Plan your visit, 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 Refuel with views overlooking the airfield. The Cold War Cafe 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
Summer Time Advanced Aerospace Residency
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.
Discover our brand new green space in which to picnic and relax
Explore our brand new outdoor playground
We now have six charging points for electric vehicles
When you need to refuel during your visit why not visit Claude's between Hangars 2 and 6? At this eatery you will find a variety of delicious home-made offerings to suit all tastes and pockets
Step back into time and onto Lancaster Bomber 'G for George' to witness this iconic campaign
Sit in our Mk16 Spitfire and receive a tour of its cockpit or try out our new virtual reality experience and pilot your own Spitfire. Charges apply.
Specially created for visitors 3 - 8 by our Access and Learning Team
See what events are planned at our London site
Read the latest news from our London Museum
Want to know more about how to leave a Legacy to the RAF Museum?
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Find out more about our American Foundation?
Get more from the Museum and be part of the RAF Story
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.
A little information about what you can expect from us and what we ask of our volunteers.
Find out about our recruitment process, what you gain and who our volunteering is for (everyone!)
If you have any questions about supporting the RAF Museum, here you can find out how to contact our Fundraising Department.
air transport auxiliary,women,ATA,
"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.
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