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/

RAF Photographer of the Year: 2018 Photographic Competition at the RAF Museum London

RAF Photographer of the Year: 2018 Photographic Competition

  • 9 May — 28 October 2019 *on now

We will be showing the winning entries of the 2018 Competition in a unique display which opens to the public on 9 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 2018.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

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

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

  • 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 — 31 December 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/

The Summer of Spitfire Logo

Spitfire Cookie Decorating

  • 20 July — 1 October 2019 *on now

Specially created for younger visitors 3+ this activity will help them explore their creativity by decorating their own Spitfire cookie with coloured icings. Scrumptious fun for a summer’s afternoon. Each child must be accompanied by an adult.

Just pick up your cookie decorating kit from the counter and start decorating. Alternatively, if you wish, take your kit home and decorate your cookie in your own time in your own kitchen.

Suitable for

  • 0-4
  • 5-6
  • 7-10

Admission

Each cookie decorating kit costs £3.50

Website

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/spitfire-cookie-decorating/

Polish Sukhoi jet fighter

Cold War Lunchtime Lecture

  • 27 September 2019 12:30-2:30pm

The situation in Europe was very clear during the Cold War – there were easily defined opponent blocks: NATO and the Warsaw Pact, preparing for a large-scale, symmetric conflict. The end of the bi-polar order marked a shift in defence policies and transformation of western militaries leading them towards an increased engagement in multinational operations. For example, after the collapse of Soviet Union, the US shifted their concerns towards global security treats such as ‘failed states’, terrorism, ethnic and religious conflict, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The situation looked very different for the European states which did not shift their interests towards the global dimension as quickly and smoothly focusing primarily on national and regional security. Nevertheless, facing a changing security environment in Europe, they also started to re-define their strategic thinking.
The transformation of Polish strategic thought began with the end of the Cold War and disintegration of the Warsaw Pact in 1991. At that point, Poland found itself in a situation where it could not only develop its own strategic documents but also had to learn how to do it independently and without external directives. The period of almost 25 years involved deep changes in strategic thinking and creating own national documents. It also resulted in transformation of the whole Armed Forces, what remained not without an influence on the shape of the Polish Air Force and the doctrines they use. This paper investigates that process of the development of allied context in strategic thinking in Poland as a country aspiring, at that time, to join the western security structures. Following that, it explores how the shift in strategic thinking and allied discourse is reflected in the air doctrines published in Poland during last 25 years.

Maria is a Lecturer in Air Power Studies at the University of Wolverhampton where she is involved in designing and delivering an online MA course on Air Power, Space Power and Cyber Warfare. She has recently obtained her PhD from the University of Nottingham where she worked on a project focused on European air power and its involvement in different forms of multinational cooperation. Her thesis, titled “The potential and limits of air power in contemporary multinational operations: the case of the UK, Polish and Swedish air forces”, is making an important contribution to the field of air power studies, which remains to date largely dominated by the US case. The significance of her research was recognised by the Royal Air Force Museum awarding her the Museum’s RAF Centenary PhD Bursary in Air Power Studies in April 2019. Maria also holds a Master’s Degree in National Security from the National Defence University, currently War Studies University, in Warsaw (Poland). That experience was a turning point for her career as it stimulated her interest in military and air power capabilities of European states and motivated her to pursue further studies in that field. Currently, she is preparing a new research project which will build upon one of the core aspects studied in her doctoral thesis: the influence of national culture on the military culture of European air forces.

The Cold War Lunchtime Lectures at Cosford form a part of the RAF Museum’s Research Programme for 2019. This programme consists of the evening Trenchard Lectures in Air Power Studies — held in conjunction with the University of Wolverhampton and Royal Aeronautical Society in London — the First World War in the Air Lunchtime Lectures at our London site, and other events such as conferences. Please note that lectures are subject to change.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Where

RAF Museum Cosford
Lysander Avenue
Cosford, Shifnal
Shropshire
TF11 8UP
England

Website

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/cosford/whats-going-on/events/cold-war-lunchtime-lecture/

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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