A fascinating venue for anybody with an interest in aviation. While the British were not the first to make use of heavier-than-air military aircraft, the RAF is the world's oldest independent air force: that is, the first air force to become independent of army or navy control. It was founded on 1 April 1918, with headquarters located in the former Hotel Cecil, during the First World War, by the amalgamation of the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) and the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS). At that time it was the largest air force in the world. After the war, the service was drastically cut and its inter-war years were relatively quiet, with the RAF taking responsibility for the control of Iraq and executing a number of minor actions in other parts of the British Empire. The RAF's naval aviation branch, the Fleet Air Arm, was founded in 1924 but handed over to Admiralty control on 24 May 1939. The RAF developed the doctrine of strategic bombing which led to the construction of long-range bombers and became its main bombing strategy in the Second World War.
he Royal Air Force Museum London comprises five exhibition halls: Milestones of Flight; The Bomber Hall; Historic Hangars; The Battle of Britain Hall and The Grahame-White Factory. As of 2016, it had over 100 aircraft, including one of only two surviving Vickers Wellingtons left in the world and the Avro Lancaster S-Sugar, which flew 137 sorties. It also includes the only complete Hawker Typhoon and the only Boulton Paul Defiant in the world. Recently added to the museum is a Consolidated B-24 Liberator, which was moved to Hendon from Cosford. It was presented to the museum by the Indian Air Force. In exchange, a Vickers Valiant was sent to Cosford to become part of the new Cold War exhibition. In 2009 the museum took delivery of a FE2b World War I bomber, which had been in production for the museum for over 18 years and is one of the few examples of this aircraft in the world. he Museum offers designated parking near to its Main Entrance and Conference Reception for disabled visitors. Car parking charges apply. The Museum has (at its Main Entrance) a limited number of manual wheelchairs for visitors use. These wheelchairs are available free of charge and should be pre-booked by dialling 020 8358 4818 or e-mailing email@example.com. The museum has prepared a couple of free information packs for those visitors with autism who wish to come to the London site. Both packs are free to download. All buildings within the Museum have disabled toilet and baby changing facilities. They have Wide aisles, allowing access for wheelchairs and pushchairs; lifts to the Museum's Upper Levels and substantial seating for breaks during the course of your visit. Assistance dogs are welcome at the Museum, and water bowls can be requested from both reception desks. Guided Tours can be arranged for £25 per guide - maximum of 12 people.
Location : Grahame Park Way, London, NW9 5LL
Transport: Colindale (Northern Line - Edgware Branch). London Buses route 303 stops nearby (can be used from Colindale).
Opening Times: Monday to Sunday 10:00 to 17:50.
Tickets : Free.
Tel: 020 8358 4964