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/

Three Pilots - One War Exhibition at The RAF Museum

Three Pilots – One War Exhibition

  • 29 March — 9 December 2018 *on now

Our latest First World War in the Air temporary exhibition is inspired by the experiences of three pilots during the First World War.

Each pilot comes from a different country – Peter Falkenstein from Germany, Jean Chaput from France and Bernard Rice from England. All three men wrote frequent letters home. Much of what we know about the war comes from history books but personal letters can provide a unique insight into the everyday lives of those who served.

Our exhibition has been created by students from local schools and colleges in response to three letters, one from each of our featured pilots.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/three-pilots-one-war/

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/

Just one of the aircraft that have been created by school-children across the U.K. to honour RFC and RAF airmen who died in the First World War.

Name Your Plane

  • 19 October — 19 November 2018 *on now

Across its wings, each plane carries the name someone who died while serving in the Flying Services during the First World War, who is buried or commemorated in the British Isles.

Thousands of children and young people ‘named’ and decorated the planes, as a personal and creative act of remembrance honouring those who died and raising awareness of their graves across the country.

Come and see this unique commemoration at our London site from 19 October - 19 November.

To find out more about how you can be involved, to request a database of Flying Service war graves in the UK, or to receive a schools pack and other resources, please email RAF100@big-ideas.org.

Remember #RAF100 marks the centenaries of the First World War and of the formation of the RAF. The project is led by Big Ideas and funded by the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and RAF100, through the Chancellor using LIBOR funds.

Suitable for

  • Any age
  • 0-4
  • 5-6
  • 7-10
  • 11-13
  • 14-15
  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

This exhibition and entry to the Royal Air Force Museum are free of charge

Website

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/name-your-plane/

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.
Little Swifts

Little Swifts

  • 29 November 2018 10:30-11:30am
  • 11 December 2018 10:30-11:30am
  • 20 December 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.

Tickets can be booked via the website www.rafmuseum.org.uk.
Pay at the Shop on arrival

To book a ticket for your session please follow the link: https://royalairforcemuseum.digitickets.co.uk/tickets?branches.branchID=353

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/

Join us for Open Cockpits on 24 February

100 Open Cockpits and Cabs

  • 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

Lunchtime Lecture-Constructing a pilot image: French aviators, uniforms and the quest for a new identity, 1914-1916

Lunchtime Lecture - Constructing a pilot image

  • 16 November 2018 12:30-2:30pm *on now

In the fourth of our 2018 First World War in the Air Lunchtime Lecture Series, Guillaume de Syon will speak French aviators, uniforms and the quest for a new identity 1914-1916

TALK OUTLINE

This presentation reviews the evolution of flight clothing in the French armed forces between 1914 and 1916. It finds that a specific fashion, separate from what military designers intended, developed in response to the dual challenge of new war conditions, as well as the need for aviators to forge an identity separate from that of ground forces. As such, it also changed notions of masculinity when associated with combat clothing and resulted in a dual identity among aviators.


LOCATION AND TIME

This lecture will be held in the Museum lecture theatre at our London site at 12.30pm on Friday 16 November 2018.

TICKETS

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

ABOUT PROFESSOR GUILLAUME DE SYON

Guillaume de Syon teaches European History at Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania, in America. He is the author of Zeppelin! Germany and the Airship, 1900-1939 (2002) and of numerous articles on the cultural history of aviation and of the Great War.

RAF MUSEUM RESEARCH PROGRAMME

The First World War in the Air Lunchtime Lecture series is funded by the HLF and forms a part of our Research Programme for 2018. This programme consists of the Trenchard Lectures in Air Power Studies, Cold War lunchtime lectures at our Cosford site and other events such as conferences. For further details about the RAF Museum’s Research Programme please contact research@rafmuseum.org

Suitable for

  • 18+

Website

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/lunchtime-lecture/

100 Cockpits and Cabs Event at the RAF Museum London

100 Open Cockpits and Cabs - 8 December

  • 8 December 2018 1-4pm
  • 8 — 18 December 2018

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. These events will take place throughout the year at both sites, and we will open 10-15 aircraft or vehicles each time.

In London, we will be running 4 events throughout 2018; with each event focusing on a selection of different aircraft and vehicles. Some of the cockpits and cabs you will be able to step behind the scenes and peer inside using steps, on other occasions you might even be able to get access and sit inside. The event will allow you to get a feel for what it was like to fly or drive these much loved machines. A member of the Aircraft Access team will be next to each aircraft to share information and the stories of the people who flew them.

In total, there will be 50 cockpits and cabs opened in London this year, this will be your last chance to take part in this event. We will be releasing the list very soon, so please watch this space.

Please read our terms and conditions before purchasing tickets. Minimum age of 12 and a height restriction of 1.07 metres will apply for all of the events.

For more information about the event please download our FAQs sheet.

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). To guarantee entry to the event please purchase your ticket in advance online.

The day time session will commence at 1.00pm and finish at 4.00pm; the evening will commence at 6.00pm and finish at 9.00pm. The nearest tube to the Museum is Colindale, which is only a 10 minute walk away. If you are driving please note that parking charges are included in the ticket price. The Wessex Café will be open and serving a range of light bites and refreshments.

You can purchase our very special Log Book to keep track of the aircraft that you see throughout the year, for just £1! Why not try to get the whole 100!

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Cost: £13.50 per person (plus a 50p booking fee), £10.00 for Museum Members

Website

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/100-open-cockpits-and-cabs-december-2018/

Christmas at the RAF Museum London

Christmas at the RAF Museum

  • 15 — 16 December 2018 11am-4pm

Christmas Grotto
11.00am - 4.00pm
£7 a ticket

This year our magical Christmas Grotto returns to the RAF Museum. Get into the festive spirit and bring the whole family to meet Father Christmas! Father Christmas is camping out in our Nissen Hut, surrounded by our First World War aircraft. We are very lucky that he’s able to spare the time before he gets too busy for Christmas. Every child will have the chance to meet Father Christmas in his special First World War era grotto. So book your tickets now!

There will be a special Christmas gift for each child to take home and a chance to take photographs at the end of your visit.


Christmas Storytelling – ‘Coming Home’
11.00am, 12.00pm and 1.00pm
Free

A brave Robin battles through storms and other dangers in an attempt to reach his mate back in a quiet English garden. After quite an adventure, he arrives just in time for Christmas to find the family who live there who have been looking out for him.

The mother of the family is a Second World War WAF on her leave who has also rushed home for Christmas, leaving her no time to decorate!

Expect some crafty Christmas participation – making paper chains and homemade snow-flakes, decorating the tree, join in dancing the ‘Hokey-Cokey’ and ‘Knees up Mother Brown’ and singing along to festive Christmas Carols.

No need to book tickets for storytelling just meet us at the entrance to Hangar 3.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£7 a ticket for Christmas Grotto

Website

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/christmas-2018/

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

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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