Royal Air Force Museum London
The Royal Air Force Museum London is devoted to the history of aviation including military aviation and the Royal Air Force. This interesting museum also tells the story of the early aviators, wartime heroes and the men and women who served in the Royal Air Force. The museum is located on Grahame Park Way in Colindale about 10 km (6 miles) from Central London.
The Royal Air Force Museum London opened in 1972 and housed in the former Hendon Aerodrome. The museum is home to a vast collection of military aircraft especially those from the UK’s Royal Air Force. There is a second collection of exhibits at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford located about 8 km (5 miles) from the city of Wolverhampton in the West Midlands – 225 km (140 miles) from London. This article covers only the Royal Air Force Museum in London. Entry to both museums is free.
Hawker Tempest by Les Chatfield
The collection of military aircraft at the Royal Air Force Museum London is one of the largest if not the largest in the world! The museum had 36 aircraft in its collection when it first opened to the public in 1972 and today there are over 100. The museum comprises of several hangars where there are over 100 aircraft are on exhibit. Other exhibits inside the hangars include aircraft engines, missiles, medals, uniforms, letters, photographs and art related to aviation.
A popular attraction at the Royal Air Force Museum London is the Historic Hangar comprising of five separate exhibition areas with each telling a unique story about the Royal Air Force and its aviation history. The exhibition areas include the Whirling Rotors - Helicopters and Rotary Winged Aircraft Collection, Wings over Water Aircraft Collection, Fighter Aircraft Collection and the RAF Overseas Aircraft Collection. Exhibits inside the hangar include the Bristol Beaufighter, BAC Lightning, Hawker Hunter, Harrier Jump Jet,Hawker Typhoon and the Westland Wessex.
The Bomber Hall is another popular attraction and tells the history of aircraft bombers since their first appearance in World War I. The hall also tells the story of the achievements of the RAF Bomber Command and the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II. Aircraft exhibits include a Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2B biplane used in World War I, German jet powered Heinkel He 162 used in World War II, American B25 Mitchell bomber, British built Fairey Battle single-engine light bomber, the recovered plane wreck of a Handley Page Halifax and a modern Panavia Tornado combat aircraft.
De Havilland Mosquito bomber by Les Chatfield
First World War in the Air
The First World War in the Air tells about the Royal Air Force as a fighting force in World War I, which changed the strategies of future battles. The exhibition also tells the story about the men and women who served in the Royal Air Force during the war. It gives insights about their bravery and sacrifices on both the battle and home fronts. Exhibits include personal letters, medals, uniforms, memorabilia, diaries and photographs alongside aircraft from World War I.
Visitors will love the Aeronauts Interactive Centre, a, interactive gallery for all age groups featuring plenty of interesting hands-on exhibits demonstrating how aircraft fly. At the Spitfire Experience, you can climb inside a Supermarine Spitfire and experience what it was like flying this fascinating World War II fighter aircraft. The Marine Craft Collection has a small exhibit of military boats. There is a 4-D theatre that allows you to see and feel the exhilaration being inside a combat aircraft involved in a dogfight, bombing mission and fly with the Red Arrows.
Visiting the Royal Air Force Museum London
Admission to the Royal Air Force Museum London is free. The museum opens daily but closes on 24th, 25th, and 26th December and 1st January. From March to October, the museum opens at 10:00 a.m. and closes by 6:00 p.m. with the last entry at 5:30 p.m. From November to February, the museum opens at 10:00 a.m. and closes by 5:00 p.m. with the last entry 4:30 p.m. The nearest London Underground station is Colindale Station serving the Northern Line. The nearest railway station is Mill Hill Broadway Station serving Thameslink Rail.
Royal Air Force Museum London on the Map
RAF Museum London, Grahame, Park Way, London, NW9 5LL, UK
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