RAF Museum Hendon - 23rd July 2018  
Click to see photos in the Gallery
Seven members boarded a minibus from Easton Village Hall at 9:30, which was half an hour later than planned, to go to the RAF Museum, Hendon, situated on the historic site of Hendon's London Aerodrome. Near RAF Mildenhall a Boeing KC135 tanker flew over and then at Duxford we saw a few light aircraft and later we stopped at McDonalds for a quick drink etc before setting off again.

At 12:00 we arrived at Hendon and were greeted by our guide, Michael Meech, who took us on an hour and a half's tour around the various buildings, some of which had been changed this year and were opened on 30th June 2018 by Prince Edward. Starting in Hanger 2 "The Grahame White Building" the guide showed us around the various First World War aircraft and exhibits. We then went into Hanger 6 "The RAF in an Age of Uncertainty" which had more modern aircraft such as a Panavia Tornado, a Buccaneer and early Eurofighter in addition to uniforms, vehicles and missiles on display. Here on display was a MBDA dual-mode Brimstone which is an air launched ground attack missile. We then finished our guided tour at hangers 3, 4 and 5 and started to visit some of the aircraft there before most members went for lunch. I carried on looking round these hangers as I wanted to see everything and had something to eat later.

In Hanger 3, a Panavia Tornado F3 was on display which operated during the 1991 Gulf War. In Hanger 4, I saw a Westland Belvedere HC Mk1 on display which was the RAF's twin-engine, twin-rotor helicopter known as "The Flying Longhouse". This was in RAF service from 1960-1969. On display was a Westland Wessex HCC4, a general purpose helicopter capable of troop carrying, air ambulance and ground attack roles The example on display was one of two used to equip the Queen's Flight between 1969-1998. This particular helicopter was flown by Prince Charles. Hanger 5 houses the "Bomber Hall" with the Lancaster, the B-17 Flying Fortress and Avro Vulcan as well as a North American P-51D Mustang along with some other exhibits and aircraft.

Most of the aircraft that had been in the old "Battle of Britain Hanger" were now in these hangers while the old "Battle of Britain Hanger" had been changed into Hanger 1 with RAF Stories and the First 100 years of the RAF 1918-2018. Along with a Shorts Sunderland, there was a model of the new F-35 Lightning II, an RAF Westland Sea King, a Spitfire and a Gnat. Also there were several other exhibits such as Peter Kosogorin's F-35 Lightning II test pilot's uniform, several helmets, hands on computer games and a Gift Shop.

Sadly at 4:30 we had to get back on the minibus before heading for home. Thanks to Peter Wood for driving us all on a very hot day.

Andrew Elphick

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