RAF Museum Cosford
*Page under construction*
I last visited this RAF base in the early 1970s as an ATC cadet on what was termed a pre-entry visit intended to show the benefits of a career with the RAF - the three-day outing was hard to refuse - a few days off school with your pals and a clamber around numerous aircraft! There was no museum here then, just lots of airframes such as Jet Provosts and Lightnings for the aero-engineering apprentices to practise on, although many of the iconic aircraft on display here today were part of Cosford`s collection which was outstanding even then.
The shots featured here were all taken in 2015 when the well-publicised restoration of the last surviving Luftwaffe Dornier 17 was underway at Cosford`s Conservation Centre. The WW2 bomber is believed to have been shot down in August 1940 at the height of the Battle of Britain and ended up at the bottom of the English Channel. The substantial wreckage, which was lifted from the seabed at Goodwin Sands, was not available for public inspection when I visited but details on the project, as well as general information about the RAF Cosford and Hendon collections can be found on the official RAF Museum Website.
There are a number of open-air exhibits but the bulk of the Cosford museum collection is distributed between four hangars; Due to the large number of aircraft held within, each of the hangars is dealt with on a separate page:
Hawker Hunter F.6A XG225 is Cosford`s official Gate Guardian. It`s displayed in 237 Sqn colours.
Bristol 175 Britannia 312F is painted as 'XM497'. Originally designed as a medium to long-range airliner, the aircraft first flew in July 1956, but with the advent of jet powered airliners the Britannia failed to compete and by the time production ended in 1960, only 85 had been built. The RAF bought 23 Britannia C.1/C.2s which they operated until 1975. The Britannia continued to fly with civilian operators until the 1990s. The example on display was ordered by BOAC and later flew with British Eagle, Donaldson, IAS and Invicta bearing the civilian registration G-AOVF.
Lockheed C-130 Hercules XV202. info*
Lockheed SP-2H Neptune (204 'V'). The P-2H Neptune was designed during World War Two as a land-based maritime patrol and anti-submarine aircraft. Eventually 1,100 were built and were operated during the Cold War era and beyond by many air forces around the world, including the RAF and Royal Netherlands Navy (Koninklijke Marine) who provided this example for display at the museum.
Hawker Siddeley Nimrod MR.1 XV249.
Handley Page Jetstream 31 T.1 XX496 (D). Prestwick-based Scottish Aviation took over production of the original Jetstream design from Handley Page and when the latter company was nationalised along with other British companies into British Aerospace (now BAE Systems) in 1978. The original design was improved upon and the Jetstream went on to become a popular and reliable civilian commuter airliner. As well as the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy, military variants were purchased by the Bolivian Air Force and Royal Saudi Air Force.
Hawker-Siddeley HS.125 Dominie T1 XS709 (M) is a fairly recent acquisition. The type was built as a navigation training aircraft and has been in RAF service since 1965. A total of twenty Dominies were built in the 1960’s to replace the Meteor NF(T) 14 and initially flew in a silver/day-glow colour scheme which later changed to red, white and grey and latterly to the black, grey and white seen here. They were used to train Navigators, Air Engineers and Air Loadmasters but the type`s retirement was brought forward by two years due to cancellation of the Nimrod and the planned reduction of the Tornado fleet.