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December 2, 2013

England: Aviation Museums


A jet engine on display at Royal Air Force Museum Cosford

Rolls-Royce RB211 turbofan engine on display at Royal Air Force Museum Cosford

As near as I can tell England has 30 aviation museums.  That’s thirty air museums in an area about the size of the State of Louisiana.  It seems that in England, an aviation museum is never far away.  Last summer we visited two, the Yorkshire Air Museum & Allied Air Forces Memorial and the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford.  Both museums are located at World War II era RAF bases.

The York and Cosford museums display aircraft from all eras of powered aviation.  As a child of the “duck and cover” sixties I have a conflicted fascination with Cold War period aircraft.  Both museums have numerous planes from this time.  For me aircraft from the Cold War are disturbing and compelling.  The airplanes are beautifully streamlined and futuristic.  At the same time Cold War aircraft are designed for the most horrible of scenarios, nuclear war.

A BAe Harrier GR9A (left) and a jet engine (right) on display at Royal Air Force Museum Cosford.

A BAe Harrier GR9A (left) and a jet engine (right) on display at Royal Air Force Museum Cosford.

Of the two museums, our dog Gigi prefers the Yorkshire Air Museum.  At the Yorkshire museum Gigi was welcomed inside most buildings.  Indeed, the Yorkshire Air Museum was selected the Winalot Top Dog Friendly Museum in UK.  At Cosford Gigi could only tour the outside displays.  Cosford’s vast green lawn was nice but she was not allowed with us inside the buildings.  For the humans in the pack, both of the museums were interesting.  Surely we’d find the remaining 28 aviation museums in England fascinating also.

A Hawker Hunter suspended at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford

A Hawker Hunter suspended at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford

The National Cold War Exhibition at Cosford

The National Cold War Exhibition at Cosford

A replica of a Messerschmitt Bf-109G6 at the Yorkshire Air Museum & Allied Air Forces Memorial

A replica of a Messerschmitt Bf-109G6 at the Yorkshire Air Museum & Allied Air Forces Memorial

English Electric Canberra at Yorkshire

English Electric Canberra at Yorkshire

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1 Comment »

  1. We’ve been to some of the air museums in England in the past. They were all very interesting to a flying nut such as I!

    Comment by Barneysday — December 2, 2013 @ 2:17 am


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