“ Address: Grahame Park Way / London / NW9 5TW / England „
My boyfriend is a massive fan of the RAF Museum so we have been quite a few times in the last year. There are a number of different things to see and so much info there so it's a good job admission is free because you do have to go several times to see everything and fully absorb all of the information (NB you do have to pay for the car park though!)
In the main building, there is a wonderful time line entitled "Milestones of Flight" which spans the 20th century and beyond. It really is fascinating as puts certain events into perspective with a section on general world events such as the end of Rationing, the release of Nestle's Kit Kat and the 9/11 Bombings so that people who are not into flying facts and figures are not bored. The Bomber Hall is awesome and there is a lovely tribute to Henry Ellingham, one of the original members of the RAF.
The Battle of Britain exhibition is really really interesting, with displays on Anderson Shelters, a Bombed Scene and a scene which shows a Mother seeing her children off at the railway station on evacuation. There is also a great part which explains a little about Hitler's rearmament, Churchill's support for the RAF, the Hitler Youth, Hitler's opposition to the Jewish people and the Munich Agreement.
This is where I came into my own. Whereas my boyfriend seems to be a mine of information on the principles of Aerodynamics, the history of flight, the use of Radio and ENIGMA and the specific features of planes, I have a degree in History so was able to explain to him about the origins of WW2 from the Treaty of Versaillles, Hitler's democratic rise to power, hyperinflation in Germany, Propaganda and Appeasement so now he thinks I'm a genius.
All in all, its a wonderful day out. There is a hall around the back too which is full of old rickety looking flying machines but this is only open at certain times so check the website before you go if you really want to see what's in there. The gift Shop is also great, slightly pricey but some of the merchandise you may only be able to get there.
Its worth a visit, for yourself, a nostalgia trip fro the older members of the family, or an educational trip for the yonder members, the RAF Museum really has something for everyone.
THE ROYAL AIRFORCE MUSEUM LONDON.
The whole experience of this day was absolutely memorable, for myself and my partner.
Travelling up to London, we decided to let the train take the strain, and arriving at the train station, we had just a five minute walk to this Museum, at Hendon.
Once entering the gates to this fantastic Museum, i noticed that in the grounds of this Museum were loads of picnic bences and seats so that you can sit there and have a picnic lunch, and enjoy looking at the two planes that were exhibited in the grounds, the Spitfire, my all time favourite, and the Hurrican, in excellent condition.
Well where to start, having had such a great day well, on entering this Museum, Which incidentally is free, you immediately notice a half Plane stuck to the enormous wall inside these larger than life sized hangers, and when we were told the entrance fee was free, that was a bonus, although i think they kind of expect you to purchase one of their booklets on the Museum, costs if i can remember rightly £4.00.
So you do feel obligated, to but im sure you could have said No.
Inside this Museum, which is divided up into different sections, Milestones of Flight, the Bomber Hall, and Historic Hangers, Aeronauts Interactive centre and the Battle of Britian Hall.
They have a number of snack or full meal Eateries, they are too expensive in my opinion, as they are at most of these free places, kind of makes up for the free Entrance charges, but you dont have to buy do you. It was nice to have a cuppa though halfway around this fantastic Museum. Although a can of coke was priced at £1.50p.
The Royal Airforce Museum, does im pleased to say provide facilities for those who are unfortunate to be disabled. Staff members are only to happy to assist you to get to those places that you cant get to, you merely have to ask.
Aeronauts. They have a hands on science centre with a purpose built exhibits of around fifty which will help your children to understand how the aircraft fly. I also noticed that there is plenty of space to get a pushchair around, the exhibits.
The Museum Shop, housing an assortment of Pictures, aircraft models, keyrings, little models and toys for the children, Paintings, which were really too expensive but great detail, and posters that were not to badly priced. Almost everything associated with aircraft, can be found in this shop, but i must admit that i did find this a little bit on the pricey side, as with most Museums they are.
They also have a 3D cinema inside, but i must admit that i didnt get time to have a look at this.
We did get to have a go on an aircraft symulator which costs £2.50p for each paying adult, and was really lifelike, and bit scary. well worth the money but only lasts a few minutes.
THE STAFF **********
They were friendly and happy to approach and ask any questions, after all it takes a special person to stand along side these magnificant aircraft each and every day, also i guess you would need that amount of staff to ensure little fingers, dont touch.
It was so good to see some of the older aircraft on display, i liked looking at the Bleriot X1, this named after Louis Bleriot who flew across the English Channel, how i wondered, you wouldnt get me up in that flimsy looking plane lol, the historic flight revealed the enormous potential of air travel and showed that Britian was no longer an island.
I must admit i loved looking at the size of the bomber planes, and was amazed to see a Lancaster, you remember the one used in the special raids including the bouncing bomb, (the dam buster used to do away with the dams in 1943. It was originally a two engine plane, but then became a four engined bomber in world war two, and they have Rolls-Royce Engines.
We didnt get to see all that was on offer in this hudge Museum, as we had left it a bit late to get there, but you must go and see a piece of history, and you will be amazed like i was, at the sheer size of some of these beasts.
Sitting under a Bomber plane, watching a television screen that showed you the sound of this amazing plane taking off i was speechless.
They also have Historic Hangers in this Museum in Hendon and in there they house, the Helicopters, such as the Westland, Wessex, an Air Sea Rescue this is used by the Royal Family, and has been for around twenty years, and carries their distinctive markings. The Museums patron is the Duke of Edinburgh, who has flown this helecopter, and landed at this Museum, on a number of occassions.
The Hangers in themselves are enormous, and they were built during World War 1 when iron and Steel were in short supply, amazing they are and looking up you can see their wooden structures, i was wondering how on earth they could get all those larger than ever aircraft inside, must have been disasembled them placed back together once inside !
WINGS OVER WATER **********
Well what can i say about this, well in the earlier days of avaiation, when we didnt have so many airports as we have today, aircraft were designed to land on water, also they were used to survey and protect the countries costal areas.
The Supermarine Southampton **********
This is a wooden hulled flying boat, amazing as it sounds it truly is, it was built just after the World War 1, and it was designed to undertake many long range flights, and once flew all the way to singapore and then onto Australia only stopping to refuel, you should take a look it is amazing, to think that this plane carries so much history.
Well it would take a whole day to look around this wonderful Museum, and it does have little touch screnes around the planes so that you can listen to a recorded messages that gives you all the answers to the questions that you need answered about that particular plane.
YOU REALLY SHOULD GO, if you are interested in Aircraft History, and i am, and was so interested want to go back again, to visit some of the great hangers that i didnt get time to view this time.The Royal airforce Museums, also have two other Museums one in Cosford, and one in Stafford.
They are also FREE> At the royal aircraft museums they have in my opinion one of the best aircraft displays, in this Country and they also cover many themes. It took hours to look around this museum, and thats a good day out, for all interested in aircraft, from the past and nowdays. There were also various old fashioned vehicles, and cars at this museum which were well worth a look to, all in excellent condition, there are also many captured aircraft, displays of engines and enique missile exhibitions. Getting up close and personal to aircraft bombers, and sections of planes that you can actually stand inside, or look inside. There are also bombs that are dropped from these famous bombers, and you will not imagine the sheer size, unless you are up close and personal to these.
Thanks for reading and rating my reviews, still yet to earn a crown, fingers crossed my time will come. x