Royal Air Force Museum, London

Come visit our exciting First World War in the Air Exhibition
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Wing your way over to a wonderful collection of aircraft, interactives, medals, uniforms, film shows and memorabilia on display and trace the story of the RAF and aviation itself.

Visit the awe-inspiring sound and light show that takes you back in time to the Battle of Britain. The Aeronauts Interactive Centre offers hands-on entertainment and education for all ages and includes cockpit controls, co-ordination tests, engine lifting, air speed, drop zone, pilot testing and more.

Take your visit to the next dimension by entering the Museum's 4D Theatre and discover how it feels to glide amongst the clouds. Don't forget to explore the Grahame-White Watch Office, the museum's latest permanent exhibition, which will transport you back to the pioneering days of flight at Hendon during the Edwardian period.

The onsite museum shop is packed with models, toys and gift items as well as exclusive magazines, books and videos. There is also a cafe and licensed restaurant and picnic area to take care of catering needs. Pay and Display Parking available.

A FREE, fun and fantastic day out for everyone.

Venue Type:

Museum, Gallery, Library, Archive, Heritage site

Opening hours

10am - 6pm [last entry 5:30pm]

Admission charges

Admission is FREE to the Museum.
A car parking charge is payable.

Getting there

If you’re travelling to the Museum by road, the Museum is signposted within easy reach of the A5, A41, M1 (junction 4 southbound) and North Circular A406 roads. Just follow the brown and white tourist signs.

If you’re using SatNav please input our road name, “Grahame Park Way” not our postcode, as this has been incorrectly indexed on some systems. If your system will not accept Grahame Park Way, please enter the postcode NW9 5QW. This will direct you to the small industrial estate next to the Museum.

If you’re visiting the Museum by public transport please take the Edgware Branch of the Northern Line to Colindale tube station, the Museum is only a short walk along Grahame Park Way.

Alternatively, you can take the Thames Link to Mill Hill Broadway, and catch bus number 303 to the Museum, which also runs from outside Colindale Tube Station. This service will drop you directly outside the Museum's main gates.

Additional info

Research Department open to the public by appointment only. Please contact the Department in the first instance to arrange an appointment to meet with a curator.

Collection details

Archives, Aviation, Costume and Textiles, Personalities, Science and Technology, Social History, Weapons and War

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
An Artist's impression of what the new exhibition will look like

First World War in the Air

  • 4 December 2014 — 31 December 2020 *on now

Eleven years after the first powered flight, aviation emerged as a force capable of changing the face of battle. In 1914 the Royal Flying Corps numbered just 1,500 people. By 1918, when the Royal Air Force was created, this had grown to more than 205,000. The full strategic value of air power had become all too evident - both on the battlefield and on the Home Front.

This compelling story of the First World War in the Air will be revealed in a new exhibition in our Claude Grahame-White Hangar

Discover the vital work of the Service men and women on the ground as well as the changing roles of those in the air as the essential use of 'eyes in the sky' for reconnaissance was complemented by the introduction of new technologies for bombing and fighting high above the ground.

Many personal artefacts including medals, letters and uniforms will be displayed alongside the finest collection of First World War aircraft bringing both moving and inspiring stories to life - and ensuring that the bravery and sacrifice of these aviation pioneers will never be forgotten.

Admission

Free Entry

Website

http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/opening-of-first-world-war-in-the-air-exhibition/

War Brides

War Brides

  • 3 October 2018 — 15 September 2019 *on now

Global conflict and the mobilization of troops during World War II brought couples together who would never have met in that era. Although marriage was discouraged by the military, tens of thousands of locals married foreign nationals on active duty. Couples met on the dance floor, on air bases, blind dates, in queues, hospitals or air raid shelters. For war brides, a new husband meant a new country.

Artist Bev Tosh is the daughter of a Royal New Zealand Air Force pilot and his Canadian war bride. Her works portray war brides of airmen stationed on Royal Air Force bases in the UK during WWII and Canadian brides of ‘flyboys’ from England, Australia and New Zealand trained in Canada.

Collectively these portraits and stories speak across continents and generations of an extraordinary postwar emigration of women who made a leap of faith for the love of an airman.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/war-brides/

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
The Vulcan and Cold War Experience

The Vulcan and Cold War Experience

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

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

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

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

29 January

26 February

26 March

30 April

28 May

25 June

30 July

27 August

24 September

29 October

26 November

Ticket information:

Please arrive at the Museum fifteen minutes before your chosen time, this will give you time to make your way to the Vulcan, located in the far corner of Hangar 5. Our team of Aircraft Access Volunteers will take you through your experience. Each session will last between 45 minutes and an hour. Please ensure you have read our Access Terms and Conditions below before booking.

Book your tickets now!

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

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

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

£50

Website

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

Pillows and Pilots Sleepovers for Groups

Pillows and Pilots Sleepovers for Groups

  • 6 — 7 April 2019 6:30pm-9am

Only for groups (minimum of 16 children and 2 adults)

In March 2019, we are launching Pillows and Pilots, so grab your sleeping bag and get set for an evening of fun. These sleepovers are for organised groups of children aged 7 – 15. So if you’re part of a scout or brownie group this is perfect for you!
There will be activities that take place in our brand new Hangar 1, followed by a film, before settling down for the night surrounded by aircraft and artefacts in our ‘RAF Stories: The First 100 years’ exhibition

Snacks will be served in the evening and a light breakfast in the morning. For early risers, there will be a chance to go on some fascinating tours in our other galleries and early bird access to the Museum Shop.

Sleepovers at the RAF Museum cost £35.00 per child and £10.00 per adult. A minimum ratio of 1 adult for 8 children applies (adults over this ratio will be charged at full price, £35.00) and groups must be a minimum of 16 children and 2 adults.

There is also the option to purchase a Pillow & Pilots woven badge (available at the time of booking for £1.00 per badge)

We are holding two sleepovers in 2019 on the following dates:

- Saturday 23 March

- Saturday 6 April

Both of the sleepovers we are running in 2019 are mixed, they are suitable for organised groups including brownies, guides, scouts, cadets.

For more information, download our FAQs document or get in touch by email at whatson@rafmuseum.org

Please note, full payment for all participants will be needed at time of booking. We are not able to take deposits.

Suitable for

  • 7-10
  • 11-13
  • 14-15

Admission

£35.00 per child and £10.00 per adult.
(the group must be a minimum of 16 children and 2 adults)

Website

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/pillows-and-pilots-sleepovers/

The Legacy of the First World War Lunchtime Lecture

The Legacy of the First World War Lunchtime Lecture

  • 29 March 2019 12:30-3:30pm

TALK OUTLINE
The interwar period is often overlooked in the history of RAF aerial photography. It was a period, however, where technological advances and experimentation turned aerial photography into a science, a tool vital for the successful conduct of operations, both on land and sea. By 1938, with the threat of war in Europe very real, General Werner Thomas Ludwig Freiherr von Fritsch forecast that the country with the best photographic reconnaissance would win the war. Constance Babington Smith, the photographic interpreter and author, commented that “…the precedents of the First World War still dominated the military scene.” While this may have been true in many aspects of war, it wasn’t true in RAF aerial photography. It was unfortunate that military thinking failed to keep pace with developments in aviation, including aerial photography. Planners expected the next European war would be a continuation of the last, overlooking all the changes that had taken place, not just in the technology available, but the way it could be used. This lecture will look at the developments of the interwar period, the introduction of new equipment and its development in an operational environment. It looks at the exploitation of the new technology, and the ways in which it was incorporated into RAF operations. It also looks at its exploitation for clandestine reconnaissance, ahead of the outbreak of war, and the struggle to change outdated thinking.

LOCATION AND TIME
The lecture will be held at the Royal Force Museum, London at 12:30pm on Friday 29 March 2019.

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


ABOUT ANDREW RENWICK
Andrew is the Royal Air Force Museum’s Curator of Photographs, a post he has held since 1989, having previously graduated St John’s College, Durham University, with BSc (Hons) in Geology. Working at the RAF Museum has allowed Andrew the opportunity to combine his enduring interests both photography and mechanised transport. During Andrew’s time as Curator of Photographs the Museum has organised 15 temporary photograph exhibitions and provided images for the Museum’s website, catalogues, articles and promotional material. Further to this Andrew has played an important role in supplying, and providing the context for, images which have helped form part of over 20 Museum exhibitions, including the National Cold War Exhibition at Cosford. Andrew’s previous research on RAF Hendon has been published in “RAF Hendon: Birthplace of Aerial Power”. Andrew has also contributed to published articles and produced a chapter for the RAF Museum’s First World War in the Air exhibition catalogue. Drawing on his exceptional knowledge of the RAF Museum’s photographic collection Andrew has undertaken research on the techniques, technology and application of photography in the RAF during the interwar period.

ABOUT THE RAF MUSEUM RESEARCH PROGRAMME
The Legacy of the First World War Lunchtime Lectures 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 Cold War Lunchtime Lectures at Cosford, and other events such as conferences. For further details about the Research Programme please contact: research@rafmuseum.org

Please note that lectures may be subject to change.

Suitable for

  • 18+

Website

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/the-legacy-of-the-first-world-war-lunchtime-lectur/

Animal Easter Trail at the RAF Museum London

Animal Easter Trail

  • 8 — 22 April 2019

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

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

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

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

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

£3 per child

Website

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

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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