100 Up for RAF at Cosford

Doors opening to 100 Cockpits and Cabs for RAF centenary year.

To celebrate the Royal Air Force’s Centenary in 2018, the Royal Air Force Museum is offering visitors the chance to get a closer look inside 100 cockpits and vehicles from the collection across both the Cosford and London sites. This brand new, duel site event will give aviation fans access to more of the Museum’s historic aircraft and vehicle collection than ever before, in a series of eight events throughout 2018.

The first of four dates at Cosford will be held on Friday 9th February, themed around the unique Test Flight collection and a collection of Second World War, British, German and Japanese aircraft.

The Test Flight group of aircraft were built to test a new theory or line of research and many were produced in secrecy, often utilising components borrowed from other types. These were the machines that helped Britain open new frontiers of flight. Aircraft on the night include the British Aircraft Corporation TSR 2 (close view only).

Although never developed beyond the prototype stage, the TSR2 (Tactical Strike and Reconnaissance Mach 2) was one of the most exciting and controversial British combat aircraft designs of the 1960s. Initial reports indicated that the TSR2 was an outstanding technical success, however political opposition to the project led to it being cancelled, a subject of great debate to this day.

Other unique airframes open on the night include the SEPECAT Jaguar ACT Demonstrator, Fairey FD2, Saunders-Roe SR53, and the Hawker-Siddeley Kestrel FGA.

The event theme also extends to include a selection of the Museum’s unique collection of fighters and bombers, including those of Allies and our enemies. Soon after the invention of the aeroplane as a controlled and powered machine its application by the military became evident.

From 1911, when it was first used in conflict, through the Great War and to the present day, the Royal Air Force and its predecessors have operated flying machines in defence of our country and freedom. The War in the Air collection at Cosford is home to the world’s oldest Supermarine Spitfire 1 K9942, one of several aircraft open on the night for enthusiasts to enjoy a closer view.

In addition, the Messerschmitt BF109G (left), the backbone of the German Air Force’s day fighter force will be open for a close view, along with the Lister Works Truck, used throughout Royal Air Force maintenance depots. Aviation fans will also have the rare opportunity to step inside the Avro Lincoln B2, Yokosuka MXY7 Ohka, Kawasaki Ki-1001b and the Messerschmitt Me 163B-1a Komet during the February event.

RAF Museum Cosford Public Events Manager, Abi Betteridge said: “This is the first of a programme of events this year to celebrate the Royal Air Force Centenary. How better to celebrate 100 years of the RAF than giving visitors access to 100 aircraft and vehicles spanning the services entire career? Across our two public sites we have over 200 aircraft, tanks and vehicles on display and we’ve selected 100 that we believe visitors will be keen to get a closer look inside.

“To make sure visitors get the most out of the event, there will be a large team of volunteers manning each aircraft and available to answer any questions. We have also produced a special Log Book which can be purchased in advance, allowing ticket holders to keep a record of the aircraft and vehicles they have accessed during the event!”

The aircraft available at all eight events will vary, totaling 100 over the course of the year across the two RAF Museum sites. Just 300 tickets are available for each event and are now available to purchase through the Museum’s website www.rafmuseum.org/cosford and cost £13.50 per person which includes parking (minimum height restrictions apply). Details on the RAF Museum London events are also available online.

Anyone wanting to tick off all 100 cockpits can buy a special centenary £100 ticket, giving access to eight evening and four daytime events across the two sites, plus, additional time to enjoy all the events and a free copy of the Log Book with a saving of £62.50.

Attending the exclusive Open Cockpits and Cabs events is an opportunity to raise vital funds for the RAF100 Appeal, a joint venture between the Royal Air Force and the four major RAF charities – the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund, the Royal Air Forces Association, the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust and the Royal Air Force Museum. The aim of the Appeal is to raise money for the RAF family and to create a lasting legacy as we celebrate 100 years of the Royal Air Force.

The Museum will close at 4.00pm, although the Visitor Centre and Refuel Restaurant will remain open for ticket holders and will be serving a special event menu, before doors to the aircraft and vehicles open at 6.00pm.

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