Royal Air Force Museum, London

Come visit our exciting First World War in the Air Exhibition
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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

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.
An Artist's impression of what the new exhibition will look like

First World War in the Air

  • 4 December 2014 — 31 December 2020 *on now

Eleven years after the first powered flight, aviation emerged as a force capable of changing the face of battle. In 1914 the Royal Flying Corps numbered just 1,500 people. By 1918, when the Royal Air Force was created, this had grown to more than 205,000. The full strategic value of air power had become all too evident - both on the battlefield and on the Home Front.

This compelling story of the First World War in the Air will be revealed in a new exhibition in our Claude Grahame-White Hangar

Discover the vital work of the Service men and women on the ground as well as the changing roles of those in the air as the essential use of 'eyes in the sky' for reconnaissance was complemented by the introduction of new technologies for bombing and fighting high above the ground.

Many personal artefacts including medals, letters and uniforms will be displayed alongside the finest collection of First World War aircraft bringing both moving and inspiring stories to life - and ensuring that the bravery and sacrifice of these aviation pioneers will never be forgotten.

Admission

Free Entry

Website

http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/opening-of-first-world-war-in-the-air-exhibition/

RAF Inspired: Furniture Makers

RAF Inspired : The Furniture Makers

  • 14 March — 30 September 2018 *on now

Rycotewood Furniture Centre has been a highly respected institution for the past 75 years and holds on to its strong roots in skilled craftsmanship and woodworking. Its students are currently working with the Royal Air Force Museum to develop a series of public seating as part of this year’s RAF Centenary as part of the Museum's Historic Hendon Project.

The main aspect of this brief was for students to find something within the Museum that inspired them, whether it was the aircraft itself, the people behind the RAF or perhaps the grounds and local area. The Museum gave a series of presentations about the RAF's Centenary Project and students were then free to wander the Hangars, sketch and explore what intrigued them.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/rafinspired/

Three Pilots - One War Exhibition at The RAF Museum

Three Pilots – One War Exhibition

  • 29 March — 9 December 2018 *on now

Our latest First World War in the Air temporary exhibition is inspired by the experiences of three pilots during the First World War.

Each pilot comes from a different country – Peter Falkenstein from Germany, Jean Chaput from France and Bernard Rice from England. All three men wrote frequent letters home. Much of what we know about the war comes from history books but personal letters can provide a unique insight into the everyday lives of those who served.

Our exhibition has been created by students from local schools and colleges in response to three letters, one from each of our featured pilots.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/three-pilots-one-war/

War Brides

War Brides

  • 3 October 2018 — 15 September 2019

Global conflict and the mobilization of troops during World War II brought couples together who would never have met in that era. Although marriage was discouraged by the military, tens of thousands of locals married foreign nationals on active duty. Couples met on the dance floor, on air bases, blind dates, in queues, hospitals or air raid shelters. For war brides, a new husband meant a new country.

Artist Bev Tosh is the daughter of a Royal New Zealand Air Force pilot and his Canadian war bride. Her works portray war brides of airmen stationed on Royal Air Force bases in the UK during WWII and Canadian brides of ‘flyboys’ from England, Australia and New Zealand trained in Canada.

Collectively these portraits and stories speak across continents and generations of an extraordinary postwar emigration of women who made a leap of faith for the love of an airman.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/war-brides/

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.
Little Swifts

Little Swifts

  • 27 September 2018 10:30-11:30am
  • 9 October 2018 10:30-11:30am
  • 18 October 2018 10:30-11:30am
  • 13 November 2018 10:30-11:30am
  • 29 November 2018 10:30-11:30am
  • 11 December 2018 10:30-11:30am
  • 20 December 2018 10:30-11:30am

Come and join our fun and lively sessions for pre-school children (aged 2-5 years)which include arts and crafts, games, stories and songs. Each session is linked to our amazing collection and helps bring our Museum to life.Little Swifts run the last Thursday of each month, in Aeronauts our gallery for children.

Tickets can be booked via the website www.rafmuseum.org.uk.
Pay at the Shop on arrival

To book a ticket for your session please follow the link: https://royalairforcemuseum.digitickets.co.uk/tickets?branches.branchID=353

Suitable for

  • 0-4
  • Especially for children

Admission

£3 per child. Adults go free.

Website

http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/little-swifts/

Join us for Open Cockpits on 24 February

100 Open Cockpits and Cabs

  • 8 December 2018 1-4pm, 6-9pm

To celebrate the 100 years since the formation of the RAF, London and Cosford will be offering visitors the rare and exciting chance to get a closer look inside 100 cockpits and vehicles from our collection during our Open Cockpit and Cab events which take place during four events at each site.

Lucky ticket holders will have the opportunity to view a wide range of aircraft and vehicles which aren’t usually opened to the public.

The event will allow you to get a feel for what it was like to fly or drive these much loved machines.

The aircraft available to view during this Open Cockpits event will include:

- Phantom
- Canberra
- Hucks Starter
- Vampire F3
- Merlin EH101
- Whirlwind
- Hunter
- Gloster Meteor F8
- Sopwith Snipe
- Jet Provost 5

Additional dates for the 2018 100 Cockpits and Cabs events are:
- Friday 27 April
- Friday 21 September
- Saturday 8 December

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Admission is by advance ticket only; tickets cost £13.50 per person (plus a 50p booking fee) with members tickets £10.00 per ticket (please note membership cards will need to be shown on entry to the event).

Website

https://royalairforcemuseum.digitickets.co.uk/tickets?branches.branchID=353

The Spitfires 10K Virtual Race in the RAF Museum

2018 Spitfire 10K - Virtual race

  • 5 — 28 September 2018 *on now

Following from the success of the Spitfire 10K we are now launching our Spitfire 10K Virtual Race. For those of you who missed out on the recent Spitfire 10K then this is for you!

Taking part in the virtual race means you have the opportunity to complete the 10K in your own time and wherever and whenever you want – on the road, in the gym, or you can even walk it!

Once you have completed your 10K, all you will need to do is send us your route. This can be done by any of the following: Strava file, Garmin screenshot, screenshot of your watch – anything which shows us that you have done your distance.

We will then send you one of the heavily sought after 2018 Spitfire 10K medals!

The Spitfire 10K Virtual Race will run until Friday 28 September. Please ensure that copies of your route are received by the Race Management Company by Sunday 30 SeptemberAll those who enter the Spitfire 10K Virtual Race will receive advance notification of 2019 race entry details. To take part in the virtual race will cost £15.00 per person.

T-SHIRTS:

We are placing a new order of Spitfire 10K t-shirts which will be on sale until Wednesday 12 September 2018. T-shirts will cost £13.00 which includes a postage fee. Please be aware as this is a new order through the printers please expect delivery by the end of September.

If you have a question related to the Virtual Race please contact the Public Events Team by calling 0208 358 4955 or by emailing VirtualRace@rafmuseum.org

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£15

Website

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/2018-spitfire-10k-virtual-rac/

October Half term at the RAF Museum London

October Half Term

  • 22 — 26 October 2018

Join us this October Half Term for Airfix Make and Take! We will have a number of different models available suitable for seasoned model makers, or those new to Airfix.

Airfix Make and Take is aimed at families with children aged 8 and above, for younger children there is a wooden biplane to assemble and decorate together. All materials will be provided by the museum, just purchase your ticket upon arrival.

Children will need to be supervised by an adult at all times, and will require assistance with the model making.

Watch this space! Further details coming soon

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£3

Website

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/october-half-term/

The First World War in the Air Exhibition at the RAF Museum London

BSL Guided Tour

  • 26 October 2018 7-8:30pm

Join John Wilson for a BSL guided tour of the RAF Museum’s fascinating First World War in the Air exhibition, housed in the historic Grahame White Factory building. The tour, which is for Deaf and hard-of-hearing visitors, will be followed by an opportunity to view First World War artefacts and try on clothing from our handling collection.

The tour is limited to 20 people. Please book in advance by contacting Clare.Paul@rafmuseum.org

Max 2 tickets per person.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/bsl-guided-tour-at-the-first-world-war-in-the-air/

Wings of Windrush at the RAF Museum

Wings of Windrush

  • 28 October 2018 11am-4pm

Calypso from the Windrush Years
11.00-11.30 (Main Entrance H 3/4/5)
Calypso melodies from Alexander D Great

Born in Port of Spain, Trinidad, Alexander grew up in London. From the late 1980s Alex has been running his own small record label and providing poetry and calypso workshops in festivals, schools and colleges. Since February 2000 he has been Calypsonian – in- Residence for the BBC. To celebrate Wings of Windrush, Alexander’s first set will comprise of some classic calypsos from the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s.


Old Time Stories Come Back Again
Storytelling with Winston Nzinga
11.30am, 1.00pm, 2.30pm (Art Gallery)

Winston Nzinga is an African-Caribbean percussionist, storyteller, singer and teacher who has performed throughout Britain, Africa and the Caribbean.

Come and hear Caribbean stories familiar to the Windrush generation in the company of our enthralling storyteller Winston Nzinga.

Return to Blue: The Empire Windrush and the RAF
11.30-12.15 (Lecture Theatre)
A talk by curator Peter Devitt

The arrival of HMT Empire Windrush at Tilbury 70 years ago symbolises the beginning of large-scale Caribbean immigration to Britain. This talk tells the story of those RAF airmen returning from leave or veterans re-joining the Service who were amongst those on board. It also examines their role in building, and defending, Britain's Black Community.

On the Wings of Windrush
12.15-1.00 (Lecture Theatre)
Windrush Calypsos from Alexander D Great

Since the 1980s, Alexander D Great has been providing poetry and calypso workshops for festivals, schools and colleges. As one of Britain’s most successful calypsonians, Alexander will celebrate some of the achievements of the RAF’s African and Caribbean pilots. He will perform songs from his albums After the Windrush and Portraits and Tributes, both released this year.


Pilots of the Caribbean: Flying Colours
1.00-13.45 (Lecture Theatre)
Performance by Reuben Massiah

In 2013 an exhibition sought to highlight black achievement throughout the RAF. Now, Pilots of The Caribbean: Flying Colours brings to life the contributions of those who served from WW1 to the present day. Presented by Reuben Massiah, the show is a fusion of theatre, poetry, music & movement. It will shine a light on the Windrush generation and their contributions to the defend the ‘mother country’ in its time of war.

Windrush: Movement of the People
2.00pm-2.20pm (Hangar 1, Sunderland Hall)
Followed by Q&A session until 2.50pm

Internationally-acclaimed, Leeds-based Phoenix Dance Theatre will be presenting a section of their acclaimed show Windrush: Movement of the People which marks the 70th Anniversary of the arrival of SS Empire Windrush to the UK.


Vimala Rowe and John Etheridge
3.00-4.00 (Halton Gallery)
Vimala Rowe and John Etheridge

Award winning singer Vimala Rowe and guitar legend John Etheridge will share a set of eclectic music from their critically acclaimed album Out of the Sky.

Their set will feature music from Africa, India and Jazz from the Windrush era, including songs from Mona Baptiste, the Trinidadian singer and actress who emigrated to England on board the Empire Windrush.


Archives Revealed
Throughout the day (Boardroom)
Explore the personal diaries and papers of African-Caribbean aviators with the assistance of our Archive Team.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/wings-of-windrush/

100 Cockpits and Cabs Event at the RAF Museum London

100 Open Cockpits and Cabs - 8 December

  • 8 December 2018 1-4pm
  • 8 — 18 December 2018

To celebrate the 100 years since the formation of the RAF, London and Cosford will be offering visitors the rare and exciting chance to get a closer look inside 100 cockpits and vehicles from our collection. These events will take place throughout the year at both sites, and we will open 10-15 aircraft or vehicles each time.

In London, we will be running 4 events throughout 2018; with each event focusing on a selection of different aircraft and vehicles. Some of the cockpits and cabs you will be able to step behind the scenes and peer inside using steps, on other occasions you might even be able to get access and sit inside. The event will allow you to get a feel for what it was like to fly or drive these much loved machines. A member of the Aircraft Access team will be next to each aircraft to share information and the stories of the people who flew them.

In total, there will be 50 cockpits and cabs opened in London this year, this will be your last chance to take part in this event. We will be releasing the list very soon, so please watch this space.

Please read our terms and conditions before purchasing tickets. Minimum age of 12 and a height restriction of 1.07 metres will apply for all of the events.

For more information about the event please download our FAQs sheet.

Tickets cost £13.50 per person (plus a 50p booking fee) with members tickets £10.00 per ticket (please note membership cards will need to be shown on entry to the event). To guarantee entry to the event please purchase your ticket in advance online.

The day time session will commence at 1.00pm and finish at 4.00pm; the evening will commence at 6.00pm and finish at 9.00pm. The nearest tube to the Museum is Colindale, which is only a 10 minute walk away. If you are driving please note that parking charges are included in the ticket price. The Wessex Café will be open and serving a range of light bites and refreshments.

You can purchase our very special Log Book to keep track of the aircraft that you see throughout the year, for just £1! Why not try to get the whole 100!

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Cost: £13.50 per person (plus a 50p booking fee), £10.00 for Museum Members

Website

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/100-open-cockpits-and-cabs-december-2018/

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.

Royal Air Force Museum, London
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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