Hendon Museum Visit

Eleanor Tomlin

In February, a group of Whole Force personnel from the Station enjoyed a Force Development day out to the RAF Museum in north London.

The Museum explores the fascinating story of the first 100 years of the RAF, celebrating and commemorating its history in detail. Visitors are also encouraged to imagine what the RAF’s future contribution and involvement in technology will be in the years to come.

Several different stories from the very beginning of the RAF’s long history are explored in Hangar 1. From the land, air and sea, all of the exhibits reveal how everyone’s role has contributed, allowing the formation of the world’s first independent Air Force.

Hangar 2 delves into a detailed history of the First World War in the air, with many personal artefacts on display, including medals, letters and uniforms – all relics from the ‘eyes in the sky’ era.

A spectacular display of bombers, fighters (including Spitfires and Hurricanes), seaplanes, helicopters and many more are featured in Hangars 3, 4 and 5. These displays are all based on aircraft and stories originating from the Battle of Britain.

Finally, Hangar 6 shows the RAF in an ‘age of uncertainty’. It acknowledges the political, economic and technological changes that have occurred over the last forty years. This Hangar also focuses on conflicts, including the Falklands War, and a look at other activities, such as providing humanitarian aid, and at the RAF’s partnerships with our allies across the globe.

Those willing to be more adventurous were able to experience the thrill of powered flight.
The Museum exhibits several 4D interactive theatres and rides, combining computer animation with special environmental effects. Simulations include the Red Arrows experience, where users can fly in formation with Red 1, as well as a World War II bombing mission into enemy territory alongside the crew of ‘Kalamazoo Girls’, who were members of the USA’s Women Airforce Service Pilots.

A huge thank you must go to Flight Sergeant Sharon Hornby for arranging such informative and enjoyable days out like this. Those in attendance were asked to complete a fun quiz to show learning from the trip. With a prize up for grabs, everyone put great enthusiasm into answering the questions to compete for the reward, helping us to learn more about the RAF and Air Power.

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