groundsman Nigel Bean. Not only is Nigel a huge helicopter enthusiast but, as a serving RAF Police Officer he also witnessed the non-fatal incident on 25th July 1989 that saw ZA717 ‘written-off’ at RAF Mount Pleasant, Falkland Islands.
The activity today at the museum site saw Puma XW208 slightly repositioned alongside Display Hangar 1 on the museum’s Northfield Site, to create the space for ZA717 to be manoeuvred into position alongside the other former RAF Cranwell training aid helicopter.
“We are honoured and extremely proud to have secured such a unique helicopter for the collection,” commented Dave Hibbert, Museum Trustee & Acquisitions Officer. He continued, “We are especially grateful for the assistance provide by the RAF and personnel at RAF Cranwell who safely moved ZA717 out of its confined location, thereby enabling Hutchinson Engineering Services to undertake, what in the end turned out to be a relatively straight forward loading exercise.”
He concluded, “As with the Puma, we are already actively following up leads across the UK to locate the missing parts, and look forward to turning ZA717 into an important educational resource at the museum.”