A Trip to the RAF Museum, Hendon

Things have changed a lot since my first visit to the old site of RAF Hendon about two and a half years ago. Just a five minute walk from Colindale tube station, the facilities have been upgraded and there is a lot more on site for families – computer simulations, indoor and outdoor play parks, a Spitfire tour and a 4D theatre. A lot of this is obviously for the better but some of the old charm of the place has, in my opinion, been sacrificed in the relentless tide of modernity. It’s still a fantastic day out, though.

I was always mad about aeroplanes when I was young, and the chance to see so many from different eras in one place is stunning. There’s everything from triplanes from the Great War to a Predator drone.

Here are some pictures to give you a flavour of what’s on offer.

One whole hangar is devoted to the Great War and the birth of military aviation.

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Avro 504K

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Sopwith Triplane

In between hangars, you can find plenty to entertain the children. Older ones will like the interactive displays and computer simulations that are available.

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Indoor and outdoor playgrounds (tested by the boy!)

The main fighter aircraft from World War II are on display

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Hawker Hurricane (plus my little one)
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Supermarine Spitfire
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Focke Wulf FW190A-8
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Messerschmitt BF109 E3
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North American P-51D Mustang

There are also a couple more World War II aircraft that I used to have Airfix kits of when I was young.

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Curtiss Kittyhawk IV
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Boeing B17 Flying Fortress (Tail view)
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Boeing B17 Flying Fortress (front view)
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Heinkel He111

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Junkers Ju87 G2 Stuka dive bomber

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Consolidated B24 Liberator

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Avro Lancaster

More modern aircraft sit alongside their ancestors.

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McDonnell Douglas FGR2 Phantom (again photobombed by my little girl)
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BAe Harrier GR9A Jump Jet
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Chinook helicopter
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Avro Vulcan B2
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BAC Lightning F6
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Hawker Siddeley Gnat T1
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Westland Sea King helicopter
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Eurofighter Typhoon
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General Atomics MQ1 Predator Drone

All in all, there’s loads to see. It would be great to spend a bit more time wandering around and actually reading some of the stuff that goes with the exhibits. When you’ve got the kids, it’s enough to be able to see some of these marvels of design up close. I really wasn’t expecting much the first time I went, but I was blown away by the amount of aircraft on display.  They don’t lose their appeal the second time, either.

Verdict: Well worth a day out!

 

5 thoughts on “A Trip to the RAF Museum, Hendon

  1. The Phantom brings back one of my favourite memories from the RAF. Stationed at St Athan in 88 during trade training, we were in the barrack block by the runway waiting for a Phantom to take off, all of glued to the window watching. The pilot saw us all cheering so put on a display by giving his engines full throttle for take off, all the windows shaking like the biggest earthquake on the planet!

    Liked by 1 person

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