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Cockpit-Fest 22 touches down at Newark Air Museum



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On Saturday Cockpit-Fest 22 fest landed with a weekend of activities for visitors and enthusiasts ready to show off their prized collections.

The event which took place between June 25-26 at Newark Air Museum was attended by roughly 1000 people over the two days and brought together like-minded enthusiasts to display their aircraft cockpit sections for the visiting public.

Henry Myers 7 sitting in a cockpit at Newark Air Museum's Cockpit Fest. (57566772)
Henry Myers 7 sitting in a cockpit at Newark Air Museum's Cockpit Fest. (57566772)

The museum is ran by volunteers, most of whom come from armed forces or engineering backgrounds. One such volunteering was Colin Savill, one of the event organisers and a trustee at the air museum.

Colin spoke about the process of organising an event as unique as this "every year we set a date and send out invitations to individuals and groups associated with cockpits and aeronautics. This year we had 23 visiting cockpits along with control rigs, model displays, helmets and the Royal British Legion fundraising.

Newark Air Museum Trustee Colin Savill at Cockpit Fest. (57566770)
Newark Air Museum Trustee Colin Savill at Cockpit Fest. (57566770)

"The cockpits come from all over and some travel a long way to get here, stretching from as far as Scotland and the Lake District all the way down to Hampshire and Kent. We've also had visitors here today that have driven from Germany and the Netherlands, so there's a huge appeal out there".

Cockpit-Fest also attracted other visiting displays of historical and military vehicles, re-enactors, and even more aviation-related displays such as clothing and historical artefacts.

Neil Bridges with his son Fynn Bridges 5, at Newark Air Museum's Cockpit Fest. (57566774)
Neil Bridges with his son Fynn Bridges 5, at Newark Air Museum's Cockpit Fest. (57566774)

In addition, a diverse range of visiting cockpit-related exhibits were also on display around the 16-acre site; alongside an aviation and avionics boot-sale where enthusiasts and the public could browse through and purchase rare aviation artefacts, books and models.

Cars were stewarded onto a perfectly manicured field by members of 47F Grantham air cadets and inside the venue an army of knowledgeable volunteers were on hand to direct and give information to visitors.

Scenes around Newark Air Museum, photo: Fionn Burrows (57606226)
Scenes around Newark Air Museum, photo: Fionn Burrows (57606226)

Activities over the weekend included the deafening engine demonstrations of the visiting helicopters and guided history tours around the the world famous Avro Vulcan which is currently under restoration.

Alongside these activities, visitors also had the opportunity to enter several aircraft including the giant Hastings, the Canberra, several helicopters and take a seat in many of the visiting cockpits and military vehicles.

Scenes around Newark Air Museum, photo: Fionn Burrows (57606237)
Scenes around Newark Air Museum, photo: Fionn Burrows (57606237)

When Cockpit-Fest isn’t on, Newark Air Museum remains one of the largest volunteer-managed aviation museums in Great Britain with 76 aircraft and cockpits, covering a range of military and civilian aircraft as well as displays of armaments, engine and aeronautical paraphernalia spread across four covered display areas. The museum is open 361 days a year.

Scenes around Newark Air Museum, photo: Fionn Burrows (57606240)
Scenes around Newark Air Museum, photo: Fionn Burrows (57606240)

Colin encourages everyone and anyone to visit the site as the museum gears up for the 50th anniversary of opening to the public next year: "We get everyone from families and kids to casual enthusiasts and 'rivet counters', the guys that go and count every rivet along the side of an aircraft and tell us if any are missing."

Carol Caudwell with her son Clayton Caudwell and grandson William Caudwell 9, at Newark Air Museum's Cockpit Fest. (57566780)
Carol Caudwell with her son Clayton Caudwell and grandson William Caudwell 9, at Newark Air Museum's Cockpit Fest. (57566780)

Visitors were also encouraged to have their say in deciding which were the best cockpits by voting on their favourite display, with prizes awarded to the winners.

The Competition Results were as follows:

  • Grand Champion – Robin Phipps Buccaneer S2, XX899
  • Cockpiteers cockpit – Trevor Garrod & Scott Bouchard Interactive Lightning radio demo with Lightning XR757
  • Visitors non-cockpit – Mainly Military Modelling (Mark Marples)
  • Cockpiteers non-cockpit – Joe &Lyndon Blackburne, and Nigel Coward Instrument panels stick tops, throttles etc.
  • Ken Ellis Spirit of Cockpit-Fest Awards
  • James Stables (SYAM) – Glider cockpits
  • Graham Buckle – Avro Lincoln main panel c/w windscreen & Meteor WS788 panel
  • Ian Hodgkiss – Harrier cockpit rig
  • Steve Austin – Buccaneer S1, XK533
  • Matt Gilbey – Westland Sea King HAS6, ZG875


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