Posts Tagged ‘RAF Museum London’

London Gate Guardians to Fly to Cosford

Sunday, January 29th, 2017

RAF Museum Gate Guardians

As part of the preparations for next year’s RAF Centenary, the gate guardians at RAF Museum London is transforming are being renovated. This week, the Museum’s Mk II Hurricane and Mk IX Spitfire replicas were dismantled and prepared for transportation to the Michael Beetham Conservation Centre in Cosford.

Both Gate Guardians will be returned back to the Museum’s London site in time for the Museum’s commemorations and celebrations of the centenary of the foundation of the Royal Air Force on 1 April 2018. They will be positioned so that they welcome members of the public as they enter through the Museum’s new entrance on Grahame Park Way.

One of the finest developments of the Rolls Royce Merlin engine series, the Mk IX was originally intended as a match for the German Focke Wulf 190. In comparison the Hawker Hurricane Mk II with its greater armament and simple, sturdy construction made it an effective ground attack fighter during the mid-war years.

Its markings are currently those of No 121 (Eagle) Squadron, based at Kirton-in-Lindsey, Lincolnshire during the summer of 1941.

These markings will be changed to that of the Mk I Hawker Hurricane flown by Sgt Ray Holmes of No.504 Squadron from RAF Hendon on 15 September 1940.

In an act of selfless bravery, and with no thought to his own safety, Sgt Holmes prevented a Dornier Do17 Bomber from destroying Buckingham Palace by ramming it with the wing of his aircraft, forcing the Bomber to crash in the forecourt of Victoria Station. His Hurricane was badly damaged, crashing near the grounds of Buckingham Palace.

Holmes bailed out injured but survived eventually becoming a journalist in Liverpool after the Second World War. The adoption of this new colour scheme is indicative of the Museum’s stated aim to tell more stories about its aircraft and the people who flew and maintained them to aid a greater understanding of the RAF amongst its visitors.

In 2004, parts of his Hurricane were successfully excavated and can currently be viewed by visitors in foyer to the Museum’s Historic Hangars. The new scheme for the Spitfire has yet to be decided.

The Museum’s London site will remain open from 10 am daily during the works for the RAF Museum’s Centenary 2018 Transformation Programme. Admission to the site is free of charge. Please note : that from mid-February parking at the site will be restricted until summer 2017. We therefore recommend travelling via public transport to reach us. The nearest Underground Station to the Museum is Colindale on the Edgware Branch of the Northern Line. The nearest main-line station is Mill Hill Broadway. For full details on how to reach us please visit

Northrop Grumman Supports Centenary Programme to Transform Royal Air Force Museum, London

Saturday, December 10th, 2016

RAF Museum London

Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) has entered into a sponsor partnership with the Royal Air Force (RAF) Museum to support the museum’s RAF Centenary Programme that will transform its London site as part of the Royal Air Force’s centenary celebrations in 2018.

The museum’s plans include a series of new permanent exhibitions which will open in the summer of 2018. Northrop Grumman will be a themed sponsor in the new Now & the Future exhibition area with a particular emphasis on air intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and unmanned aircraft systems. The Now & the Future exhibit area will enable visitors to understand the story of the RAF from its earliest years in the First World War to its global role today.

“The RAF Museum plays an important role in ensuring the RAF’s story endures and inspires future generations,” said Andrew Tyler, chief executive, Northrop Grumman Europe. “Through our partnership with the museum we have an exciting opportunity to play our part in educating and informing visitors about the technology innovations of today and the future, and encourage a deeper interest in aeronautics among all age groups.”

The multi-million pound development programme will transform the London site through investment in new exhibitions, improved education and volunteering opportunities, and landscaping that will emphasise the site’s importance as a heritage airfield. It will improve the visitor experience, extend the museum’s reach to new audiences and create a lasting legacy to mark the Centenary. The museum has received substantial funding from Heritage Lottery Fund grants as well as public and corporate benefactors. It needs just under £7m to reach its target.

“The Trustees of the RAF Museum would like to take this opportunity to thank Northrop Grumman for their generous support. The museum is committed to sharing the story of the women and men of the Royal Air Force and we are looking forward to redeveloping the site to make it more engaging and accessible for future generations,” said Karen Whitting, director of public programmes, RAF Museum.

The RAF Museum was established in 1968 as a legacy of the RAF’s 50th anniversary. It opened its London site at Hendon in 1972. The museum is a National Museum and a registered charity and welcomes approximately 700,000 visitors a year.

Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in autonomous systems, cyber, C4ISR, strike, and logistics and modernization to customers worldwide. Please visit for more information.

Chancellor provides RAF Museum with £3m in Autumn Statement

Sunday, November 27th, 2016

Age of Uncertainty

Financial penalties levied on banks involved in the LIBOR lending rate-fixing scandal will benefit the RAF Museum in North West London, the Chancellor Philip Hammond announced today.

In today’s Autumn Statement, the Chancellor Philip Hammond announced that the RAF Museum will receive £3m LIBOR funds for its 2018 RAF Centenary Programme. The money will specifically support the development of a new exhibition and a dedicated Learning Centre – both of which are part of the Museum’s wider RAF Centenary Programme which celebrates and commemorates 100 years of the RAF in 2018.

The new exhibition will explore the impact of the Royal Air Force on world events, society and technology since the Cold War through its many roles during the past 40 years – during an ‘age of uncertainty’. As part of the Museum’s contemporary collecting strategy, it is actively seeking out inspiring objects and stories that will engage visitors with the RAF’s recent history, to display in this innovative new gallery.

The dedicated Learning Centre will underpin the Museum’s Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) programme along with hosting both formal and lifetime learning activities in history, literacy, art and design.

Chief Executive of the RAF Museum Maggie Appleton said “It’s wonderful to be given such a high level of support from the Chancellor of the Exchequer for the Museum’s RAF Centenary Programme. The stories we want to share reflect the bravery, ingenuity and dedication of RAF men and women  working in today’s complex and challenging environment with space for our visitors to reflect on and join in the discussion from their own personal perspectives..” 

The RAF Museum’s RAF Centenary Programme is a £23.5m project which will transform the site in North West London making it more accessible and welcoming to a new generation of visitors. Work has already begun for a completion date of summer 2018 and today’s grant of £3m means that the Museum is now in the final stretch of fundraising.

To find out more on the Museum’s exciting RAF Centenary Programme for 2018 CLICK HERE


Royal Air Force Museum secures National Lottery investment for RAF Centenary Programme

Sunday, October 16th, 2016

RAF Museum 2018

The Royal Air Force Museum is delighted to announce that it has been awarded £4,595,600 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the next phase of its RAF Centenary Programme at its London site.

2018 will mark the centenary of the Royal Air Force (RAF) and will be an occasion of national celebration and commemoration. As the oldest and longest serving independent air force in the world, the RAF has affected the lives of millions, driven technological innovations, pushed the boundaries of human achievement and become part of the UK’s cultural identity.

To connect a global audience with this remarkable story, the RAF Museum is delivering a series of ambitious capital changes to its London site, creating a world-leading visitor destination.

The first phase of this redevelopment, the ‘First World War in the Air’ exhibition, supported by HLF, opened to public acclaim in December 2014, winning Best Heritage Project in the National Lottery Awards 2015.

The Museum is delighted to announce that, with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the next phase of the transformation will be delivered for 2018.

Two innovative exhibitions will explore the first 100 years of the RAF through the stories of its people and invite visitors to imagine its future contribution and technology.

A warm welcome will be provided in a new visitor centre with clear orientation, café, shop, Members’ room and flexible-use spaces. A new restaurant will revitalise a disused historic building, connecting visitors with the site’s RAF heritage.

Through ‘RAF Stories’, a digital project, people will contribute personal stories to enhance our understanding and sharing of RAF heritage, onsite and online.

A new learning programme will aim to inspire young people in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). Additionally, new apprenticeships and volunteering activities will help the Museum conserve and display more of the incredible 1.3 million objects within its collection representing the national memory of the RAF at work and play, war and peace.

As a result, an expanded, more diverse audience will enjoy richer engagement with RAF heritage through our site, collections and people-focused  interpretation.

Further planned phases of the RAF Centenary Programme will bring to life the stories of the London Aerodrome and RAF Hendon – from which the first airmail, parachute jump, night flight and aerial defence of a city took place.

Maggie Appleton, CEO of the Royal Air Force Museum, said: “I would like to thank the Heritage Lottery Fund on behalf of all our staff, volunteers and Trustees for the generous support they have given us – we could not be happier! The story of the RAF is one of bravery, ingenuity and dedication which echoes within all our lives and will endure and enrich future generations. We are very excited to be given the opportunity to tell this story through the Museum’s collections and the voices of the individual men and women who served in the RAF and whose lives have been influenced by it.”

Stuart Hobley, Head of HLF London, said: “The RAF was one of the most significant legacies of the First World War and today, as we approach its Centenary of the organisation’s creation, millions of us have a direct family connection to the oldest and longest serving air force in the world. Thanks to National Lottery players, this investment will provide some fantastic learning opportunities and insight into the RAF’s heritage for people of all ages as well as give the stories and achievements of the men and women of the RAF a permanent legacy as part of the Royal Air Force Museum.”

Appeal for RAF memories

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

Falklands postcard

Calling all Penguins, Bluebirds & ‘Erbs – Your Museum Needs You!

2018 marks the centenary of the Royal Air Force. 

The award-winning Royal Air Force Museum will celebrate and commemorate this anniversary through a major transformation of our visitor experience sharing the RAF story on site and online. New, innovative galleries will explore the first 100 years of the RAF, its roles today and invite visitors to imagine its future contribution and technology. A new digital sharing project will promote a conversation with a global audience and help connect people to the RAF story.  

For the past two years the Museum’s curators, have been researching our world-class collections to select stories and objects that will best enable our visitors to engage with the story of the Royal Air Force. As a result, gaps in our collections have been identified and we are calling upon current and ex-Service personnel, who served in the RAF from 1970 to 2015, their families and members of the public to assist us in filling them.

If you served with the RAF during this time, and particularly in Northern Ireland, the Falklands War, the First or Second Gulf Wars, Libya, Afghanistan or on any humanitarian mission since the 1970s, we would love to hear from you.

We are focussing on collecting personal papers, photographs, recent campaign medals from RAF sources, and any operational kit or clothing which can be linked to specific operations or stories – particularly any ‘Black Bags’ received from Operation HERRICK or TELIC.

Nina Hadaway, Archive Library and Research Manager for the Museum, explains:

“We are aware that our current holdings are quite thin for the most recent 40 years of RAF history. As we look towards the RAF’s Centenary in 2018, now is an ideal time to try and fill these gaps. With the help of the public, former and current serving personnel we hope to strengthen the Museum’s collections. This will enable us to share more fully the experiences of those serving in the RAF from the 1970s to the present day with all our visitors.”

We would also welcome contact from volunteers who would be happy to be interviewed about their RAF experiences.

If you are able to assist us, please email us in the first instance at:

This will enable us to arrange for a member of our curatorial team to contact you. Alternatively, please complete a ‘Donate an Artefact’ form in the Support Section of our website.

For a full list of the items that we are searching for, please visit the Museum’s website at:

New RAF Chief visits Museum

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier

Today Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier, the RAF’s new Chief of Air Staff visited the RAF Museum in North London

Whilst at the Museum, Sir Stephen spoke to CEO Maggie Appleton about the Museum’s plans for the RAF’s Centenary in 2018 as well as the fundraising campaign ‘Names on a Plane’

Sir Stephen also took a tour of the Museum and also dropped into our Archive department where he was shown documents and prints relating to his time at 2 Sqn.

Say’s Maggie Appleton, RAF Museum CEO: “It was wonderful to share our plans to celebrate and commemorate the RAF’s Centenary with Sir Stephen. We are committed to making our London site more accessible, vibrant and focused on the RAF’s story. Our multi-million pound transformation will use our collections as dynamic storytellers and ensure the site becomes an inspiring space for all our visitors, reflecting our historic roots as RAF Hendon, exploring today’s RAF and imagining the future.”

Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier is the Chief of the Air Staff, in command of the Royal Air Force, leading a Whole Force of some 35000 Regular and Reserve personnel, and 5000 Civil Servants, supported by thousands of contractors. He is personally accountable for the safe and effective operation of over 700 manned and unmanned aircraft and for meeting the airpower needs of Defence, which currently means thousands of people and every front-line force committed to operations world-wide. In addition to sustaining his people and this exceptionally high level of commitment, he is also responsible for delivering the significant growth in the RAF’s front-line capability announced in the 2015 Defence Review.

Pokémon Go at the RAF Museum!

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

Pokemon at RAF Museum

The RAF Museum is over run with Pokémon Go characters and facilities!

The RAF Museum is known for its legendary aircraft collection but alongside these iconic exhibits it now houses 6 Pokéstops, a Gym and numerous characters from the game that has taken over the world!

Say’s Kevin Carter, Head of Digital Experience: “My kids are gamers and they popped in to the Museum last week and were excited about the huge number Pokémon characters on site. Since then we have noticed a number of visitors playing the game here. As a free Museum with free wifi, they are most welcome!”

Visitors to the RAF Museum are able to use our FREE WIFI facilities to help them catch characters like Hypno, Drowzee, Spearow and many more!

The Museum has a Gym by the replica aircraft in the car park. We also have a total of 6 Pokestops, which usually placed on locations of interest or tourist spots. These are popular destinations for players as they deliver items such as Pokeballs (to catch other pokemon), Potions and Revives (to heal or revive a fainted Pokémon) and are very important to the game.

Chocks away for visitors with smart phones!

On your marks, get set… SCRAMBLE!

Monday, July 11th, 2016

Spitfire 10k Run RAF Museum

The Spitfire 10k Run is back at the RAF Museum this September

Date: Saturday 3rd September 2016

Time: 9.00 am

Location: RAF Museum London

Last year over 600 runners helped to raise over £10,000 for the RAF Museum’s Historic Hendon Appeal.

Due to the success of the event the Museum is inviting runners back for another 10k run to commemorate the Anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

There will be an onsite warm up session conducted in 1940’s period style. The race begins in the shadow of one of the RAF Spitfires and takes you on a special journey, including a section through the Bomber Hangar and around the iconic Lancaster, before leaving the Museum for two loops of a flat road course. Your finish will be commemorated with an exclusive Spitfire medal.

Entrants are also welcome to run in period costume

The Spitfire 10km run starts and ends at the RAF Museum in Grahame Park Way, Colindale, with a section through the bomber hangar and around a Lancaster, before leaving for two loops of a flat road course through Colindale.

Entry form:

The Red Baron

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

The Red Baron

Written and Directed by Robert Gillespie

Date: 27 to 31 July

Book now: 020 8038 4614

Location: RAF Museum London,

Grahame Park Way, London NW9 5LL

The Royal Air Force Museum and Jane Nightwork Productions presents a ‘World Premier’ theatre production of The Red Baron, written and directed by TV actor Robert Gillespie.

Manfred von Richthofen was one of the Great War’s aerial super-stars.   An aristocrat and huntsman, he loved the new medium and trained himself to be a superb air-borne killer

He was never seen with a girl, though – or hardly ever.   Hacked off with being pestered and nudged by his friends, he calls on Coco.   She’s one of the girls in a house near the front.   Where all the squadron goes.

But all Manfred does is talk about planes and guns – and shooting down enemy flyers.

For most of us, World War One means trench warfare.

But in 1915, for the first time in history, young men were soaring the skies.   Fighting in flimsy machines for country and personal glory. This play is about them. And one man’s astonishing change of mind.

Robert Gillespie began his acting career with two years with the Old Vic Company, beginning in autumn 1953 for Michael Benthall’s Shakespeare seasons. In the company were Richard Burton, Clare Bloom, Fay Compton and Michael Hordern. The second year was headed by Paul Rogers, Ann Todd, Virginia McKenna and John Neville. His TV roles include Hugh and I Spy, The Good Life, Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads, Robin’s Nest, George and Mildred, Rising Damp, The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, Porridge, Dad’s Army (in which he played Charles Boyer playing Napoleon Bonaparte), Butterflies, The Liver Birds, Beggar My Neighbour, Agony, Terry and June and It Ain’t Half Hot Mum.

RAF Museum London

Grahame Park Way, London NW9 5LL

27-31 July Wed-Sat, 7-30pm and Sun 3 & 7pm

Box Office: 020 8038 4614

Tickets £8


Get Your Name on a Red Arrows Plane

Monday, April 4th, 2016

The Royal Air Force Museum have announced an exciting new campaign which offers members of the public the opportunity to have their name written on the wings of an RAF Red Arrows Hawk Jet that will fly throughout the Red Arrows’ 2017 display season.

For one spectacular season of air shows and celebrations, the underside of one of the Red Arrow’s Hawk Jets will display names chosen by members of the public who have contributed to this unique campaign. From a donation of just £30, these can be the names of the people themselves, or dedications to friends and relatives.

The ‘Names on a Plane’ campaign will raise funds for the Museum’s RAF Centenary Programme. 2018 marks the centenary of the Royal Air Force. The award-winning RAF Museum will celebrate and commemorate this anniversary through a major transformation of its visitor experience, sharing the RAF story on site and online.

RAF Museum CEO Maggie Appleton MBE said: “This is a fantastic chance for the public to be part of the RAF’s history and to receive something unique in return for their support. The Museum is looking forward to transforming itself in time for the 2018 anniversary to make us more accessible, engaging and up to date.”

Squadron Leader David Montenegro, Red 1 and Team Leader of the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, said: “Through the Names on a Plane campaign, thousands of people will be joining us as the Red Arrows fly in 2017, displaying to millions of people.

“On each of these occasions, the team aims to showcase the excellence of the Royal Air Force and, as we approach the Centenary of the Service in 2018, we are especially delighted to be supporting the RAF Museum.

“The Museum’s Centenary Programme will transform its London site, providing an enduring legacy for the Royal Air Force.

“This development will help to tell the story of the Royal Air Force and the vital roles the Service continues to provide, such as securing the skies of the United Kingdom, every hour of the day, 365-days a year.”

Five naming packages are available ranging from £30 – £25,000. Supporters will also receive:

– A thank you and a commemorative RAF ‘bluey’ (specially made airmail letters for sending to and from the Forces)

– Updates during the flying season with an app to follow your name on the plane

– Name acknowledged at the Museum’s redeveloped site in 2018

The appeal will officially run from April until September 2016, with the ‘Names on a Plane’ appearing on a Red Arrow Hawk throughout their 2017 display season. For more information visit