As it is a working environment, the Sir Michael Beetham Conservation Centre is not normally open to the public. For one week only, visitors will have the rare opportunity to speak with the skilled Technicians and Apprentices about the conservation work they carry out on the hundreds of aircraft within the Museum’s collection.
The Conservation Centre will be open from 10:15am to 1:00pm from Sunday 10th November until Saturday 16th. Visitors will be able to view the Handley Page Hampden, Vickers Wellington and other aircraft and artefacts in various stages of restoration during the annual Open Week. A main highlight for aviation fans will be the chance to see developments being made on the world’s last surviving Dornier Do 17 recently salvaged from the bottom of the English Channel in June of this year.
This ground breaking project has sparked interest from across the globe and amongst visitors of all ages who have been fascinated and intrigued to know how the project will progress. Since its arrival on 15th June 2013 treatment on some of the aircraft’s smaller components has progressed swiftly. Several of these artefacts are now on display at the Museum, in remarkable condition. Members of the public will be able to see the Dornier’s fuselage and wings in their purpose built hydration tunnels, whilst the Museum’s Apprentices and Volunteers will be working on components from the Dornier Do 17, including an engine valve with carbon deposits and a cog where the bearings still rotate, giving visitors first hand access to the intricate work taking place to conserve this aircraft.
Darren Priday, RAF Museum Deputy Conservation Centre Manager says:
“The MBCC Open-Week is a very popular event in the Museum calendar attracting around 4,000 visitors; many of the visitors return year after year to witness progress on the various projects. If you have visited the Museum before but not the Conservation Centre come along and see the work we are carrying out, I believe you will be impressed. To allow for people who work Monday to Friday we are also open on a Saturday and Sunday.”
Other projects on display include the on-going refurbishments of the Museum’s Hawker Siddeley Kestrel and Range Safety Launch. Thanks to the support of WarGaming.net the Museum’s brand new Dornier 17 Interpretation Zone opening on 16th October will also add to the visitor’s experience.
Admission to the Conservation Centre Open Week is FREE and from 10.15am to 1.00pm each day. Cosford’s main Museum will open daily from 10am. For further information, please contact the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford on 01902 376200 or visit www.rafmuseum.org.
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