The brand new RAF museum – a must-visit

Robert sitting in the cockpit of a Spitfire
Robert sitting within the cockpit of a Spitfire

When the children have been small, we might usually pop over to the RAF museum, not removed from the place we reside, in North London, to take a look round and participate in a number of the youngsters’s actions supplied there. It was a nice time out, a bit old style, however handy and good for the kids. But it surely wasn’t something particular.

Quick-forward a couple of years and a multi-million pound transformation has occurred. The brand new RAF museum (and I’m calling it new, although it’s on the identical web site) is price not simply taking your youngsters to, however your teenagers, your different half and your dad and mom… And it’s nonetheless free entry.

2018 is the centenary of the Royal Air Drive (RAF) and the museum is now a fantastic testomony to that (it was beforehand a bit drained). It gives some wonderful galleries (together with a brand new one on trendy warfare, which accommodates updated plane plus interactive displays together with a quiz which I very a lot loved), good displays (together with bombs from World Wars One and Two), tons of of latest artefacts and a few very intelligent interactive experiences together with the possibility to construct your individual computerised airplane (after which to see it fail miserably when examined – or maybe that was solely us).

The house itself (a former air discipline) can be vastly improved, with a inexperienced house in the course of it and easily extra space to breathe. There’s additionally a brand new restaurant, but it surely wants extra workers (and extra panini machines!) to be as interesting as the remainder of the positioning. The one different factor they should add is a extremely good audio tour, as it could make it easier to to organise what it’s best to see – there’s a lot on supply.

Now, that’s sufficient of me. Robert, who’s now 13, explains extra: 

When a baby involves a museum they’re hoping for fascinating issues to have a look at and interactive actions to participate in.The RAF museum has at all times supplied superior autos to look at, (planes, tanks, helicopters…) but the latter was solely actually supplied in a youngsters’ exercise centre, not round the remainder of the positioning.

However now, scattered across the totally different exhibitions are a great deal of on-line and real-life actions to have enjoyable with. These embody: designing your individual airplane after which testing it in a sequence of on-line challenges (which I actually loved and did greater than as soon as), a multi-tasking take a look at the place you needed to full logic puzzles similtaneously tapping colored squares, and a display the place you need to put well-known occasions in chronological order. Extra bodily actions included dressing up within the garments of RAF pilots, putting cogs in a wheel to try to full a profitable engine and a velocity take a look at the place you needed to faucet lights as they flashed up. There have been additionally a great deal of different interactive issues to do for each youthful and older youngsters, on high of the previous exercise centre (which, funnily sufficient, is likely one of the issues that doesn’t actually work that nicely anymore).

Royal Air Drive

Cut outs of people who had been, or were, in the RAF
There have been so many fascinating reduce outs of people that had been, or have been, within the RAF

The Royal Air Drive is what the actions and the museum is all about.There are a lot of exhibitions displaying details about instances when the RAF was wanted and in every hangar there are the totally different autos used at these instances; from the spitfire to the German Messerschmitt to the unbelievable, large Vulcan. Within the first exhibition, “Tales of the air drive” there are fashions of each automobile for youngsters to take a seat in.

Some of the older bombs on show
A few of the older bombs on present

By way of info there are boards subsequent to the planes explaining what they’re, in addition to a great deal of lifesize reduce outs of former RAF members with their story printed on the again. These have been actually fascinating and assorted – from totally different instances and about many several types of folks – and I’d suggest studying them. I discovered the planes and the bombs/missiles they carried actually cool to have a look at though I may see youthful youngsters losing interest after a short while.


Robert flying a plane via a simulator at the RAF museum, Hendon,
Robert flying a airplane (through a simulator…)

There are three most important experiences that you can pay to participate in on the museum. The primary was a flight simulation the place you’ve six minutes to regulate the airplane. You do really feel slight vibrations, but it surely wasn’t as thrilling as I hoped – though my dad did take pleasure in it. This simulator is just for older youngsters – nonetheless I keep in mind the opposite simulator (the torpedo) being superb after I was youthful so when you go to the museum after it has been mounted, I’d suggest that simulator above the newer one.

There was a 4D movie by which you “fly” with the crimson arrows – considered one of 5 totally different movies being proven.

The ultimate add on was “The Spitfire Expertise” the place you get to go inside an actual spitfire and press the buttons and pull the levers as when you have been flying. I assumed this is likely to be a bit boring, but it surely was actually good. A member of workers explains all of the bits of the airplane to you, and the way it labored, and I assumed it was probably the most fascinating factor I had finished all day. I’d suggest attempting this – though it prices £10 – for the reason alone. It was nice.


Standing in the new gallery
Standing within the new gallery, which is the story of the RAF from 1980 to the current day

Personally, I had a fantastic day attempting out all the brand new actions and looking out on the new exhibitions. The time out was much more enjoyable than the final time I got here so when you haven’t come shortly or are coming to London on a visit then I’d positively suggest a go to!

The RAF Museum is open from 10-6pm day by day from March to October. It’s free entry, though the add-ons (as talked about above) value further. It’s in Hendon, North West London (the closest tube is Colindale on the Northern Line) and yow will discover out extra about it through its web site..



Learn extra:

Prime museums for youths in London – by Robert

A go to to the implausible Spy Museum



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