Yellow Sun tail cone project
In autumn 2019, Philip Wardell, a volunteer at the Newark Air Museum (NAM) started work on the challenging task of constructing a replica tail cone for a Yellow Sun nuclear weapon casing.
The Yellow Sun was the first British operational high-yield strategic nuclear weapon. This particular casing has been on long term loan at Newark from the RAF Museum Reserve Collection at RAF Stafford since April 2012 and has been displayed on a Yellow Sun weapon trolley that was already part of the NAM collection.
The first sign of work on the project, was when a set of concentric wooden formers were first cut in the museum’s on-site workshop in October 2019. Since then, the replica tail cone has grown steadily in size and detail; often attracting lots of ribald comments from other museum volunteers.
A trial fitting of the replica tail cone to the weapon casing took place in mid-November, using the original fixing points on the casing to secure the tail cone in place. Once this fixing concept and sizing were proven work proceeded over the winter on riveting the metal coverings and tail fins in place.
The final fixing and repainting session for the tail cone took place just before the museum closed for the Covid-19 lockdown, and it now awaits inspection by visitors when the museum is allowed to reopen.
Phil’s original aim was to have the project completed in time for the Cold War Call Up event that was scheduled to take place in mid-May. Whilst this event was sadly cancelled, Phil completed the project ahead of schedule. It is understood that he may be undertaking a similar construction project next winter, to build a replica tail cone for the V-1 Flying Bomb (Doodlebug) remains that are displayed in Hangar 1 at the museum’s site in north eastern Nottinghamshire.
Eurofighter Typhoon DA4 to be transferred to Newark Air Museum
The trustees of the Newark Air Museum (NAM) are delighted to announce that they have entered into an agreement with the Imperial War Museums (IWM) to accept the most generous transfer of Eurofighter Typhoon DA4 (ZH560) to the museum. Preparations are now underway to move DA4 to NAM’s Gateway Aviation Site in north eastern Nottinghamshire, close to the Lincolnshire county border.
The process to transfer this significant airframe started during the summer, when IWM announced its availability for disposal as part of a review of its extensive aviation collection. This review has identified objects that do not fully fit with its remit to tell the stories of the causes, course and consequence of war from the First World War to the present day in Britain and the former Empire.
In the documents notifying interested parties of the proposed disposal the IWM’s Disposals Manager made the following comments about the DA4 airframe.
“As a prototype, this airframe is an experimental model and is not representative of a production or operational aircraft. DA4 was one of the seven original industry development aircraft before becoming a RAF ground instructional airframe.”
Following a visit to IWM’s Duxford site by Dave Hibbert, Museum Trustee & Acquisitions Officer, NAM was able to confirm to the IWM Disposals Manager that the DA4 airframe fulfilled several criteria in the museum’s stated Collecting Policies, including:
“Aircraft used in a Training role, this because of our local connections with Flying Training.
Aircraft which show the development of the Jet Fighter / Bomber from the Post War period.”
Another important factor for NAM trying to secure DA4 was that it had been based at nearby RAF Coningsby, Lincs, where the airframe had been used for training ground crew specialists for the Royal Air Force. As such displaying DA4 at Newark would allow them to provide good public domain access to the aircraft for the local RAF and aviation community.
An initial letter of intent to proceed with the transfer was received by NAM in late July 2019. Since that time liaison-work has been ongoing between the two museums to confirm a suitable date for the move to be completed. Following more recent contacts with IWM Duxford, the move has been scheduled to take place in early 2020.
“We are honoured, excited and extremely proud to have secured such a fantastic airframe for the collection,” commented Dave Hibbert. He continued, “We are especially grateful for the assistance provided by the IWM staff in helping us to start the process of undertaking this landmark transfer.”
He concluded, “We are now looking forward to working with the IWM team at Duxford during the coming months to complete this move in an efficient and professional manner.”
Further details are available on the Events Page of the museum website www.newarkairmuseum.org or by telephoning 01636 707170.
Report on the Airfix Cup Aeronautical Engineering Competition, Singapore 2019
It was overflowing with enthusiasm at the 13th edition of The National Airfix Aeronautical Model Engineering Competition at the Air Force Museum from 20th – 22nd June 2019. The event and prizes were sponsored by Hobby Bounties & Morgan Hobbycraft Center (www.hobbybounties.com) with partner High Planes Models (www.hpmhobbies.com).
Cockpit-Fest at Newark Air Museum
Cockpit-Fest 2019 proved to be another great event at the Newark Air Museum site in eastern Nottinghamshire. Once again the Cockpit-Fest and Aeroboot display areas were located alongside each other on the Southfield Site, which is now going to be a permanent arrangement. The two day event was well attended and drew a lot of positive feedback from exhibitors and visitors alike.
The museum trustees were particularly thankful to a host of people: all of the Cockpiteers and Exhibitors, their friends and families; the Aeroboot stall holders; the museum staff, aircraft openers and volunteers who helped during the build-up, during and after the event.
Support for this year’s event came from the following people and organisations:
Ken Ellis (‘Wrecks & Relics – Spirit of Cockpit-Fest’ Awards)
The Museum Shop
Jane Knox-Kiepura & Kiepura Aviation
As now seems to be the case with Cockpit-Fest there was a diverse range of cockpits and supporting displays on show and everyone who displayed at the event was a winner and a credit to this wonderfully diverse hobby. Below are this year’s official results:
Grand Champion (Visitors Award) – Lynx AH.7 – XZ220, Andy Rawden
Visitors Award Non-Cockpit – Mainly Military Models display
Cockpiteers Cockpit Award – Lynx AH.7 – XZ220, Andy Rawden
Cockpiteers Award Non-Cockpit – Jet Provost and BAC167 Strikemaster cockpit panels display, Alana Cordran
Wrecks & Relics Spirit of Cockpit-Fest Award (Ken Ellis) – Buccaneer S.2B – XW550, The Buccaneer Aviation Group
Wrecks & Relics Spirit of Cockpit-Fest Award (Ken Ellis) – Venom FB.1 – WK393, Tony Collins
Wrecks & Relics Spirit of Cockpit-Fest Award (Ken Ellis) – Wyvern cockpit rig, Rob & Dan Carter
Newark Air Museum Cockpit-Fest Long Service Award (attended all 20 events) – Tony Dyer
Newark Air Museum Cockpit-Fest Long Service Award (attended all 20 events) – Naylan Moore
Cockpit-Fest will be back next year with an International event, on Saturday 20th & Sunday 21st June, 2020