Get­ting up close

Pilot - - OLD TIMERS -

The ‘War in the Air’ hangar at RAF Mu­seum Cos­ford is tak­ing on a new look with the ar­rival of so many new air­craft from the Lon­don site. The first to ar­rive, the Messer­schmitt BF109G-2 which is dis­played in the hangar, sits along­side the Focke-wulf FW190A-8, con­fronting their RAF ad­ver­saries — a Spit­fire I and Hur­ri­cane IIC. With re-assem­bly of the Junkers JU88R-1 nearly fin­ished at the end of March, the Gladiator was also be­ing put back to­gether nearby. It will be joined by the De­fi­ant af­ter Easter, but the Lysander will not ap­pear for a while as it is re­ceiv­ing some mi­nor re­pair work to its frag­ile linen cov­er­ing in the mu­seum’s Con­ser­va­tion Cen­tre. In the ad­ja­cent Hangar 1, Tiger Moth T6296 is now on dis­play along­side a Chip­munk and Bull­dog, demon­strat­ing the pro­gres­sion in RAF train­ing air­craft.

The Luft­waffe fighter duo (BF109G and FW190A) have been an­nounced as high­lights at the forth­com­ing ‘Open Cock­pits Evening’ tak­ing place at the mu­seum in the evenings (6-9pm) of 19-20 May 2017. With just 300 tick­ets per evening or­gan­is­ers are an­tic­i­pat­ing the event will be very pop­u­lar with en­thu­si­asts ea­ger to get a look into the cock­pits of these WWII air­craft. In ad­di­tion, a range of trans­ports (Her­cules, Devon and Pem­broke), com­bat jets (Har­rier GR9A and F-111F) and unique re­search air­frames (Hunt­ing H126, Me­teor F8 Prone Po­si­tion and Bris­tol Type 188) will be open on the night for close view­ing. Tick­ets can be pur­chased through the mu­seum’s web­site (see be­low) and cost £12.50 per per­son in­clud­ing park­ing. There is a min­i­mum height re­stric­tion of 3’ 6’’.

As well as the Lysander re­ceiv­ing at­ten­tion in the Michael Beetham Con­ser­va­tion Cen­tre, work con­tin­ues on the LVG C.VI and Welling­ton restora­tions, and the Ham­p­den ‘re­build’. There is a pro­ces­sion of air­craft pass­ing through with for­mer Red Ar­rows Gnat T1 XR977 be­ing re­fur­bished in April prior to mov­ing to Hen­don, and queued up out­side were the Omani Hunter FR10 and the Spit­fire and Hur­ri­cane repli­cas, the Mer­lin-en­gined pair wait­ing to be re-painted be­fore they are re­turned to Lon­don. www.raf­mu­­ford

Left: Hunt­ing H126 re­search air­craft Right: due to be moved to Hen­don af­ter re­fur­bish­ment, Red Ar­rows Gnat T1 XR977 Left: Me­teor F8 prone po­si­tion test air­craft Right: Omani Hunter FR10 and Hen­don’s GRP ‘gate guardian’ Spit­fire & Hur­ri­cane

RAFM Cos­ford will be of­fer­ing ticket hold­ers the chance to view Messer­schmitt BF109G-2 ‘Black 6’s’ cock­pit... well as that of the FW190A-8, on 19-20 May

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