IN REACH OF THE SKIES

LASHENDEN

GATWICK AVIATION MUSEUM

NEWARK

MORAYVIA

NELSAM

FARNBOROUGH AIR SCIENCES TRUST

Lashenden Air Warfare Museum is a free to enter museum on the edge of Headcorn airfield in Kent. The airfield was an ALG in WWII and is the only such field that is still active. The museum exhibits relate almost entirely to wreck recovery mainly from the Battle of Britain but also from other WWII crash sites. Visited in August 2016.

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Gatwick Aviation Museum is is very close to the airport from which it takes its name. It is home to several classic British aircraft, mainly jets, of the 1950s and 60s most of which are now in a newly erected hangar. Also on site is an Avro Shackleton the engines of which are sometimes run up. As we found it is also possible to have a tour of this aircraft. Museum entry was £5 when we visited in September 2016.

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It's around 15 years since I last visited Newark and the museum, in Notts, has expanded during the interim. It has a spacious new hangar housing several new airframes some of which it is possible to enter for a token fee. The original hangar is still extant along with other display areas for engines and the like. There is a nice museum shop and also a small café which should be upgraded for 2017 following a fund raising drive.

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I visited this museum in October 2016. It is dedicated to the work carried out at Farnborough over the years and commemorates the fact that Farnborough was the site of the first controlled powered flight in England. The aircraft was the Cody Flyer and a full scale reconstruction is a feature of the museum. a statue of Cody stands out front. There is restricted space but never the less some interesting exhibits. The usula facilities are present including basic refreshments.

Morayvia is a fairly new museum situated on part of the old RAF Kinloss site. It's not open everyday, although weekends are fine, so check their website for details. In the main museum building there are displays relating to former search activities using Nimrods and helicopters as well as a few cockpits and wreck recovery items. There is also a good size shop and the usual facilities. Outside their are a few full size airframes and this collection is likely to increase. Worth spending an hour or so there if you are in the area, as I was in August 2017.

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NELSAM stands for North East Land Sea and air Museum. It is on the edge of the former RAF Usworth just outside Sunderland. Very little now remains of the airfield as it is now a car factory. As reported in my blog there are a lot of aircraft and artefacts on display but it is all rather cluttered and you feel there is a much better museum in there struggling to get out but, undoubtedly, it comes down to finance. From a visit in September 2017.

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