As a stage for its special "Next Generation" program, ANTIQUES
ROADSHOW UK paid a visit to Hendon's Royal Air Force Museum.
As Great Britain's national aviation museum, the Royal Air Force
Museum houses a world-class collection of over 70 aircraft, together
with a vast array of aviation memorabilia and artifacts. Covering the whole
span of the first 100 years of aviation development, the museum also
memorializes the contribution made by the Royal Air Force to this
innovative and turbulent period of history, from early balloon flights
to the RAF of the 21st century.
Situated in North London on the site of the original London Aerodrome,
the museum was officially opened in 1972 by Queen Elizabeth II. Over its
30-year history, it has developed into a center of aviation heritage now
internationally recognized for its excellence. During World War I, the
aerodrome housed one of the world's first purpose-built aircraft factories,
and it was also the venue of the famous Hendon Airshows, which took place
between the two World Wars.
The Main Aircraft Hall was originally a hangar erected during the First
World War and is itself a historical building. The hall provides a perfect
setting to house the museum's impressive collection of unique aircraft and
historical treasures, allowing visitors an inspiring insight into the
lives and achievements of aviation pioneers.
The Battle of Britain Hall is dedicated to the historical realities of
the period when the Royal Air Force stood alone against the might of
Germany during World War II. An interactive show called "Our Finest Hour"
uses film footage, audio, special lighting effects and the real aircraft
to give visitors a sense of that period's atmosphere and feel, lending
reality to the story of that epic battle.
In contrast, the Bomber Command Hall contains a remarkable collection of
bomber aircraft ranging from early World War I planes to the mighty air
fortresses of the Cold War era. There is also an Interactive Gallery,
which houses hands-on activities, such as the opportunity to sit in an
aircraft cockpit, drop relief supplies to an isolated village or learn how
a helicopter stays in the air.
Looking to the future, the Royal Air Force Museum has extensive plans
for a new development at Hendon, which will allow many more of its currently
stored aircraft and artifacts to be put on public display.
To learn more about Great Britain's Royal Air Force Museum, visit: www.rafmuseum.com.
Source: Royal Air Force Museum - Hendon