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 Women's Royal Air Force was reborn on 1 February 1949, offering women a full professional career in the air force for the first time. Although women had served alongside the Royal Air Force (RAF) before, it had always been in a temporary wartime capacity.
The passing of the Army and Air Force (Women's Service) Act in 1948 created the opportunity for a permanent peacetime role for women in the Armed Forces, in recognition of their invaluable wartime contribution.
From the outset, the WRAF was to be integrated as fully as possible with the RAF, a source of much pride for its members. All new entrants were commissioned or enlisted in the Royal Air Force, taking the same oath as the men, and subject to the same conditions of service and disciplinary code.
The only restriction placed on their employment was that they should not undertake combatant duties. King's Regulations were rewritten to include the WRAF and, except in issues of women's welfare, WRAF personnel were in principle to be treated like their male counterparts.
Initially, female entrants underwent basic training separately, joining their male colleagues for professional training in their chosen branch or trade.
On completion of training, WRAFs were posted to RAF stations both at home and overseas, serving as far afield as Singapore, Burma and Iraq. Despite their non-combatant status, the WRAF found themselves at the heart of Britain's numerous post-war conflicts in places such as Malaya, Kenya, and Cyprus where they performed vital support roles, often in dangerous situations.
From 1949, about 80% of trades were open to women including driving, ground signalling, clerical work and catering. Opportunities to fly existed for members of the WRAF Volunteer Reserve but regulars were not yet accepted as aircrew.
As the Service progressed more technical trades became available such as Mechanic and Air Traffic Control. In 1959, the new trade of Air Quartermaster was opened to women. In 1962 these became the first females to be recognised as aircrew.
The WRAF and Royal Air Force (RAF) grew ever closer over the following years and in 1968, female officers adopted the rank titles of their RAF counterparts. Training was also consolidated both at recruit and officer level, and in 1970 the first female entrants were admitted into the RAF College, Cranwell.
Soon after, women began to be promoted to senior appointments and in 1975 Group Captain Joan Peck became Deputy Director of the Signals Branch, the first woman to hold such a position.
Despite such breakthroughs, the majority of women remained firmly on the ground. It would be over ten years before the concept of operational female aircrew became a reality. In September 1989, the first female navigators commenced training at RAF Finningley, graduating in 1990 to take up posts in the Hercules fleet. Just five months later, Flight Lieutenant Julie Gibson became the RAF's first operational female pilot, flying Andovers and the multi-engined Hercules transport.
On 1 April 1994, the WRAF formally merged with the RAF, marking the full integration of women into the air force. In 45 years women had progressed from a temporary wartime support role to become full members of the world's oldest independent air force.
Certificate commissioning Flight Officer Eileen Collings into the
Royal Air Force shortly after the formation of the WRAF
Recruitment pamphlet for the Women's
Royal Air Force
WRAF personnel on an administration
course at RAF Hawkinge, 1950
WRAF Wireless Operators on duty at
Singapore Signals Centre, 1955
WRAF Dental Hygienist at
work. The list shows trades
available to women in 1958
WRAF personnel working in Air Traffic Control
Flight Lieutenant Joan Peck, 1952,
pictured shortly after coming top of her
class at Junior Technical Signals School.
Flight Lieutenant Julie Gibson with a Lockheed Hercules.
Learn about aviation pioneers at our London site
The Royal Air Force Museum London offers a fun, enthralling...
For all the latest news and events
A world class collection for our visitors to enjoy
Plan your next visit to Cosford
For group bookings (10 or more persons) or to book...
In addition to our world renowned collection of aircraft,...
We look forward to welcoming your group visit to Cosford.
Learn the story of Cold War personalities at Cosford
Great aviation gift ideas for all the family
Jam packed full of aviation gifts galore
Hold your next event at a unique venue!
And into the archives with our latest blog posts
Fascinating workshops to inspire the next generation
Discover the RAF’s unique story
Whether you are looking for a business meeting for...