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.
The Royal Air Force Museum’s purpose is to tell the story of the RAF through is people and collections.

Discover a place of storytelling and sharing, revealed through the fascinating stories of serving RAF personnel, veterans, cadets and reserves. Explore innovative, accessible exhibitions dedicated to technological development, archive documents, personal items and the heritage of our sites. Our stories are drawn from times of war and keeping the peace, at home and abroad. They include tales of courage, fear, love, loss and
laughter. Find out about them through our galleries and online and contribute stories of your own.

Drop in for a visit, debate the future, test your flying skills, marvel at our aircraft and explore the fascinating history of the first 100 years of the RAF.
Enjoy an invigorating cup of coffee underneath the wings of our Sunderland Flying Boat or in our restaurant, before immersing yourself in one of our 4D or VR experiences. Younger visitors will love our themed outdoor play area and calendar of family events.

A FREE, fun and fantastic day out for everyone.

Venue Type:

Museum, Gallery, Library, Archive, Heritage site, Science centre, Historic house or home

Opening hours

10am - 6pm

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/

Photography competition

RAF Photographer of the Year: 2019 Photographic Competition

  • 9 December 2019 — 25 October 2020 *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.

We will be showing the winning entries of the 2019 Competition in a unique display which opens to the public on 12 May, in London's first ever external display. Visitors will be greeted with the competition's winning images as they make their way to the Museum's Main Entrance.

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 2019.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/raf-photographer-of-the-year-2018-photographic-co/

Vulcan cockpit

The Vulcan and Cold War Experience 2020

  • 28 January — 22 November 2020 *on now

Ticket holders will have the chance to explore two of the Cold War’s most iconic aircraft; the Avro Vulcan B2. and the McDonnell Douglas Phantom FGR2, 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 F6, the Handley Page Victor K2, and the English Electric Canberra PR3, and hear fascinating real-life stories of the people who flew the aircraft.

Carrying on with last year, sessions will be held on the last Tuesday of every month with time slots available from 10.20am - 12.40pm.

Due to the high demand of the 2019 exhibition we have also decided to include both the Wednesday and the Saturday of the last month as well - with the timings of 12.00pm - 2.20pm.

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/

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 18+
  • Not suitable for children

Admission

£50.00

Website

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/the-vulcan-and-cold-war-experience-2020/

Walter Nessler's Premonition

In Air and Fire: War Artists, the Battle of Britain and the Blitz

  • 27 March 2020 — 28 March 2021 *on now

Visitors can view over sixty works of art, several of which will be on display for the first time as part of this exhibition. Entry is free and visitors to the RAF Museum will have until 28 March 2021 to view the work.

As sky battles unfolded across the South and East of England in the summer of 1940, followed by cities’ bombardment in proceeding months, artists produced a pictorial record of the war, many of their works commissioned and purchased by Sir Kenneth Clark’s War Artists’ Advisory Committee (WAAC).

The exhibition features works by Official War Artists, including Paul Nash, Graham Sutherland, Carel Weight, Anthony Gross, Richard Eurich and Eric Kennington. Yet it extends beyond the prominent male members of the British School, championed by Clark, to reflect the full range of war artists’ contributions. It seeks to bring together the stories and perspectives of artists from diverse backgrounds, highlighting the best of collection works from the period.

Comprising around half of the curated selection, the exhibition celebrates the works of women war artists, most of whom were overlooked for commissions, whose pictures were typically purchased by the patriarchal WAAC or produced for independent projects. They include Laura Knight, Doris Zinkeisen, Eve Kirk, Olga Lehmann, Rachel Reckitt, Mary Viola Paterson, Enid Abrahams, Elva Blacker, Elsie Gledstanes and Lilian Buchanan. Unofficial war artists, many involved with the relief effort of the Blitz, also contributed significant works on themes of civil defence and devastation.

Modernist artists drew inspiration from the formidable forms of fighter and bomber aircraft, representing them in themes of manufacture, repair, camouflage, and aerial operations. As the ‘personalities’ of modern warfare, planes became new portrait subjects. If ever more powerful aircraft inspired artists to evoke an ‘automative’ war, so too were they excited by the expressive possibilities of other new apparatus. The barrage balloon was an alluring subject for figurative artists, an ungainly behemoth, incongruous to the landscapes of everyday life, seemingly mightier than its human operatives.

But the human presence in this war was far from overlooked. Beyond the carapaces of their machines, pilots and crew of Fighter and Bomber Commands were famed in portraits promoting the achievements of the RAF. Furthermore, artist members of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force naturally documented the familiar people and spaces of the RAF stations they served. And with the onslaught of the Blitz, artists addressed domestic themes such as the Air Raid Precaution and fire services, ambulance and rescue work, and communal sheltering.

Alongside shelter, the blighted landscape became a major propagandist subject, to be reproduced across the world to proclaim Britain’s plight and fortitude. In updating the ruin scene, suggestive of a Romantic past, artists enshrined the memory and persistence of British culture. German exile Walter Nessler’s Premonition (1937) foretold a London Blitz, presenting an uncanny, dystopian vision of St Paul’s Cathedral rising from an inferno of twisted girders, shattered buildings and scattered buses.

RAF Museum Curator of Fine Art, Julia Beaumont-Jones said:
“As the exhibition will reveal, artists’ interests to interpret this war of ‘air and fire’ were diverse – influenced by the exigencies of employment; excited by new subjects to represent; and driven by a will to express experiences both shared and personal. Seeing these works together offers a rare insight into the diverse backgrounds and perspectives of war artists – from the prominent members of the British School who were officially commissioned, and the formerly overlooked contributions of women artists, to the work of the ‘civil defence artist’, the exiled artist, and the amateur ‘outsider artist’.”

Complementing the exhibition is a Mezzanine Gallery display of related work by Fine Art and Printmaking students from Middlesex University.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Non Applicable

Website

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/in-air-and-fire-war-artists-the-battle-of-britai/

GP Mural

Community Arts and Culture Exhibition

  • 4 April — 1 September 2020 *on now

This exhibition showcases the exciting courses and sessions that ran as part of the local Arts and Culture Scheme.

This scheme was a partnership between The RAF Museum, Barnet and Southgate College, Notting Hill Genesis and the Colindale Communities Trust, who saw the need to boost the local free arts and culture offer. Courses include art for wellbeing, photography, ceramics and the painting of a huge community mural.

The exhibition will include art created as part of these courses alongside information about groups involved and the impact that the courses had.

The exhibition is located in our temporary exhibition space in Hangar 2 and is free to visit.


We would like to thank our partners Notting Hill Genesis, Colindale Communities Trust and Barnet and Southgate College.

Suitable for

  • Any age
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.
Animal Trail

Animal Easter Trail

  • 4 — 19 April 2020 *on now

The start line will be underneath our Sunderland Flying Boat, so once you have paid for your trail in the shop 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-cellent prize!
Tickets and times:
Tickets are £3 per child and can be purchased at the shop on arrival to Hangar 1.

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.

The trail is suitable for children of any age, but younger ones might need help from their grownups.

Useful information:

We anticipate that the Easter weekend will be extremely busy, so please note that parking could be limited at the Museum

For information about travelling to the Museum on public transport please click here.
There plenty of family friendly facilities at the Museum, please click here for more information.

The trail will take you around most of the Hangars, so be prepared to walk a fair amount during the activity

If you are planning on seeing the whole museum, the trail is a great way to keep children entertained as you visit. There will be clues in each Hangar.

The prize for completing the trial is a Cadbury’s Chocolate Egg. If your child is allergic or cannot eat Chocolate, there will be an alternative prize available.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

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

Legacy of War Lunchtime Lecture: Britain and the Commonwealth's War in the Air

Legacy of War Lunchtime Lecture: Britain and the Commonwealth's War in the Air

  • 17 April 2020 12-3pm

This talk identifies six themes in Britain and the Commonwealth’s war in the air and explains why they either hindered or assisted the RAF and its Commonwealth allies in prosecuting the air war. These include:

Flawed pre-War operational concepts. How the pre-war dominance of the strategic bomber offensive marginalised operational concepts in other areas, including air-ground cooperation and air-maritime cooperation. How continued faith that the strategic bomber offensive could independently win the war persisted throughout the conflict with negative consequences.

Prepared for a long war. An explanation of how the RAF prepared for the long war by producing shadow factories, the British Commonwealth Air Training Programme and a resilient manpower structure that allowed it to man and equip an Air Force that would peak at over 1.1m personnel.

The impressive ability for the RAF to innovate in contact. It is essential that militaries adapt to the changing character of conflict. The RAF demonstrated skill in harnessing tactical and technological innovations, disrupters and the talent within their service. The operations of Coastal Command and the development of RAF PR/PI are given as positive examples.

Poor strategic prioritisation of units and air assets. The failure to reinforces Malta and the Far East with high performance fighters, or provide Coastal Command with sufficient VLR aircraft highlight occasionally poor judgement in correctly matching resources to strategy.

How Air is most successful when applied in a joint context. Highlighting the successful C2 mechanisms and behaviours established between the Eighth Army/Desert Air Force and Coastal Command/RN and explaining how these helped deliver a decisive air contribution to the war.

The RAF as a successful leader of allies. The Service’s success in incorporating personnel from Commonwealth and Occupied territories is profoundly impressive – how did they do it?

Location
The lecture will be held at the Royal Air Force Museum on Friday 17 April 2020.
Please note this lecture will begin at 12.30pm.
TICKETS
This lecture is free of charge however we do ask that you pre-book a free ticket as seats are limited.

Suitable for

  • 14-15
  • 18+

Website

https://royalairforcemuseum.digitickets.co.uk/event-tickets/27869?catID=25785

VE Day

VE Day Party

  • 8 — 9 May 2020 11am-4pm

To mark 75 years since the end of the Second World War in Europe we will be celebrating with a party! A weekend of food and fun will be held in our beautiful green space.

Joining the food and drink at the street party will be costumed re-enactors, Vintage Selfie Station, Vintage Fairground stalls and family activities.

Try our Afternoon Tea or Cream Teas – you can book them online in advance or buy them on the day. We will release more information very soon.

Try on uniform and strike a pose at our Vintage Selfie Station with our RAF Uniforms.

Have a go at our make do and mend activities or colour in your very own VE Day Flag.

Have a go on the Coconut Saloon, or a Swing Boat or one of our fairground stalls – just £1 a go.

The giant games will be out on the grass along with our giant deck chairs

Saucepans for Spitfires will be running pop-up talks about life on the home front.

Our re-enactors will be recreating some of that amazing atmosphere they felt with the end of the war in Europe in 1945.

Timings and Tickets:
We will be releasing free tickets for the event, and the chance to pre-book your food online to collect on the day. Tickets will be available from the 7 February.

The event starts at 11.00am and ends at 4.00pm on both days.


More information will be released soon, keep an eye on our social media and sign up to our newsletter to hear the latest news.

Useful information:

Entry to the Museum is free, however some of the elements of the weekend will be chargeable.

Please note that booking a free ticket will not guarantee you a table, but we will try to prioritise those who have booked. When you check in for the event, we will give you a wristband, programme and a colour-in flag.

We anticipate that the weekend will be extremely busy, parking is limited at the Museum. For information about travelling to the Museum on public transport please click here.

Use the #VEDay75 hashtag when posting your photos and comments online, and tag
@rafmuseum - we would love to see photos of your day.

Suitable for

  • Any age
Blast off!

Trenchard Lecture: Space, Cyber and Sovereignty at the Royal Aeronautical Society

  • 14 May 2020 6-9pm

Klisman Murati will discuss 'The Threat to Sovereignty in a New Age: Outer Space and Cyber'.

This lecture will examine whether sovereignty, the oldest innovation of statehood, continues to have relevance and will challenge the audience to reimagine a world where technology changes not only your day to day life but a much more fundamental aspect of how states draw the line. In exploring these issues Klisman will provide an insight into what it may mean to go to war in this new age and why borders may no longer matter.

This lecture will be held at the Royal Aeronautical Society at 6.00pm on 14 May 2020. Tea and Coffee will be available beforehand.

Talk Outline

Territorial sovereignty has been a defining feature of the state since humans began drawing lines in the sand. Borders, real and imagined, have defined who can be classed as a state citizen and where the state can exercise power.

Although the sovereignty of the state has evolved the concept itself has remained relatively unchallenged. However, as state actors increasingly operate in outer space and Cyberspace our very understanding of what sovereignty means is now changing. This lecture will discuss whether our current understanding of sovereignty can still be applied in this new age.

Technology has changed the very face of our social, cultural, and even political world. This talk delves into the biggest changes/threat’s sovereignty faces; how we should understand them and what we should do about it.

This talk will explore sovereignty in outer space, Cyberspace and the sovereignty dilemma, social media, cross border influence and other perceived threats to sovereignty.
Location
The lecture will be held at the Royal Aeronautical Society on Thursday 14 May 2020.
Please note this lecture will begin at 6pm (with Tea and Coffee provided from 5.30pm).

TICKETS

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

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

https://royalairforcemuseum.digitickets.co.uk/category/23716

Hendon Pageant

Hendon Pageant

  • 30 — 31 May 2020 10am-5pm

The Pageants drew huge crowds and were a chance for spectators to see aircraft fly, to experience technology they had never seen before and to see the Royal Air Force in action. For the third year we will be bringing this tradition back to the Hendon Aerodrome, which is now home to the newly transformed Museum. Join us for this family event that will capture some of the magic of the past Hendon Pageants.

The Hendon Pageant this year will feature:

Live music and a Tea Dance on both afternoons

Traditional fairground including a coconut shy, high striker, swing boats and carousel - all at only £1 per go

Community stands

Food & Drink

Vehicle displays

Merlin engine display

Living history areas with re-enactors bringing the past to life
Giant lawn games

Flypast from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (to be confirmed)

Timings and Tickets:
This is a free event to attend, however some of the elements of the weekend will be chargeable. Tickets for the Fairground rides can be purchased on the day and will be cash only.

The event opens at 10.00am and ends at 5.00pm, however the Museum will remain open until 6.00pm.

Useful information:

Entry to the Museum and this event is free, however some activities will have a charge. We will upload a detailed programme of activities closer to the event.
We anticipate that the weekend will be extremely busy, parking is limited at the Museum
For information about travelling to the Museum on public transport please click here

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

This is a free event to attend, however some of the elements of the weekend will be chargeable. Tickets for the Fairground rides can be purchased on the day and will be cash only.

Army march

Armed Forces Day

  • 27 June 2020 10am-12pm

Join us to mark Armed Forces Day with our local Military Community. We are delighted to bring you a parade and ceremony in partnership with the London Borough of Barnet which will honour the bravery and commitment of servicemen and women, past and present.

Visitors are invited to come and enjoy the parade and ceremony at the Museum, details of timings and activities will be published in Spring 2020.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/armed-forces-day-2020/

Night Flight

Night Flight - Sleepover for Grownups!

  • 4 — 5 July 2020 7pm-10am

Night Flight is back for 2020, don’t miss the opportunity to spend a night at the Museum. You have the chance to explore the galleries into the early hours, sit in our aircraft and climb into helicopters. With a jam-packed programme this is a night you won’t want to miss. There will be a late night film, a midnight pub quiz, open cockpits and cabins, Airfix make and take, talks and tours and of course a bar.

Lucky ticket holders will be greeted with a drink on arrival, then seated for some delicious pub-style grub, later snacks will be served during our midnight pub quiz. After a night’s sleep under the aircraft a hot breakfast roll will be waiting for you in the restaurant.

Standard Ticket: £75.00
This ticket includes access to the event, an evening meal, open cockpit access, activities, quiz and film. There will be a light breakfast served the next morning.

FAQs:
Please read our FAQs if there are any questions we haven’t thought of please contact us at whatson@rafmuseum.org

Click here to download our FAQs

Access Terms and Conditions:
Part of this event involves climbing in and out of aircraft. Please read our access terms and conditions before purchasing a ticket.

Click here to download our T&Cs

Important information:
This event is for over 18s only, you will be asked for ID upon your arrival
The event starts at 7.00pm on Saturday 4 July, please make sure you arrive no later than 8.00pm
You will be asked when booking tickets for your dietary requirements
We do not accept refunds for this event
Please be aware that the Museum will not take responsibility for any lost valuable items, so we advise you to not bring anything of sentimental or financial value
There will be security throughout the venue for the night

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Standard Ticket: £75.00

Website

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/night-flight-sleepover-for-grownups-2020/

BoB at night

Battle of Britain at Night

  • 11 July 2020 6-10pm

This special after hours opening will give you the chance to explore the collection in an exclusive evening environment. The aircraft will be open to look inside the cockpits or engines and our eager team of Aircraft Access Volunteers will be on hand to give you a tour around the aircraft.

This is an excellent opportunity to take some stunning photos of the Battle of Britain Fighter four. This unique collection, along with others, will be showcased and lit with LED lights giving you the chance to capture some amazing photos.
Aircraft being highlighted at the event will include:
Supermarine Spitfire I
Hawker Hurricane I
Fiat CR.42 Falco
Messerschmitt Bf 109E-3
Hawker Typhoon IB
Hawker Tempest V
Avro Lancaster I
Consolidated B-24L Liberator
Bristol Blenheim IV
Junkers Ju 87G-2
Heinkel He 111H-20

Talk - 'Forging the frontlines: How the aircraft of the Battle of Britain came to be' 6.00pm -7.00pm, H3 Lecture Theatre

Join Dr Alastair Noble (Historian at Air Historical Branch) and Stuart Hadaway (Senior Researcher at Air Historical Branch) as they discuss;

Some of history's most iconic aircraft flew in the Battle of Britain, as well as some notable failures. Why did the RAF and the Luftwaffe field the aircraft they did? Many were based on plans to fight a completely different Battle and met with disaster when they were thrust into combat conditions they were never meant to face. Others rose to the challenge, and changed history. These two talks will examine how these aircraft came about, as well as how they were used.


Ticket information:
Standard ticket: £15.00
Member ticket: £7.50

Additional information:
This event is for over 18s only
You will need to purchase a ticket in advance, tickets will not be available on the night
There is a limited capacity for this event to help us ensure that the aircraft and our visitors are cared for
Only H3, H4 and H5 will be open for this event, you are welcome to arrive at the Museum earlier to explore the rest of the site.
Parking is included in your ticket, please note that we can’t refund parking tickets accidentally bought and your free ticket is only valid from 6.00pm
Please ensure you arrive before 7.20pm to gain access to the event
No food or drink is to be consumed in the galleries, there will be a designated refreshment area in H3 reception and Tea and Coffee will be provided
All backpacks and large bags will need be checked in to the free cloakroom when you arrive at the event

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Standard ticket: £15.00
Member ticket: £7.50

Website

https://royalairforcemuseum.digitickets.co.uk/event-tickets/23352?catID=23002&?branches.branchID=353

family fetival of light

Family Festival of Flight

  • 1 — 2 August 2020 9am-5pm

Join us for two days of FREE family fun with a mixture of drop in and timed activities scattered throughout our fantastic London Museum site.

Now in its fourth year, our annual Festival celebrating the science and wonder of flight will include:
• Science shows
• Merlin engine demonstration
• Interactive storytelling
• The return of the mighty Paper Plane Challenge!
• Art and craft activities
• Dress up as a Battle of Britain hero

With more activities still to be added, visit this page again nearer the date for full details.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/family-festival-of-flight-2020/

The Spitfire 10K in London

Spitfire 10K and Spitfire Family Run 2020

  • 29 August 2020 8:30am-5pm

After a sell-out event in 2019 we are excited to launch the Spitfire 10K in London for 2020. We are giving 900 runners the opportunity to run a 10K on the historic London Aerodrome and RAF Hendon site. Don’t miss the chance to book your tickets and get one of our famous medals!

The run will take you around the edge of the historic London Aerodrome that once existed in Colindale. This is a road race so you will be running along pathways and the streets that follow the old airfield. The race will start on the museum green space, where you will run around our ‘taxiway’ that evokes the historic RAF Hendon Base, then exit the Museum by running past our Spitfire Gate Guardian. Once you’ve completed two laps, you will run back into the Museum and conduct one final lap on site before crossing the finish line. At the end of the race you will be awarded with the highly sought-after Spitfire 10K medal.

The Spitfire 10K this year will be especially significant as it will be held to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain and all the men and women who defended Britain’s skies during the summer of 1940. This is why all our runners wear a Roll of Honour card with the name of a Battle of Britain RAF Pilot who served in this pivotal aerial campaign.

The Spitfire Family Run will also be back in 2020. This gentle 1K run will take place around the Museum site. Each registered runner will receive a special Spitfire medal when they cross the finish line. The race is suitable for all ages, but children under 11 years must be accompanied by an adult. Please note that only paying participants will be awarded a medal at the finish line.

SPITFIRE 10K
Standard entry fee: £22.50
Discounted entry fee: £20.50 (Members of UK Athletics affiliated clubs and Armed Forces Personnel will be asked to enter details to receive the discount)
All runners to be 15 years and older. Held under UK Athletic Rules. UKA Licence applied for.

SPITFIRE FAMILY FUN RUN
Standard entry (all ages): £5* (this includes a medal)

*Please note that a £1.90 booking fee is applicable when booking entry to the Spitfire 10K race online, a discounted booking fee of £1.30 will be applied to the Spitfire Family Run.

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

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

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

Website

https://bookitzone.com/martin_burke_1/oBjFFX

Vintage Fair Logo

Battle of Britain Vintage Festival

  • 12 — 13 September 2020 10am-4pm

Pop-Up Vintage Fairs, displays, live music, loads of food, talks and tours! Don’t miss your chance to immerse the whole family in 1940s wartime nostalgia. The Festival will take place in the centre of our London Site, on our beautiful green space.


Vintage and Fashion – Pop-up Vintage Fairs London will be in residence for the weekend with a full pavilion of vintage fashion, Jewellery and homeware. With over 30 traders come and find your something special!

Food and Drink – a tasty line up of producers, street food stands and bars

Live Music and Dance – The Spitfire Stage will host a stellar line up of acts, from vintage trios to cabaret. Why not get your toes tapping on the dance floor!

Talks and Tours – Explore our Fighter Four Aircraft and listen to our programme of talks

Experiences and workshops – Get your toes tapping at our swing dancing workshop under the Lancaster, or try one of our tasty food or gin tasting workshops.

Family area – face painting, children’s vintage fairground rides, make do and mend crafts and more!

Watch this space for more information coming soon!


Ticket information
Early Bird Offer:

£10 for two adults
£18 for a family (2 adults and up to 4 children)


Standard Offer:

Adult Ticket: £6.00
Child Ticket: £4.00
Family Ticket (2 adults and up to 4 children): £20.00
Armed Forces Adult Ticket: £4.00
Armed Forces Family Ticket: £16.00
Student Ticket: £5.00
Members Ticket: £4.00


Tickets are valid for the day chosen online. The festival opens at 10.00am and last entry will be at 4.00pm.

Useful information
Opening hours for the event are 10.00am – 5.00pm.
H1 will remain open for free, but access to the other Hangars are only by purchasing a ticket to the event.
Keep an eye on our website and social media for updates on our programming for the event.
How to find us? Just click here and find lots of information about travelling to our site in Colindale.
Parking charges still apply, click here for full details.
Only assistance dogs are permitted on site
Some activities might have an additional charge, for more information please click here.
Are you interested in being a part of the Festival – exhibiting or applying for one of our farmer market and street food pitches? Download our applications information - click here.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£10 for two adults
£18 for a family (2 adults and up to 4 children)


Standard Offer:

Adult Ticket: £6.00
Child Ticket: £4.00
Family Ticket (2 adults and up to 4 children): £20.00
Armed Forces Adult Ticket: £4.00
Armed Forces Family Ticket: £16.00
Student Ticket: £5.00
Members Ticket: £4.00

Website

https://royalairforcemuseum.digitickets.co.uk/event-tickets/27061?catID=26413&?branches.branchID=353

Dambuster raid

Trenchard Lecture: The Dambuster Legend in Wartime Britain at the Royal Aeronautical Society

  • 8 October 2020 5:30-9pm

Victoria Taylor will discuss '"Dam'ping Their Ardour": Operation Chastise and the "Dambusters" legend in wartime Britain'. In particular, Victoria will consider why Operation Chastise became a cornerstone of British wartime mythology, and determine how it became so firmly entrenched in the hearts and minds of the British public under the blanket of wartime secrecy.

This lecture will be held at the Royal Aeronautical Society at 6.00pm on 8 October 2020. Tea and Coffee will be available beforehand.

Talk Outline
Few wartime tales stir national pride and historical reverence in Britain like Operation CHASTISE. Better known as the ‘Dambusters Raid’, this death-defying operation was undertaken between 16-17 May 1943 by Bomber Command’s 617 Squadron.

Nineteen Lancaster bombers successfully destroyed two major dams - and damaged a third – in the heartland of Nazi Germany’s industrial Ruhr Valley. The familiar story of Barnes Wallis, his ‘bouncing bomb’ and Wing Commander Guy Gibson’s low-flying Lancasters has often been eagerly recounted by British historians.

Much of the nation’s general impressions of the raid, however, have been coloured by post-war British popular culture, from Gibson & Paul Brickhill’s stirring literary accounts to Michael Anderson’s enduring film The Dam Busters (1955).

The considerable impact of these post-war resources upon the CHASTISE legend can be seen in how Flight Sergeant William ‘Bill’ Townsend claimed that ‘until that film was made, it was just another operation, wasn’t it?’

This talk seeks to illustrate how the Dambusters Raid was never ‘just another operation’ in wartime Britain. Drawing on newspapers, newsreels, cartoons and official correspondence will aid this endeavour.

The Daily Express, for instance, obtained an exclusive inside scoop on Gibson from his glamorous actress wife, Evelyn, in the vein of present-day celebrity gossip; the first investiture held by a Queen since the Victorian era saw the newly decorated Dambusters splashed across British newspapers at both local and national level.

The Royal Air Force’s 5 Group News punned that 617 Squadron was ‘dam’ping [the Nazis’] ardour’, yet it also naively called for its personnel to press on ‘in this final phase’ of the war.

Temporarily isolating the Dambusters Raid from its post-war aura allows us to consider why it became a cornerstone of British wartime mythology, and to determine how it became so firmly entrenched in the hearts and minds of the British public under the blanket of wartime secrecy.

Location
The lecture will be held at the Royal Aeronautical Society on Thursday 8 October 2020.
Please note this lecture will begin at 6pm (with Tea and Coffee provided from 5.30pm).
TICKETS
This lecture is free of charge however we do ask that you pre-book a free ticket as seats are limited.

Website

https://royalairforcemuseum.digitickets.co.uk/category/23716

H6 Aircraft Shot

Photography Workshop

  • 14 November 2020 10am-5pm

We have teamed up with Chappers Photography to offer a unique, hands-on course in aviation photography. You can expect to learn the theory behind aviation photography, pick up some tips and tricks and try out your newly learned skills in a range of settings, scenarios and cameos in and around the RAF Museum.

The course will start at 10.00am, your day will begin with some informative photography theory. You will then test out some of this knowledge using the incredible collection of aircraft and exhibits as your subjects.

You will have exclusive access to photograph the cockpits of some iconic British aircraft and will be able to walk on board one of the larger aircraft in our collection for a private viewing and internal photoshoot.

The course will be led by an experienced aviation photographer and fully qualified lecturer in adult education.

The event is suitable for all abilities, we welcome beginners, intermediate and experienced photographers who wish to refresh their knowledge.

Tickets cost £75.00 per person (including parking and lunch). Places are limited to 20 places and tickets must be purchased in advance.

Please note the event is suitable for over 16’s.

Exclusive Aircraft Access (subject to change):
Sunderland Flying Boat – private viewing
Fighter Four Access – private viewing

Event Timings:
10.00am: Arrival, briefing and welcome
10.30am: Course Start
11.30am: Museum photography practice
12.15pm: Q&A from the practice
12.30pm: Lunch
1.30pm: Course resumes with aircraft access / close view cockpit shots
2.45pm: Break / Shop visit
3.30pm: Course resumes with aircraft access / close view cockpit shots
5.00pm: End of course


Please note...
Only ticket holders will be able to gain access to the workshop
The event is for age 16 and overs only
You must bring your own camera (any type and model of camera is acceptable)
In addition, you may benefit from bringing the following if you have it:

Wide angle lens
Additional lens up to 200mm
Tripod
Flash guns
Memory cards
Spare battery

The photography will occasionally take place outside, so please bring suitable clothing and footwear.
Lunch is provided (please notify us of any dietary requirements during booking)
The aircraft will be in their usual Museum settings

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

Tickets cost £75.00 per person

Website

https://royalairforcemuseum.digitickets.co.uk/event-tickets/26690?catID=25984&

All metal aircraft

Trenchard Lecture: The Air Ministry and the Advent of All-Metal Aircraft at the Royal Aeronautical Society

  • 19 November 2020 5:45-9pm

19 November 2020

Dr Matthew Powell will discuss 'Forging the Future: The Air Ministry and the Advent of All-Metal Aircraft'. Matthew will explore the development of the Air Ministry’s policy surrounding the ordering and implementation of all-metal aircraft in the late 1920s.

This lecture will be held at the Royal Aeronautical Society at 6.00pm on 8 October 2020. Tea and Coffee will be available beforehand.

Talk Outline
The Air Ministry have been largely criticised for continuing the procure aircraft constructed of wood, string and canvas in the early to mid-1930s when civil and competition aircraft were being constructed from metal.

The Air Ministry have been described as backwards in terms of its attitude towards new technologies and their implementation. This was one of a series of technological developments that occurred during the inter-war period and revolutionised the construction of aircraft. It was, however, the most important in terms of the Air Ministry’s relationship with the industry. This lecture will explore the development of the Air Ministry’s policy surrounding the ordering and implementation of all-metal aircraft in the late 1920s.

It will demonstrate that current historical thinking on this topic is largely superficial in nature and does not take into account the difficulty of implementing new technological developments in a private industry that could not be compelled to do as the Air Ministry wished. The industry required incentives to change their production methods and re-train their labour force to work with the new materials.

Historians have largely ignored or discounted the lead times involved in designing new aircraft and the difficulties of transferring drawing board ideas and concepts into easily produced aircraft. Aircraft were expected to remain in active service for five years after their introduction into the Royal Air Force.

This meant that the Air Ministry were required to think of their requirements in aircraft for the next generation in five years’ time as well as begin considering what their requirements would be for the aircraft of ten years. A reliance on unproven technologies could, if they did not meet expectations, lead to a capability gap and presenting a potential risk to British security.

Location

The lecture will be held at the Royal Aeronautical Society on Thursday 8 October 2020.
Please note this lecture will begin at 6pm (with Tea and Coffee provided from 5.30pm).

TICKETS

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

Website

https://royalairforcemuseum.digitickets.co.uk/category/23716

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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