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.
venue representative image
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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

Daily 1000-1800

Open Bank holidays except Christmas Period

Closed: 24 - 26 December, 1 January and between 9 - 13 January 2012

Admission charges

Admission is FREE to the Museum. A responsible adult must accompany children under 16 at all times. Please note, the museum now levies a small car-parking charge for vehicles. This is £2.50 per vehicle for a stay of up to 3 hours and £3.50 per vehicle for a stay of up to 6 hours.

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/

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.
Royal Air Force Museum

Access the Avro Vulcan

  • 30 July 2014 6:30-9pm

Sit in the pilots seat and experience the Avro Vulcan in a whole new light. The Avro Vulcan is now open for access on the last Wednesday of the month.

Clamber up the two ladders, through the cabin and into the cockpit where one of our experienced aircraft team will talk you through every nook and cranny of the flight deck.

Participant comments:

"I just wanted to say what a great event the Vulcan Open Cockpits was on Wednesday. The aircraft team made the difference between it being good and it being excellent, and the whole event went beyond our expectations."
"I want to thank you for opening up the Vulcan - it was thoroughly enjoyable and interesting."

Tickets
Tickets are now available for July, August and September.
Please click here to purchase yours today! - https://royalairforcemuseum.digitickets.co.uk/events/1888?catID=1764&month=2014-07

Disclaimer: please note, the Avro Vulcan is hard to access and only for the physically able. If you'd like more information on accessing the Vulcan please call the events organiser on 0208 358 4997.

If you can't make any of the access days why not book to get inside the Vulcan at our Open Cockpits evening.

The next Open Cockpits evening will be held on 7th October 2014. In addition to the Vulcan you'll be able to get a sneak peek at the Lancaster Cockpit and sit inside the Chipmunk - amongst others!

Please click here for more information - http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/open-cockpits/

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Prices: £20 plus 50p booking fee

Website

http://Please click here to purchase your ticket today - https://royalairforcemuseum.digitickets.co.uk/events/1888?catID=1764&month=2014-07

Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time

  • 2 — 5 August 2014

Join our resident storyteller, Sonia Caller, for very special storytelling sessions for the whole family. Each session has a First World War theme and will include activities as well as fantastic and engaging stories.

No need to book, just come along and join in!
Session timings
• Outside picnic area (weather dependent) at 11am and 2pm (this activity will be held in the Bomber Hall if the weather is poor)
• Art Gallery on the first floor at 12pm and 3pm

This activity is free
The event Once Upon a Time is supported by BAE Systems and the Heritage Lottery Fund

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

No need to book, just come along and join in!
Session timings
• Outside picnic area (weather dependent) at 11am and 2pm (this activity will be held in the Bomber Hall if the weather is poor)
• Art Gallery on the first floor at 12pm and 3pm

This activity is free

Website

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

The Museum's Aviation Historian, Ross Mahoney

Air Power Goes to War : Military Aviation in 1914

  • 2 — 3 August 2014

By the end of 1914, military aviators were conducting operations that encompassed the key elements that modern air forces would recognise in the 21st Century. Indeed, in 1914, the Royal Flying Corps was in effect the world’s first expeditionary air force as it deployed from its home bases in Great Britain to the Continent with few major problems.

On 2nd and 3rd August 2014, Ross Mahoney, the Royal Air Force Museum's resident Aviation Historian will explore the evolution of military aviation in the decade prior to the outbreak of the First World War, the debates around its use as well as the scope and affect that air power played during the opening months of the war.

TICKETS

This lecture is free of charge however we do ask that you pre-book a free ticket as seats are limited. Booking is quick and easy, we just need some basic contact information.

Suitable for

  • 14-15
  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

Admission to this lecture and to the Royal Air Force Museum is free of charge.

Photograph of parcels containing the effects of German soldiers killed in action.

First World War Archives

  • 2 August 2014 11-11:45am, 12-12:45pm, 2-2:45pm, 3-3:45pm
  • 3 August 2014 11-11:45am, 12-12:45pm, 2-2:45pm, 3-3:45pm

As part of the museum's First World War commemorations we will be holding two very special viewing days where members of the public will be able to see original documents from 1914.

These sessions will be intimate with capacity for 12 at each. Our expert archive team will be on hand to answer any questions you might have about the First World War or any of the collection objects.

This one off opportunity is free of charge however as places are limited we do ask that you pre-book a free place at each session via our website.

Suitable for

  • 18+
  • Not suitable for children

Admission

Admission to this event is free of charge, but by ticket only which must be booked in advance of the day.

Website

https://royalairforcemuseum.digitickets.co.uk/events/2641?catID=2364

Summer Trail Week

Summer Trail Week

  • 9 — 15 August 2014

Delve into the museums permanent collection by challenging yourself with one of our exciting summer trails. Can you find the Sunderland Flying Boat? How about the Gazelle helicopter?

Trails cost 60p each and can be purchased from our main reception desk.

This activity is available between 9th and 15th August from 10am to 6pm and is for the whole family!

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Trails cost 60p each and can be purchased from our main reception desk.

Website

http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/summer-trail-week/

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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