Getting up close
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.rafmuseum.org/cosford
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...
...as well as that of the FW190A-8, on 19-20 May