2018 National Airfix Aeronautical Engineering Competition
Celebrating its 50th anniversary the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) supported the event and additional prizes were awarded in each of the three categories for Best RSAF Aircraft. Read a report by Mick Stephen and see the winning entries.
Saab Viggen Paint Refreshment Completed
Newark Air Museum – 11 June 2018
Work on the upper surfaces of the Saab Viggen maritime reconnaissance / strike fighter that is displayed in Hangar 2 at the Newark Air Museum has now been completed. The current indications from the museum suggest that the under surfaces will be cleaned and degreased, but on this occasion they will not be repainted.
The ‘Viggen Valet’ work platforms have recently been removed from around the aircraft and they will now be used on other restoration projects at the museum including some possible major refurbishment work on the Vulcan.
Some discussions have been held about the possibility of moving the Viggen outside on a short term basis, to allow for some improved photo opportunities. However the technicalities of such a move still have to be resolved and so far no firm decision has been made by the museum trustees.
This particular Saab Viggen was famously flown into RAF Cranwell on 7th February 2006, where it was dismantled by the museum volunteers before being transported by road down the A17 to the museum site on part of the former World War II base, RAF Winthorpe.
As previously advised, the End-User certificate for the Viggen aircraft stipulates that it must retain its ex- Royal Swedish Air Force colour scheme and markings. The ‘Viggen Valet’ project, as it has become known has drawn plaudits from Sweden and northern Europe for the accuracy of the new paintwork that has been applied during the last six months. Credit goes out to the volunteers who have undertaken this work in Hangar 2 at Newark Air Museum.
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.”