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RAF Museum disposals


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1 hour ago, Cyberduck said:

I have heard a few years ago the Tank Museum had someone who wanted to get rid of all the none British tanks. They did not stay. long

Good. Sounds like a very rare case of getting rid of poor management. 

 

I was told that the (then newly-appointed) head of the RAF Hendon Museum couldn't tell a Spitfire from a Concorde. She sounds like an ideal candidate for the job.... NOT!

 

Chris. 

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1 hour ago, spruecutter96 said:

Good. Sounds like a very rare case of getting rid of poor management. 

 

I was told that the (then newly-appointed) head of the RAF Hendon Museum couldn't tell a Spitfire from a Concorde. She sounds like an ideal candidate for the job.... NOT!

 

Chris. 

 

About par for the course. Remember, this is the same management that reduced the length of the Sunderland's wing float struts so that they could open up the space around it for private functions.

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The same person who told me about the head of the RAF Museum said that the post was merely a "step-up-the-ladder" on her career-path and so the preservation of historic aircraft would have been just about meaningless to her. 

 

I worked at a well-known TV channel a few years ago. An old lag there told me that the channel's chief-account earned 4.5 million quid in less than four years and she was a government appointment, placed there primarily to pave the way for the company to be broken up. Fortunately, that event hasn't occurred, but it's a good illustration of the politics involved in these situations. 

 

Chris.   

Edited by spruecutter96
Correcting a typo.
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I have only just returned to Britmodeller after a break for a couple of years, so I have only just read this thread.  I'm quite shocked and saddened that some of the exhibits at Cosford are going to be disposed of (hopefully not by the scrapman), I love the Test Flight hanger and I am always drawn to the Prone Meteor whenever I visit.  However it would be nice to see some different types at the museum, there are only so many times you can visit and look at the same things..... 

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On 12/30/2020 at 10:17 PM, Truro Model Builder said:

 

About par for the course. Remember, this is the same management that reduced the length of the Sunderland's wing float struts so that they could open up the space around it for private functions.

Hmm so what not to like they can reverse the modification and if the private functions bring in money to improve the museum then so be it.I do understand your concerns though the new viewing hall with the SAR Sea king and hat display seems a terrible waste of space 

Edited by junglierating
Grammar
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Just to add, generally:

It is of course a shame when incompetent management messes around. In principle, it applies to all museums in the world that the space problem and the money problem are dominant. It doesn't matter which museum. The number of exhibits grows over time, the time lag between the original events increases. So also the emotional distance. There have also been such shifts in our country. Fortunately, it was public pressure that brought these individuals to their senses. We have a huge museum that is basically very run down and has hardly any structure. It was a collection. Not a museum in the scientific sense. Reforms are necessary. For us as enthusiasts, many things appear in a different light. But we too should learn to make compromises. A museum has a clear task. This task can never be compared to a collection.

If you've ever had to create a museum-quality exhibition with a model collection, then you can understand my words. The collection and the museum are two completely different worlds.

Happy modelling

 

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I remember Cosford being the Aerospace Museum, before it's name (and possibly it's objective) changed to reflect the history of the RAF. I can see an argument for both keeping the development aircraft and moving them to a more suitable location and maintaining their presence (and even expanding) in the Test Flight Hall. Obviously their development was driven by the then current Air Ministry thinking, and some were most likely flown by RAF and ex-service pilots, however they did not make it into service themselves. Unless there is an overarching body who could be responsible for re-arranging the various collections/owners and museums I imagine the RAFM are doing what they can to tell their story, whilst liaising with the other organisations to try to keep as many airframes intact & in the UK.

The Neptune and PBY at Cosford are not totally representative of the types that did serve with the RAF but as none were retained upon the type's retirement, they are probably as close as we're likely to get. As has been mentioned, there are other airframes that are either replicas or built from up from several sources because the aircraft type is either unique, or very close to.  

Ideally we'd have the space, finances and know-how to collect, maintain and store everything, but as we all know that is getting less feasible each year. 

 

I hope the collection(s) continue to prosper and remain on public display long into the future.

 

Edge

 

 

 

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Auster Antarctic WE600                                                    I question this  it is relevant - they have two Austers but this is a 'special'

Avro 707C WZ744                                                            - They have 2 707S - they dont need two - one perhaps to Woodford

Bristol Sycamore XJ918                                                   Duplication - fair enough

DH Devon C.2 VP952                                                      Unsure why this is listed  - clearly relevant 

DH Moth G-AAMX                                                          Relevance- fair enough - to transfer to DH Museum who dont have one and should

Fairchild Cornell II 15252                                                Relevance/Completeness - fair enough - its a resto project anyway 

Focke-Wulf Fw 190F-8/U1 WkNr.584219                       Significance/Duplication - they have two 190s - personally I'd keep the twin tub and gift the second to IWM depends on completeness/originality of each one

Gloster Meteor F.4 EE549                                               donate to Tangmere Military Aviation Museum

Gloster Meteor T.7(mod) WA634                                    Duplication - fair enough 

Gloster Meteor F.8 Prone Pilot WK935                           Duplication    - relevance to flight test shed?

Hafner Rotachute III P-5                                                 donate to Army Flying Museum

Hang-glider (civil)                                                           fair enough

Hawker P.1052 VX272                                                     Donate to Fleet Air Arm Museum

Hawker P.1127 XP831                                                     Donate to the Science Museum

Hawker Hunter F,1 WT619                                              fair enough - they have several hunters 

Hawker Hunter Mk.3 WB188                                           Donate to Tangmere Military Aviation Museum

Lockheed SP-2H Neptune 204                                        fair enough - limited RAF use - dispose of

NA B-25J Mitchell 44-29366                                           Relevance???? 900 used in 2 TAF - Bonkers!!

NA P-51D Mustang 44-73415                                         Its a bitsa - they have 2 - keep Donald Duck and dispose of this

Panavia Tornado XX946                                                   again probably fair enough

SA Jetstream T.1 XX496                                                   RAF use for 40 years - bonkers to get rid of!

Slingsby Sedbergh TX.1 VX275                                       Relevance - erm - can understand why disposing of it - but relevance?

Sopwith Tabloid replica 168                                            Donate to Solent Sky (Schneider link)

Supermarine 517 VV106                                                 Donate to Fleet Air Arm Museum

Vickers Vimy replica F8614                                              Originality/Significance - again - limited RAF use but cant see why you would dispose of it

Westalnd Dragnfly HR.1 VX595                                      Fair enough...

 

But I would get rid of CASA 252 - no relevance at all - and also the USAF CH.53 to the International Helicopter Museum  - do they need TWO complete Vulcans? I appreciate that it would be difficult to remove the Hendon one!

 

Also there is a bitsa Ventura in store - they have a Hudson - I would dispose of the former.

 

Of the lot then the aircraft I personally, take issue with are the Jetstream, Auster, Mitchell, twin tub 190 and Vimy.

 

All the loan aircraft can be donated as a paperwork exercise. The others noted above could find better and possibly more relevant homes especially the duplicate machines. Some are NOT relevant IMHO.

 

However, I wholly agree with the poster above about throwing the baby out with the bath water!

 

TT

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, TEXANTOMCAT said:

do they need TWO complete Vulcans? I appreciate that it would be difficult to remove the Hendon one!

XM598 at Hendon is a Falkands Vulcan, it represents that part of RAF history and is in very good condition considering it sat outside for quite a while. Cosford is also the only place to see all three v bombers together. 

XL318 is of no additional significance to any other vulcan. Probably one of the less significant if anything. It would be hard to get out of the hangar, but I suspect it would also be one of easiest to move by road considering its already been cut up before (and has too many panel lines as a result).

However the question then is, where does it go? I suspect that scrapping it would be a huge PR disaster as the vulcan is a quite famous aircraft. Vulcans aren't cheap to move by road (hence why it's only been done once). They are big and a Vulcan in the condition of XL318 may have to be kept inside, but I don't know. Duxford won't take it because they have XJ824 (but imagine a museum with two Vulcans side by side! I'd practically live there!), which is a far nicer example of the Vulcan. 

I also think that the Vulcan could be a bigger attraction to visit the museum if it wasn't crammed in a corner. Those Vulcans are in two different branches of the same museum in two different sites. Is duplication of such popular aircraft across the two sites really an issue? I don't think so but the RAF Museum probably does... It may be better to consider the two collections as separate.

 

 

 

But really they should have just looked after XA900 and had the last B1 instead of letting it corrode away

 

Edited by Adam Poultney
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@Adam Poultney I've always assumed Vulcans can be moved by taking off the tail and standing them vertically on the wing's trailing edge...

 

They'll easily fit down a typical road then (providing there are no bridges) 😉

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An example of a big museum of aviation in Japan

Gifu Kakamigahara Aerospace Museum

This one is close to Nagoya, but still 20km out of town. I visited it several times. Now, this museum has a very unique and rich amount of unique aircraft. The luck in this case is the sponsor only. Kawasaki a short time ago invested a huge sum in this project and makes a real wonder out of it.

 

http://translate.google.co.jp/translate?hl=en&sl=ja&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sorahaku.net%2F

 

This may not so be in GB. Where privately donated museums are, but not in this scale.

It is sad, very sad, but does anybody know a way out?

Happy modelling

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44 minutes ago, Adam Poultney said:

XM598 at Hendon is a Falkands Vulcan, it represents that part of RAF history and is in very good condition considering it sat outside for quite a while. Cosford is also the only place to see all three v bombers together. 

XL318 is of no additional significance to any other vulcan. Probably one of the less significant if anything. It would be hard to get out of the hangar, but I suspect it would also be one of easiest to move by road considering its already been cut up before (and has too many panel lines as a result).

However the question then is, where does it go? I suspect that scrapping it would be a huge PR disaster as the vulcan is a quite famous aircraft. Vulcans aren't cheap to move by road (hence why it's only been done once). They are big and a Vulcan in the condition of XL318 may have to be kept inside, but I don't know. Duxford won't take it because they have XJ824 (but imagine a museum with two Vulcans side by side! I'd practically live there!), which is a far nicer example of the Vulcan. 

I also think that the Vulcan could be a bigger attraction to visit the museum if it wasn't crammed in a corner. Those Vulcans are in two different branches of the same museum in two different sites. Is duplication of such popular aircraft across the two sites really an issue? I don't think so but the RAF Museum probably does... It may be better to consider the two collections as separate.

 

 

 

But really they should have just looked after XA900 and had the last B1 instead of letting it corrode away

 

I’d agree Adam but if you refer to two different collections at different sites they have a 190 and P-51 at both and they are disposing of one each of those...

 

TT

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1 hour ago, wellsprop said:

@Adam Poultney I've always assumed Vulcans can be moved by taking off the tail and standing them vertically on the wing's trailing edge...

 

They'll easily fit down a typical road then (providing there are no bridges) 😉

 

That I would pay good money to see.  :analintruder:

 

 

Dick

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6 hours ago, wellsprop said:

@Adam Poultney I've always assumed Vulcans can be moved by taking off the tail and standing them vertically on the wing's trailing edge...

 

They'll easily fit down a typical road then (providing there are no bridges) 😉

Now that I would like to see.....

Until there is a strong breeze at least....

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7 hours ago, TEXANTOMCAT said:

NA B-25J Mitchell 44-29366                                           Relevance???? 900 used in 2 TAF - Bonkers!!

 

I agree with you 100%. All the others on the list might be debatable but given the service history of the Mitchell in the RAF the disposal of the B-25 can hardly be justified by stating relevance as a reason.

Edited by 112 Squadron
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5 hours ago, jenko said:

 

That I would pay good money to see.  :analintruder:

 

 

Dick

Problem solved just keep it on the back of the truck always on the road for all to see.  No more crowded museums.  What the roads are already too crowded .... hmmmm

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One that stands out to me is the B-25J , its already in an Olive Drab over Neutral grey scheme without side gun packs , just as RAF Mitchell III's operated , just apply RAF roundels and suitable Sqn codes ,  180 Sqn machine  KJ684, EV-J with a Jester nose art and approx 18 missions would be an excellent choice.

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Donate the Vimy to HARS at Albion Park NSW, they'll put it back in the air along with their Southern Cross replica they are soon to have flying again. They have recently taken over the care and maintenance of the RAN Historic Flight aircraft and are putting some back in the air. Heaps of knowledge , skill and enthusiasm have built a world class collection .

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If I remember correctly XL318 is at Hendon because it was the last flying 617 squadron Vulcan. I also think it was assembled in situ and the building built round it,  

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The lady running the RAF Museum certainly likes to cause waves doesn`t she? 

 

I remember writing to the RAFM years ago asking if they would consider repainting the B-25J with RAF markings to represent the Free Dutch or Free French involvement in WW2 and 2nd TAF in general,..... and I also asked if they would consider converting the B-17G to represent a 100 Group or Coastal Command aircraft,..... I wrote twice,..... never got a reply!!

 

Personally I think the RAFM is losing the plot and the destruction of the Battle of Britain Hall/Museum was a catalyst,....... we`ll see eh?

 

Cheers

           Tony

 

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Just caught wind of this thread and cant believe the number of airframes that may potentially be lost, particularly at Cosford. I do however see the issue. Reduced funding, limited space, and an ever deteriorating collection and less and less skilled workers/engineers to keep them in good condition. 

 

I think if anything does look to be moving, its worth taking a trip down there to get as many 4k walkarounds and footage as possible. At least we can provide a digital alternative after the physical shoots off.

 

What i have noticed is that there seems to be quite a number of airframes about 'in storage' or out of public view that would be interesting in their own right. i wonder if you could make a whole museum out of the ones that others have had in storage and under tarps! (funding for said museum is a different matter!) 

One can hope, without getting political in any way, with recent Brexit completion, that there would be an increased interest to preserve some of these air frames, especially the experimental British designs, to reflect our engineering and aviation heritage and history.  I think theres a whole generation out there that think that the UKs contribution to aviation was the Spitfire, Lancaster, Vulcan and Tornado, and bought american stuff for everything else!
 

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The last time I was at Cosford, Julian took a shedload of photos for the Walkaround section. Anytime we go to museums, anything of interest gets the treatment.

I forget how many images are uploaded.

It all started after Julian offered some material to Prime Portal, and was refused.

I think our Walkaround section rivals their site now.

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1 hour ago, Kushan_Farsight said:

One can hope, without getting political in any way, with recent Brexit completion, that there would be an increased interest to preserve some of these air frames, especially the experimental British designs, to reflect our engineering and aviation heritage and history.  I think theres a whole generation out there that think that the UKs contribution to aviation was the Spitfire, Lancaster, Vulcan and Tornado, and bought american stuff for everything else!
 

 

You're not going to change that with a museum, the relative importance of a type for the general public is function of its exposure in the mass culture and since aviation museums really only attract those who have this specific interest, they can't hope to reach those who don't.

Add that experimental types even attract relatively limited interest even within the enthusiasts, knowing that type X may have been very useful in understanding say the low speed characteristics of a certain wing shape or profile is never going to compete succesfully with the fact that type Y performed 100 combat missions in some high profile conflict when it comes to raise interest.

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I struggled to understand this list when I first saw it, and still do. I find the reasoning odd in several cases.  I suspect the important thing we are missing is the precise brief given to the group considering this. That can make a huge difference,

 

How the inclusion of the only two seat Fw-190 in existence can be justified on grounds of 'duplication' beats me.    If it is the only one, it cannot be a duplicate surely?

 

Likewise what does 'Relevance' mean against the Auster Antartic?  Umm- the only surviving British made single engine piston aircraft flown by extraordinarily brave crews in potentially the most hostile natural environment on earth - I'd have thought the 'relevance' of that to a museum would be immediately obvious, even if the beast isn't  a mighty metal warbird.   As someone who has flown Austers  of various sorts in various circumstances, though none anywhere nearly as challenging, those feats  impress me greatly.

 

I hope these are simply first discussion points, but given some past history, I ain't confident! 

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