Today I visited The Royal Air Force Museum situated in North London and what a great afternoon it was. The whole museum, split into a whopping six hangers, was packed to the brim with old military aircraft, military vehicles, uniforms and equipment from days gone by.
Throughout the buildings posters, audio screens and information pods blared out information and facts about the history of the RAF. I personally recommend anyone to put this on there to do list whether you are visiting London or you live there.
About the Royal Air Force Museum
On entry I purchased their very colourful souvenir guide packed with information about the RAF’s role, it’s history and details some of the heroic people who have fought for our Country. Including heaps of photographs, history and information of the fighting machines, vehicles and equipment displayed throughout the hangers.
The Royal Air Force Museum was opened By HM Queen Elizabeth II on 15th November 1972 having been originally an RAF base (RAF Hendon) since 1926.
The very early planes
The first stop was hanger 1 and above are some first planes drafted into military service. They are iconic for their time and as you can see here technology has really moved on. But it was a joy walking around seeing these old original vintage planes that once ruled the skies.
The RAF Fighter Planes
The museum has an array of fighter planes from this spitfire to missile launchers and bombers. The one that caught my attention was ‘The Mosquito’, it was largely built of wood at a time when most other aircraft were built of metal. It was also used by the American Air Forces because it was a good quality aircraft. There were many Military planes in the museum and these are just a small handful on display here and I fully recommend you visit.
RAF Search and Rescue Helicopters
The RAF provide an integral role in search and rescue both in the United Kingdom and abroad, in fact 90% of their call outs are in response to civilian incidents here in the UK. These three types of helicopters are now retired from service but ruled the skies in their day. The Westland Sea King above was the original helicopter flown by HRH the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William whilst he served as a search and rescue pilot at RAF Valley.
RAF Transport Helicopters
The RAF has supported it’s own people and those in need around the world delivering disaster relief and humanitarian aid since 1918. The above transport helicopters have worked in both civil and military operations until they were retired.
There is a selection of military vehicles on display throughout the museum including motorbikes, cars, 4X4’s, ambulances and specialist vehicles. My favourite had to be ‘The Ferret Car’, a fast and light 4X4 armoured car. The first prototype was finished in 1949 and they came into production in 1951. The RAF started using them in the 1960’s; apparently ‘The Ferret Car’ saw action in most parts of the world as it proved to be a tough and reliable vehicle.
There are a total of three coffee shops, two located inside and Claudes Cafe located outside and plenty of bathroom facilities. Outside there is a children’s play area with a mock helicopter and there is a gift shop for memorabilia etc located in hanger 1. There is lots of interactive pods and your able to board several of the crafts.