Cranwell Aviation Heritage Centre - 28th October 2015
Click to see photos in Gallery
Ten members travelled from Longwater Lane Retail Park leaving at 8:30 in a minibus. It poured with rain all the way to the Cranwell Aviation Heritage Centre, which is just south of RAF Cranwell base in Lincolnshire. On arrival at 11:00 we had a hot drink and biscuits in the foyer, while one of the volunteers told us about what we would see in the museum and about RAF Cranwell. In this area there were two engines, one from a Jaguar (Rolls Royce Turbomeca Adour Turbofan) and a newspaper clipping about Frank Whittle and his Power Jets W1 engine which powered the Gloster E28/39.
In the main Exhibition Hall there were boards telling about the Royal Naval Air Service(RNAS) aeroplanes, airships and balloons in 1915, during the First World War. In one corner was a Hot Air Balloon basket. Later Cranwell became HMS Daedalus before the RNAS and Royal Flying Corps joined forces on 1st April 1918 to form the RAF and it became a RAF College which opened on the 5th Febuary 1920. Also there were some interactive displays . These included a Jet Provost Simulator, a supply drop game where you had to release a small parcel on a target from a small C-130 cargo plane on a wire. Further along there was a video theatre and a DH115 Vampire T11 cockpit. This is (XE946) and it was at the RAF Museum store at Cardington in 1982 before coming to Cranwell Heritage Centre in 1997.
In the courtyard was a Hunting Jet Provost T4 (XP556) with a notice showing a brief history of this aircraft. It had previously come from Bruntingthorpe, was owned by Phoenix Aviation in 1996 and was delivered to the museum in 1997.
Once everyone had finished looking around we thanked our guide and tea lady for having us and gave them a mug. We then went to RAF Coningsby but unfortunately got lost. Instead of visiting the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight we had a quick visit at Gate 1 but saw nothing and so we went to The Farm Shop and Cafe near Holbeach for a brief lunch stop.
Many thanks to Peter for organising this trip, which was quite interesting, and for driving us all there and back.

By Andrew Elphick

Click this Link for more information! Cranwell Aviation Heritage Centre