Royal Air Force Museum

Royal Air Force Museum
Grahame Park Way
Colindale
London
Greater London
NW9 5LL
England

Website

www.rafmuseum.org/london

E-mail

Groups

groups@rafmuseum.org

Public Events

whatson@rafmuseum.org

Department of Research & Information Services

research@rafmuseum.org

School & Scout Trips

learning-london@rafmuseum.org

Telephone

Main Switchboard Number

020 8205 2266

Fax

020 8200 1751

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
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Wing your way over to a wonderful collection of aircraft, interactives, medals, uniforms, film shows and memorabilia on display and trace the story of the RAF and aviation itself.

Visit the awe-inspiring sound and light show that takes you back in time to the Battle of Britain. The Aeronauts Interactive Centre offers hands-on entertainment and education for all ages and includes cockpit controls, co-ordination tests, engine lifting, air speed, drop zone, pilot testing and more.

Take your visit to the next dimension by entering the Museum's 4D Theatre and discover how it feels to glide amongst the clouds. Don't forget to explore the Grahame-White Watch Office, the museum's latest permanent exhibition, which will transport you back to the pioneering days of flight at Hendon during the Edwardian period.

The onsite museum shop is packed with models, toys and gift items as well as exclusive magazines, books and videos. There is also a cafe and licensed restaurant and picnic area to take care of catering needs. Pay and Display Parking available.

A FREE, fun and fantastic day out for everyone.

Venue Type:

Museum, Library, Gallery, Heritage site

Opening hours

10am - 6pm [last entry 5:30pm]

Admission charges

Admission is FREE to the Museum.
A car parking charge is payable.

Getting there

If you’re travelling to the Museum by road, the Museum is signposted within easy reach of the A5, A41, M1 (junction 4 southbound) and North Circular A406 roads. Just follow the brown and white tourist signs.

If you’re using SatNav please input our road name, “Grahame Park Way” not our postcode, as this has been incorrectly indexed on some systems. If your system will not accept Grahame Park Way, please enter the postcode NW9 5QW. This will direct you to the small industrial estate next to the Museum.

If you’re visiting the Museum by public transport please take the Edgware Branch of the Northern Line to Colindale tube station, the Museum is only a short walk along Grahame Park Way.

Alternatively, you can take the Thames Link to Mill Hill Broadway, and catch bus number 303 to the Museum, which also runs from outside Colindale Tube Station. This service will drop you directly outside the Museum's main gates.

Additional info

Research Department open to the public by appointment only. Please contact the Department in the first instance to arrange an appointment to meet with a curator.

Collection details

Archives, Aviation, Costume and Textiles, Personalities, Science and Technology, Social History, Weapons and War

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
photograph of ww1 biplane

Britain From Above

  • 22 February 2014 — 31 March 2015 *on now

Aerofilms’ story begins at Hendon, an important centre for early aviation in Britain. The RAF Museum stands on the edge of the former London Aerodrome established by Claude Grahame-White in 1911. With Grahame-White’s connection to Hendon it was natural that he would later base his new business - Aerofilms Ltd – here in 1919.

Spurred on by First World War advances in aeroplane engineering and aerial reconnaissance, Aerofilms’ founders (Grahame-White and Francis Lewis Wills) spotted an opportunity to make a business out of aerial photography. With £3,000 capital and hired aeroplanes, Aerofilms Ltd was established in a suite at the London Flying Club on the London Aerodrome site, developing glass plate negatives in an adjoining bathroom. It was a new, unique venture – untried, untested, exciting and dangerous.

The exhibition, curated by English Heritage, will showcase Aerofilms’ unique aerial archive as well as its early years at Hendon and its role in the Second World War. Aerofilms’ commercial work was interrupted by the Second World War. In May 1940 Aerofilms was requisitioned by the Air Ministry, the firm’s aerial interpretation skills making an invaluable contribution to the war effort as part of the highly successful Central Interpretation Unit at RAF Medmenham in Buckinghamshire. After the war, Aerofilms once again took to the skies, photographing the rapidly changing face of Britain’s urban centres and rural landscapes.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Free Entry

Website

http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/britain-from-above/

Biggles and Chums - First World War watercolours and works on paper by Captain W.E. Johns and his contemporaries

Biggles and Chums - First World War watercolours and works on paper by Captain W.E. Johns and his contemporaries

  • 26 May 2014 — 4 January 2015 *on now

The Flying Services – Royal Flying Corps and Royal Naval Air Service – played a very significant part in the Great War.

For the first time the fighting extended into the air above the battlefield, and this space became vital for reconnaissance of the enemy’s positions and intentions.

At sea, aeroplanes and airships were able to see far over the horizon visible from a warship, as well as spotting for submarine raiders around Great Britain’s coasts. Both sides tried to stop each other taking advantage of this over-view, and hence aerial fighting developed.

The Museum’s art exhibition will feature works on paper never exhibited before, all of them produced during or immediately after the First World War.

Aeroplanes, heroic actions, the new operational procedures of air warfare and portraits of the young men who flew, will be on display alongside a display of medals, clothing, badges, Zeppelin fragments and other exhibits.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/biggles-and-chums-first-world-war-watercolours-a/

Royal Air Force Museum

An ‘Enduring Relationship’: A History of Friendship between the Royal Air Force and the Royal Air Force of Oman

  • 16 July 2014 — 14 July 2015 *on now

Great Britain and Oman have enjoyed an enduring relationship for over 200 years that stretches back to a Treaty of Friendship in 1798. This broader relationship has been replicated in the close professional co-operation that has developed between the Royal Air Force and the Royal Air Force of Oman. It is a relationship that continues to develop into the 21st Century with the Royal Air Force of Oman’s purchase of the Eurofighter Typhoon from BAE Systems.

Formed in 1959 from a nucleus of Scottish Aviation Pioneers and Hunting Percival Provosts, and manned by Royal Air Force loan officers, the Royal Air Force of Oman (originally named the Sultan of Muscat and Oman’s Air Force) has grown into one of the most capable air forces in the Middle East. This achievement has been supported throughout by mutual respect, friendship and encouragement between the Royal Air Force and the Royal Air Force of Oman.

In a brand new exhibition, curated with the support of the Archives Division of the Royal Air Force of Oman, the Royal Air Force Museum tells the story of this enduring relationship through the experiences of officers and men, from the Royal Air Force, the Royal Air Force of Oman and British industry who have played an important part in creating a modern, professional and highly effective air force.

The story will range from the Royal Air Force’s involvement in the Middle East from its formation in 1918 and include highlights such as the visit of Sultan Taimur bin Faisal to Royal Air Force Hendon in 1928 as the guest of the British government to watch an Air Pageant as well as the vital support offered by Oman to Great Britain during the Second World War through the purchase of Spitfires flown by the Royal Air Force.

An Appeal

The RAF Museum is interested in hearing from any RAF officers or other ranks who have served in Oman to preserve their stories. If you would like to contribute to this exciting project please contact Ross Mahoney, Aviation Historian for the Royal Air Force Museum by emailing ross.mahoney@rafmuseum.org in the first instance.

Suitable for

  • Any age
  • Family friendly

Admission

Admission to this event is free of charge

Website

http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/enduring-relationship-a-history-of-the-royal-air/

Royal Air Force Museum

Sir Alan Cobham’s Flying Circus: A life of a Pioneering Aviator

  • 14 September 2014 — 11 September 2015 *on now

Sir Alan Cobham was a pioneering long distance aviator and technical innovator who became famous for his exploits in the interwar years by making aviation accessible and popular throughout the world.

He learnt to fly while in the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War and later went on to set many long distance aviation records.

These include becoming the first person to fly from London to Cape Town and back in 1926 for which he received the Air Force Cross, and in the same year to be the first person to fly from London to Australia and back, for which he was knighted by King George V.

Sir Alan Cobham also organised a series of flying tours of the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa which became affectionately known as ‘Sir Alan Cobham’s Flying Circus’. These tours promoted aviation to the public and were a source of inspiration for countless pilots in the Second World War.


This new exhibition will be opening on the Museum's Battle of Britain Day on the 14th September. It will be a highly visual display of Sir Alan Cobham’s life and his many notable achievements, showcasing some of the ‘treasures’ from the collection including a Union Flag that was flown on Cobham's de Havilland D.H.50J biplane while on his Cape Town flight. The exhibition will also feature film footage that will show how he made aviation into a breathtaking spectacle.

The ‘Sir Alan Cobham Collection’ forms the basis of this new exhibition. This Collection may be viewed by appointment in our London Reading Room.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Free Entry

Website

http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/sir-alan-cobham-s-flying-circus-a-life-of-a-pione/

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Storytelling: Sir Alan Cobham's Flying Circus

Storytelling: Sir Alan Cobham's Flying Circus

  • 25 — 28 October 2014

Join us between 25th and 28th October for special storytelling sessions about Alan Cobham's amazing life and adventures in flight.

COBHAM TALES & FOLK STORIES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
11:15am and 3.15pm

Suitable for the whole family

Art gallery, on the first floor

Come and listen to some incredible true life stories about the amazing Sir Alan Cobham - Explorer and Pioneer Aviator of the Flying Circus.

A CIRCUS STORY & CIRCUS GAMES
12:15pm and 2.15pm

Aimed at ages 4-11

Art Gallery, on the first floor

A chance to try your hand at some circus skills and play some circus inspired games. (Suitable for beginners)


This activity is suitable for the whole family.

This activity is free, there is also no need to book - just come along and join in!

For more information please email whatson@rafmuseum.org or call our switchboard on 0208 205 2266.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/once-upon-a-ti/

photograph of ww1 biplane

First World War Model Make and Take

  • 25 — 31 October 2014

Our popular model making activities return in October. Build your own First World War Albatros or Sopwith Pup, paint it up and take it home!


This activity is recommended for ages 7+ and all children should be accompanied by a responsible adult.

No need to pre-book, just come along and join in!

Taking place in the Dermot Boyle Wing, just off the Historic Hangars exhibition. Sessions run at 11:00 to 13:00 and 14:00 to 16:00.

Please email whatson@rafmuseum.org for more information.

Suitable for

  • 7-10

Admission

£3.00 per kit.

Website

http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/october-half-term-ww1-make-and-take-activities/

Getting there

If you’re travelling to the Museum by road, the Museum is signposted within easy reach of the A5, A41, M1 (junction 4 southbound) and North Circular A406 roads. Just follow the brown and white tourist signs.

If you’re using SatNav please input our road name, “Grahame Park Way” not our postcode, as this has been incorrectly indexed on some systems. If your system will not accept Grahame Park Way, please enter the postcode NW9 5QW. This will direct you to the small industrial estate next to the Museum.

If you’re visiting the Museum by public transport please take the Edgware Branch of the Northern Line to Colindale tube station, the Museum is only a short walk along Grahame Park Way.

Alternatively, you can take the Thames Link to Mill Hill Broadway, and catch bus number 303 to the Museum, which also runs from outside Colindale Tube Station. This service will drop you directly outside the Museum's main gates.

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