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/

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

  • 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 — 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/

Just two of the aircraft on our Battle of Britain Fighter Aircraft Tour

Battle of Britain Fighter Aircraft Tour

  • 15 July — 1 September 2019 *on now

Discover the thrilling story of each aircraft, including our Spitfire Mk 1A, and the people who maintained and flew them.Tours take place twice a day on selected dates throughout the summer.

Each tour will cater for a maximum of 15 people and costs £8.00 per person. Tour times are 11.00am and 3.30pm.

Pre-booking is essential to guarantee your place. Please click on the button below and select RAF Tours in the top right hand corner of the next page.

More dates will be added soon.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£8.00 per person

Website

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/battle-of-britain-fighter-aircraft-tour/

Take a selfie in our MK16 Spitfire

Spitfire Selfie Station

  • 20 July — 1 September 2019

No need to book, just drop by. Our Spitfire Selfie Station will be open daily throughout the summer.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

The charge for this activity is £3.00 per person

The Summer of Spitfire Logo

Spitfire Cookie Decorating

  • 20 July — 1 October 2019

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/

The Spitfire Academy Adventure logo

Spitfire Academy Adventure

  • 20 July — 2 August 2019

Have you ever wanted to sit in the pilot's seat of a Spitfire? Do you have the right stuff to get an aircraft back in the sky, or decode enemy intelligence?

Now’s your chance to put your skills to the test. Scramble the whole family and take off into an amazing immersive adventure. Play the game, crack the clues located around our London site, compete against other teams and earn your wings at the Spitfire Academy this summer!

This exciting new immersive experience combines all the fun of an escape room with that of a treasure hunt and a little bit of the theatre! In this high intensity game, you will have 90 minutes to fly around the Museum, explore objects from RAF history and solve puzzles. On your adventure, you will meet real-life characters and their stories.

Dates and Times
The Spitfire Academy will open its doors on Saturday 20 July. There will be two games a day that you can book on to at 11.00am and 2.30pm.


Ticket Price
Tickets are priced at £15.00 per person. Maximum of six people per team. You can compete by yourself, but it would be more fun to do so as part of a team.

Location
This adventure takes place at the RAF Museum in London. When you arrive at the Museum, just head to the mess tent in the middle of the ‘airfield’ to get started.

Additional information
Please read our Terms and Conditions before booking and for any questions take a look at our FAQs. If you have any further questions about booking or the adventure please email whatson@rafmuseum.org

This events has been produced in partnership with Fire Hazard Games Ltd.

Suitable for

  • 5-6
  • 7-10
  • 11-13
  • 14-15
  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

Tickets for this experience retail at £15 per person

Website

https://royalairforcemuseum.digitickets.co.uk/tickets?branches.branchID=353

Join us for our Family Festival of Flight

Family Festival of Flight

  • 3 — 4 August 2019 11am-5pm

Activities will include:

- Birds of Prey flying displays
- Science shows
- Paper plane challenge
- Morse code messages
- Hot air balloon demonstrations
- Art and craft activities
- Helivan from London's Air Ambulance
- Dress up as an RAF pilot
- Create your own Spitfire art

Timed Events
Science Show
H1 - First Floor, Length:30 minutes

Come along to this interactive science show to find out how aircraft stay in the air and some of the stranger and sometimes disgusting sides to flight.

11:45am 12:45pm 2:45pm


Remarkable RADAR
H5 - by the Mosquito, Length:20 minutes

Join our interactive talk to discover how moths stop themselves becoming lunch for hungry bats and what this has to do with our aircraft.

11:30am 1.30pm 3.30pm


Balloon Lift Off
H3, H4, Length:10 minutes

Up, Up and almost away with our model hot air balloon demonstration.

On the hour throughout the day from 11:00am - 4:00pm

Birds of Prey Displays
Airfield (grass area in the middle of the site), Length:20 minutes

Come and watch our fantastic flying displays where the true beauty of the birds will come to life. Hear how these birds inspired some of our iconic aircraft.

12.30pm 2.30pm

FREE toy glider for each child joining in with our Festival (subject to availability)!

This event is generously supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Admission of this event and its activities is free of charge

Website

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

Join us for our Peace Tea Party

Peace Tea Party

  • 10 — 11 August 2019 11am-2pm

Join us at our giant tea party with the whole family, make sure you’re in fancy dress and ready to play games, listen to stories and music. It’s free to join, but why not purchase a Spitfire picnic to munch on?

There will be lots of activities taking place including storytelling, face painting, music, games, make and take, messy play and of course a chance to have a picnic on our airfield.

This event is generously supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Admission to this event is free of charge, but by advanced ticket only. To reserve your's please click on the link below:

Website

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/peace-tea-party-2019/

The Spitfire 10k at the Royal Air Force Museum London

The Spitfire 10k

  • 31 August 2019 10am-12:30pm

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's 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 past the Spitfire, through Hangar 1 and under the beautiful Short Sunderland Flying boat, 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 is held to commemorate 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 the name of a Battle of Britain pilot with their race number so that we may share further the story of those Royal Air Force personnel who served in this pivotal aerial campaign with a new generation.

2019 Spitfire Technical t-shirts and NEW for 2019, Running Vests, can also be purchased for £10.00 when you book your Spitfire 10K entry and will be available for collection on the day.

The deadline to pre-order your t-shirt is 28 July 2019. Please note that there will be a limited number of t-shirts and vests available for sale on the day, but we recommend ordering in advance to avoid disappointment. T-shirts will be available for £12.00 on the day and vests £14.00.

Suitable for

  • 18+
  • 16-17

Admission

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.

*Please note that a £1.90 booking fee is applicable when booking entry to the Spitfire 10K race online

Website

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/spitfire-10k-2019/

The Spitfire Family Run at the Royal Air Force Museum London

Spitfire Family Run

  • 31 August 2019 9:15-10am

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.

Suitable for

  • 0-4
  • 7-10
  • 11-13
  • 14-15
  • 5-6

Admission

Standard entry (all ages): £5* (this includes a medal)

*Please note that a £1.30 booking fee is applicable when booking entry to the Spitfire Family Run online.

Website

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/spitfire-10k-2019/

A visitor enjoying behind the ropes access to Battle of Britain at Night

Battle of Britain at Night

  • 14 September 2019 6:30-10pm

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.

The evening will start with a talk, at 6.00pm in the Lecture Theatre, by Greg Baughen on the Battle of Britain. He is an author and avid researcher on allied air power in the 1940s.

Aircraft being highlighted at the event will include:

Supermarine Spitfire I
Hawker Hurricane I
Fiat CR42 Falco
Messerschmitt Bf 109E-3
Hawker Typhoon IB
…and more to be announced soon

Timings:
6.00pm: Introduction to the evening; talk by Greg Baughen (Lecture Theatre); refreshment area opens (H3 reception)

7.00pm: Aircraft Access opens (H3, H4 and H5)

9.00pm: Refreshment area closes

10.00pm: Event Ends


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 7.00pm 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

- Tea and Coffee will be provided for all ticket holders, we ask that this is not taken into the galleries

- All backpacks and large bags will need be checked in to the free cloakroom when you arrive at the event

- Please read the full access terms and conditions before booking your ticket

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Standard Ticket £15.00, Museum Member Ticket £7.50

Website

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/battle-of-britain-at-night-2019/

A Mk1 Spitfire

Battle of Britain Day

  • 15 September 2019 10am-6pm

Bring the past to life and head to see some our re-enactors highlighting significant points in our Second World War History. Listen to the roar of a Merlin Engine at our fantastic engine display. There will be 40s music and dancing, so get your feet tapping. Dress up as a Spitfire Pilot in our RAF uniform Photo booth. Don’t miss our Battle of Britain Memorial Flypast, the Spitfire* will be flying over the Museum to mark this very special day.

It’s a great day out for all ages, so bring the family along to the RAF Museum to remember the battle fought in the skies above London 79 years ago.

Talks and lectures:
CHASTISE: The Dam Busters Story 1943
1.00pm, H3 Lecture Theatre

Max Hastings will be talking about his forthcoming book CHASTISE: The Dam Busters Story 1943. Places are limited so please reserve your place for free by clicking the button below.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Admission to Max Hasting's Lecture at 1.00pm is by advance ticket only. To reserve your's please click on the link below.

Website

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/battle-of-britain-day-2019/

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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