The Royal Air Force Museum is a must-see for those who love aeroplanes. Although little known to the general public, the museum’s collection is impressive, including several aircraft used in war.
The Royal Air Force Museum (also known as the RAF Museum) has been open since 1972 to tell the story of aviation and the Royal Air Force. The collection includes over 100 aircraft, some of which are extremely rare and well preserved.
How to visit the museum
The museum is divided into 5 hangars.
- Aviation marks (blue hangar) - Bomber show - Historic hangars (yellow hangar) - Battle Hall of Great Britain (red shed) - Grahame-White plant (green shed)
Entrance is via the blue hangar, where the aviation marks are located. This is one of the most interesting historical areas of the museum, as it is a timeline telling the history of the plane. There is a huge hangar with historic aircraft and a large panel that shows year after year the evolution of aviation, from the place where the American brothers Wright are said to have invented the plane in 1903 to the present day.
Leaving the blue hangar, a link leads to the yellow hangar, where most of the museum’s collection is located and where the visit takes longer. Numerous helicopters, planes, Royal Air Force vehicles and even examples of bombs and torpedoes are on display. In this part of the museum there are flight simulators and a 4D theatre.
There is the exhibition on the Battle of Britain, 1940. It was a battle between the air forces of Nazi Germany and the British Air Force. Hitler wanted the air domain of the English Channel and the south of England. What the dictator didn’t count on was that the British had a very important asset: radar. The whole story of the battle is told in panels, historical objects and even in a cinema where a short film is shown to explain the historical context.
The green shed houses the Grahame-White Factory, which opened in 2014. The site is named after Claude Grahame-White (1879-1959), a British aviation pioneer who made the first night flight in 1910. He founded the Grahame-White Aviation Company, his engine and aircraft company. This area of the museum seeks to reproduce the former Grahame-White factory through an exhibition of aircraft produced by him. Even his old office has been reproduced on site.
A second Cosford Museum
It is located north of Birmingham, free entrance.
RAF Museum Cosford Shifnal, Shropshire TF11 8UP
How to get to the museum
To arrive by metro, take the Northern Line (black) towards Edgware and get off at Colindale station. Walk for 10 minutes to the museum or take bus 303.
Opening hours: daily from 10:00 to 17:00 Entrance: free of charge
Grahame Park Way, London NW9 5LL, United Kingdom