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 — 25 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.
Join us for Open Cockpits on 24 February

100 Open Cockpits and Cabs

  • 27 April 2018 6-9pm
  • 21 September 2018 6-9pm
  • 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

Just one of the many photographs on display

Royal Air Force Photographer of the Year

  • 6 December 2017 — 28 February 2018 *on now

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 will be the 'People's Photograph' as voted for by members of the public during Summer 2017.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Admission to this photographic display is free of charge

Little Swifts

Little Swifts

  • 26 February 2018 10:30-11:30am
  • 13 March 2018 10:30-11:30am
  • 29 March 2018 10:30-11:30am
  • 26 April 2018 10:30-11:30am
  • 8 May 2018 10:30-11:30am
  • 24 May 2018 10:30-11:30am
  • 12 June 2018 10:30-11:30am
  • 28 June 2018 10:30-11:30am
  • 10 July 2018 10:30-11:30am
  • 19 July 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. Advanced registration is required to attend. To do so, please email learning-london@rafmuseum.org

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/

Cold War Experience Images

The Vulcan and Cold War Experience

  • 27 February 2018 10:15am-12:30pm
  • 27 March 2018 10:15am-12:30pm
  • 24 April 2018 10:15am-12:30pm
  • 29 May 2018 10:15am-12:30pm
  • 26 June 2018 10:15am-12:30pm
  • 24 July 2018 10:15am-12:30pm

Our Vulcan, Phantom and Lightning are three of the Cold War’s most iconic aircraft. Between, them they tell a story of uncertainty and tension that loomed over the world for decades. Vulcan and Cold War ticket holders have special access to these mighty warriors:

- The cockpit of the Avro Vulcan B.2
- The pilot’s seat of the McDonnell Douglas Phantom FGR.2
- A ground crew tour of the BAC Lightning F.6.

The Vulcan and Cold War Experience runs the last Tuesday of every month at the RAF Museum London. Time slots are available from 10.20am to 12.20am, one person per session.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Tickets cost £49.50. Please arrive at Museum Reception five minutes before your chosen time and head straight to the Vulcan. Our team of Aircraft Access Volunteers will take you through your experience. Each session will last between 45 minutes and an hour. Please ensure you have read our access terms and conditions below before your visit.

Website

https://royalairforcemuseum.digitickets.co.uk/events/13392?catID=12167&

W.E. Johns

The Life and Works of W.E. Johns

  • 10 March 2018 1-2:30pm

As an enthusiast and collector of the works of W.E. Johns, Richard will look back at the life of the RAF pilot who inspired generations of young people with tales of heroism and bravery in the skies.

Admission to this talk is free of charge. But we would ask that you reserve your seat in advance by booking it.

The talk will take place in the Museum's Lecture Theatre.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Non applicable. Admission to this talk is free of charge. Please reserve your seat in advance.

Website

https://royalairforcemuseum.digitickets.co.uk/event/3005288?catID=12957

British Science Week

British Science Week

  • 12 — 16 March 2018
  • 17 March 2018 11am-5pm

Join us in the Main Reception to make your own quick ‘Bernoulli Blower’ experiment that you can take home to fascinate your friends and family.

This activity is free and suitable for ages 5 – 12. Drop in any time between 11.00am and 3.00pm Monday 12 March to Friday 16 or from 11.00am to 4.00pm on Saturday 17 March.

Making your own Bernoulli Blower is suitable for families or small groups. Unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate whole classes, but the activity can be enjoyed by smaller groups of students as part of your visit to the Museum.

Suitable for

  • 5-6
  • 11-13
  • 7-10

Admission

Participation in this drop in event is free. Just turn up on the day to take part.

Animal Easter Trail

Animal Easter Trail

  • 31 March — 6 April 2018

Come and take part in out Animal Easter Trail at the RAF Museum. Can you find all the animals in the museum and the aircraft they belong to?

Where do you think our Grasshopper and Bat live and which aircraft do they belong to? Find out on the Animal Easter Trail.

The trail is suitable for children of any age, but younger ones might need help from their grownups. Please pick your trail up on arrival at the Museum, at our starting line. Once you have found all the animals please hand your completed trail sheet in at the finish line! There might even be a delicious chocolate prize waiting for you.

The trail runs from 11am to 4pm, we will stop selling tickets at 3.30pm and the finish line will stay open until 4.15pm, to give everyone a chance to collect their prize.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Price £3 per trail

Website

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/easter-animal-trail/

RAF Day - Private Event

RAF Day - Private Event

  • 10 May 2018 10am-4pm

2018 marks 100 years of the RAF and on Thursday 10 May the Royal Air Force Museum is inviting Veterans and current serving RAF personnel from across the world to celebrate RAF Day at the Museum.

During this special reunion, hosted by Museum staff, our RAF colleagues and Veterans will be treated to a special preview of our brand-new Hangar 1, which houses two new, innovative galleries exploring the first 100 years of the RAF, its roles today and invites visitors to imagine its future contribution and technology. The hangar has been redeveloped specifically for the RAF 100th anniversary so will provide a fitting space for veterans and serving personnel to share their stories.

As part of our RAF Centenary Programme, the Museum will also be launching a new digital project called RAF Stories; an online digital project which aims to inspire participants to share accounts of the Royal Air Force. RAF Stories seeks to find stories, not just from former and serving personnel, but also from their friends and family as well as extended partners who work closely with the RAF. Our RAF Stories team will be on hand on the day to collect stories and provide information on this new online archive.

The day’s events also include a flypast (details TBC), live music, tours, refreshments and the chance to catch up with colleagues old and new. With service men and women joining in from across the country, it is set to be a truly memorable and sentimental gathering.

The invitation to attend is open to all who have and who do serve in the RAF and we hope that all squadrons and bases base can be represented.

The event is open exclusively to RAF Veteran and current personnel. To register your interest please email groups@rafmuseum.org or call 020 8358 4849.

Please note: This is a private event for current and ex-Serving personnel and their guests. As a result the Museum will be closed to the public all day on 10 May.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

The event is open exclusively to RAF Veteran and current personnel. To register your interest please email groups@rafmuseum.org or call 020 8358 4849.

Website

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/veterans-day-private-event/

Join us for the 2018 Spitfire10k

2018 Spitfire 10k

  • 1 September 2018 9-11am

In 2018 we are offering 800 runners the opportunity to run a 10K on our historic airfield site. 2018 is a big year for the Royal Air Force and for the Museum. We have three new exhibitions and a beautiful landscaped site, evoking the London Aerodrome from 100 year ago. You will start under the Sunderland and run through the site and then continue around the streets of Colindale, before coming back on site to finish on our ‘taxiway’.

At the end of the race you will be awarded with an exclusive Spitfire 10K medal, which will be extra special for 2018 as this year will be the centenary of the Royal Air Force.

T-shirts can be ordered when you purchase your Spitfire 10K entry and will be available for collection on the day. The deadline to pre-order your t-shirt is Sunday 12 August 2018.

The 2018 design will be released in the next few months so watch this space.

Entry to the Museum is free of charge and runners, spectators and supporters are encouraged to explore the site on race day.

For 2018 we will also be holding a NEW Spitfire Family Run. This gentle run will take place around our transformed site. Each registered runner will receive a special medal upon completion. The race is suitable for all ages, but children under 16 years must be accompanied by an adult. Please note that only paying participants will be awarded a medal.

Entry Fee
SPITFIRE 10K
Standard entry fee: £22.50
Discounted entry fee: £20.50 (Members of UK Athletics affiliated clubs and Armed Forces Personnel)

All runners to be 15 years and older. Online entry includes a 50p booking fee.
Held under UK Athletic Rules. UKA Licence applied for.

You may purchase your tickets online by going to the ticketing URL.

Why support us?
The Spitfire 10K will take place in both London and Cosford sites and will form part of a series of events taking place across the country celebrating and commemorating the history and achievements of the Royal Air Force and inspiring young people.

It is also an opportunity to raise vital funds for the RAF100 Appeal, which is a joint venture between the Royal Air Force and the four major RAF charities – the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund, the Royal Air Forces Association, the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust and the Royal Air Force Museum. The aim of the Appeal is to raise money for the RAF family and to create a lasting legacy as we celebrate 100 years of the Royal Air Force in 2018.

More information on how you can raise money for the RAF100 Appeal will be launched very soon!

Details for the day
The Spitfire 10K will take place at 9.00am on Saturday 1 September 2018. The Spitfire Family Run will take place before the main event at 8.30am.

On site facilities include: toilets, disabled parking, bag drop for runners, restaurant and Museum Shop (all of which will be open early).

We are only a short walk from Colindale tube, so why not arrive by public transport? For more information and advice on planning your visit click here

Dress in style
Why not do something different and do the Spitfire 10K in 1940s dress? Don your victory curls or flying jacket and run this event in style! Need some ideas for your outfit? Here's a few from our previous events...

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Standard entry fee: £22.50
Discounted entry fee: £20.50 (Members of UK Athletics affiliated clubs and Armed Forces Personnel)

Website

https://royalairforcemuseum.digitickets.co.uk/event/2677666?catID=11514

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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