The Junkers Ju 87 or Stuka was a German dive bomber and ground-attack aircraft. It first flew in 1935 and in 1937 it was part of the Luftwaffe’s Condor Legion during the Spanish Civil War.
The Ju 87 operated with considerable success in close air support and anti-shipping roles at the outbreak of World War II. It led air assaults in the invasion of Poland in September 1939. Stukas proved critical to the rapid conquest of Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium and France in 1940. Though sturdy, accurate, and very effective against ground targets, the Stuka was, like many other dive bombers of the period, vulnerable to fighter aircraft. During the Battle of Britain of 1940-1941, its lack of manoeuvrability, speed and defensive armament meant that it required a heavy fighter escort to operate effectively.
The Junkers Ju 87 served throughout World War II and was also used post-war with some countries.
Ju 87 G-2, Werk Nr. 494083 is on display at RAF London. It was captured by British forces at Eggebek, Schleswig-Holstein in May 1945.
The VC10 was designed as a long range airliner able to operate from short runways at airfields in hot and high conditions as found in Africa and the Far East.
The rear engine configuration meant that the cabin was very quiet. The aircraft had a high cruising mach number and had very good short field performance. However, this was achieved at the cost of very high fuel burn in the cruise which may explain why the aircraft attracted few overseas customers.
In the later part of its service the aircraft was modified for the tanking role but kept its passenger and freight carrying ability.
A gallery of photos can be viewed of VC10 XR808’s journey to RAF Cosford here.
The de Havilland DH.82 Tiger Moth is a 1930s British biplane designed and built by the de Havilland Aircraft Company. It was operated by the Royal Air Force (RAF) and other operators as a primary trainer aircraft.
In addition to the type’s principal use for initial training, the Second World War had RAF Tiger Moths operating in other capacities, including maritime surveillance and defensive anti-invasion preparations; some aircraft were even outfitted to function as armed light bombers.
One of the RAF’s longest serving aircraft types, the Canadian designed Chipmunk entered RAF service in 1950. Chipmunks replaced the Tiger Moth as an initial pilot trainer, offering relatively modern features such as flaps, brakes, radio and an enclosed cockpit.
They also equipped the RAF’s University Air Squadrons until 1973. Although the type was retired from flying training in 1993, Chipmunks continued to serve with the RAF’s Air Experience Flights until 1996, with which many thousands of Air Training Corps and Combined Cadet Force cadets have had their first taste of flight. Over seven-hundred Chipmunks were built for the RAF, some of which also served with the Army and the Royal Navy. A substantial number of civilian Chipmunks are still flying in countries around the world.
The Hawker Hart is a British two-seater biplane light bomber aircraft that saw service with the Royal Air Force (RAF). It was designed during the 1920s by Sydney Camm and manufactured by Hawker Aircraft. The Hart was a prominent British aircraft in the inter-war period, but was obsolete and already side-lined for newer monoplane aircraft designs by the start of the Second World War, playing only minor roles in the conflict before being retired.
The Percival P.56 Provost is a basic trainer aircraft that was designed and manufactured by British aviation company Percival.
The Provost entered service with the RAF during 1953 and quickly proved to be more capable than the preceding Prentice. It was a relatively successful aircraft, being exported for multiple overseas operators. Various models were developed, both armed and unarmed, to meet with customer demands. The Provost later adapted to make use of a turbojet engine, producing the BAC Jet Provost. During the 1960s, the type was withdrawn from RAF service in favour of its jet-powered successor. It continued to be used for decades after with various export customers.
This de Havilland Devon C.2 was on display at RAF Cosford.
The De Havilland Devon was a military version of the de Havilland Dove short-haul airliner, one of Britain’s most successful post-war civil designs.
The de Havilland DH.104 Dove was a British short-haul airliner developed and manufactured by de Havilland. The Dove was a popular aircraft and is considered to be one of Britain’s most successful postwar civil designs, in excess of 500 aircraft being manufactured between 1946 and 1967. Several military variants were operated, such as the Devon by the Royal Air Force and the Sea Devon by the Royal Navy, and the type also saw service with a number of overseas military forces.
The Hunting Percival Jet Provost was initially developed as a jet engine modification of the piston-engine Percival P.56 Provost, retaining to original wing structure mated to a new fuselage. It was built as a private venture by Hunting Percival Aircraft Limited at Luton Airport.
It is one of several rockets prepared by the British with support from German troops during Operation Backfire. It so happened that this rocket was not launched during the Backfire tests. Operation Backfire was a military scientific operation during and after the Second World War that was performed mainly by British staff. The operation was designed to completely evaluate the entire V-2 rocket assembly, interrogate German personnel specialised in all phases of it and then to test and launch missiles across the North Sea.
The V2 was the world’s first long range guided ballistic missile. he missile, powered by a liquid-propellant rocket engine, was developed during the Second World War in Germany as a “vengeance weapon”, assigned to attack Allied cities as retaliation for the Allied bombings against German cities.
The Avro Vulcan is a jet-powered tailless delta wing high-altitude strategic bomber, which was operated by the Royal Air Force (RAF) from 1956 until 1984.
XM598 is at RAF Cosford. Completed on 30 August 1963, it was delivered to 12 Squadron at RAF Coningsby on 4 September. Was the originally designated bombing aircraft for Black Buck 1, but which had to turn back minutes into the flight. Withdrawn with disbandment of 44 Squadron, the last bomber unit, on 21 December 1982. Performed its last flight on 20 January 1983, being delivered to Aerospace Museum Cosford