Shropshire Star

In pictures: This is how the cleaners at RAF Cosford clean the aircraft

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.


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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 at the RAF Museum in Cosford.

Other aircraft being spruced up include a Canberra, Meteor, Sabre, Hunter, Lightning, Dakota and Javelin.

Strapped into harnesses and with nerves of steel, the specialist cleaning team climb the rafters of the building and abseil down to access the aircraft. No cleaning solutions are used on the aircraft, just a good dusting using large soft fibre 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: "The Museums commitment to preserving objects within our collection extends beyond mere display.

"It involves each aircraft and vehicle undergoing a regular inspection by our skilled technicians and volunteers.

"However, when it comes to the aircraft suspended from the ceiling of our National Cold War Exhibition, a unique challenge emerges.

"These iconic aircraft, reach up to 100 feet in places, and navigating such dizzying heights requires a specialist team equipped with the necessary skills and equipment."

During the clean the Museum will remain open to visitors who can see the high-flying team from Rappel, industrial rope access specialists, in action.

RAF Cosford Museum spring clean
RAF Cosford Museum spring clean
RAF Cosford Museum spring clean
RAF Cosford Museum spring clean
RAF Cosford Museum spring clean

The Museum is open daily from 10am and admission is free.