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.
Boy operating robot at STEMfest

STEMfest: Now and the Future: Robots, drones and helicopters!

  • 24 — 25 October 2019 10am-4pm

Escape Room: Can you solve the clues in time to escape our Chinook Helicopter? Bring the whole family along to see if you can escape.

Drone School: Pilot a Drone through an obstacle course in the quickest time possible.

Robotics: Race against the clock to program your robot safely out of a maze.

Suitable for

  • 7-10
  • 11-13
  • 14-15

Admission

Each activity is £4.00 per person to take part. You will be given a token which is valid at 1 of these activities. If you would like to take part in all 3, please purchase 3 tokens. Why not buy 4 tokens to £13.00, and have a go on something twice!

Website

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

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/

StrongWomen show at the RAF Museum for STEM

STEMfest: Circus 250 StrongWomen Science Show & Workshop

  • 21 — 23 October 2019 *on now

Ever wanted to know how you balance a chair on your chin or if you can juggle liquid? StrongWomen Aoife and Maria reveal the scientific secrets behind their astounding tricks. In a fun and fast-paced family circus performance, find out how jugglers, acrobats and hula hoop artists use science to create their amazing acts, and get to know some of the fantastic women involved in aviation.

Suitable for

  • 7-10
  • 11-13
  • 14-15

Website

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

The Vulcan and Cold War Experience

The Vulcan and Cold War Experience

  • 29 October 2019 10:15am-12:45pm
  • 20 November 2019 10:15am-12:45pm
  • 26 November 2019 10:15am-12:45pm
  • 18 December 2019 10:15am-12:45pm

Due to popular demand, extra dates have been announced for the Vulcan and Cold War Experience, 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 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.

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 October

20 November

26 November

18 December

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/

Trenchard Lecture: Flying for King and Country?

Trenchard Lecture: Flying for King and Country?

  • 31 October 2019 6:30-8:30pm

Clive Richards, author of ‘The University Air Squadrons: Early Years 1920–39’ will examine the history of the University Air Squadrons. He will also consider how policies relating to the University Air Squadrons were shaped and presented by the Air Staff in order to meet its objectives, whilst at the same time acknowledging (and where possible, accommodating) the interests of the Universities with which it was obliged to interact.

The lecture will be held at the Royal Aeronautical Society at 6.30pm on Thursday 31 October 2019.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Where

Royal Aeronautical Society
No.4 Hamilton Pl, Mayfair
London
W1J 7BQ

Admission

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:

Website

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/trenchard-lecture-british-universities-and-the-raf/

Collecting stories at RAF Stories Big Weekend

RAF Stories Big Weekend

  • 2 — 3 November 2019 9am-6pm

Whether you are currently serving, a veteran, or proud of a family member who has served – we want to hear your story.

You don’t have to be a maverick flying ace, we want to hear stories big and small, to paint a picture of the real RAF. On 2 and 3 November, we’ll be at lots of local venues across the country, ready to record hundreds of RAF stories on our RAF Stories app. Come and share your story, however big or small with our welcoming volunteers.

Admission

FREE

Website

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/cosford/whats-going-on/events/raf-stories-big-weeken/

seaplane used in the campaign

Legacy of the First World War Lunchtime Lecture

  • 8 November 2019 12:30-2:30pm

The lecture will begin at 12.30pm and Dr Noble will discuss the aims and objectives of RAF operations against Petrograd and Kronstadt in 1919 and the impact these operations had on the conflict in Russia.

This lecture considers one aspect of the Royal Air Force's involvement in the Russian Civil War, a conflict which pitted the world's first independent air force against the world's first communist state.

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children

Admission

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

Website

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