Plan your day, see when the RAF Museum Cosford is open. Contact us on 01902 376 200 or email@example.com
How to find us and travel to the RAF Museum Cosford by car, train, bus or bike.
Enjoy lunch in the Refuel Restaurant with views overlooking the airfield. The Citroen Van in the National Cold War Exhibition is ideal for morning coffee and a cake.
The Royal Air Force Museum Shop has a gift for everyone from pocket money toys to specialist aviation gifts.
A car parking charge Is payable
See what events are scheduled at Cosford
Find out the latest news and updates for our Cosford site
Plan a day, see the opening hours & closure dates for RAF Museum London. Contact us on 020 8205 2266 or firstname.lastname@example.org
How to find us and travel to the RAF Museum London by car, train, bus or bike.
When you need to refuel during your visit why not visit the Wessex Café in Historic Hangars? At this eatery you will find a variety of delicious home-made offerings to suit all tastes and pockets
The Royal Air Force Museum Shop has a gift for everyone one from pocket money toys to specialist aviation gifts.
See what events are planned at our London site
Read the latest news from our London Museum
Lancaster Membership has been designed for people that wish to support the Museum from afar
Lightning Membership has been designed for people that wish to visit the Museum regularly
RADAR Magazine is a thrice yearly publication of the RAF Museum, bringing you access behind-the-scene
Two of our Trustees set out on an epic walk-a-thon in aid of the RAF Museum Centenary Programme.
Join the RAF Museum as a volunteer and create a unique experience for yourself and our visitors. Bring your enthusiasm, knowledge and skills or try something new.
Without you assistance we would not be able to care for our collections, read our varied audiences or share our objects with a world wide audience.
If you have any questions about supporting the RAF Museum, here you can find out how to contact our Fundraising Department.
The Royal Air Force Museum American Foundation ensures that the shared aviation heritage of the USA and the UK is kept alive in the memories of our two great nations.
The rapid expansion of the RAF in the 1930s required additional aircrew and technicians to fly and maintain the aircraft. The Apprentice scheme was expanded and Cosford was chosen as the site for a new school of technical training.
The first trainees arrived at Cosford in August 1938 to commence their training on a building site. Furniture for the barracks had arrived from Halton and was put into rooms which were a long way from being finished. Even during the winter months, instruction took place in hangars without the large 'Eclair' doors and in classrooms without glass in the windows.
Wartime training was intense. Civilian instructors suddenly found themselves in uniform and were trained or 'refreshed' in Service duties. Cosford trained armourers, radar technicians and engine and airframe fitters throughout the war and the trainees included French, Poles, Czechs and Romanians. Normal strength of the unit was approximately 9,000 throughout the war.
Dispersed aircraft were often three miles away from the airfield and the technical support required to service this vast array of aircraft was enormous. The MU also modified aircraft to be despatched overseas and constructed Horsa gliders from prefabricated components. These gliders played a vital role in the invasion of Europe in June 1944. The RAF had a pool of glider pilots who ferried the Horsas away.
The Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) also played a vital role in ferrying the other aircraft away from Cosford to their operational units. No 12 Ferry Pilots' Pool, based at Cosford, was one of only two such pools staffed entirely by women.
The post-war reduction of the Service led initially to a decrease in the training task at Cosford. Engine and airframe instruction was given to National Service trainees and the School of PT returned for the period 1946-1954. As the Cold War deepened a re-examination of Britain's defences was made and it recognised a need for modern jet aircraft along with the personnel to service them.
Youth training again became the task of Cosford and the Boy Entrants' Scheme was started. This continued until the 1964 change to the RAF Trade Structure and the Boy Entrants' Scheme was phased out with the last entry leaving in July 1965.
The arrival of 3 new types of apprentice in September 1964 began a further series of changes at RAF Cosford. The training featured a one-year craft apprenticeship for telegraphers, a two-year course for electronic fitters and the elite Technician Apprentices on a three-year course.
Technical training dominated the Apprentice training programme, but drill, ceremonial, physical and character training all played their part. Ceremonial duties have included Royal visits, route lining parades for state visits and the Freedom of Wolverhampton ceremonies. These changes also included replacing many of the old wooden buildings with brick buildings. New messes and barrack blocks were built and the domestic facilities improved.
The eventual phasing out of one and two-year craft apprenticeships marked the end of another phase of apprentice training. In 1976 a new scheme was introduced; three-year training for Electronic Technicians Air Communications and Air Radar and Flight Systems. Cosford trains technicians for both the RAF and the armed forces of other countries.
The Aerospace Museum at Cosford was opened on 1 May 1979 and was born out of a collection of historic ground instructional airframes on inventory at Royal Air Force Cosford. Other aircraft were added to the collection from the RAF's Reserve Collections of Historic Aircraft scattered about the Country. The Trustees of the Royal Air Force Museum took over the management of the collection, under a Ministry of Defence Management Agreement, as a Museum independent of the RAF Museum at Hendon in London, and employed two staff.
The General Manager of the site was responsible for all other running costs and funds were raised from admission fees and profits from shop, café and events.
The Museum continued to grow until 1995 when forward plans indicated that expenditure would overtake income by 1998 if public facilities were not improved and visitor numbers increased.
Applications were made to the Heritage Lottery Fund, the European Regional Development Fund and an appeal was launched to build a Visitor Centre in which to accommodate first class public facilities and a conference centre.
In addition, an art gallery, a temporary exhibitions gallery and two other subject galleries were built making in all, a total project value of £3.6m and the new project was opened by His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester on 21 June 1998.
On 13 May 2002, Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Michael Beetham opened a new Conservation Centre named after him. This Centre is the culmination of seven years of planning to move the RAF Museum's Reserve Collection to Stafford and the Conservation Centre to Cosford, from Cardington in Bedfordshire.
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