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/

Wings of Love

Wings of Love

  • 14 April 2017 — 19 February 2018 *on now

‘Wings of Love’ is inspired by sweetheart brooches from the Museum’s collections, on display in this exhibition. Sweetheart brooches were gifts typically in the form of regimental badges, given by airmen to their wives, girlfriends and family members.

The exhibition has been co-curated with our local schools and colleges and includes original objects and documents from the Museum’s collection as well as the student’s own work created in response to the theme.


‘Wings of Love’s is accompanied by a programme of live dance performances by Middlesex University BA Dance studies students :

Saturday 20 May 2017 12.30 & 14.30
Sunday 21 May 2017 12.30 & 14.30
Saturday 14 Oct 2017 12.30 & 14.30
Sunday 15 Oct 2017 12.30 & 14.30
Saturday 11 Nov 2017 Time TBC
Sunday 12 Nov 12.30 & 14.30

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Attendance at the exhibition is free of charge

Website

http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/wings-of-love/

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.
A member of the public siting in our Phantom Cockpit

The Phantom Experience

  • 15 July — 30 December 2017 *on now

The McDonnell Douglas Phantom FGR2 is an iconic aircraft that formed a major part of the Royal Air Force’s combat aircraft strength for 23 years. We are now offering visitors the opportunity to sit in this fascinating piece of Cold War technology.

Our Phantom has a remarkable history; it took part in a commemorative Transatlantic Flight and was painted in special colours. These colours celebrated 60 years since Alcock and Brown completed the first transatlantic flight in 1919. After the celebrations, the Phantom was painted in the colours of the 56 Squadron. It was brought to the RAF Museum London in 1992 after accruing over 5000 hours of flight time. It is now displayed with a full load of deactivated Sidewinder and Skyflash missiles, fuel drop tanks and a centre-line Gatling cannon located the heart of the Historic Hangars.

Each Phantom Experience session booked caters for one individual and lasts approximately 10 minutes. Our wonderful volunteers will guide you into the cockpit and explain how the aircraft would have been operated. Before you book your tickets please read our access terms and conditions located at www.rafmuseum.org/whatson.

Suitable for

  • 11-13
  • 14-15
  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

Admission to this guided tour is £8 plus 50p booking fee.

Website

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/the-phantom-experience/

Hendon Aerodrome circa 1922

Local History Walking Tours

  • 29 October 2017 11am-12pm, 2-3pm

Join us on a fascinating walking tour of our local area and discover the history of aviation in Hendon from the arrival of Claude Grahame-White's Flying School and Aerodrome through to the opening of the Museum and the recent development of the local area.

Each tour will last an hour, just meet at our Reception at either 11.00 am or 2.00 pm on the above date.

This activity is suitable for participants aged 8 and above.

Suitable for

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

Admission

Participation in this event is free of charge

Join us for an Airfix extravangza

Airfix Make and Takes

  • 23 — 27 October 2017 *on now

Join us in our First World War in the Air Gallery for an Airfix extravaganza. Just drop in and chose the aircraft you want to build and paint! All materials will be provided by the Museum, just purchase your ticket on arrival at Reception. The charge is £3 per kit

Please note this activity is not suitable for children under the age of 5. Children will need to be supervised by an adult and may require assistance with the model making.

Suitable for

  • 5-6
  • 7-10
  • 11-13
  • 14-15
  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

Participation at this event is £3 per kit

Website

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/air-fix-make-and-take-october-half-term/

Take part in Messy Planes

Messy Planes

  • 24 October 2017 11am-12pm

Bring your little ones along for a fun messy play session. Paint giant paper planes, and get sticky whilst helping us make our huge roundel. Make sure they are in old clothes and be prepared for a bit of mess. This activity will take place in Aeronauts, please ask at Reception for directions.

This activity is for ages 2-5. Children will need to be supervised by their adult at all times. Please book in advance to avoid disappointment.

Tickets booked £3 in advanced

Suitable for

  • 0-4

Admission

Admission to this event is £3 per child. Tickets must be bought in advance.

Website

https://royalairforcemuseum.digitickets.co.uk/event/2620279?catID=11112

Come Join us for a very special Museums at Night Celebration

Open Cockpits

  • 27 — 28 October 2017 6:30-9:30pm
  • 28 October 2017 6:30-9:30pm

This October, as part of the Museum’s at Night Festival, come and get closer than ever before to our fantastic collection of aircraft at the RAF Museum in London.


Ticket holders to our Open Cockpits evening will have the opportunity to get a close up view of our iconic aircraft, sit in our Helicopters and even peer inside our fast jets. It’s a unique chance to see the Museum open after hours!

General Admission: £13 (including a 50p booking fee)
This ticket allows you access to the following aircraft.

Merlin Helicopter

Whirlwind (viewing only)

Wessex Helicopter

HE162 (viewing only)

Vampire (viewing only)

ME109G (viewing only)

Sycamore (viewing only)

Chipmunk

Jet Provost 5

Gazelle

F4 Phantom

Vulcan ticket: £30 (including a 50p booking fee)
Your Vulcan experience will last 15 minutes and you will be assigned a time upon arrival. When you arrive for you allotted time a member of the museum team will talk you through the access before you ascend the first ladder. Once inside the crew area you will have the opportunity to take photos and ask as many questions as you like. After this, if you are able, you will climb the last ladder which leads you into the cockpit where you will take the pilots seat. This ticket will allow you access to our Vulcan and the aircraft included in the general admission ticket (it doesn’t give you access to the Lancaster or Spitfire).

Lancaster ticket: £20 (including a 50p booking fee)
Your experience will last 10 minutes and you will be assigned a time upon arrival to the event. An experienced Aircraft Technician will greet you, briefly instruct you on safety and then take you up on our scissor lift to view inside the cockpit of the Lancaster. Once at the top you will be free to take photos and ask any questions. This ticket will allow you access to our Lancaster and the aircraft included in the general admission ticket (it doesn’t give you access to the Vulcan or Spitfire).

Spitfire ticket: £15 (including a 50p booking fee)
Climb inside the Spitfire MK16 and take the pilot’s seat, learn about the aircraft and see what it would have been like to fly a Spitfire. This experience will last 10 minutes and you will be able to take photos when seated in the cockpit. You will be assigned a time upon arrival to access the Spitfire. This ticket will allow you access to our Spitfire and the aircraft included in the general admission ticket (it doesn’t give you access to the Vulcan or Lancaster).

Please note: Access into the cockpits is via sets of ladders and steps; you must be physically able to climb these and lift your legs in and out of the cockpits. The size of cockpits vary, if the museum feels that it is not safe or possible for you to access a cockpit we reserve the right to refuse access. Please read the terms and conditions on the ticket booking page before making payment.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Tickets are now currently on sale from £13 to £30 (plus 50p booking)

Website

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/open-cockpits-2017/

William Robinson Clarke

William Robinson Clarke - Kingston Boy to Fly Boy

  • 29 October 2017 11am-4pm

Join us for a very special day, as we commemorate the centenary of the first African-Caribbean Pilot in the Royal Flying Corps to win his ‘wings.’

William Robinson Clarke was born in Kingston, Jamaica, on 4 October 1895. With the outbreak of war, ‘Robbie’ Clarke paid his own passage to Britain and joined the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) on 26 July 1915. At first, he served as an air mechanic, but on 18 October he was posted to France as a driver with an observation balloon company. Clarke wanted to fly, however, and in December 1916 he was accepted for pilot training in England. In 1917, Clarke qualified as an aviator and was promoted to Sergeant.
IRIE! Dance Theatre
Alex D'Great

To commemorate his life, we will be holding a day of storytelling, music and dance that celebrates the best of Jamaican and Caribbean culture. Listen to the sweet Calypso melodies of award-winning troubadour Alexander D' Great, be captivated by the rhythmic Jamaican dance performed by IRIE! dance theatre and be enthralled by the stories, songs and music of Winston Nzinga.

We will be serving delicious West Indian food throughout the day and to complete the day, famous songs and music from the First World War will be played on the steel pans by St Michael and All Angels Steel Orchestra.

Curator Peter Devitt will offer a fascinating insight into Robbie’s life with a talk about his achievements; and with a guided tour of our award-winning First World War in the Air Gallery, describing the lives of the African-Caribbean and Asian aviators who flew during the conflict.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Admission to this drop in activity is free of charge

Website

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/william-robinson-clarke-kingston-boy-to-fly-boy/

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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