Royal Air Force Museum

The London Pass Free souvenir guidebook worth £5.00 as well as 10% discount in the shop when you spend a minimum of £10

Fascinated by aviation and to learn about the RAF? The Royal Air Force Museum in Hendon offers one of the finest exhibitions on the history of aircraft and aviation in the country.

With over 160 aircraft displayed between two London tourist sites, the Royal Air Force Museum has one of the best collections of military aircraft in the world. It’s a unique opportunity to encounter the air force in London and its place in the military history of the UK. This London museum isn’t just about static displays and written information – there’s a range of hands-on exhibits, interactive kiosks and simulator rides to choose from. 

 

Pass Perk

Entry to the general public is free but London Pass holders are entitled to a free souvenir guidebook worth £5.00 as well as 10% discount in the shop when you spend a minimum of £10.

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- Royal Air Force Museum history

- Royal Air Force Museum highlights

- Royal Air Force Museum facts

- Don’t miss

- Know before you go

- How to get there

Royal Air Force history

In May 1941, after the Battle of Britain came to an end, the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill said of the RAF pilots, “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.” World War I saw the RAF, then known as the RFC, put to the test in previously unimaginable ways. Germany’s aggressive air strategy led to swathes of England suffering bomb raids and destruction that trenched the country in equal measures of determination and hopelessness. In response to relentless German air raids, the RFC split itself into two contingents and on April 1, 1918, and the RAF was born. In 1914, the RFC had 84 aircraft. By the war’s end in 1918, the RAF had 300,000 officers and airmen and more than 22,000 aircraft and air superiority against the Germans. However, in September 1939, British aircraft numbers had diminished to just 2,000.

When Adolf Hitler planned his invasion of Britain in July 1940, Britain was alone in its resistance to Nazi Germany and vastly outnumbered in the air. Western democracies in continental Europe were falling one by one, their collapse signalling dark times ahead for Britain. Against all the odds, the RAF used radar, more manoeuvrable aircraft and exceptional bravery to resist German air invasion, taking down aircraft in quick succession. Thanks to the men and women who flew and built the planes that took down Nazi hopes of invasion, the Battle of Britain came to an end in May 1941.

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RAF Museum highlights

  • Explore 100 years of RAF history with three new interactive galleries
  • Enjoy the rare chance to inspect a Lancaster Bomber plane up close
  • Take advantage of a sprawling picnic area during warmer months
  • Let the kids burn off some of that energy in an under 11s play area
  • Stop off at the museum restaurant, Claude’s.

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RAF Museum Facts

  • The museum is located on a former aerodrome site 
  • The site was requisitioned and transformed into a training centre for new pilots during WWI
  • In addition to British aircraft, there are also a selection of German bombers used by the Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain in WWII.

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Don't miss

4D Theatre

Soar through the clouds. Take part in aerial battle Experience all the thrills and exhilaration of powered flight. The Museum's newest attraction - a 4 Dimensional Theatre - will put you right in the hot seat by combining cutting-edge 3D computer animation with the added dimension of dynamic seating and special environmental effects.

Hangars

A number of hangars will immerse you in the Royal Air Force, showcasing how it has delivered missions in its first 100 years. You can even test whether or not you could join the RAF in the Pilot Simulator Zone. 

First World War in the Air Exhibition - 4th December 2014 - 31st December 2020

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 airpower 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 comes to life in a  Claude Grahame-White Hangar. Discover the vital work of the servicemen and women on the ground as well as the changing roles of those in the air, as reconnaissance work evolved to make use of new air-born technology. 

Many personal artefacts including medals, letters and uniforms are 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.

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Know before you go

Workshops and events are subject to change. To avoid disappointment, call ahead and check availability. 

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Getting in

Show your London Pass at the door for entry. 

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How to get there

Underground

  • Colindale (Edgware brand of the Northern line). 
  • Alight at Colindale, not Hendon Central

 Train/bus

  • Mill Hill Broadway station is a 20 minute walk from the museum
  • The 303 from outside the station stops at the museum.

Visit the RAF Museum website for more travel information.  

For more things to do in London, check out The London Pass® blog. 

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Getting to Royal Air Force Museum

Getting to Royal Air Force Museum

  • Royal Air Force Museum Grahame Park Way London NW9

Opening Times

Monday 10.00 - 18.00
Tuesday 10.00 - 18.00
Wednesday 10.00 - 18.00
Thursday 10.00 - 18.00
Friday 10.00 - 18.00
Saturday 10.00 - 18.00
Sunday 10.00 - 18.00
Last Admission: 17.30

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