When the suspended aircraft at the Royal Air Force Museum Midlands need a spring clean, it calls for a specialist team of dustbusters with a head for heights to carry out the work! Suspended from the ceiling, up to 100ft in the air, eight aircraft including a Vulcan bomber, will all be given a light dusting this week as part of the annual clean and inspection. Other aircraft being spruced up include Canberra, Meteor, Sabre, Hunter, Lightning, Dakota, and Javelin.
Strapped into harnesses, the specialist cleaning team climbs the rafters of the building and abseils down to access the aircraft. No cleaning solutions are used on the aircraft, just good dusting using large soft fiber mops. In addition to cleaning the aircraft, the team will also be inspecting the suspension cables supporting the aircraft in their flying display positions.
Tom Hopkins, Curator at RAF Museum Midlands said: ‘All the aircraft and vehicles within the RAF Museums collection undergo a regular inspection by our Technicians and Volunteers, however, those suspended from the ceiling of our National Cold War Exhibition are 100ft high in some places and require a specialist team to carry out the work at dizzying heights.’
During the cleaning, the Museum will remain open to visitors who can see the high-flying team from Rappel, industrial rope access specialists, in action. The Museum’s National Cold War Exhibition features 19 aircraft, tanks, vehicles, models, and memorabilia, and is the only place in the world where people can view all three British V-Bombers, the Vulcan, Victor, and Valiant, together and under one roof.
The Museum is open daily from 10am and admission is free. Pre-book your arrival time online at rafmuseum.org/midlands.
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