Specialists begin high-level cleaning of RAF Cosford Museum aircraft - in pictures
Suspended up to 100 feet in the air, a specialist team have been giving some of the nation's favourite aircraft a spring clean.
Eight aircraft attached to the ceiling in hangars at RAF Museum Cosford will be cleaned this week, including the Canberra, Meteor, Sabre, Hunter, Vulcan, Lightning, Dakota and Javelin. A number of larger aircraft on the ground will also be given a clean.
Strapped into harnesses, the team will scrub each of the aircraft with large mops, checking the plans are also safely suspended in the air.
Michelle Worthington, of RAF Museum Cosford, said: "All the aircraft and vehicles within the RAF Museums collection undergo an annual inspection by our technicians, however those suspended from the ceiling of the museum’s National Cold War Exhibition are 100ft high in some places and require a specialist team to carry out the work.
"Each January a team from Arco Professional Safety Services, specialists working at height, give the suspended aircraft a spring clean which takes approximately five days to complete.
"Eight suspended aircraft will all be cleaned, as well as some of the larger aircraft on the ground. In order to access the aircraft from above the team climb the rafters of the building and abseil down to the aircraft. No cleaning solutions are used on the aircraft, just a good dusting using large mops. In addition to cleaning the aircraft, the team will also be carrying out safety checks on the suspension cables."
Mrs Worthington said the clean was not only to ensure the aircraft were properly looked after, but to make sure visitors see them at their best.
"Not only do we have a duty of care to the aircraft, ensuring they are maintained to the highest standard, we also want our visitors to have the best possible experience when visiting us," she said. "Making sure the aircraft look their best is very important.
"The museum remains open to the public throughout the annual cleaning week and visitors can view aircraft being given their spring clean from behind safety barriers. The museum is open daily from 10am until 4pm and entry is free."
It is the first attraction in what will be an important year for the museum.
Mrs Worthington said: "2020 promises to be another big year for the RAF Museum Cosford, with the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain being a big theme this year.
"With a new Battle of Britain display arriving in the spring as well as some big new events lined up, the museum is hopeful there will be even more reasons for the hundreds of thousands of visitors that pass through its doors annually to make a return visit again this year."
Tens of thousands of people visit Cosford each year for the famous air show.
Up to 50,000 visitors are expected to attend the hugely popular event, which will take place on June 14.
The show will mark the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day, and the focus will be on the evolution of fighter planes over the last 100 years.
Tickets currently cost £28, but will go up as the event draws nearer. Accompanied under-16s can enter for free and do not need a ticket.
To buy an early bird ticket, visit cosfordairshow.co.uk