Plan your day, see when the RAF Museum Cosford is open. Contact us on 01902 376 200 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
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 great Smith-Barry! He was the man who taught the air forces of the world to fly."
Marshal of the Royal Air Force Lord Trenchard
Robert Smith-Barry was born in 1886 and learned to fly at the Bristol School at Larkhill in 1911.The following year he joined the Royal Flying Corps, attending the first training course run by the Central Flying School at Upavon. With the outbreak of war in 1914, Smith-Barry went with 5 Squadron to France, and in July 1916 he was promoted to command 60 Squadron. Shocked by the incompetence of the new pilots being sent to the front, Smith-Barry began developing a new theory of flying instruction. In December 1916 he was given command of 1 (Reserve) Squadron at Gosport and the opportunity to put his ideas into practice.
Smith-Barry's training regime was based on dual-control flying using the relatively high-powered Avro 504 biplane. Pupils sat in the front cockpit, which was equipped with a full set of controls, while the instructors sat behind; communicating their prepared instructions, or 'patter', through a specially designed device called the 'Gosport Tube'. Even after students had gone solo, half their training was given on dual-control aircraft.
Smith-Barry taught his students to explore the aircraft's capabilities and to learn the cause and effect of any movement in the air. Instead of avoiding dangerous manoeuvres, such as spins, they were taught how to get out of them safely and, by so doing, developed the skill and confidence to fly their aircraft to the limit.
The pilots produced during the experiment were trained so quickly and to such a high standard that Smith-Barry's methods were immediately adopted by the RFC. In August 1917, 1 (Reserve) Squadron became the School of Special Flying - a unit to teach instructors - and Smith-Barry's trainees were sent out to flying schools to spread the word. They carried with them General Methods of Teaching Scout Pilots, a manual published in October 1917 which explained the principles of the 'Gosport system.' In time, Smith-Barry's training revolution was embraced by most other air forces and his ideas have relevance today.
During the Second World War Robert Smith-Barry rejoined the RAF serving as a ferry pilot and an instructor. He died in 1949.
Robert Smith-Barry attending the first course held at the Central Flying School, 1912
Pupil and instructor communicating using the Gosport Tube
Syllabus for instructors course, September 1917
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