News

  • Bentwaters Cold War Museum at Night Event – 18th May 2017

Following on from the 2 successful events last year, the Bentwaters Cold War Museum will be opening its doors in the evening of May 18th 2017 at 7pm to hold a special opening in the evening with floodlit aircraft and live re-enactment by museum staff in the Cold War Command Post Bunker who will bring to life the ominous prospect of impending war that the world faced when the superpowers of the USA and the Soviet Union opposed each other.

Guided tours of the museum will be available at intervals plus films and photo opportunities both in the Command Post and outside with the aircraft, all arranged to maximise the visitor experience.

Admission is the normal price of £5.00 with children free. Hot drinks will be available in the museum café.

 

  • Flog It! visits the BCWM…

The popular BBC1 programme Flog It! recently paid a visit to the museum, and undertook some filming with our very own Bob Hale. Some photos of the day can be seen below.

  • Bentwaters Photography Tour Saturday 18th March,2017.

Graham Gilbert has arranged for access to the former RAF Bentwaters airfield and is organising a more in depth tour geared to photography to compliment the popular airfield walks that he also organises on behalf of the Bentwaters Cold War Museum.

This tour will be by car and will be stopping at various areas and go into buildings where Cold War era artwork is still visible, some WW2 structures still survive as well.

The tour will be limited to 15 places and cost £25 per person and last 4 to 5 hours.

Send Graham a message via Facebook if you are interested in booking a place or would like to know more.

  • Winter work continues.

Yet again, staff at he museum do not rest on their laurels, and have started to refurbish our USAF bus. Work to undertake some repair and cosmetic issues began in January. Below is a quick photo of the work in progress.

  • What’s new in 2017?

Now we are just into 2017, Bentwaters Cold War Museum will be celebrating 10 years since it opened to the public. 2016 was a fantastic year for it saw the return of an A-10 to the Twin Bases………If anyone was thinking of joining the Bentwaters Aviation Society (which runs the museum) for the first time or re-joining please, please do as the membership subscriptions are a huge funding cornerstone for the museum. And will provide us the means to get the A-10 restored quickly back into 81st TFW colours and continue to improve other exhibits to tell the story of RAF Bentwaters and RAF Woodbridge. Those of you who have visited the museum over the last 9 years have told us how impressed you have all been and that gives us all a huge sense of pride. Find out more about BAS Membership here.

  • Jaguar XX741 Update – December 28th 2016 

See a video summary of the 2016 restoration progress on the museum’s Jaguar XX741 thanks to Al Vernon. 2016 has been an exciting year for this project, and we think you will see why in the video!

  • Museum Update September 5th 2016

We are sad to say that following the theft of two patches from flight suits in the museum we have been forced to remove all patches, medal ribbons and name badges (unless sewn on) from all uniforms and flight suits within the museum. The two patches stolen were the ‘Got Nukes’ patch illustrated below and an Aerospace Rescue & Recovery Service ‘Angel’ patch. Although these two patches were attached with velcro, we had taken additional measures of tack stitching them on as well. The thief had cut the tack stitches before removing the patches from the flight suits. We apologise for having to take this action but unfortunately this has been forced upon us.

patch

  • Bentwaters Airfield Walk – Sunday October 9th 2016 – NOW FULLY BOOKED (30th August 2016) 

Experience a chance to walk around Bentwaters and sample the atmosphere of a Cold War airfield and view the architecture of a former United States Air Force front line air base.

The tour will start with an hour long visit to the museum to find out the history of the site and then a guided walk around the airfield going past and through different areas of interest including the museums restoration hanger and finishing back at the museum for free Tea, Coffee and Biscuits.

Cost will be £15.00 per person.  All proceeds go to the Bentwaters Cold War Museum, charity No 1124197

Numbers will be limited to 25 people (sorry but no children under 12), dogs are allowed if kept on a lead.

  • The walk is about 4 miles long and is mostly on a hard surface.
  • The walk will be cancelled if weather conditions are extreme.
  • Instructions from the guides must be followed at all times due to Health & Safety factors. Failure to do so may result in the cancellation of the walk.
  • Allow 4 to 5 hours for the visit, starting at 11am.

Thanks to Bentwaters Parks for their kind permission for airfield access. Email october2016walk@bentwaters-as.org.uk to book your place or to ask any questions

 

  • Bentwaters Airfield tour – Sunday 11th September 2016

This is a unique opportunity to see what went on behind the scenes at Bentwaters during the Cold War. The day will include a trip by coach around the airfield and museum and stopping at key points around the airfield. This will include areas such as the control tower, Hush House, weapons store, fuel section, some of the squadron buildings and our own restoration hangar. The trip lasts around 4 hours and also includes the museum.

This has to be booked in advance and can be done by emailing info@bcwm.org.uk or via our website contact page or by phoning the museum on 07588877020 .

Prices are £15 per person payable in advance (cheques should be made payable to Bentwaters Aviation Society). BAS members can attend for free, but still have to be booked in. You can also pay using PayPal by visiting the BAS website here.

The museum will be open from 10am for pre -booked only and the airfield tour will start at 11am. The café will be open for light snacks between 10am and 11am and will be open again after the tour. However you are more than welcome to bring your own lunch while on the tour. Spaces are limited so please book early.

  • Rendlesham Show 2016

The BCWM display stand had its first outing this year to the Rendlesham Village Show on Saturday 11th June. Along side us were the Lazy Co. Cold War U.S living history and airsoft group.

  • Bank Holiday Weekend Opening!

Just a reminder that we are open today (May 29th) and  on the Bank Holiday Monday(May 30th). The A-10 will be on view outside the museum and members of the restoration team will be hard at work beginning the long task of returning her to her former glory. We look forward to seeing you over the next two days if you can come along.

A10

  • Arrival of the A-10 at Bentwaters

The return of the A-10 airframe from RAF Alconbury in Cambridgeshire to RAF Bentwaters in Suffolk was completed today. Below are some images taken by Simon Parker taken during the transit. The A-10 will not be re-assembled immediately but will be on display at the museum in its current state, when we are next open on bank holiday Sunday/Monday.

  • Book your place for the Airfield Walk online at the BAS website.

If the prospect of the Airfield Walk on May 22nd excites you, then you can pay and reserve a place even more quickly now by filling out a brief form and paying online with PayPal by visiting the Bentwaters Aviation Society website using the link here.

  • Airfield Walk – Sunday 22nd May, 2016

Another chance to walk around Bentwaters and sample the atmosphere of a Cold War airfield and view the architecture of a former United States Air Force front line air base is almost upon us.

The tour will start with an hour long visit to the museum to find out the history of the site and then a guided walk around the airfield going past and through different areas of interest including the museums restoration hanger and finishing back at the museum.

Cost will be £15.00 per person (cheques made payable to ‘Bentwaters Aviation Society’ and sent to Airfield Walk, BCWM ,Building 134,Bentwaters Parks, Rendlesham, Woodbridge, Suffolk, IP12 2TW). It is advisable to pre-book to make sure of a place on the walk. All proceeds go to the Bentwaters Cold War Museum, charity No 1124197

Numbers will be limited to 25 people (sorry but no children under 12), dogs are allowed if kept on a lead.

– The walk is about 4 miles long and is mostly on a hard surface

– The walk will be cancelled if weather conditions are extreme

– Instructions from the guides must be followed at all times due to Health & Safety factors. Failure to do so may result in the cancellation of the walk

– Allow 4 to 5 hours for the visit, starting at 11am.

Thanks to Bentwaters Parks for their kind permission for airfield access. Email info@bcwm.org.uk to book your place or to ask any questions.

Airfield Walk

  • Classic Car Show on the 17th April 2016

A Classic car show was held at the museum on Sunday April 17th, and was a great success with many cars showing up for the event ranging from some American Mustangs to European Trabants as well as numerous other British classics including Austins and Bentleys. Some shots of the event were captured by Graham Gilbert of the museum.

  • Bentwaters Cold War Museum at Night Event – 23rd April 2016

Opening times: 7.00pm to 10.00pm

Following on from the successful first event last year, Bentwaters Cold War Museum will be opening its doors in the evening to hold a special opening in the evening with floodlit aircraft and live re-enactment by museum staff in the Cold War Command Post Bunker who will bring to life the ominous prospect of impending war that the world faced when the superpowers of the USA and the Soviet Union opposed each other.

Guided tours of the museum will be available at intervals plus films and photo opportunities both in the Command Post and outside with the aircraft, all arranged to maximise the visitor experience.

Admission is the normal price of £5.00 with children free. Hot drinks will be available in the museum café.

  • A-10 Update – March 19th 2016

Work is continuing on the dismantling and movement of the A-10 from RAF Alconbury, and work is ongoing to prepare the aircraft for transport. It is expected to arrive at the museum during April 2016

A-10

  • Getting ready for the 2016 open season

Here are a few photos taken on March 6th of the restoration hangar at the BCWM showing progress on the aircraft.  Work throughout the Winter has been taking place within the hangar as well as inside the museum.

  • Special Event – Sunday 17th April  – Classic Car Show

The museum will be hosting a collection of classic vehicles from various car clubs throughout the day. This will include a selection from old, sports and American muscle cars

The classic cars will be free for the public to view outside the compound. The museum will be open with normal admission prices. There will be refreshments available to purchase from our café and a burger stall within the museum grounds.

  • MAJOR NEWS FOR THE BCWM!!

The Bentwaters Cold War Museum wishes to announce that it has been successful in its bid to acquire an A-10 Thunderbolt on loan from the National Museum of the USAF. The airframe in question is an ex-509th TFS/81st TFW Bentwaters-based jet and is currently residing at RAF Alconbury. It is hoped that the A-10 will be on display for the first opening of 2016 which will be Easter Sunday.

To say that we are pleased to be returning a Warthog to Bentwaters is an understatement. Our thanks must go to all the USAF and NMUSAF personnel involved in achieving what started off as a pipe dream back in 2003,  four years before we first opened our doors to the public. Hopefully this will be a very successful 2016 for BCWM!

  • Restoration continues over the Winter months…

Simon Parker and Jason Himpson were busy working on the restoration of our ex RAF Lakenheath tool trolley on February 7th, and made a short timelapse video of the work, which is quite unique!!

 

  • 2016 here we come!

Its that time of year to ask you good folks if you would like to help the museum by becoming a member of the Bentwaters Aviation Society.

Members of the Bentwaters Aviation Society set-up and run the museum at Bentwaters. Those of you who have visited us will know that the museum looks fantastic and we have a great group of volunteers who are passionate about telling the story of the part in history that you folks who served at the ‘Twin-bases’ did.

A big chunk of the museums income comes from Membership subscriptions to the society, which helps to fund new exhibits, displays, aircraft restoration, and pay for running expenses (e.g.CCTV cameras are being installed this winter) etc.

If anyone would like to join the Society it will be a tremendous help for us not only financially, but for support as well. Joining options and prices for people in Europe/USA can be found on the BAS website that you can find here. The yearly membership starts on the 1st of January.

  • The restoration of the Jeep CJ-10a is complete!

Simon Parker took the opportunity on December 20th to take some photos of the just completed restoration of the Jeep CJ-10a at Bentwaters before the rain arrived, so here she is in all her glory. Well done to Steve Howlett & Jason Himpson for their hard work to achieve this.

  • Get ready for the 2016 Classic Car Show at the BCWM!

The BCWM are hosting a Classic Car Show in April 2016 – why not come along and enjoy seeing a collection of classic vehicles as well as the museum and it’s exhibits – full details can be found here.

  • Restoration at the BCWM isn’t just about aircraft.

The BCWM has a small tug that has recently started being restored to it’s former glory – a brief history and some images of the process can be seen below.

The Jeep CJ-10a was contract built for the US Air Force as a tug to move around flightline equipment and Aircraft. There were approx. 2188 made built between 1984-1986 in the VAM factory Mexico.

The flight line tugs had some special features to make them better for towing, and most of this centred around weight. These are heavy, a lot heavier that they look! The front bumper is 1/2 inch channel, and had a large pintle hitch. The rear bumper is thick and heavy as well, and has 3 huge pintle’s, with the center one being moveable for easy hookup. They also have a large weight box under the “bed” that weighs 12-1400 lbs. All together they weigh in the 6000 lb stock.

Besides the weight and the bed, the CJ is a right old mixture of “spare parts”. Front axle is ‘dead’ power is by the rear axle only and this is 80 inches wide with a limited slip. The engine is a Nissan SD-33 diesel, transmission is an odd ball TF727 with a Dodge Industrial 440 Big Block bell housing with no shift fork, stuck in 4 low. Top speed is 25 MPH, the wheel base is a short 88 inches.

  • Watch XX741 in action via YouTube.

Following on from the launch of the donations appeal for XX741, why not take a look at some videos on our dedicated YouTube channel to see her in action…

Visit our YouTube channel here.

  • Can you help our Jaguar?

The BCWM have just launched an appeal for donations to assist with the restoration of Sepecat Jaguar XX741. If you would like to find out more about what we are trying to do, please take a look at our dedicated page on the BCWM website here.

  • Awards Night!!

On October 12th the awards for Suffolk Museum of the Year were held, and we are pleased to announce that the BCWM picked up the Suffolk Museum of the Year Special Award and the Object of the Year Award. A really big thank you to everyone who voted for us for the latter award. Your continued support has paid off and we thank you all for helping us preserve the memory of the Twin-Bases.

  • Our last opening of 2015  is almost here…

Only 1 more opening before the museum closes up for Winter!!! Why not try and come along to our last opening of 2015 on October 18th. Suffice to say we will be busy over the winter months to ensure that the museum is ready for 2016.

If you can’t make it, then have a look at the dates below that show when we are open in 2016.

April – 3 & 17

May – 1/2, 15, & 29/30

June – 5 & 19

July – 3 & 17

August – 7, 21, & 28/29

September – 4 & 18

October – 2 & 16

  • Cold War Walk – Sunday 11th October, 2015

After a successful walk in July, here is a last chance this year to walk around Bentwaters and sample the atmosphere of a Cold War airfield and view the architecture of a former United States Air Force front line air base.

The tour will start with an hour long visit to the museum to find out the history of the site and then a guided walk around the airfield going past and through different areas of interest and finishing back at the museum.

Cost will be £15.00 per person. It is advisable to pre-book to make sure of place on the walk. All proceeds go to the Bentwaters Cold War Museum, charity No 1124197

Numbers will be limited to 25 people (sorry but no children under 12), dogs are allowed if kept on a lead.

– The walk is about 4 miles long and is mostly on a hard surface

– The walk will be cancelled if weather conditions are extreme

– Instructions from the guides must be followed at all times due to Health & Safety factors. Failure to do so may result in the cancellation of the walk

– Allow 4 to 5 hours for the visit, starting at 11am.

Thanks to Bentwaters Parks for their kind permission for airfield access.

Email info@bcwm.org.uk to book your place or to ask any questions

  • Museum and airfield tour – Sunday 9th August, 2015

In a slightly different format to our Cold War Walk, this event will include a coach tour around Bentwaters.

The tour will start at the museum and then continue with a coach tour around the airfield. This will include stopping at numerous locations around the airfield, and an in-depth talk at each area. This will include the fuel section, control tower, weapons store, hush house and other locations around the airfield.

Costs are £15.00 per person. and must be pre-booked and pre paid.

The museum will be open from 10am and the tour starts at 11am. The airfield tour is about 4 hours long.

The cafe will be open from 10am until 11am for light refreshments. Feel free to bring your own packed lunch.

For more information or to book, please email us at info@bcwm.org.uk or contact us on 07588877020

  • Cold War Walk – Sunday 26th July, 2015

After successful walks last year, here is another chance to walk around Bentwaters and sample the atmosphere of a Cold War airfield and view the architecture of a former United States Air Force front line air base.

The tour will start with an hour long visit to the museum to find out the history of the site and then a guided walk around the airfield going past and through different areas of interest and finishing back at the museum.

Cost will be £15.00 per person. It is advisable to pre-book to make sure of place on the walk.

All proceeds go to the Bentwaters Cold War Museum, charity No 1124197

Numbers will be limited to 25 people (sorry but no children under 12), dogs are allowed if kept on a lead.

– The walk is about 4 miles long and is mostly on a hard surface

– The walk will be cancelled if weather conditions are extreme

– Instructions from the guides must be followed at all times due to Health & Safety factors. Failure to do so may result in the cancellation of the walk

– Allow 4 to 5 hours for the visit, starting at 11am.

Thanks to Bentwaters Parks for their kind permission for airfield access.

Email info@bcwm.org.uk to book your place or to ask any questions.

  • A public article about the BCWM Open Night event…

What did the public think of our Open Night event? Read this report from an attendee to see what she thought…


 

The BCWM night event on May 14th…

The BCWM held it’s first ever night event on May 14th, and it was attended by over 100 visitors on the night. The event included a film/documentary, a reenactment in the Battle Cabin and War Ops room, and a lit photo opportunity of the Harrier and Phantom outside the museum. A great night was had by both the staff and visitors, and we look forward to repeating this event in October. More details about the date in October will follow soon.

Some images of the night taken by Graham Gilbert and Richard Kelm can be seen below. Thanks to them for the photos.

Thanks also go to the guys from The Lazy Company reenactment group who joined us on the night.


Bentwaters Cold War Museum at night…

Date : 14th May 2015

Opening times : 7.00pm to 10.00pm

A new experience for one of East Anglia’s established aviation museums is to take part in the National Museums at Night event on 14th May 2015.

Opening in the evening with floodlit aircraft and live re-enactment by museum staff in the Cold War Command Post Bunker who will bring to life the ominous prospect of impending war that the world faced when the superpowers of the USA and the Soviet Union opposed each other

Guided tours of the museum will be available at intervals plus films and photo opportunities both in the Command Post and outside with the aircraft, all arranged to maximise the visitor experience.

Admission is the normal price of £5.00 with children free. Hot drinks will be available in the museum café.


The Domestic Site…

Looking away from the runways and aircraft of Bentwaters, it is important to remember that there was also a significant domestic site included as part of RAF Bentwaters. This housed and provided services for the USAF personnel for a considerable period of years.

The images below have been passed to us by Robin Plummer who visited the site in 2002 with Miles Finch to take some photographs before the demolition was complete. Some of the buildings illustrated include the Accommodation Blocks, 753 Green Hall, 754 Berring Hall, 748 Kisling Hall, 759 Ramoneda Inn, the Acute Care Clinic, the Medical Centre, the Linen Store and the Main Plant Room/Stores. Many thanks to Robin for providing these images.


The 2015 season gets underway…

Here are some shots taken in the museum on April 5th- our first day of the 2015 season. Thanks to Graham Gilbert & Simon Parker for the shots!


Thanks for a generous donation…

Special thanks go to the staff at Anglia NDT Ltd who have very generously donated a collection of boroscope equipment for us to use with the Adour engines for Jaguar XX741. This equipment will prove invaluable in the work on the engines in the future.


Sunday washing…

Some of the external exhibits were given a good washing down in advance of the 2015 season whilst the weather was decent and not raining for once!


Winter work…

Work has continued over the Winter months in both the museum and our HAS to provide new attractions for the 2015 season. New displays and exhibits are in the process of being prepared inside the museum, and restoration work has continued at a great pace on our Jaguar, Lightning, and Meteor airframes.


Adour 104 Engines…

The BCWM are pleased to show off a pair of Adour 104 engines that have been sourced for Jaguar XX741. Please do not think that these will enable XX741 to take to the skies once more, as this is not the case!!! The engines are simply another part of the tremendous effort being made to restore XX741. This has been made possible courtesy of the generous assistance of Brian Smee to whom the museum is very grateful.


2015 Opening times…

These have now been confirmed as:

April 5th, 6th, 19th

May 3rd, 4th, 17th, 24th, 25th

June 7th, 21st

July 5th, 19th

August 2nd, 16th, 30th, 31st

September 6th, 20th

October 4th, 18th


The Jaguars are coming…

The Jaguar Car Club will be visiting the BCWM on 5th October at 10am, so there will be a chance to see some fine examples of these cars if you are in the area.


Cold War Walk – Sunday 26th October,2014

After a sucessful tour last July,here is another chance to walk around Bentwaters and sample the atmosphere of a Cold War airfield and view the architecture of a former United States Air Force front line air base.

The tour will start with an hours visit to the museum to find out the history of the site and then a guided walk around the airfield going past and through different areas of interest and finishing back at the museum.

Cost will be £15.00 per person. It is advisable to pre-book to make sure of place on the walk.

All proceeds go to the Bentwaters Cold War Museum, charity No 1124197

Numbers will be limited to 25 people (sorry but no children under 12), dogs are allowed if kept on a lead.

– The walk is about 4 miles long and is mostly on a hard surface

– The walk will be cancelled if weather conditions are extreme

– Instructions from the guides must be followed at all times due to Health & Safety factors, failure to do so may result in the cancellation of the walk

– Allow 4 to 5 hours for the visit, starting at 11am

Thanks to Bentwaters Parks for their kind permission for airfield access.

Email info@bcwm.org.uk to book your place or to ask any questions.


Cold War Walk Complete

Another successful ‘Cold War Walk’ around Bentwaters airfield was conducted on Sunday 27th of July, with twenty-three people enjoying a four and a half hour guided tour which started at the museum then moved on to the upper part of the control tower which gives a superb view of the airfield.

The route then went past the Transient aircraft ramp, Hanger 45, Law Enforcement building, and then past the Western end of the runway and between the Victor Alert ‘Barns’ on the way to the Weapons Storage Area (WSA).

The tour was treated to a working display of the sliding gates which gained entry to the WSA before walking around this area looking at the earth covered bunkers which are surrounded by triple razor wire fences and a security tower.

After leaving the WSA the tour proceeded to the museums restoration hanger where they viewed four of the museums aircraft which are being worked on, out into the sunlight again the route then led along the old aircraft taxiway amongst the Hardened Aircraft Shelters to the engine test building known as the ‘Hush House’ for a look inside.

It was then back along the taxiway past Hanger 74 and the site of the long since demolished ‘Bentwaters’ cottage and past the Eastern end of the runway before going onto the grass to have a close look at a Defensive Fighting Position. The tour then headed back towards the museum going past the Rod and Gun Club, Fire Station, Ivy Lodge gate security checkpoint, and a look at the old baseball field before finishing back at the museum and a well deserved rest and a drink.

Thanks to Bentwaters Parks for granting access to the airfield and the museum staff for giving talks in various areas and for safely guiding the tour back to the museum.

Keep an eye out on the BCWM website or Facebook page for future walks.

Many thanks to Bobby Dodd Jr for the use of his photos below:

Cold War Walk – Sunday 27th July 2014

After a sucessful tour last year, here is another chance to walk around Bentwaters and sample the atmosphere of a Cold War airfield and view the architecture of a former United States Air Force front line air base.

The tour will start with an hours visit to the museum to find out the history of the site and then a guided walk around the airfield going past and through different areas of interest and finishing back at the museum.

Cost will be £15.00 per person. It is advisable to pre-book to make sure of place on the walk.
All proceeds go to the Bentwaters Cold War Museum, charity No 1124197

Numbers will be limited to 25 people (sorry but no children under 12), dogs are allowed if kept on a lead.

– The walk is about 4 miles long and is mostly on a hard surface
– The walk will be cancelled if weather conditions are extreme
– Instructions from the guides must be followed at all times due to Health & Safety factors, failure to do so may result in the cancellation of the walk
– Allow 4 to 5 hours for the visit, starting at 11am

Thanks to Bentwaters Parks for their kind permission for airfield access.
Email info@bcwm.org.uk to book your place or to ask any questions.

The BCWM receives a generous donation from The Fire Training Group in Aberdeen

As an approved CAA training provider, the FTG is required to provide a military aircraft among its portfolio of training simulators to support the training of airport firefighters. When they heard that the BCWM was restoring a Sepecat Jaguar via some discussions with several museum staff, they were able to donate several components of a Jaguar to assist with our restoration after whilst maintaining the integrity of their Jaguar for training purposes. Many thanks to them for their assistance.

Car Club visits in 2014

2014 sees a number of car clubs visiting the BCWM – why not pop along and see some of these unique collections whilst visiting the museum…

Sunday 18th May – MG Rover club from 11am

Sunday 1st June – Aston Martin club from 12pm

Sunday 7th September – Skoda club. Time to be confirmed

Sunday 5th October – Jaguar Car club. Time to be confirmed

New exhibits for 2014.

We are displaying several new subjects in the museum this year that can be seen in the images below. Better still, come and visit us and see them for yourself!

Winter News.

It’s been a busy winter period for the BCWM with new displays being added inside the museum. On the aircraft front this year we will have 2 Phantom FGR.2’s on display, a whole aircraft and a nose section. Both are kindly on loan to us. Also out in the compound display will be the Harrier GR.3, USAF Bus and a an Aircraft Towing vehicle. Over in the restoration hangar great progress is being made with 5 aircraft currently being worked. Jaguar GR.1 is being retrofitted with all sorts of bits and bobs to get her to a taxiable standard, the Lightning is looking more like an aircraft again and now has all lighting working. The Hunter is due for a respray and the Meteor F.8 is mostly together requiring a bit more work and a paint job. Outside is our own FGR.2 Phantom, waiting it’s turn in the hangar. Please come and join us this year, we will be happy to see you! Thanks to Mark Rourke for the images below.

We will be open soon for 2014!

Our 2014 opening dates are as follows. Please note there will not be a special open day this year. This is hoped to be replaced by a smaller scale event aimed at aviation enthusiasts and photographers.

April – 6, 20, 21
May – 4, 5, 18, 25, 26
June – 1, 15
July – 6, 20
August – 3, 17, 24, 25
September – 7, 21
October – 5, 19

 Jaguar History & Developments in 2014

Twenty years ago on January 31st, at 14:05hrs, our Jaguar GR.1A XX741 took off from RAF Lossiemouth for her very last flight. XX741 landed at RAF Shawbury one hour later having accumulated 4260hrs 20mins total flying time. Today she is going through phase 2 of her restoration which should see her hydraulic systems operational and ultimately, returned to a ground running/taxiable condition.

Despite being completed externally, the work continues on XX741 to restore her internal workings – at the weekend more advances were made to getting the hydraulic systems working again. The photo below demonstrates just a small section of the rather complicated pipework needed!

jaguarhydraulics1

It’s all go in the HAS!

Shown below is a recent photo taken in December 2013 showing the Lightning, Jaguar, Meteor and Hunter all being worked on in the HAS over the Winter months.

BCWMmarch144

The Bentwaters Aviation Society

The driving force behind the Museum are the volunteers from Bentwaters Aviation Society. One of the benefits of joining are our regular monthly meetings held in the museum.

In November we had a very special speaker. Group Captain Tom Eeles flew Buccaneers with 801 Naval Air Squadron from HMS Victorious and Hermes and then went on to command 237 Operational Conversion Unit at RAF Lossiemouth. Tom is also the editor of Guild News, the journal of the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators which dates from 1929 and was established in order to represent pilot and navigator interests within all areas of aviation. We have asked Tom to spend a few minutes to tell us more of this organisation but mainly he’ll be presenting a talk entitled ‘Flying Buccaneers from Aircraft Carriers’. You might have seen his contribution to Aeroplane Magazine last year when they ran several articles on this most capable of aircraft.

To join the Society please visit the website for further details: www.bentwaters-as.org.uk

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