Originally established in May 1998 as the Jet Heritage Museum (housed in the Jet Heritage hangar on the Airport) the museum had the advantage of visitors being able to see work under way on Jet Heritage’s fighter collection as well as access to an outside viewing area. June 1999 saw an open day at the museum where, as well as the Jet Heritage aircraft, visitors were treated to a visit by Concorde. A series of problems saw the relocation of the museum in 2008. The museum now has the advantage of being on the same site as Adventure Wonderland - which is rated as Dorset’s No 1 tourist attraction - so visitors have two excellent venues to visit at the same location. The museum aims to have, as many exhibits available to sit in as possible – children of all ages love the hands on experience.
The Museum houses a number of aircraft, aero engines, cockpits and a double-decker bus. Unusually for such a museum, its policy is to have open cockpits and visitors are encouraged to climb into the cockpits and press knobs, turn dials, pull levers, flick switches, etc. Cockpits open in this manner include the Vulcan, Lightning and Canberra. It has a flight simulator which is free to use, operated from a mock up cockpit. The museum has recently restored a Boeing 737-200 named 'The Spirit of Peter Bath' and has created an exhibition about Sir Peter Bath and his company 'Bath Travel' inside the fuselage. It is believed that Bournemouth Aviation Museum is the only museum in Europe to include a 737-200 in its collection. Even more recently the museum has taken ownership of the forward fuselage of an ex Empire Test Pilots School BAC 1-11, quite apt considering the aircraft was built only a few hundred metres from where it rests now. The site is wheelchair accessible but disabled visitors will not be able to climb into the cockpits.
Location : Merritown Lane, Christchurch BH23 6BA
Transport: Bournemouth (National Rail) then bus. Bus Routes : 769, 781 and A1 stop outside.
Opening Times : Daily 10:00 - 17:00.
Tickets : Adults £6.00; Children £3.00; Carers Free
Tel: 01202 473141