Open cockpits to provide a unique vantage point for legendary planes.
The Royal Air Force Museum Cosford will be opening the doors to thirteen aircraft during a two day Open Cockpits Weekend on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th October. Aviation fans and families with budding young pilots can enjoy a closer look inside some of the unique and historic aircraft from the Museum’s collection, including one of the RAF’s iconic V-Bombers.
Ticket holders will be given up to six hours to explore everything from British, German and Japanese Second World War fighter aircraft, to the pioneering research and development aircraft, many of which are sole examples.
The popular Vickers Valiant B1, one third of Britain’s strategic nuclear strike force during the 50s and 60s, known as V Force, is guaranteed to be one of the weekend highlights. The Valiant was the first of Bomber Command’s V class aircraft and established Britain’s air-borne nuclear deterrent force before pioneering operational in-flight refuelling in the Royal Air Force. Not only was it the first V-Bomber to enter service, it was also the first to drop an operational British nuclear weapon over Christmas Island in 1957. he Valiant is displayed alongside the Handley Page Victor H2 and Avro Vulcan B2 in the Museum’s National Cold War Exhibition, the only place in the world where you can view all three aircraft together.
Also in the event line-up is the Bristol 188, often a talking point for the Museum’s younger visitors, curious by its unusual design. Built mainly of stainless steel, this aircraft was designed to investigate the effects of heat on aircraft structures at very high speeds. To protect the pilot against heat build-up a special cockpit refrigeration system was installed. Nicknamed ‘Flaming Pencil’, only two Bristol 188s ever flew, a third being used for ground tests.
Families will get the chance to climb on board and explore the Short Brothers Belfast, a giant of the RAF’s Cold War air fleet and take a seat inside the Focke Wulf FW 190, one of the most successful combat aircraft of the Second World War and the backbone of the Luftwaffe’s fighter force. Marvel at the cockpit of the world’s oldest Supermarine Spitfire I, the most iconic aircraft of all time (close view only) and view inside the fuselage of the Avro Lincoln B2.
Other aircraft open exclusively for the event include: Hunting H126, English Electric P1A, Fairey FD2, Saunders-Roe SR53, Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR3, Kawasaki Ki-100-1b (close view only) and the Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer CCII. Aircraft will be manned by over 70 volunteers and cadets.
A total of 300 tickets per day are available for Open Cockpits Weekend and are available to purchase through the Museum’s website rafmuseum.org/cosford or on the day subject to availability, costing £13.50 per person. The ticket price also includes parking and a 10% discount on purchases made in the museum shop on the day. For an additional £1, ticket holders can purchase a Log Book to keep a record of the aircraft they’ve accessed. A minimum height requirement of 1.07 metres applies for this event. Entry to the museum is free of charge.