This eFLYER was developed in HTML for viewing with Microsoft Internet Explorer while connected to the Internet: View Online.
To ensure delivery to your inbox, please add to your address book or list of approved senders.
Barnstormers Logo ISSUE 427 - May 2016
Over 9,000 Total Ads Listed
1,000+ NEW Ads Per Week
  Home     Browse All Classifieds     eFLYERs     Events     Testimonials     Post Ad     Search Ads  
BARNSTORMERS eFLYER... a collective effort of the aviation community.
YOUR photos, videos, comments, reports, stories, and more...
Find Us On
Click to Subscribe Follow Us On
Royal Air Force Museum, Cosford - Part III
By Kevin Moore, Contributing Editor & Photographer
Watford, Ontario, Canada
Inside the Transport & Training hangar you'll find aircraft
such as the Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer CCII
We return to the RAF Museum at Cosford once again this week after having visited the Research & Development and War in the Air hangars. This week we visit the Transport & Training Hangar and the National Cold War Exhibition within it for a look at aircraft such as the DC-3 Dakota, Sikorsky MH-53M Pave Low IV and the Avro Anson.
Two of the first 3 of the British "V bombers," the Vickers Valiant V1, left,
and the Handly Page Victor K2, right.
As you enter the next section of the museum you are greeted by the National Cold War Exhibition and two magnificent aircraft, the Vickers Valiant V1 and the Handley Page Victor K2. The Vickers Valiant was first flown in 1951 and was the first of the "V bombers" that became operational. The aircraft was soon outclassed by the Handly Page Victor and Valiants were then switched to roles in reconnaissance and mid-air refueling, retiring in 1965 due to wing spar corrosion and fatigue issues. The Victor was designed as a strategic nuclear bomber and first flew in 1952. In 1965, most Mk Is were converted to tankers and the Mk IIs, fitted with the more powerful Rolls-Royce Conway engines, took over the bomber roles until they were withdrawn from service in 1968. 24 Mk IIs were converted to tankers by the Hawker Siddeley company after the failure of Handly Page. The Victor served during both the Falklands War and the Gulf War until being retired in 1993.
The English Electric Canberra, left, flew higher than any other aircraft during most of the 1950s. The Canadian built F-86 Sabre Mk 4, right, was eventually replaced by the British built Hawker Hunter.
High above the Victor and Valiant are the English Electric Canberra PR9 and the Canadian built Canadair Sabre Mk 4. The Canberra first flew in 1949 as a medium bomber, capable of flying at higher altitudes than any other aircraft of the day. It served as a tactical nuclear strike, tactical bombing aircraft as well as in a photographic and electronic reconnaissance role. Canberras were retired by the RAF in 2006. The Canadair Sabre Mk 4 first flew in 1952 with over 400 having been built. The RCAF temporarily flew 70 of those aircraft before they were transferred to the RAF where they served with the remainder of the Mk 4s built, serving with the RAF under the mutual aid program. The RAF replaced the Sabre in 1956 with the British designed & built Hawker Hunter.
Arguably, the most beautiful "V bomber" jet aircraft ever built, the Avro Vulcan.
The venerable and much loved Avro Vulcan also resides in the National Cold War exhibit. The Avro Vulcan served with the RAF from 1956 until 1984 and was the last of the "V bombers" to be designed and built and was probably the most technologically advanced of the three. It was the mainstay of the RAFs airborne nuclear deterrent during the Cold War. The aircraft could be mounted with nuclear arms, conventional bombs and the Blue Steel missile. The Vulcan participated in Operation Black Buck during the Falklands War in 1982. The Vulcan had no defensive weapons and relied on a combination of its high speed and high altitude capabilities instead. The last flying example of the Avro Vulcan, known as "The Spirit of Great Britain," was restored for flying displays and flew until October of 2015 when she was formally retired from flying service. The museum's aircraft, XM598, was a reserve aircraft during the Falklands campaign, operating on six separate occasions during bombing raids on Port Stanley airfield. The primary aircraft was able to carry out the raids alone and XM598 was never needed.
The English Electric/BAC Lightning was the only all-British built Mach 2+ aircraft.
One of the most iconic of the British jet fighters is the English Electric Lightning, or BAC Lightning, the only all-British Mach 2 fighter aircraft ever built. Though it served as the RAF's primary interceptor aircraft for more than 20 years, the Lightning never attacked another aircraft. It was powered by two Rolls-Royce turbojet engines and had an exceptional rate of climb as well as service ceiling and extreme rate of speed. The prototype P.1 first flew in 1954 with the Lightning itself first flying in 1957. Despite the capability of the Lightning, they were retired in 1988. The Royal Saudi Air Force was the only other air force to fly the Lightning.
Two transport aircraft that had major roles within the RAF
are the Handly Page Hastings, left, and the Douglas Dakota, right.
Moving on to Transport & Training we find the Handly Page Hastings and the Douglas DC-3 Dakota. The DC-3 was first flown in 1935, with the first aircraft ordered by different American airlines though, with the outbreak of World War II, those aircraft were transferred to Allied Air Forces. More than 10,000 of the aircraft were built before the end of production in 1946 and more than 1900 Daks were produced for the RAF. They served in every theatre of war and in such campaigns as the 1944 airborne assault on Arnheim, the Burma Campaign and the D-Day landings. They also operated in other troop transport roles and were often utilised as VIP transports. Many still exist today serving as civilian and cargo transports and with museums around the world. The Handly Page Hastings first flew in 1946 and entered service with Transport Command, RAF No 47 Sqn, in 1948. It was the replacement for the Avro York for the RAF as a long range transport and participated in the Berlin Airlift, known as "Operation Plainfare." More than 145 were ordered by the RAF, flying their long-range routes until they were replaced by the Bristol Britiannia in 1959. Fifty of the remaining Hastings were converted to serve in weather recon roles and served in this capacity until 1960 when some were again converted to serve as radar and bomb-aimers training aircraft. The final four served until 1977 when they were retired.
The Avro York was designed after the mighty Avro Lancaster, wearing the same wings, tail and undercarriage and was slung with 4 of those wonderful Merlin engines.
Another of the vintage transport aircraft was the Avro York, which was produced based on the Avro Lancaster, incorporating the same wings, tail, undercarriage and engines of the famous Lancaster bomber. It first flew in 1942 with production beginning in 1943 with over 250 being produced before the ceasing of production in 1946. The York was used by the RAF as well as airlines and charter companies in Britain and several Commonwealth countries and flew over 58,000 sorties by the RAF during the Berlin Airlift. A single version was built by Victory Aircraft in Canada, with parts built for as many as 5 aircraft, but no production of the aircraft ever took place. The last flight of any Avro Yorks was in 1964 by Skyways (Airline) and the museums aircraft by Dan Air in April, 1964.
The Short Brothers Belfast, left, could handle more than double its own weight in cargo. The Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer, right, was a STOL aircraft based on their single engine version, the Pioneer.
Next in the line up of aircraft is the Short Brothers Belfast and the Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer CCII. The Belfast was designed as a long-range, strategic transport and first flew in 1964. It was a large aircraft weighing in at 56 tons empty and more than double that when it was fully loaded. Due to its size, each aircraft was named after a giant and the museum's example, XR371, was known as "Enceladus." The aircraft could carry 150 fully equipped troups, two Wessex helicopters or a Chieftan tank and even have enough room in the cargo hold to carry two single deck buses. They were phased out of service in 1976 and the museums aircraft was flown to Cosford in 1978. The Twin Pioneer, known as the "Twin Pin," was a STOL aircraft that first flew in 1955 and was based on its predecessor, the companies single engine version Pioneer. The aircraft required a minimum 900' airstrip from which to operate. It was initially designed as a 16 passenger civil transport but 39 of the aircraft were ordered by the RAF, entering service with No. 78 Squadron in 1958. They served the RAF in the Far East, Borneo, Bahrain, Kenya, the Persian Gulf and Malaya. The Twin Pioneer also served with the Royal Malaysian Air Force and with the militaries of Nepal and Oman as well as in more than 20 countries under civil operations. The last of the RAF Twin Pioneers was retired in 1968.
Known by most as the name "(Super) Jolly Green Giant,"
the Sikorsky MH-53M Pave Low IV was used by many militaries around the world.
The largest helicopter in the museum is the Sikorsky MH-53M Pave Low IV, an American built helicopter better known as the Super Jolly Green Giant or, officially, as the Stallion. The Pave Low was a converted Stallion that was used for low-level, long-range Special Operations. It had up rated engines, more armour, forward-looking infrared, a global positioning system, Doppler navigation systems, terrain-following and terrain avoidance radar, and an on-board computer. It also had integrated avionics for low-level, all-weather, long-range and undetected penetration into difficult areas for roles such as infiltration, exfiltration and re-supply of special operations forces as well as retaining Combat Search & Rescue capabilities and for Special Ops duties. They served throughout the world, including Iraq, and were retired in 2008. The museum aircraft was flown to RAF Cosford by No. 99 sqn RAF inside a C-17A Globemaster III in December of 2008.
The Hawker Siddeley Andover E3A, left, was another STOL aircraft used by the RAF. The Fairchild F-24 Argus, right, was utilised by the RAF as ferry aircraft during World War II, ferrying pilots of the Air Transport Auxilliary.
Moving onto more Transport & Training we find the Hawker Siddeley Andover E3A and the Fairchild F-24 Argus. The Andover was a STOL (Short Take-Off & Landing) transport aircraft used for troop, paratroop transport, airdropping as well as freight transport and casevac roles. A unique feature of the aircraft was its hydraulic kneeling feature allowing the main undercarriage to adjust to any truck bed height for use with its rear loading door. There were 31 of the type built and seven, including the museum's example, were modified for use as a navaid calibration aircraft. The Argus was a 4-seat sport and training aircraft that first flew in 1932. It was also used as a light military transport and 161 were ordered by the USAAF in 1941. Those aircraft were re-allocated to the RAF under the American Lend-Lease Act during World War II which allowed war materials of the United States to be given to other nations during the war. The Air Transport Auxiliary used the Argus as a light communications aircraft ferrying pilots. The museum's aircraft was utilised as a 'hack' by the US 8th Air Force that made its way into private hands post-war. It was purchased in 1973 and spent years in storage before being restored for the museum by the Medway Aircraft Preservation Society in 1999.
Two jets of different roles, the de Havilland Comet, left,
in BOAC markings and the Folland Gnat, right, of the Red Arrows.
Differing in size and roles are the beautiful de Havilland Comet in BOAC livery and the Folland Gnat T1 in RAF Red Arrows colours. The DH Comet was the first official jet airliner in history, beating out the Canadian designed & built Avro Jetliner by a mere 13 days, flying on 27 July, 1949. It is arguably one of the most beautifully designed jet airliners every built. Unfortunately, the Comet began suffering, what was to be determined as, catastrophic metal airframe fatigue and the aircraft was withdrawn from service for testing. The final determination was a design flaw with the square windows and their installation methods. From the redesigns came the Comet 2, 3 and Comet 4 which debuted in 1958. The aircraft was adapted for several different roles including military service in medical transport, passenger/troop transport and surveillance with the most extensively redesigned version, known as the Hawker Siddeley Nimrod, flying as a maritime patrol aircraft. The museum's aircraft wears the iconic colours of the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) airlines livery. Just behind the left wing of the Comet is the RAF Red Arrows Folland Gnat T1, an agile little jet aircraft that proved great for the aerobatic display team. It was initially intended to become the RAF's advanced trainer for pilots flying jet fighters and bombers, replacing the DH Vampire. The aerobatic qualities of the Gnat were so great that it lead to the formation of the RAF's Yellow Jackets aerobatic display team in 1964, a year later becoming the RAF Red Arrows, and served with the team for 14 years, finally being replaced by the BAe Hawk at the end of 1979.
The Scottish Aviation Bulldog, left, and the Vickers Varsity, right,
were training aircraft used by the RAF.
Moving along we come to the Scottish Aviation Bulldog T Mk 1 and the Vickers Varsity T Mk 1. The Bulldog was the RAF training aircraft replacement for the de Havilland Chipmunk, entering service in 1973. There were 132 Bulldogs ordered by the RAF, equipping its Central Flying Schools as well as other units. It was developed from the Beagle Pup with a side-by-side cockpit, a larger canopy and a more powerful engine. It flew as the standard aircraft with all University Air Squadrons as well as Air Experience Flights which provided flight training. In 2001 they were sold to the general aviation market, with many still serving the civil aviation market today. The Varsity was the RAF's crew training replacement for the Wellington, coming into service in 1951. The aircraft was an excellent platform for training pilots, flight engineers, navigators, bomb aimers & radio operators. The prototype first flew in 1949 with the RAF taking initial delivery of the aircraft type in 1951 with more than 160 aircraft having been built. The museum's aircraft was the very last RAF serving aircraft and wears the livery of the Royal Aircraft Establishment. It made its last flight to RAF Cosford in 1992.
Most model aeroplane builders would give anything
to build something the size of the James May Toy Series Airfix Spitfire.
One of the most unique aircraft in the collection isn't actually an aircraft at all but an actual Airfix model aircraft kit. It is a 1:1 scale model that came about through James May's Toy Stories, TV series. The pieces are made of fibreglass that include internal supports allowing the model to support its own weight. It was completed by a group of school children who had been introduced to Airfix at their school. The children also painted the model and then presented it to a crowd of their parents and World War II RAF Veterans. On display with the model is a lifesize mannequin of an RAF fighter pilot.
King Edward VIII once owned one of these speedy little Comper CLA 7 Swifts.
The Comper CLA 7 Swift was the first production aircraft produced by the Comper Aircraft Company. As an RAF Flying Officer, Nicholas Comper had formed the Cranwell Light Aeroplane Club at RAF Cranwell in 1923, building three successful light aircraft designed & flown by Comper. After leaving the RAF in 1929, he formed The Comper Aircraft Company and produced the Swift from 1929 to 1934. It was available in either blue or red and was a popular racing aircraft during the 1930's. Initially powered by a 40hp ABC Scorpion piston engine, later examples flew with the Pobjoy R engine and the last 3 examples fitted with the de Havilland Gypsy Major III and one with the Gypsy Major engines. One of the Gypsy Swifts was owned by Prince of Wales at the time, and the future King of England, Kind Edward VIII, and won second place in the 1932 Kings Cup Race, flown by his personal pilot. The museum's example was built in 1933, registered to Alex Henshaw of Mablethorple, who won several air race trophies, including the 1933 Kings Cup but one year after gaining his pilot's license. Henshaw later become one of the UK's foremost competition pilots and served as a test pilot flying the legendary Spitfire and Lancaster during World War II.
The Westland Dragonfly was the British built version of the American Sikorsky S51.
Built by Westland, the Dragonfly was a British built version of the American Sikorsky S51 utilising British materials and powered by a British engine with the first Westland built example flying in 1948. There were 72 Dragonflies that served with the Royal Navy and RAF. They flew missions during anti-terrorist operations in Malaya, evacuating 675 casualties, carrying more than 4000 passengers and transporting more than 84,000lbs of supplies in the 3 & 1/2 years during the conflict. They were also used on British aircraft carriers for rescuing crews of aircraft crashed at sea as well as being utilised from shore in a rescue capacity saving lives including during the Dutch floods in 1953. The museum's example was restored in civilian BAE markings, registered G-AJOV, who operated the world's first helicopter to fly a regular, scheduled service in June of 1950, operating for roughly 10 months.
The Hawker Cignet was Sidney Camm's first aircraft design
after joining the H. G. Hawker Engineering Company.
The Hawker Cignet was a light sport aeroplane and was the first aircraft designed by Sydney Camm after he joined, what was then known as, the H. G. Hawker Engineering Company. It was Hawker's entry into the Royal Aero Club's Light Aeroplane Competition whereby the Air Ministry offered £3000 in prizes. It was one of two that were built and flew in many air competitions, winning a variety of prizes. It had a top speed of 132mph with a 2-cylinder 34hp Bristol Cherub III engine. The Cignet flew from 1924 to 1929 when it was placed in storage. In 1948 the aircraft was removed from storage, stripped and restored by Hawkers, appearing in the Royal Aeronautical Society's Garden Party, White Waltham in May of 1949 and then appearing in display at RAF Hendon in July of 1951. Eventually, the Cygnet was placed in storage again before being moved to the RAF Museum for display in 1972.
The Flying Flea was designed to be an aeroplane for the common man.
In 1930, Henri Mignet designed le Pou du Ciel, or Flying Flea, to be a home built aircraft, capable of using a variety of engines. The aircraft was borne of the nickname for the Ford Model T, "Pou de la Route" or "louse of the road," because the car was extremely common and was only available in black. Henri Mignet had a dream of creating a Model T of the air, an aeroplane for the common man. Though the name was originally only applied to the HM.14 model, the name stuck and all similar built aircraft, designed by both Mignet and others, became known by the name. The museum's aircraft is powered by an AJS twin cylinder motorcycle engine and was built over a period of roughly 12 months. It made several flights beginning in 1936 with its last recorded flight in May of 1937. The example is on loan to the museum by Mr. M. Davis of Bath, England and was restored by members of the Aerospace Museum Society.
British Airways ordered 3 Junkers Ju52s, left, before the outbreak of World War II.
The Avro Anson, right, began life with the RAF as a Coastal Command aircraft.
The next two aircraft of interest are the Junkers Ju52 and the Avro Anson C19. The Ju52 was a German designed & built transport aeroplane rivaled only by the American Douglas DC-3. It flew with airlines of at least 30 countries as well as with several air forces. The initial aircraft designed and built flew with but a single engine in 1930. The first Ju52 with 3 engines flew 18 months later in 1932 and could carry 17 passengers or 18 troops. Pre-war orders included 3 for British Airways, the same markings on the museum's example. In 1934, Ju52s were flying with the newly formed Luftwaffe's Condor Legion, fighting against the Nationalist side in the Spanish Civil War. Ju52s also participated in what was then the largest ever air transportation operation ever mounted, carrying 14,000 troops of General Franco from Morocco to Spain. During World War II the aircraft also flew as an air ambulance and in mine-clearing roles. The Avro Anson first flew in 1935 and 174 aircraft were ordered by the RAF. It began life with the RAF as a Coastal Command reconnaissance and attack aircraft in 1936 but was primarily utilised as a light transport and training aircraft and was the first RAF aircraft with retractable gear. A training version was developed and 1500 were produced, beginning in 1939, used to train pilots & navigators as well as wireless operators and air gunners. The Mk V version was built in Canada using moulded plywood for the fuselage in order to conserve vital materials for the war effort. Over 1000 of the type were built in Canada as well as an additional 1832 of the conventionally constructed Anson. The last six remaining aircraft with the RAF were withdrawn from service in 1968.
Next week we'll have a look at the last of the aircraft and a few exhibits still to see at the RAF Museum, Cosford including the Provost, left, and the Argosy, right.
This week we had a look at the National Cold War Exhibition and some of the aircraft in the Training & Transport Hangar. Next week we'll return to the RAF Museum at Cosford for a final look at the remaining aircraft such as the Percival Provost T1, the Hunting Percival Pembroke C1 and the Auster T7 Antarctic as well as some of the museum exhibits.
Looking at the bulbous nose of the Westland Dragonfly, left, you can see how it got its name. The RAF's fastest British designed & built jet aircraft, the Lightning, right.
Another look at the Handly Page Victor K2, left, from in front and below. The Douglas Dakota and Handly Page Hastings, right, are in good company surrounded by the Avro York and Short Brothers Belfast.
Another look at the Fairchild F-24 Argus from above.
A look across part of the floor of the Transport & Training Hangar, also known as Hangar 1.


By Kevin Moore, Contributing Editor & Photographer
Return to eFLYER
Visit - post an ad to be viewed by more than 1,000,000 visitors per month.
Over 20 years bringing more online buyers and sellers together than any other aviation marketplace.
Don't just advertise. Get RESULTS with Check out the Testimonials