Royal Air Force Museum, London

Come visit our exciting First World War in the Air Exhibition
baby changing facilities icon Food icon Guided tours icon Shop icon Library icon Study area icon Wheelchair access icon

Wing your way over to a wonderful collection of aircraft, interactives, medals, uniforms, film shows and memorabilia on display and trace the story of the RAF and aviation itself.

Visit the awe-inspiring sound and light show that takes you back in time to the Battle of Britain. The Aeronauts Interactive Centre offers hands-on entertainment and education for all ages and includes cockpit controls, co-ordination tests, engine lifting, air speed, drop zone, pilot testing and more.

Take your visit to the next dimension by entering the Museum's 4D Theatre and discover how it feels to glide amongst the clouds. Don't forget to explore the Grahame-White Watch Office, the museum's latest permanent exhibition, which will transport you back to the pioneering days of flight at Hendon during the Edwardian period.

The onsite museum shop is packed with models, toys and gift items as well as exclusive magazines, books and videos. There is also a cafe and licensed restaurant and picnic area to take care of catering needs. Pay and Display Parking available.

A FREE, fun and fantastic day out for everyone.

Venue Type:

Museum

Opening hours

10am - 6pm [last entry 5:30pm]

Admission charges

Admission is FREE to the Museum.
A car parking charge is payable.

Getting there

If you’re travelling to the Museum by road, the Museum is signposted within easy reach of the A5, A41, M1 (junction 4 southbound) and North Circular A406 roads. Just follow the brown and white tourist signs.

If you’re using SatNav please input our road name, “Grahame Park Way” not our postcode, as this has been incorrectly indexed on some systems. If your system will not accept Grahame Park Way, please enter the postcode NW9 5QW. This will direct you to the small industrial estate next to the Museum.

If you’re visiting the Museum by public transport please take the Edgware Branch of the Northern Line to Colindale tube station, the Museum is only a short walk along Grahame Park Way.

Alternatively, you can take the Thames Link to Mill Hill Broadway, and catch bus number 303 to the Museum, which also runs from outside Colindale Tube Station. This service will drop you directly outside the Museum's main gates.

Additional info

Research Department open to the public by appointment only. Please contact the Department in the first instance to arrange an appointment to meet with a curator.

Collection details

Archives, Aviation, Costume and Textiles, Personalities, Science and Technology, Social History, Weapons and War

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
An Artist's impression of what the new exhibition will look like

First World War in the Air

  • 4 December 2014 — 31 December 2020 *on now

Eleven years after the first powered flight, aviation emerged as a force capable of changing the face of battle. In 1914 the Royal Flying Corps numbered just 1,500 people. By 1918, when the Royal Air Force was created, this had grown to more than 205,000. The full strategic value of air power had become all too evident - both on the battlefield and on the Home Front.

This compelling story of the First World War in the Air will be revealed in a new exhibition in our Claude Grahame-White Hangar

Discover the vital work of the Service men and women on the ground as well as the changing roles of those in the air as the essential use of 'eyes in the sky' for reconnaissance was complemented by the introduction of new technologies for bombing and fighting high above the ground.

Many personal artefacts including medals, letters and uniforms will be displayed alongside the finest collection of First World War aircraft bringing both moving and inspiring stories to life - and ensuring that the bravery and sacrifice of these aviation pioneers will never be forgotten.

Admission

Free Entry

Website

http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/opening-of-first-world-war-in-the-air-exhibition/

Royal Air Force Photographer of the Year

Royal Air Force Photographer of the Year.

  • 17 March — 30 September 2017 *on now

The Royal Air Force Museum will be celebrating the superb achievements of Royal Air Force Photographers following the judging of the Royal Air Force’s annual Photographic Competition which is now in its 27th year. The Museum will be displaying the winning entries of the 2016 Competition in a unique display which opens to the public on 17 March in the Museum’s Art Gallery.

Subject categories range from ‘The Operational Experience’, an image that reflects the Royal Air Force conducting vital work on operations or training in support of operations, through to the ‘Equipment’ category which gives photographers the exciting opportunity to display their skill photographing the Service’s world-class equipment.

Not to be missed, this exhibition is a visual feast for the eyes. Also on display will be the 'People's Photograph' as voted for by members of the public during Summer 2016.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Admission to this display of photographs is free of charge.

Website

http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/royal-air-force-photographer-of-the-year-2014/

Wings of Love

Wings of Love

  • 14 April 2017 — 19 February 2018 *on now

‘Wings of Love’ is inspired by sweetheart brooches from the Museum’s collections, on display in this exhibition. Sweetheart brooches were gifts typically in the form of regimental badges, given by airmen to their wives, girlfriends and family members.

The exhibition has been co-curated with our local schools and colleges and includes original objects and documents from the Museum’s collection as well as the student’s own work created in response to the theme.


‘Wings of Love’s is accompanied by a programme of live dance performances by Middlesex University BA Dance studies students :

Saturday 20 May 2017 12.30 & 14.30
Sunday 21 May 2017 12.30 & 14.30
Saturday 14 Oct 2017 12.30 & 14.30
Sunday 15 Oct 2017 12.30 & 14.30
Saturday 11 Nov 2017 Time TBC
Sunday 12 Nov 12.30 & 14.30

Suitable for

  • Any age

Admission

Attendance at the exhibition is free of charge

Website

http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/wings-of-love/

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Join us for 'Watching, Killing: The Evolution of Drone Warfare in 21 Century'

Watching, Killing: The Evolution of Drone Warfare in 21 Century

  • 19 October 2017 6:30-9:30pm

Since the formation of 39 Squadron in 2007, and the subsequent formation of XIII Squadron in 2012, there has been a slow and at times uneasy progression towards a distinct culture within the RAF Reaper Force. This difficulty in forming a stable, unitary culture has been shaped by several related factors: institutional and procedural, personal, and doctrinal. These begin with the unique way that the Reaper came into RAF service in Afghanistan as an Urgent Operational Requirement. Further, the diverse backgrounds and expertise of the personnel who came together to form and operate the two squadrons was rooted in different aircraft types and the delivery of distinct air power roles. Consequently, RAF Reaper culture has often reflected, rather than shaped, the personal ethos and identity of those who have made up the Force. In addition, underpinning these considerations is RAF air power doctrine and the challenge of bringing together the distinctive ISR and Attack roles. The first part of this lecture will explore these interconnected features of the emerging Reaper Force. The remainder of the paper will consider the future potential for a stable culture of remotely piloted aircraft operations as the RAF Reaper enters its second decade in service.

Suitable for

  • 16-17
  • 18+

Where

Royal Aeronautical Society
No. 4 Hamilton Place London W1J 7BQ
London
Greater London
W1J 7BQ
England

Admission

Admission to this lecture is free of charge, but is by reserved ticket only.

Website

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/watching-killing/

A member of the public siting in our Phantom Cockpit

The Phantom Experience

  • 15 July — 30 December 2017 *on now

The McDonnell Douglas Phantom FGR2 is an iconic aircraft that formed a major part of the Royal Air Force’s combat aircraft strength for 23 years. We are now offering visitors the opportunity to sit in this fascinating piece of Cold War technology.

Our Phantom has a remarkable history; it took part in a commemorative Transatlantic Flight and was painted in special colours. These colours celebrated 60 years since Alcock and Brown completed the first transatlantic flight in 1919. After the celebrations, the Phantom was painted in the colours of the 56 Squadron. It was brought to the RAF Museum London in 1992 after accruing over 5000 hours of flight time. It is now displayed with a full load of deactivated Sidewinder and Skyflash missiles, fuel drop tanks and a centre-line Gatling cannon located the heart of the Historic Hangars.

Each Phantom Experience session booked caters for one individual and lasts approximately 10 minutes. Our wonderful volunteers will guide you into the cockpit and explain how the aircraft would have been operated. Before you book your tickets please read our access terms and conditions located at www.rafmuseum.org/whatson.

Suitable for

  • 11-13
  • 14-15
  • 16-17
  • 18+

Admission

Admission to this guided tour is £8 plus 50p booking fee.

Website

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/whats-going-on/events/the-phantom-experience/

Join us For Air Power in an Age of Uncertainty

Air Power in an Age of Uncertainty

  • 29 September 2017 9:30am-5pm

Organised in conjunction with the Air Power Studies Research Group, King’s College London at the Joint Services Command and Staff College, its keynote address will be by Air Chief Marshal Sir Glenn Torpy

'Over the past two decades, airpower has become the “Western way of war” […] because it offers the prospect of military victory without large-scale destruction and loss of life.' John Andreas Olsen (2015)

Speakers include Dr David Jordan (King’s College London), Dr Peter Lee (University of Portsmouth), Dr Ross Mahoney (RAF Museum), Dr Richard Mayne (Director, Royal Canadian Air Force History and Heritage), Dr Paula Thornhill (RAND Corporation).

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

For admission charges please email Dr Ross Mahoney at conference@rafmuseum.org

Come Join us for a very special Museums at Night Celebration

Open Cockpits

  • 27 — 28 October 2017 6:30-9:30pm
  • 28 October 2017 6:30-9:30pm

Ticketholders to our Open Cockpits Evening will have the opportunity to get a close up view of our iconic aircraft, sit in our Phantom and even peer inside the Lancaster Bomber. It’s a unique chance to see the Museum open after hours!

Suitable for

  • 18+

Admission

Tickets will be on sale from 4 September 2017

Website

http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/whatson

Getting there

If you’re travelling to the Museum by road, the Museum is signposted within easy reach of the A5, A41, M1 (junction 4 southbound) and North Circular A406 roads. Just follow the brown and white tourist signs.

If you’re using SatNav please input our road name, “Grahame Park Way” not our postcode, as this has been incorrectly indexed on some systems. If your system will not accept Grahame Park Way, please enter the postcode NW9 5QW. This will direct you to the small industrial estate next to the Museum.

If you’re visiting the Museum by public transport please take the Edgware Branch of the Northern Line to Colindale tube station, the Museum is only a short walk along Grahame Park Way.

Alternatively, you can take the Thames Link to Mill Hill Broadway, and catch bus number 303 to the Museum, which also runs from outside Colindale Tube Station. This service will drop you directly outside the Museum's main gates.

Royal Air Force Museum, London
Grahame Park Way
Colindale
London
Greater London
NW9 5LL
England

Website

www.rafmuseum.org/london

E-mail

Groups

groups@rafmuseum.org

Public Events

whatson@rafmuseum.org

Department of Research & Information Services

research@rafmuseum.org

School & Scout Trips

learning-london@rafmuseum.org

Telephone

Main Switchboard Number

020 8205 2266

Fax

020 8200 1751

All information is supplied by the venues or providers themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.