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

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/

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/

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/

Royal Air Force Photographer of the Year 2014

Royal Air Force Photographer of the Year 2014

  • 12 January — 12 April 2015 *on now

The Royal Air Force Museum will be celebrating the superb achievements of Royal Air Force Photographers following the judging of the Royal Air Force’s annual Photographic Competition which is now in its 25th year. The Museum will be displaying the winning entries of the 2014 Competition in a unique exhibition which opens to the public on 12 January in the Museum’s Art Gallery.

Subject categories range from ‘The Operational Experience’, an image that reflects the Royal Air Force conducting vital work on operations or training in support of operations, through to the ‘Equipment’ category which gives photographers the exciting opportunity to display their skill photographing the Service’s world-class equipment.

Not to be missed, this exhibition is a visual feast for the eyes. Also on display for the first time will be the 'People's Photograph' as voted for by members of the public during Summer 2014.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Free Entry

Website

http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/royal-air-force-photographer-of-the-year-2014/

Britain from above pilots

Aerofilms : Britain From Above

  • 22 February — 31 March 2015

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.

Website

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

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.
Flog It!

Flog It!

  • 29 January 2015 10am-4:30pm

Flog It, the popular BBC one antiques series is coming to the RAF Museum London.

You are invited to bring up to three antiques or collectibles along and have them valued for free by the shows team of experts.

If selected for filming you might be in with a chance of making some money by selling your items at auction a few weeks later.

Doors are open between 10.00am-4.30pm. For further information contact flog.it@bbc.co.uk or telephone 0117 974 7839.

Please note that the Royal Air Force Museum London is acting as the hired venue for this event only. Please submit any enquiries about the event to the above contact.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Doors are open between 10.00am-4.30pm. For further information contact flog.it@bbc.co.uk or telephone 0117 974 7839.

Please note that the Royal Air Force Museum London is acting as the hired venue for this event only. Please submit any enquiries about the event to the above contact

Website

http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/flog-it/

 Royal Air Force Museum

The Royal Flying Corps and the Western Front in 1915: Myths and Realities

  • 13 February 2015 2:30-3:30pm

As part of our First World War in the Air Lunchtime Lecture Series, Dr James Pugh will speak on 'The Royal Flying Corps and the Western Front in 1915: Myths and Realities'.

TALK OUTLINE
The year 1915 has been called the ‘black hole’ of First World War history. As such, 2015 affords the perfect opportunity to shine some light on one of the least explored periods of the conflict. The lecture will investigate the myths and realities of the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) and its role on the Western Front during 1915. This will include an examination of doctrine, policy, and practice; with a particular focus on the RFC’s approach to the control of the air. The lecture will conclude with an examination of the command changes that took place in the RFC during 1915; a process affected by the challenging personal relationships that existed between the senior officers of the Corps.

LOCATION AND TIME
This lecture will be held in the museum lecture theatre at 12:30PM on Friday 13 February 2015.

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.

BOOK YOUR TICKET HERE TODAY - https://royalairforcemuseum.digitickets.co.uk/tickets?branches.branchID=353

ABOUT DR JAMES PUGH
James Pugh holds a BA (Hons) in Contemporary Military and International History (Salford), an MA in International History (Wales), and a PhD in Modern History (Birmingham). James is currently a Visiting Lecturer with the University of Birmingham, specialising in Air Power Studies and the history of the First and Second World Wars. He has published on air power doctrine and leadership, and he is currently researching the aircrew experience and aviation medicine in RAF Bomber Command between 1940 and 1945. His first monograph, The Royal Flying Corps, the Western Front, and the Control of the Air, 1914–18, is due for publication with Ashgate in 2017.

RAF MUSEUM RESEARCH PROGRAMME
The First World War in the Air Lunchtime Lecture, funded by the HLF, forms part of our Research Programme for 2015. This programme also consists of the Trenchard Lectures in Air Power Studies and other events such as conferences. More details can be found in our leaflet, which can be downloaded here - http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/documents/Ross%20Mahoney/RAF_Museum_Research_Programme_2015.pdf

For more details about the RAF Museum’s research programme, please email our Aviation Historian, Ross Mahoney at ross.mahoney@rafmuseum.org

Our First World War in the Air programme of events is supported by BAE Systems and the Heritage Lottery Fund

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

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.

BOOK YOUR TICKET HERE TODAY - https://royalairforcemuseum.digitickets.co.uk/tickets?branches.branchID=353

Website

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

First World War Airfix Make and Take

First World War Airfix Make and Take

  • 16 — 20 February 2015

Between 16 and 20 February 2015 our popular Airfix make and take workshops will return for the half term period. Take on the Red Barons Albatros or fight your way to victory with the classic British Sopwith Pup.

All paints, glue, instructions supplied with Airfix each kit.

Dates: 16-20 February 2015
Cost: £3 per Airfix kit
Times: 11am to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm
Recommended age: 7+

Our First World War in the Air events season is supported by BAE Systems and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Suitable for

  • 7-10
  • 14-15
  • 18+
  • 16-17
  • 11-13

Admission

Cost: £3 per Airfix kit

Website

http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/first-world-war-airfix-make-and-take/

Knit for Britain from Above

Knit for Britain from Above

  • 16 — 20 February 2015

Hook, stitch and yarn bomb our model aircraft during the February half term. Yes that's right, we need to keep our wooly plane warm and we need your help! The Knit for Britain from Above activity returns for it's third week, all materials will be supplied so whether you're an experienced purler or a novice crochet wannabe, you'll be welcome to come and try your hand at some good old fashioned knitting.

Location: Bomber Hall
Times: 11am to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm
Cost: Free

Can't wait for February? Try knitting your own mini Britain from Above aircraft, just like the example below. The pattern can be found by clicking here - http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/documents/Events/London/Knit%20for%20Britain%20from%20Above%20pattern.pdf

CALLING ALL KNITTERS
If you are an experienced knitter and can spare a few hours between 16 and 20 February 2015 then please get in touch with the Volunteer Manager by emailing whatson@rafmuseum.org. We are in need of volunteers to help teach our visitors how to knit and to help attach knitting to our model aircraft. If you are interested please get in touch to express your interest.

MORE INFORMATION
For more information on this activity please contact the event organiser on 0208 205 2266 or email whatson@rafmuseum.org

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Free Entry

Website

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

A flyer warning the civilian population of a Bombing Campaign

Bomber Command and Political Warfare, 1939-1945: The Missing Dimension

  • 19 February 2015 6-9:30pm

As part of the RAF Museum's new Research Programme, Professor Richard Overy will deliver the first talk in our new series, The Trenchard Lectures in Air Power Studies. Professor Overy will speak on 'Bomber Command and Political Warfare, 1939-1945: The Missing Dimension'

TALK OUTLINE
Among the many things Bomber Command was asked to do, its role in assisting British political warfare has been largely neglected by historians. Yet the 1.5 billion leaflets and newspapers dropped over Europe during the war, as part of a protracted campaign of political propaganda was only possible because of the co-operation of Bomber Command. The lecture examines the origins and course of the airborne propaganda offensive and the close relations that eventually emerged between the Air Ministry and the Political Warfare Executive. Both had an interesting in breaking German morale and both saw the bomb and the leaflet as complementary weapons in the campaign to undermine the enemy war effort. Despite Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Harris's opposition, the operational effort was entirely in the hands of Bomber Command and was sustained right down to the last weeks of the war.

LOCATION AND TIME
Please note that this lecture will be held at the Headquarters of the Royal Aeronautical Society at No. 4 Hamilton Place, London W1J 7BQ at 18:00PM on Thursday 19 February 2015.

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.

BOOK YOUR TICKETS HERE TODAY
https://royalairforcemuseum.digitickets.co.uk/tickets?branches.branchID=353

ABOUT PROFESSOR RICHARD OVERY
Richard Overy is Professor of History at the University of Exeter and Chair of the RAF Museum Research Board. He is the author of more than 25 books on air power, the Second World War and the European dictatorships including The Battle of Britain, The Air War 1939-1945 and most recently The Bombing War: Europe 1939-1945, winner of one of the Cundill Awards for history in 2014.

RAF MUSEUM RESEARCH PROGRAMME
The Trenchard Lectures in Air Power Studies form part of the RAF Museum's Research Programme for 2015. This programme also consists of the First World War in the Air Lunchtime Lectures and other events such as conferences. More details can be found in our leaflet, which can be downloaded here.

For more details about the RAF Museum’s research programme, please email our Aviation Historian, Ross Mahoney at ross.mahoney@rafmuseum.org

The Trenchard Lectures in Air Power Studies are held in conjunction with the Royal Aeronautical Society and the War Studies Department at the University of Wolverhampton.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

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.

BOOK YOUR TICKETS HERE TODAY
https://royalairforcemuseum.digitickets.co.uk/tickets?branches.branchID=353

Website

http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/bomber-command-and-political-warfare-1939-1945/

A Panavia Tornado F3, ZE289, at RAF Akrotiri during Operation Granby (RAFM: X003-2603/0240)

The RAF and Operation GRANBY: 25 Years On

  • 21 — 22 February 2015 1pm

As part of our rolling calendar of events, the RAF Museum's Aviation Historian, Ross Mahoney, will be giving a free lecture on the subject of 'The RAF and Operation GRANBY: 25 Years On'.

This talk will examine the vital role the RAF played during the Gulf War, 1990-91. It will also consider the state of the RAF on the eve on the conflict, the many lessons learnt and the Service’s continuing role over Iraq from enforcing no-fly zones to its employment against Islamic State today.

LOCATION AND TIME
This lecture will be held in the museum lecture theatre at 1pm on Saturday 21 February and Sunday 22 February.

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.

BOOK YOUR TICKET FREE TODAY
https://royalairforcemuseum.digitickets.co.uk/tickets?branches.branchID=353

ABOUT ROSS MAHONEY
Ross Mahoney is the Royal Air Force Museum’s resident Aviation Historian and a recognised expert on air power and aviation history with a particular focus on the RAF. As well as being a published author, he is a graduate of the University of Birmingham where he recently passed, pending corrections, his PhD on the early career of Air Chief Marshal Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

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.

BOOK YOUR TICKET FREE TODAY
https://royalairforcemuseum.digitickets.co.uk/tickets?branches.branchID=353

Website

http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/the-raf-and-operation-granby-25-years-on/

First Gulf War Archive Viewing

First Gulf War Archive Viewing

  • 21 — 22 February 2015 11am-4pm

Join our curatorial team this February for a very special weekend of archive viewing. This event offers the opportunity to view items relating to the First Gulf War conflict during 1990-1991.

Examine documents, photographs and film footage for a unique insight into the RAF's role during the conflict.

"It's helpful to see things online and digital copies but nothing beats seeing the original thing"
December 2014, First World War Archive Viewing attendee

Tickets

Tickets for this event are free but will need to be pre booked in advance. Please click here to book your tickets.

More Information

For more information contact us via email or phone: whats@rafmuseum.org / 0208 205 2266

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Tickets

Tickets for this event are free but will need to be pre booked in advance. Please click here to book your tickets.

More Information

For more information contact us via email or phone: whats@rafmuseum.org / 0208 205 2266

Website

http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/first-gulf-war-archive-viewing/

A Vulcan Bomber

Access the Avro Vulcan

  • 25 February 2015 10am-4pm

The Avro Vulcan is now open for access on the last Wednesday of every 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."

James Edensor, Vulcan Access Participant

TICKETS
Tickets are now on sale at £25.00 per person plus a 50p booking fee. Click here to book your ticket. https://royalairforcemuseum.digitickets.co.uk/tickets

Please note: the museum reserves the right to refuse entry to any participant who is not physically able enough to access the Vulcan. There is a minimum age limit of 16 for this event.

GET IN TOUCH
If you would like more information then please contact the Event Organiser by emailing whatson@rafmuseum.org or call our switchboard on 0208 205 2266.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

TICKETS
Tickets are now on sale at £25.00 per person plus a 50p booking fee. Click here to book your ticket. https://royalairforcemuseum.digitickets.co.uk/tickets

Please note: the museum reserves the right to refuse entry to any participant who is not physically able enough to access the Vulcan. There is a minimum age limit of 16 for this event.

Website

http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/access-the-avr/

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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