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, Gallery, Library, Archive, 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.
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/

War Brides

War Brides

  • 3 October 2018 — 15 September 2019 *on now

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.
The Vulcan and Cold War Experience

The Vulcan and Cold War Experience

  • 30 April 2019 10:15am-12:45pm
  • 28 May 2019 10:15am-12:45pm
  • 25 June 2019 10:15am-12:45pm
  • 30 July 2019 10:15am-12:45pm
  • 27 August 2019 10:15am-12:45pm
  • 24 September 2019 10:15am-12:45pm
  • 29 October 2019 10:15am-12:45pm
  • 26 November 2019 10:15am-12:45pm

The Vulcan and Cold War Experience is back for 2019, giving you the chance to get up close and explore some of the most significant Cold War aircraft in the RAF Museum’s collection.
Tickets: £50.00

The Experience
Ticket holders will have the chance to explore two of the Cold War’s most iconic aircraft; the Avro Vulcan B.2. and the McDonnell Douglas Phantom FGR.2, which between them tell a story of uncertainty and tension that loomed over the world for decades. You will gain special access to both these mighty warriors, and allow you to climb in to and take a seat in the cockpit of the Vulcan and the pilot’s seat of the Phantom. This is a rare opportunity to experience what it was like to fly these great aircraft. Ticket holders will also be given a full ground tour, with the chance to get up and close to other significant Cold War aircraft, including the BAC Lightning F.6, the Handley Page Victor K2, and the English Electric Canberra PR3, and hear fascinating real-life stories of the people who flew the aircraft.

The Vulcan and Cold War Experience runs the last Tuesday of every month at the RAF Museum in London. Time slots are available from 10.20am to 12.40am on these days, one person per session:

29 January

26 February

26 March

30 April

28 May

25 June

30 July

27 August

24 September

29 October

26 November

Ticket information:

Please arrive at the Museum fifteen minutes before your chosen time, this will give you time to make your way to the Vulcan, located in the far corner of Hangar 5. 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 booking.

Book your tickets now!

Access Terms & Conditions for The Vulcan and Cold War Experience:
For the Vulcan you must be physically fit to climb two ladders, pulling your body weight up them. There is a narrow gap between the pilots seat which some visitors may not be able to access.
The Phantom requires you to climb a number of steps and to climb over the side of the aircraft; you must be able to support your own body weight when climbing in and out.
You must be over the age of 16 to purchase a ticket and access the cockpits.
Please wear trousers or shorts. Skirts and dresses may prevent or restrict access.
Please wear flat shoes with a good grip on them. Please note, we cannot allow the public access without appropriate footwear.
You may take pictures once inside the cockpits – please come with a camera that can be zipped into a pocket or a camera with a strap.
If your Aircraft Access Volunteer feels it is not safe or possible for you to access the cockpits of either the Phantom or the Vulcan then we reserve the right to refuse access.
Please arrive for your access slot on time, if you are running late and miss your booked time then the Museum reserves the right to refuse access.
The Museum does not offer refunds for missed bookings or 'no shows'
Each experience ticket, and subsequent session booked, is only valid for one person. If you wish to book more than one ticket we would recommend booking two consecutive sessions.
By purchasing a ticket for Vulcan and Cold War Experience you are agreeing to adhere to the Museum's terms and conditions as above.

For more information about the Cold War Experience or if you have any questions please email us at whatsonlondon@rafmuseum.org.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

£50

Website

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/the-vulcan-and-cold-war-experience/

Immersive Histories: Dambusters at the RAF Museum London

Immersive Histories: Dambusters

  • 8 April — 15 September 2019 *on now

Using the latest virtual reality and haptic technology, in conjunction with a physical 1:1 recreation of the interior of the iconic Avro Lancaster bomber, experience key events from the Dambusters Raid as never before. Witness decisive moments play out before you as you explore the aircraft piloted by Wing Commander Guy Gibson DSO and Bar, DFC and Bar.

Listen to communications between the crew as their mission progresses. Monitor the aircraft’s altitude and route as you gaze out of the Lancaster’s windows. Witness the Ruhr Valley as it whizzes past at very low altitude; feel the tension increase as each Lancaster endeavours to bust the Möhne Dam, before learning the outcome of your mission.

Each detail has been painstakingly recreated using primary accounts from crew members who flew the mission, and with the assistance of experts on Operation CHASTISE and the Avro Lancaster bomber.

Access Details
Flying with the Dambusters is an experience to be cherished. To make sure that you are fully prepped for your immersive Virtual Reality experience, please read our Terms and Conditions before buying your ticket. This experience is suitable for visitors aged 13+ only.

If after reading our Terms and Conditions you are still unsure whether you can totally immerse yourself in our Dambusters Virtual Reality Experience and fully enjoy it safely, please consult with your doctor before purchasing your tickets.

Suitable for

  • 14-15
  • 18+
  • 16-17

Admission

£10.00 General Visitors,
£8.00 Museum Members

Website

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/immersive-histories-dambusters/

Animal Easter Trail at the RAF Museum London

Animal Easter Trail

  • 8 — 22 April 2019 *on now

The Easter Bunny has lots of his animal friends in the Museum, come and find them and find out why they might be hiding underneath our aircraft. You will receive a delicious chocolate prize when you find all the animals.

Tickets are £3 per child and can be purchased at the shop on arrival to Hangar 1.

The trail is suitable for children of any age, but younger ones might need help from their grownups. The start line will be underneath our Sunderland Flying Boat, so once you have paid for your trail head there to find the start line. Once you have found all the animals hidden around the Museum, just hand your completed trail sheet in at the finish line to collect your eggs-celent prize!

The trail runs from 11.00am to 3.00pm, we will stop selling tickets at 2.30pm and the finish line will stay open until 3.15pm, to give everyone a chance to collect their prize.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£3 per child

Website

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

ESOL Conversation Café at the RAF Museum London

ESOL Conversation Café

  • 15 April — 15 May 2019 *on now
  • 24 April 2019 1-2:30pm
  • 1 May 2019 1-2:30pm
  • 8 May 2019 1-2:30pm
  • 22 May 2019 1-2:30pm
  • 5 June 2019 1-2:30pm
  • 12 June 2019 1-2:30pm
  • 19 June 2019 1-2:30pm
  • 26 June 2019 1-2:30pm

Do you speak English as a second language? Do you need help with your English speaking and listening? If so, join us at the ESOL Conversation Café where English speakers will help you to practise using the language. We focus on different topics each week, for example health, money, travel, and let the conversation flow from there.

The Museum, with Barnet and Southgate College, are working together to run the Conversation Café. We work with all levels.

To join, turn up at Claude’s Restaurant, RAF Museum, with your personal identification (UK Passport, residency card, drivers licence, etc.) to enrol with the college.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/esol-conversation-caf/

First World War Flying Machines at the RAF Museum London

First World War Flying Machines

  • 25 April 2019 6:30-9:30pm

Join us for an exciting evening stepping over the barriers and peering inside some of the earliest aircraft in our collection.

Explore these astounding early machines that tell the story of the development of flight from aerial reconnaissance to the protection of civilian populations and ground troops during the First World War. We will bring to life some of the early stories of flight in the RFC and RAF. This is a fantastic opportunity get up close to aircraft such as the Royal Aircraft Factory SE5A or the Bleriot XXVII.

We are also able to offer a small number of people access to our Albatros D.Va Replica, these tickets are very limited so make sure you don’t miss out.

There are a number of access terms and conditions around this event, due to the delicate nature of the aircraft. Please read the following before purchasing a ticket.

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

Standard Ticket: £10.00
Member Ticket: £5.00
Albatros Access Ticket: £15.00

Website

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/first-world-war-flying-machines/

Trenchard Lectures: Mass Production Methods and the Aircraft Engine

Trenchard Lectures: Mass Production Methods and the Aircraft Engine

  • 30 April 2019 6:30-8:30pm

The lecture will be held at the Royal Aeronautical Society, London

Edward Young, currently undertaking a PhD at Kings College London in collaboration the Royal Air Force Museum, will discuss the mass production methods of aircraft engine in the Second World War.

TALK OUTLINE
Air power made a vital contribution to Allied victory in World War II. What is missing from so many of the narratives on Allied air power, however, is much substantive discussion, or even mention, of the production of the most vital component of all aircraft, the aircraft engine. While there are many studies of British and American war production in the Second World War, most do not go beyond celebrating what is often referred to as ‘the miracle of mass production”.

The UK and USA built aircraft in prodigious numbers. Between 1939 and 1945, the UK produced 131,549 aircraft while the USA built 324,750 aircraft for the American military services and Allied nations. This production record has become, especially in America, part of the story of the fabled ‘Arsenal of Democracy’ that turned the tide in World War II. Yet if the production of aircraft engines had not been equally successful, this air armada would have amounted to little more than a mass of useless aluminium.

As Paul Kennedy has noted, the implementation of grand strategy is often taken for granted. ‘We rarely inquire deeply’, Kennedy says, ‘into the mechanics and dynamics of strategic success and failure, yet it is a very important realm of inquiry, though still rather neglected.’

The standard narrative of wartime production is that the mobilisation of British and American industry was straightforward, a matter of applying more money, more labour, and mass production methods to convert what were essentially civilian industries and civilian technologies to the production of war material. In fact, the manufacture of aircraft engines was far from a straightforward case of mass production.

The production of aircraft engines was not readily adaptable to automotive methods of mass production and required a mode of production incorporating greater flexibility to allow for the complexity of aircraft engine construction, continuous improvements in existing designs and the development of new engine models. Critical to the success in achieving quantity production of aircraft engines was the careful adaptation of mass production methods to aircraft engine production, specifically the introduction and adaptation of flow production methods, the effective use of general and specialised machine tools to replace skilled labour and the simplification of the production process to allow the progressive de-skilling of the work force.

The record of Allied aircraft engine production in World War II was remarkably successful, but it required more hard work and coordinated effort than most realise.

LOCATION AND TIME
The lecture will be held at the Royal Aeronautical Society at 6.30pm on Tuesday 30 April 2019. The lecture will be proceeded by a short ceremony to celebrate the winners of the Royal Air Force Museum Centenary Academic Awards

TICKETS
This lecture is free of charge however we do ask that you pre-book a free ticket as seats are limited.

ABOUT Edward Young
Edward Young graduated from Harvard University with a BA in Political Science in 1971 and received an MA in Political Science from the University of Washington in 1976. After university he served two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Thailand. He spent eight years as a commercial banker with assignments in New York and Hong Kong before joining Moody’s Investor’s Service, a leading bond rating agency. He spent twenty years with Moody’s as a financial analyst and managing director, with assignments in New York, London, Tokyo and Hong Kong before retiring in 2004. In 2015 Young completed an MA in the History of Warfare (with distinction) at King’s College London. He is currently working on a PhD in the History of Technology at King’s College. Young is the author of fifteen books and monographs on aviation and military history.

ABOUT THE RAF MUSEUM RESEARCH PROGRAMME
The Trenchard Lectures in Air Power Studies form a part of the RAF Museum’s Research Programme for 2018. This programme consists of the First World War in the Air Lunchtime Lectures at our London site, the Cold War Lunchtime lectures at our Cosford site and other events such as conferences. For further details about the Research Programme please contact: research@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.


Please note that lectures may be subject to change.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Where

Royal Aeronautical Society
4 Hamilton Pl, Mayfair,
London
London
W1J 7BQ
England

Website

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/trenchard-lectures-in-air-power/

Join us for an Evening of Gin and Swing

Late: Gin and Swing

  • 9 May 2019 7-10:30pm

Gin Jamboree!
Gin lovers rejoice! It will be G&T heaven at our bar for the evening, choose from a huge menu of gins and listen to the master talk about that much-loved spirit.

Tricity Vogue and the All Girl Swing Band
Tricity Vogue formed her All Girl Swing Band in 2011 inspired by bandleader Ivy Benson, whose All Girl Swing Band became the BBC Resident Dance Band in 1943 and was the first band to play in liberated Berlin after World War Two. They will certainly get your toes tapping with their quirky swing take on some modern tunes!

Photo Booth
Try on our RAF uniforms and strike a pose at our photo booth.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

£5

Website

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/late-gin-and-swing/

Open Air Cinema at the RAF Museum London

Open Air Cinema

  • 24 — 25 May 2019 7:30-10:30pm

Bring your picnic blanket, get comfy and cosy up in front of a big screen for a night of movie magic. Comfy deckchairs will be available to hire in advance and there will be a full bar and a selection of delicious food on sale.

Doors will open at 7.30pm, you will have the opportunity to look around Hangar 1 and grab a bite to eat before the movie starts at 9.00pm.

Friday 24 May - Black Panther
2018 - 12A - 134 mins
Doors at 7.30pm

Black Panther is the story of T'Challa, King of Wakanda who has to fight to save his nation when he is drawn into a conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the world at risk. This is one of Marvel's best superhero films and not be missed!

Saturday 25 May
The power is in your hands for our Saturday night screening, choose your favourite film to watch from these five options, by voting on Twitter or Facebook!

Mary Poppins Returns (U)
The Greatest Showman (PG)
Incredibles 2 (PG)
Solo: A Star Wars Story (12A)
Wonder Woman (12A)

Make sure you cast your vote before 20 April and keep your eyes peeled for the chosen film which will be announced on Monday 22 April!

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Standard Ticket: £12.50
Child’s Ticket: £10
Deckchair hire: £5

Website

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/open-air-cinema/

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

logo: Museums at Night

Website

http://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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