East Fortune Airfield, East Lothian. Tel: (+44) 1620 880308.
Open daily, 10.30am - 5pm. Admission £3(£1.50), children under 16 free „
The Museum of Flight is located on a disused Second World War airfield close to North Berwick, near Edinburgh. This is an excellent museum that has obviously been put together by a team of people who are very committed to their subject. Two of the large aircraft hangers on East Fortune Airfield have been converted into exhibition halls and these are open every day from 10.30am to 5.00pm. Entrance to the museum is £3 for adults (£1.50 concessions) and free for children aged 18 or under. There is a large free car park for the museum. The first hanger contains about 20 aircraft including a Spitfire, a Tiger Moth, a De Haviland Dove and many other classic early planes, each with it’s own history and character. By each plane are display boards telling the story of the plane and loads of information and graphics, which have been written and presented in a very interesting and entertaining way. Around this hanger there are also aircraft engines, models, mock-ups and loads of associated items. On an overlooking viewing gallery there is a full size mock-up of an Air Traffic Control Centre. What is really good around the museum are the number of times you see notices saying “Please Touch”. These items can be picked up and played with, knobs can be turned, switches can be switched and dials can be adjusted. This is good for everyone, not just children. In a room at the side of this hanger was an exhibition of Aero Art where you could purchase oil paintings ranging in price from £100 to £3250. There was about 50 paintings on display and although very nice I think I will need to write a few more Dooyoo opinions before I could afford one of these. In the second hanger is the story of the jet aircraft and rockets. In here there are about 15 aircraft including a Phantom, a Lightning and a Harrier. Again there is loads of information and many associated exhibits. The rocket part of this hanger also has a lot of space inf
ormation and a special space exploration section. The largest exhibit is a Blue Streak rocket which is very impressive. Outside of this hanger is a Comet airliner and a Vulcan bomber. These aircraft dominate the area and although they seemed enormous in their day, you now realise how much bigger aircraft have become in the past few years. In the outside area there is also a missile launcher and a radar installation. In a converted Nissan Hut there is tea room selling hot and cold snacks, which is very clean and pleasant. This hut also contains a shop with aircraft model kits and other gifts and souvenirs. The prices in the shop do seem a bit dear, but the prices in the coffee shop are OK. This museum is very well laid out and full of interesting facts and exhibits. It is very well worth a visit, although I would suggest you wrap up warm if it is at all cold as the hangers are not the warmest places, and certainly the walk between the two hangers can be windy and cold. It took us about three hours to see all of the museum (and have a cup of coffee) and we all thoroughly enjoyed the visit.