IN REACH OF THE SKIES
NORFOLK & SUFFOLK AVIATION MUSEUM
DUMFRIES & GALLOWAY
COLD WAR JETS
EAST ESSEX AVIATION SOCIETY
YORKSHIRE AIR MUSEUM
100th BOMB GROUP MUSEUM
NATIONAL AIR FORCE MUSEUM OF CANADA
CANADIAN MUSEUM OF FLIGHT
This is a great little museum near Bungay. Well sign posted and free to enter although donations are requested. Many exhibits are outside although there are some great displays within hangars too. Images are from a visit in 2010.
A nice little outdoor collection opposite Bournemouth airport. Follow the signs to the airport and you won't go wrong. Images from a visit in 2011.
This museum is located near Southampton. You need to keep your wits about you to find it. It is signed but the roads can be very busy making it easy to miss a turn. Once found you are rewarded with an intersting little museum that houses the Schneider winning S.6 and a Short Sandringham flying boat, which is open to the public. Images from a visit in 2008.
Situated on the former fighter airfield this is a very rewarding museum that has expanded considerably in the 20 years or so since my first visit. There are large display areas for wreck recovery and other artefacts together with display halls for full size aircraft including the record breaking Hunter and a full scale prototype Spitfire reproduction. Further aircraft are displayed outside. Images from 2009.
I first visited this musem in 2007. Ten years later, inspired by the unveiling of the Loch Doon Spitfire, I took some time out of a trip further north for another look. The museum has grown over the years with a few more air frames than last time around and other improvements including a better museum shop area. The old control tower remains very interesting being packed with exhibits mainly relating to aviation in the area. And of course there is the Spitfire which looks superb now sitting in its own hangar after a 20 year restoration. With admission only £5 you can't go wrong!
A very interesting museum on the site of the former frontline Battle of Britain base near Folkestone. Not much of the airfield remains now but the museum contains several full size replicas of BoB aircraft together with some great displays on local digs and the 'home front'. Unfortunately they are a bit precious about photography and do not allow use of cameras. Spoilsports!
I visited Cosford in 2005 just before work started on the expansion so things have changed significantly since then. Most of these exhibits are still on site although the Liberator was being prepared for its move to Hendon when I visited and has now been re-located.
The Cold War Jets collection is situated on Bruntingthorpe airfield and on special days they have live taxi runs of several aircraft. When we visited in late 2007 the base wasn't paricularly well signposted but look for the airfield rather than the museum and you will find it.
Brooklands museum is on the site of the old motor racing circuit in Surrey. Situated next to Mercedes World it is well signposted and easy to find. Part of the museum relates to the site's motor racing heritage but there is a good collection of vintage aircraft and historic airliners, including Concorde. The museum also houses the Wellington bomber recovered from Loch Ness in 1982.
Pictures from 2009. (See the Septmber 2014 blog entry for a small update)
The society has a fascinating museum housed in a Martello Tower at Point Clear, St Osyth near Clacton. Situated within a holiday site it takes a little perseverence to find but is worth the effort. Admission is free and the staff very friendly. Main exhibit is the remains of a P-51 recovered from the sea off the Essex coast and there are numerous other wreck recovery and similar exhibits. Pictures from a visit on 2011.
Situated at Old Warden aerodrome, Bedfordshire, the museum is easy to find being well signed off the A1 near Biggleswade. The collection is largely comprised of pre WWII aircraft, with a couple of exceptions, and most of the exhibits are airworthy. There are a number of shows during the year where the resident aircraft perform. Also in the museum are other collections including vintage cars and motorcycles. These images are from 2010.
Based at Elvington airfield this is an excellent museum making use of many original buildings from the former RAF WWII bomber base. Home of the the only complete Halifax in the UK, there are numerous other aircraft on site, some of which taxi on display days, together with extensive displays of air gunnery, historic vehicles and much more. There is also a very good naafi. Images from 2011. See the blog report in March 2015 for images of a later visit.
The 100th bomb group museum is based on the former Thorpe Abbotts airfield in East Anglia. It takes a little finding being tucked away down country lanes but is worth the effort. The staff are very friendly, there is a nicely restored accessible control tower and various other exhibits. Visit took place in 2011.
Located in Trenton, Ontario the museum is next door to the Canadian Forces base that houses 8 Wing. The base is the centre of air transport operations in Canada and we had the bonus of seeing a number of training flights whilst visiting (see the news blog section). The museum houses the only fully restored original Halifax bomber from WWII, which is inside with several smaller aircraft and a restoration workshop but there are also a large number of aircraft on display outside. Well worth a visit. We were there in 2012.
A small museum located in Langley B.C. its main claim to fame is as home to the only restored Hampden anywhere in the world, although it is currently undegoing some repairs. There a several complete airframes on display, some of which are airworthy and fly from the airfield that the museum is located at, together with artefacts and other displays. Another set from 2012.
Situated north of London directly on the M11, The Imperial War Museum at Duxford is one of my favourite museums mainly due to the number of flying vintage aircraft on site. Most of the flyers are owned by private individuals and groups such as The Fighter Collection but are on display, subject to airshow commitments. The museum is not cheap to get into but you can verily easily spend a whole day there and not see everything. Always worth a re-visit as exhibits are often changing.