Six large halls, one more gigantic than the other: inside, hundreds of veteran aeroplanes, from biplanes via propeller-driven reconnaissance and combat aircraft to jets. Glitteringly restored, they stand on the floor and in galleries, or hang suspended from the ceiling as if in flight. During air shows, they can even take off and fly past in formation over the historic airfield. This is Duxford, a spectacular branch of the British Imperial War Museum and perhaps the home of Europe's most important collection of aeroplanes. Here visitors can stroll through a century of aviation history, watch restorers at work and come face to face with heroic aviation pioneers and modern designers, famous pilots and highly trained ground crews in the brand new interactive Airspace exhibition hall. The museum mainly concentrates on British and US American military machines. But it also comprises a range of civil aeroplanes. And if you want to top off the day with a really exciting experience, you can take off on a pleasure flight into the skies in a Tiger Moth or a Dragon Rapide and gaze down over the towns and countryside of Cambridgeshire.
Mosquito, “Wooden Wonder", Lysander, “Lizzie”, Sunderland and "the Flying Porcupine": the Second World War nicknames make it clear that this museum is more than just an exhibition of aeroplanes. Indeed, the exhibition halls exude a real atmosphere of nostalgia – especially with regard to the heroic air battles against the pilots of Nazi Germany - to fill the hearts of patriotic Englishmen with pride. Duxford military airport near Cambridge, dates back to the First World War. But it really came into prominence between 1939 and 1945, first as an RAF military airbase, and later as the base for a US squadron. It is all too clear why this era has been chosen as the principal focus point for the impressive collection of aircraft. Visitors can not only view legendary British Spitfires and Lancasters, but also American Mustangs and P-47 Thunderbolts. Post-war aircraft include the notorious B-52-Bomber and fighters like the F-4 Phantom and the Tornado. One of the stars of the exhibition is doubtless a version of the Concorde equipped for military purposes.
At international level the museum's value lies in the fact that it highlights the important role of expert British engineers and technicians in the development of aircraft construction. This is especially clear in the case of the Harrier, still the only single motor vertical takeoff aeroplane in the world. The museum offers visitors numerous fascinating opportunities for interaction. For example they can learn in a playful manner the reasons why aircraft fly, and how and for what purposes they have been constructed. The restoration and conservation department is open to the general public and here they can learn about all the complex and tricky problems involved in conserving historic machines. Of the 200 aircraft on display, over 60 can also be admired in the air. Because of the huge number of regular air shows and pleasure flights, you might almost be forgiven for forgetting that Duxford aerodrome was officially closed as long ago as 1961.
|Recommended duration of visit:||2-3 Hours|
|Access for persons with disabilities:||Available|
|Infrastructure for Children:|
|Visitor centre on site:||yes|
|Gift and book shop on Site:||yes|
März bis Oktober:
täglich 10.00-18.00 Uhr (letzter Einlass 17.00 Uhr)
November bis Februar:
täglich 10.00-16.00 Uhr (letzter Einlass 15.00 Uhr)