Imperial War Museum - Duxford    RAF Museum - Cosford

Royal Air Force Museum
2006 to 2013
The Museum at Hendon is situated on the site of an historic Royal Air Force airfield that dates back to the World War One, and is comprised of four main buildings which are open to the public. One building the Grahame-White Factory was dismantled and moved to the Museum site and completely restored.
The Bomber Command Collection and the Historic Hangars Collection can be found in hangars that date back to World War One. The Milestones of Flight Exhibition and the Battle of Britain Collection are housed in very modern buildings that unfortunately lack the character of the older historic buildings.
The Royal Air Force Museum at Hendon was opened by the Queen on November 15, 1972 with initially just 36 aircraft on display. I noted around 100 aircraft during my visit in January 2007. There are reserve collections at RAF Cosford, which is also open to the public, and also at various other locations around the UK, which are not.

Above left: The inside of the Grahame-White Factory which dates back to 1918.
Above right: part of the Historic Hangar.
hat I like about the aircraft on display is that they nearly all appear to have some direct connection with the RAF or Great Britain. The aircraft either served in or with the RAF or fought against the RAF in the two World Wars. The collection of captured German aircraft from World War II is surely the best in the world. The development of flight is covered from its start to the latest fast jets. A prototype Eurofighter Typhoon can be found hanging from the roof next to a Blériot. Around half dozen replica aircraft are on display where original aircraft are not readily available. The replicas don't impress me that much and so I have chosen not to feature them here. Some of the aircraft are presented very well with wartime scenery and artifacts. The aircraft information boards are excellent, I particularly liked the aircraft histories, taking you from an aircraft's first squadron and on to how and when it ended up in the care of the RAF Museum.

Right: The Milestones of Flight Exhibition with the more recent arrival in the foreground, a Eurofighter Typhoon prototype.

The Aircraft on Display

Aircraft from World War I
Blériot XI ('164' also BAPC106 and 9209M). Designed by the French aviator Louis Blériot in 1909. The French, British and Italian air forces took delivery of 132 Blériot XI's from 1910. It is on display at the Milestones of Flight Exhibition.

Blériot XXVII (unmarked and c/n 433 later BAPC107 and 9202M). The aircraft on display first flew in September 1911. In 1914 it went into store at LeHarve before being discovered by Richard Nash in 1936 and taken to Weybridge. Following a crash and rebuild the Blériot was loaned to the Science Museum in London in June 1939. Following a period of storage it was put on display at Farnborough in 1950. In 1953 the Royal Aeronautical Society bought it from the Nash Collection. It was moved to Upavon in 1962 for the 50th Anniversary of Flight Exhibition. In 1963 it was restored at Lyneham and then delivered to the RAF Museum store at Henlow in 1964. Further restoration took place at Cardington in 1974. In November 2004 it was transferred to Hendon for display and later moved to the Grahame-White Factory in January 2004.

Caudron G.III (ex O-BELA, OO-ELA and 9203M painted as '3066'). The Caudron G.III was designed by Gaston and Rene Caudron and was in production from May 1914 as a two-seat reconnaissance trainer. It had a maximum speed of 65mph (105 kmh).
This particular example was built in 1916, nothing is else is known about its identity and service history. By 1921 it was registered in Belgium as O-BELA but changed to OO-ELA in 1929. After appearing at the RAF Display at Hendon in June 1936 it was acquired by the Nash Collection and allocated G-AETA. The Royal Aeronautical Society bought the aircraft in 1953, handing it to the RAF in 1964. It was moved to Henlow and rebuilt as '(N)3066' of the RNAS Flying school at Vendôme in 1917. It moved to Hendon in 1972 and is now on display in the Grahame-White Factory hangar.

Sopwith Pup (N5182 later 9213M). The Pup was in service between 1916 and 1918 as a single-seat scout-fighter, it had a top speed of 111 mph (179 kmh). The aircraft on display was built by the Sopwith Aviation Company at Kingston-upon-Thames, it was delivered to 8 (Naval) Squadron in September 1916. The Royal Naval Air Service squadron was then operating from Dunkirk before moving to Vert Galand. By the end of the year pilots flying N5182 were credited with three victories. In 1917 N5182 was transferred to 3 (Naval) Squadron before it was withdrawn from service in August 1917. By around 1960 she was found in the Musée de l'Air's reserve collection store and was moved to the United Kingdom for restoration. Thirteen years later and fully restored to flying condition it suffered a force landing on a delivery flight to Blackbushe in 1974. By 1982 the RAF Museum had acquired the aircraft for display. 

Sopwith Camel F.1 (F6314 later 9206M). Developed from the Sopwith Pup, it was the most successful aircraft of World War I. It's name was derived from a slight hump forward of the cockpit. 5,490 Pups were produced from 1916, they claimed more kills (1,294) of German aircraft than any other allied fighter. Eleven companies apart from Sopwith Aviation Company built the Camel, including Fairey Aviation. It was found to be a difficult aircraft to fly due to its rotary engine that generated torque, which unless full right rudder was used on take off, caused inexperienced pilots to ground loop. During World War I, 413 Sopwith Camel pilots died in action with 385 pilots being killed due to accidents. F6314 was manufactured by Boulton and Paul.
Royal Aircraft Factory SE.5A (F938 and 9208M formally G-EBIC). The RAF SE.5A was in production between 1917 and 1920 as a single seat fighter. It had a top speed of 120 mph (193 kmh).
The aircraft on display was built by Wolesey Motors of Birmingham in 1918. After a period of storage it was registered as G-EBIC in 1923 and moved to Hendon for skywriting operations by Major John Clifford `Jack' Savage and his Savage Skywriting Co Ltd based at Hendon from 1922 until 1934. Another G-EBIB is on display at the Science Museum in London. By 1930 it had been acquired by Richard Nash and was put on display at the Royal Tournament in 1938. Throughout the 1950s it was displayed at various events. In 1968 it was completely overhauled at the RAF Museum workshops at Henlow. It was moved to Hendon in 1972 for the Museum's opening and purchased by them in 1992. The Shuttleworth Trust has (F909 / G-ABIA).
Sopwith Triplane (N5912 and 8385M). A single seat fighter in service from 1917 to 1919 and was capable of 113 mph (182 kmh).
This particular aircraft was manufactured by Oakley & Co in 1917. It was delivered to the School of Aerial Fighting at Marske in Yorkshire, by 1919, it had been struck off charge. It was held in store at RAF Cardington till the late 1920s before being moved to the fire dump. In 1936 it was transferred to RAF Hendon for reconstruction and display. Following long periods of storage, restoration at Henlow and display at various events, the Triplane arrived at Hendon in 1972 and is now on display in the Grahame-White Factory hangar.
Bristol F.2b ('E2466' 'I'). This is a composite rebuild using one of six fuselage frames bought privately in 1919 by a farmer to support a barn roof in Weston on the Green, they have no known identity. After recovery of four of them in 1965 they were taken to RAF Henlow. The airframe was restored in 1972 and put on display at Hendon till 1979 when it was taken to Cardington, where it was fitted with a fabricated engine and dummy radiator. By 1983 a fin, rudder and cowlings were added along with an original tail plane and lower left wing from the Shuttleworth Collection. The other wing sections came from a batch of wings built in 1918 but never delivered. These were acquired by RAFM in 1971 along with an original machine gun and wheels. All the additional parts were assembled in 1986 and the composite aircraft was taken to Hendon for display. It is painted in the markings of 22 Squadron from 1918 and the starboard side of the fuselage and wing is left uncovered.
Avro 504K ('E449' and 9205M). The Avro 504K was a primary two-seat trainer over 10,000 were built from 1913 to the time production ended in 1932. It had a speed of 85 mph (137 kmh).
The aircraft on display is a composite aircraft assembled using the wings of an Avro 548A (E499 and G-EBKN) and the fuselage of an Avro 504K (G-EBJE). Another aircraft from the Nash Collection, it was put together in the 1950s when in the charge of the Royal Aeronautical Society, by engineers of British European Airways. It was later restored using another engine at RAF Abingdon to flying status, taking to the air on June 24, 1966. It was further restored and repainted at Henlow before it moving to Hendon in 1972. Along with other aircraft in the Nash Collection it was bought by the Museum in 1992.
Sopwith Snipe ('E6655'). Sopwith Snipe ('E6655'). Not quite a replica this Snipe has been constructed using some original parts (pair of port and starboard upper ailerons, instrument lamps and other small components) and also some 'Snipe type' all-metal parts (fin, rudder and horizontal surfaces) from a similar aircraft, a Sopwith Dove (G-EBKY) which had been with the Shuttleworth Collection. The Bentley BR.2 rotary engine is of the type fitted to the Snipe and is original it is fitted with an original Snipe propeller.
The work completed on the composite Snipe was undertaken by the Vintage Aviator Ltd (TVAL) of Wellington in New Zealand. It is painted in a scheme representing a No 1 Squadron aircraft (E6655 'B') originally flown from RAF Hinaidi in Iraq in 1926, which was one of 150 Snipes ordered from Coventry Ordnance Works in March 1918 and were delivered in 1919.
Airco DH.9A 'Ninak' (F1010). The DH.9A was built by Aircraft Manufacturing Co. (Airco) of Hendon (with several sub-contractors) and designed by Capt. Geoffrey de Havilland. He later formed is own company when Airco were taken over by BSA in 1920. The DH.9A was in service from 1918 to 1931 as a two-seat bomber. 900 were built during 1918 in Great Britain, the Russians even produced unlicensed aircraft for the Red Air Force. After the World War One the DH.9A was used extensively in Iraq and India.
In 1918 the first squadron (110) were equipped with the DH.9A. Unusually 110 Squadron's aircraft including the aircraft on display were purchased for the RAF by His Serene Highness, the Nizam of Hyderabad. The squadron was consequently named 110 (Hyderabad) Squadron and F1010 is also inscribed to this effect. In 1918 on a long range bombing range from its French base F1010 was brought down and captured by the Germans following a forced landing at Kaiserslautern. It was moved to the Berlin Museum as a war trophy. During the World War Two it was damaged in a bombing raid and moved with other aircraft to a forest at Czarnikau, Germany for storage. Discovered by Polish troops in 1945 it was moved to Deblin, Poland. By 1963 it was put on display at a Museum in Krakow. In 1977 the aircraft was swapped for a Spitfire XV1e (SM411) and subsequently restored at Cardington before being put on display at Hendon in 1983.
Hanriot HD.1 (HD-75 of Belgian Air Force later G-AFDX and OO-APJ). The Hanriot-Dupont HD.1 was designed by Pierre Dupont and built at the Hanriot factory at Billancourt in France from 1916. At least 79 HD.1s were delivered to Belgium from 1917 (serials HD-1 to HD-79).  (HD-78 is at the Brussels Museum). This aircraft served in the Belgian Air Force from 1918 at Les Moores and Nivelles. In 1922 it won the World Aerobatic Championships at Nice and was eventually withdrawn from service in 1933 and put up for sale. In 1937 it was purchased by Richard Shuttleworth and flown from Evere, Brussels to Old Warden and registered as G-AFDX. Following a landing accident in 1939 it was put into store at Old Warden and later Brooklands, where the wings were damaged beyond repair in a German bombing raid. In 1962 it was sold to Marvin Hand in San Francisco where he restored the aircraft. He presented the aircraft to the RAF Museum in 1978. After further restoration at Cardington it was moved to the Museum in 1979.

Fokker D.VII (8417 '18' and 9207M). Designed by Reinhold Platz at Fokker, Baron Manfred von Richthofen 'Red Baron' in a competition for the best fighter flew the D.VII, after directing some improvements to be made, it was declared the winner. Production was ordered not only from Fokker but from Albatross and AEG. The first aircraft entered service in May 1918, too late for von Richthofen who had been killed just days before it was introduced. By the end of the World War One this aircraft was considered to be the best German fighter. 120 examples were moved to Holland and further 142 were shipped to the United States at the end of the war. The US Air Force were flying them to the mid 1920s.
The aircraft on display was bought in France in the 1930s by the Nash Collection. For many years it was in a all red scheme, but following a four year restoration it emerged in 1997 in an authentic five-colour lozenge camouflage scheme.

Aircraft from Between the Wars.
Bristol Bulldog IIA (G-ABBB but painted as 'K2227'). The Bulldog was built by the Bristol Aeroplane Company and was designed as a single seat day and night fighter. The prototype took to the skies in May 1927. It entered service with the RAF in 1928 but was withdrawn in 1938 in favour of the Hawker Hurricane. The aircraft was exported to Australia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Japan, Latvia, Siam, Spain and Sweden.
The aircraft on display was built in 1930 and was the Company demonstrator until it was retired and put into store at Filton, Bristol. In 1939 it went to the Science Museum in South Kensington, London. It was used in the making of the 1955 film 'Reach for the Sky' about Douglas Bader, who lost his legs when flying a Bulldog. It was restored to flying condition by 1960 and by 1961 it was painted as 'K2227' and presented to the Shuttleworth Trust. It suffered a number of accidents over the next three years. Extensive restoration was carried out throughout the 1990s before it was put on display at Hendon. In February 2010 it had been transferred to Filton.

Avro 671 Rota I (Cierva C.30A) (K4232 later SE-AZB). In 1934 Juan de la Cierva, a Spaniard, developed the C.30A autogyro. This unique aircraft was eventually license built by A V Roe & Co as the Rota 1 for the civil and military market, subsequently building 66 examples. Twelve Avro built Rota 1 autogyros were supplied to the RAF in the mid 1930s (serials K4230 to K4239 and K4296 and K4775), serving with the School of Army Co-operation at Old Sarum. They were used by 1448 (Rota) Flight at Duxford, (later reformed at Halton as 529 Squadron), in great secrecy to calibrate Britain's coastal radar stations during the war. Put into storage in 1945, K4232 was sold to the Cierva Autogiro Co. in 1946, before being sold on in Sweden and registered SE-AZB. The RAF Museum bought the aircraft in 1977, restoring it to its pre-war RAF markings.
Hawker Hart ('J9941' and G-ABMR). The Hart was designed by Sydney Camm as a two-seater light bomber, it took to the air for the first time in 1928. 400 aircraft were built for the RAF. The Hawker Hind and Hector aircraft were developed from the very capable Hart design.
Hawker Hart Trainer (K4972). The Hart trainer was a two-seat advanced trainer and was in service from 1935 to 1944. The example on display started life at 2 Flying Training School at RAF Digby in 1935 before moving to 2 FTS at Brize Norton two years later. By 1938 it passed through various Maintenance Units and in 1943 it was transferred to 1546 Squadron at Wigton for instructional use. In 1962 the dismantled aircraft was found in a loft at Nelson Thomlinson School in Wigton, by Solway Group of Aviation Enthusiasts. Following a brief period of display at Carlisle Crosby airport it was presented to the RAF Museum and put in to store at Henlow a year later. In 1968 it went to St Athan for restoration and display. In 1972 it was put on display at Hendon and in 1987 further restoration was carried out at Cardington prior to its move to Cosford for display in 1992. By 2002 it was back at Hendon and later Cosford by 2018.
Westland Wallace II (K6035 later 2361M). The Wallace was a general purpose biplane built from 1931. Its short service carrier ended with it being used for towing targets and as wireless trainers. In 1933 a Wallace prototype was fitted with a supercharged Pegasus engine and other necessary equipment for a private venture to fly over Mount Everest for the first time. In the company of a PV3 Torpedo plane and in temperatures of -60 degrees Centigrade, the record was set on April 3, 1933.
The Wallace on display served with 502 Squadron in 1936 before moving to RAF Cranwell with the 1 Electrical and Wireless School (later renamed 1 Signals School) a year later. It was retired from flying service in 1940. After being used for ground instruction it was towed to the edge of Cranwell airfield with two others to lay there untouched for 30 years. In 1987 restoration was started using 80% of the original parts and in 1993 it was put on display at Hendon.
Left to right:
de Havilland DH.60M Gypsy Moth (G-AAMX ex NC926M). de Havilland designed the Moth from the 1920s as an aircraft to meet the needs for the fast growing aero clubs and private pilots. In 1926 they re-engine the Moth with the new de Havilland Gypsy engine. The RAF flew 134 Gypsy Moths up until 1939 when they had all been retired. However, at the start of the war 146 civilian owned Moths were impressed into service by the RAF for communications duties.
G-AAMX is one of 29 DH.60M Moths built by Moth Aircraft Corp. at their St Louis factory from 1928. It was sold to Plymouth Airways, Plymouth, New Hampshire as NC926M on July 1930, but was written off in a crash on August 7, 1930. From 1930 till 1983 it was stored by a number of owners till it was bought by Cliff Lovell who shipped it to the UK and stored it initially at Walkeridge Farm. John Parkhouse later bought the damaged aircraft and started a 2,000 hour restoration project to return it flying condition which was completed by 1987. A previously unused period registration was obtained and it was moved to Shoreham. Following the death of John Parkhouse in 1993 and after 127 post restoration flights, its C of A expired in 1994. It was donated by the family to the RAF Museum and moved to Cosford in 1996 and later to Hendon in 2003. In January 2012 it was put in to storage.

de Havilland DH.82 Tiger Moth (T6296). The Tiger Moth was used by Elementary Flying Training Schools (EFTS) from 1932 to 1951. This example started its military service with 1 EFTS in 1941 and later 7 EFTS in 1942. At the end of the war it was transferred to the Fleet Air Arm and was in use at a number Royal Navy Air Stations until 1966. Following a period of storage at RNAS Fleetlands its was transferred to RAF Henlow in 1972 for the RAFM later in the year. In 1990 it was moved from the Main Hall to the Battle of Britain Hall.
Miles M.12 Mohawk (G-AEKW ex HM503). One of a series of monoplanes designed by FG Miles, it was built and first flew in 1936 by Philips and Powis Aircraft at Woodley. The Mohawk was designed as a fast, long-range light touring aircraft for the famous American aviator Colonel Charles Lindbergh. He needed it for business trips around Europe with his wife Anne. The colour scheme of black and orange was chosen by Lindbergh for high visibility. It had to have adjustable rudder pedals as he was over six feet tall, with rear seats that could convert to a bed. Only one Mohawk was built. Handed over officially to Lindbergh in 1937 he then flew it via Italy to India. He returned via Serbia, Greece and Austria. In 1938 he flew to Russia via Germany, returning via Poland, Czechoslovakia, France and Holland.
Lindbergh presented the aircraft to the British Government at the outbreak of war for use as a communications aircraft. It survived the war after limited use, restored to the civil register in 1946, it was unfortunately written off in an accident in Spain in 1949. The wreckage was sold to the Granada Aero Club who intended to repair it, however by 1973 it was discovered in a scrap yard in 1973 near Tablada. In 1975 it was shipped to the Aeroflex Museum Foundation Collection at Santee, North Carolina for restoration. In 2000 it was presented to the RAF Museum and delivered to RAF Wyton later that year. Further restoration was done at Michael Beetham Conservation Centre at Cosford from 2002 until 2006. In 2008 it was moved to the RAFM for display in Milestones building. In January 2012 it was put in to storage.
Gloster Gladiator (K8042). The Gladiator was the last biplane fighter when it entered service with the RAF in 1937. Unfortunately it was no match for the technologically more advanced German aircraft at the start for World War II.
K8042 was delivered in 1937 and immediately went in to storage. By 1941 it was put into service as the Station Flight at RAF Boscombe Down with the A&AEE. In 1942 it was transferred to 5(Pilots) Advanced Flying Unit at RAF Turnhill, before moving on in 1943 to 61 Operational Training Unit at RAF Rednal. Damaged in 1944 it went into storage at Little Rissington until being struck off charge in 1948 but being retained for historical reasons. In 1965 it emerged from the RAF Museum store at Henlow to be restored in in 1967 for display at the RAF's 50th Anniversary Royal Review in 1968. In 1971 it arrived at the RAF Museum at Hendon moving to its current location in the Battle of Britain Hall in 1978.
The wreckage of Gladiator II (N5628) written off in 1940 is also on display nearby.
North American AT-6 Harvard IIB (FE905 formally 31-329 RDAF and LN-BNM). 17,096 AT-6s were built before and during the World War Two. In USAAF service it was known as the AT-6 Texan, the 5,000 supplied to British and Commonwealth Air Forces were known as the Harvard. The first order for the Harvard was placed in June 1938. Following the outbreak of war most deliveries were made to Canada, Southern Rhodesia and the United States where pilot training was safer. The last Harvards were withdrawn from service with the RAF in the 1950s.
FE905 was built in 1943 by Noorduyn Aviation in Montreal, Canada and was supplied to the RAF under the lend-lease program and delivered to the RCAF with 41 Service Flying Training School at Weyburn, Saskatchewan. By 1943 it was transferred to 37 FTS at Calgary, Alberta later returning to Weyburn with 8 SFTS where became surplus to requirements and was struck off charge in 1946 having only flown 76 hours. In 1949 it was sold to the Danish Air Force becoming 31-329 and initially based at Kastrup. By 1960 having flown 1,900 hours it was struck off charge and sold in Norway for target owing duties as LN-BNM. After its C of A had expired in 1968 it was sold to the Historic Aircraft Museum at Southend, Essex and delivered in 1972. In 1983 the museum auctioned the aircraft for £6,000 and by 1985 it had passed to the RAF Museum at Cardington where it was to be restored. In 1991 it was loaned to the Newark Air Museum for three years before it was moved to Hendon.
CASA 1-131E Jungmann (E.3B-521 '781-3'). The aircraft of display was formally with Spanish Air Force (Ejercito del Aire) and was licence-built version of the Bücker Bü-131 Jungmann by Construcciones Aeronauticas S.A. (CASA) of Spain. Production continued in Spain until the early 1960s and it flew with the Spanish Air Force till 1968. The Bu-131 was designed as a primary trainer in 1933, taking to the air a year later. The Jungmann was also licence-built in Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Japan.
This aircraft was acquired by the Museum in exchange for a Cierva C.30 Autogiro, as an example of German training aircraft to compliment the impressive collection of fighters and bombers. This particular E.3B was built in the 1950s by CASA in Spain. It served with 781 Squadron till the early 1980s. They were finally put into storage at Granada where I was fortunate to see a hangar full of these fine aircraft in 1982.
Avro Anson I (W2068 '68'). The Anson was designed in 1936 for maritime reconnaissance duties for which it quickly became obsolete when war broke out and it was more ably employed as a crew trainer and communications aircraft. By 1952 over 8,000 examples had been built by Avro in Great Britain with nearly 3,00 more built in Canada by Canadian Federal Aircraft. The Anson remained in service with the RAF until 1954 and 1968 for the later redesigned C.19 variant, with many moving on to civilian operations. This example was built at the Avro factory at Newton Heath in Birmingham in 1941 and shipped out to Australia where it served till the end of World War II. In 1946 is was sold off becoming VH-ASM with East-West Airlines Pty till 1950. Bought by Marshall Airways in 1951 it was flown by them from 1956 till 1962. From 1972 after a period of storage it was put on display at various locations. Following a restoration in 1996 the fuselage only was put on display at RAFM Hendon. It is displayed on an original 'Queen Mary' semi-trailer which were built to transport non-flyable aircraft between airfields and factories.
Airspeed AS.10 Oxford I (MP425 and G-AITB). The Oxford was a three seat advanced trainer in service from 1937 to 1954. They were used to train pilots for night operations. Originally named 'Blind Approach Training Flights' (BAT Flights), in 1941 they were renamed 'Beam Approach Training Flights'.
The aircraft on display was built by the Standard Motor Company in Coventry. In March 1943 it was assigned to the No.1536 (Beam Approach Training) Flight at RAF Spittlegate. It finished it service carrier with No.18 (Pilot's) Advanced Training Unit at RAF Peterborough, before going in to storage with 12 MU.
In 1946 it was sold to Air Service Training at Hamble and registered as G-AITB. it was withdrawn in 1961 and acquired by the RAF Museum in 1969. Following a complete restoration at Cardington it was loaned to the Newark Air Museum in June 1991 for three years. 42 Oxfords were transferred to Belgium for use as communications aircraft with 367 Squadron at the end of the War, remaining in service till 1954. Click for information on the
Westland Lysander III (R9125 'LX-L'). The Lysander was designed to operate closely with the Army as a special transport and observation aircraft. It was a very rugged aircraft able to land on small and unprepared landing fields. Four squadrons with 170 Lysanders were moved to France in 1939. At the end of their time in France only 50 aircraft returned. They were later used to patrol coastal areas for downed airmen and could deploy dinghies when necessary. The Lysander operated with the RAF from 1938 to 1946.
The aircraft of display operated with 225 (Army Co-operation) Squadron at RAF Tilshead in 1940. It was modified for target towing in 1941 before being assigned to its first Gunnery School. In 1944 it was assigned to 161 (Special Duties) Squadron at RAF Tempsford. At the end of the war it went in storage, before transferring to the RAF Museum storage facility at Henlow in 1967. It moved to Hendon in 1971.
Taylorcraft Auster Mk.1 (LB264 later G-AIXA). Taylorcraft Aeroplanes (England) based in Leicestershire developed the US designed Taylorcraft Plus C and D models in 1940 to produce the Taylorcraft Auster Army Observation Post (AOP) aircraft. This light and manoeuvrable aircraft could operate from small airstrips and could evade enemy fighters by flying at very low-level. It was used to advise field commanders of enemy troop movements and artillery. Taylorcraft Aeroplanes (England) later became Auster Aircraft and its AOP aircraft formed the basis of the modern Army Air Corps.
LB264 was built in 1942 and was delivered to the A & AEE at Boscombe down. It later moved to 653 Squadron at Rearsby and was used for camouflage tests. In 1943 it was transferred to 1 Elementary Flying Training School (EFTS) at Holwell Hyde near Hatfield and then to 22 EFTS at Caxton Gibbet. At the end of the war it was sold to Cotswold Aero Club which was the first of many operators and private owners till in 2000 it was restored in its original 1942 camouflage and markings before being sold to the RAF Museum in 2002, it arrived at Hendon in 2003. See Auster Production List

Aircraft of World War II

The Spitfire I and Hurricane I in the Battle of Britain Hall
Hawker Hurricane I (P2617 'AF-F' also 8373M). It was designed in 1934 and entered service in 1937 as the fastest fighter in service by 100 mph. By 1939 500 were in service with eventually 32 squadrons being equipped with them. Hurricanes shot down more enemy aircraft during the Battle of Britain than all the other air and ground defences combined. They later were used in North Africa and in the Far East against Japan. The aircraft on display was used in the film 'Reach for the sky'.
Supermarine Spitfire I (X4590 'PR-F' also 8384M). The first Spitfire Mk.1s entered service in August 1938 and by the outbreak of war nine squadrons were equipped with them. The Spitfire was the only aircraft that could match the German Messerschmitt Bf-109E in aerial combat during the Battle of Britain.
The Spitfire Mk.1 on display entered service in October 1940 with 609 Squadron based at Middle Wallop later moving to RAF Warmwell in Dorset. After transferring to 66 Squadron at Exeter in 1941 it was briefly moved 57 Operational Training Unit at RAF Hawarden before passing to 303 (Polish) Squadron at RAF Speke Liverpool in July 1941.
By 1942 it was employed by various training units before being moved to a Maintenance unit and long term storage. In 1972 it was moved to the RAF Museum store at Henlow before being put on display at Cosford in 1976 and at Hendon in 1978 in the Battle of Britain Hall.
Supermarine Spitfire Vb (BL614 'ZD-F'). 6,500 Mk.Vs were built between 1941 and 1943 and served with over 140 squadrons. By 1944 only five squadrons still operated the variant.
BL614 was delivered in 1942 to 8 MU at Little Rissington and was later transferred to RAF Drem near Edinburgh where it served with 611, 242 and 222 Squadrons. In 1943 it served with 64 and 118 Squadrons before it was moving to 2 School of Technical Training at RAF Cosford and later to 6 School of Technical Training at RAF Hednesford. By 1948 it was with 7 Recruits Centre at RAF Bridgenorth before becoming the gate guard at RAF Credenhill from 1955. After appearing in the film 'Battle of Britain' it was put on display at RAF Colerne from 1972, RAF St Athan from 1975 and at the Manchester Air and Space Museum from 1980. Medway Preservation Society started a restoration from 1995 once completed it was moved to RAFM at Hendon in 1997.

Supermarine Spitfire F.24 (PK724 and 7288M). The Spitfire F.24 was the final variant of the illustrious World War Two fighter. Only 70 examples were supplied to the RAF and mostly went into storage as in 1946 the type was now making way for jet aircraft.
Built at the Castle Bromwich factory PK724 was handed over to 33 MU at Lyneham where it stayed till 1950 with only seven hours on the clock. It was then moved to 9 MU at Cosford where it was declared non-effective in 1954 with most of the other F.24 which were scrapped in 1956. By 1961 PK724 was gate guardian at RAF Gaydon till 1970 before moving to Hendon. Two other Spitfire F.24s survive, PK683/7150M Southampton Hall of Aviation (Solent Sky), and VN485/7326M at IWM Duxford.
Hawker Typhoon 1B (MN235). The Typhoon was designed as a low-level and close-support ground attack fighter-bomber for use against tanks, armoured vehicles, airfields and communications. Entering service in 1942, it was the first 400mph (640kmh) fighter with the RAF. The Typhoon was withdrawn from service at the end of the war.
This actual aircraft was built by Gloster Aircraft Company and delivered to the RAF in 1944. Shortly after delivery it was transferred to the United States for evaluation. It was flight tested for two months, before being moved to the Smithsonian Institution's National Air Museum. It is now the only surviving complete Typhoon and in 1967 was exchanged for a Hurricane for the 50th Anniversary of the RAF celebrations. It was refurbished at RAF Shawbury before moving to Hendon in 1972. In February 2014 it was dismantled and shipped to the Canada Aviation and space Museum on loan returning in 2018 to RAF Coningsby.
Hawker Tempest II ('PR536' 'OQ-H' and formally Indian Air Force HA457). In 1940 Hawker's Sydney Camm, was at work designing a successor to the Typhoon. The result was the sleeker Tempest, which took to the air in February 1943. 3 Squadron, converting from the Typhoon, were the first squadron to go operational in April 1944. It was soon found to be more superior than its German adversaries in their Bf 109s during the D-Day landings. They were also used to intercept the V-1 flying bombs, destroying around 800 by August 1944. More than 1,400 Tempests were built and only twelve survive today, two of those are at Hendon.
This Tempest II (PR536) was built in 1945 by Hawker Aircraft at Langley and was shipped to India. After the war in 1947 it passed to the Indian Air Force, ending up as a decoy at Poona by 1969. It was brought back to Great Britain in 1979 and eventually went into storage at Cardington in 1987. Following restoration at Duxford it was put on display at Hendon in November 1991 in 5 Squadron colours.
Hawker Tempest TT.5 (NV778 and 8368M). This is a converted Mk.5 for target towing. Built in November 1944 and after seeing little action was put in to storage before being converted in 1950. Following a period of gate-guarding at Middleton St. George and Leeming it was moved to Cardington for restoration to flying status and flew again in the early 1970s. It finally went on display at Hendon in 1972. In 1991 it was restored at Cardington as a TT.5 and after a further period of storage it was displayed at Cosford before returning to Hendon in 2003 in a 233 OCU scheme. It is on display at the Milestones of Flight Exhibition.
Fiat CR.42 Falco (MM5701 '13-95' and BT474 and 8468M). The Italian Air Force originally ordered 200 examples as primary fighters, which entered service in 1939. They were later used as night fighters and trainers ending their service career in 1950. They first saw action in southern France and were sent by Mussolini to assist the Germans in the aerial fight against Britain in 1940. The CR.42 was no match for the far superior RAF fighters and saw little action. The aircraft on display moved to Maldegan in Belgium with the 18 Gruppo, 56 Stormo, 95 Sqadriglia Caccia Terrestre in October 1940. One month later it was forced to land on the beach at Orfordness in Suffolk, as a result of a broken oil pipe. It was flight tested at RAE Farnborough before going into storage in 1943. Following a number of moves it ended up at St Athan in 1968 where it was restored before its move to Hendon in 1978.
Messerschmitt Bf-109E-3 (4101 '12' later DG200 and 8477M) on display in the Battle of Britain Experience Hall.
Left to right:
Messerschmitt Bf-109E (4101 '12') on display was built in 1940 and delivered to Jagdgeschwader 51 based at Pihen in France. It was shot down over Kent in November 1940 by a 66 Squadron Spitfire. Following recovery it was delivered to Rolls-Royce at Hucknall for repair and evaluation. It was moved to de Havilland at Hatfield for propeller tests before going on to the A&AEE at Boscombe Down in 1942. It later joined 1426 (Enemy Aircraft) Flight at Duxford and later Collyweston. In 1943 it was put into storage eventually moving to St Athan in 1969 for refurbishment. It moved to Hendon in 1976 and to the Battle of Britain Hall in 1978.

Junkers Ju-88R-1 (360043 'D5+EV' later PJ876 and 8474M). The Ju-88 was one of the most versatile and successful German aircraft of World War II. It was employed as a bomber and later as a night fighter and also for long-range reconnaissance. The first Ju-88As were delivered in September 1939, they were immediately used to attack British shipping and later for the Battle of Britain. Insufficient defensive armament meant that they suffered heavy losses before their role was switched to night-fighting.
The example on display was license-built by Heinkel in 1942 and was converted to R-1 standard in 1943. On May 9, 1943 it took off from Aalborg in Denmark landing at Kristiansand in Norway. After falsely reporting that it had an engine fire it headed for Scotland. British Secret Service had somehow previously convinced the German aircrew (Oberleutnant Heinrich Schmitt, veteran of the Spanish Civil War and the Battle of Britain, radar operator Oberfeldwebels Paul Rosenberger, and mechanic Oberfeldwebels Erich Kantwill), to defect and fly the aircraft to Great Britain with its radar secrets. It landed at RAF Dyce at Aberdeen to be met by Professor RV Jones a German radar expert. It was flown to RAE Farnborough a few days later under escort for evaluation and testing. British markings were applied and it was transferred to 1426 (Enemy Aircraft) Flight. At the end of the War the Flight was disbanded and the Ju-88 was transferred to RAF Sealand with 47 MU, destined for a museum. It passed through several other airfields and storage, before going to St Athan in 1973 for restoration. Restoration was completed in 1975 and it was moved to Battle of Britain Hall at Hendon in 1978. Moved to Cosford by 2018.
Focke-Wulf Fw-190A8/U1 (584219 '38' also 8470M). The FW-190 operated very successfully from its introduction in 1941 and throughout the war, as a day fighter alongside the Messerschmitt Bf-109. This particular aircraft was originally a single-seat until being converted to a two-seat trainer. It was at one time with the Air Fighting School 103. It was found in Northern Germany and flown to the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough for evaluation at the end of the war.
Left to right: Messerschmitt Bf-109G-2 (10639 'Black 6' later RN228 and 8478M and G-USTV). The Bf-109 was one of the finest single seat fighters from World War II with 33,000 being produced. It was designed in 1935 and performed very well during the Spanish Civil War. It was only matched by the Spitfire's and Hurricane's performance. It could out climb both and was faster than the Hurricane but not the Spitfire. Its main limiting factor was its limited endurance as it could only engage in combat over England for a few minutes. A fighter-bomber version was introduced in 1940. In January 2012 it was moved to the Bomber Command Hall.
Junkers Ju-87D-3 (494083 'RI+JK' also 8474M). The Ju-87 was widely known as the 'Stuka' (German for dive-bomber) and entered service in 1938. It first saw action during the Spanish Civil War (1936 to 1939). It was very successfully used against Poland and France before being employed to attack shipping in the English Channel. It went on to destroy more ships than any other aircraft in history. After its role was switched to attacking coastal airfields and radar stations it began to suffer heavy losses due to its poor defence against enemy fighters. They were later moved to the Russian Front to attack tanks.
The aircraft on display in was built around 1943 as a Ju-87D-2 but later modified to G-2 standard by removing its dive brakes and fitting two 37mm Bk37 cannon. It was captured in 1945 in Germany with unidentified 'RI+JK' unit markings and flown to Eggebek before being shipped to United Kingdom and storage with 47 MU at RAF Sealand. It was moved to RAF Stanmore Park, RAF Wroughton and RAF Fulbeck before arriving at RAF St Athan in 1960. It was repainted in 1975 and transferred to the Battle of Britain Hall at Hendon in 1978.
Heinkel He-111H-23 (701152 'NT+SL' and 8471M). The He-111 was designed as a high speed medium bomber and civil transport in 1934. The first bombers were delivered in 1936 and were first used as such in the following year during the Spanish Civil War by the Nationalist forces. This proved an ideal testing ground. In 1940 the fully glazed nose versions (He-111H and He-111P) were introduced. During daylight raids they were very vulnerable to fighter attack due to their poor defensive armament and their lack of speed. Following heavy losses their role was switched to night attacks against Great Britain.
The He-111H on display was delivered as a paratroop transport in 1944 of which it could carry 16 with a crew of three. Following the German surrender it was allotted to the USAAF in 1945 and ferried to Cherbourg but not shipped. In July 1945 it was flown to RAF Boxted, home of the 56th Fighter Group, USAAF, and painted in their markings. Over the next few months it was displayed at several American air bases before being transferred to RAE Farnborough to join other captured German aircraft. In 1947 it was put into storage at RAF Sealand. After a number of moves it arrived at St Athan in 1969 before going to Hendon for display in the new Battle of Britain Hall in 1978. (Click both images to see photographs taken without flash).
Messerschmitt Bf-110G-4/R6 (730301 'D5+RL' later 8479M). Designed as a long-range escort fighter in 1939, it had a crew of three and could reach 342mph (550kmh). It first saw service over Poland in 1939, however in the Battle of Britain it was no match against the faster Spitfires and Hurricanes in daylight, later as a night fighter it was very successful.
The example on display was presumed built in 1944, it was seized at Grove airfield in Denmark in May 1945. Three months later it was being assessed at RAF Farnborough, but swiftly moved in storage. Moving from one storage facility to another over the next 20 years it ended up at RAF St Athan where it was restored in 1976. It moved to the Battle of Britain Museum Hall at Hendon in 1978.

Bristol Bolingbroke IVT ('L8756' really ex RCAF 10001). The Bristol Blenheim was developed in 1936 as a light bomber. The Blenheim I was superseded by the Blenheim IV in 1938 which was fitted with a longer nose. They were used for day and night bombing raids on occupied ports till 1941 and some were converted to night fighters but had little success due to their lack of speed. Some Blenheim IV's served in North Africa and in the Far East.
The Bolingbroke IV on display was license-built by Fairchild Aircraft in 1941 and delivered to the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1942. After serving with Bombing and Gunnery Schools in Canada it was struck off charge in 1946 and sold to a private owner. It was eventually purchased by the RAF Museum in 1966 and moved to Henlow in 1969 for storage. Restoration began in 1972 by the A&AEE at Boscombe Down and was completed in 1978 and it was transferred to Hendon later in the year. It is painted as 'L8756' to represent an aircraft from 139 Squadron.
Bristol Beaufort VIII ('DD931' and 9131M). The Beaufort first flew on October 15, 1938 entering service with 22 Squadron in November 1939. It had a crew of four and was in service until 1946. Throughout the early part of the war they were operated by RAF Coastal Command as a torpedo bomber. They were also used to drop magnetic mines until 1943. Later many Beauforts were flown in Africa and in the Far East. 1,380 were built including 700 in Australia.
The aircraft on display has been assembled using part recovered from several aircraft found in New Guinea combined with re-manufactured parts. It is painted in the markings of 39 Squadron as 'DD931' when operating from Malta in 1942.

Bristol Beaufighter TF.X (RD253 and 7931M ex FAP BF-13). The Beaufighter was a two-seat anti-shipping strike fighter, remaining in service from 1940 for 20 years. It carried four 20mm cannon in the nose and six machine guns on the wings and another on top of the fuselage. It could also carry one torpedo or eight rockets and two bombs. The prototype first flew on July 17, 1939, RAF Fighter Command taking delivery of the first aircraft in April 1940. They were fitted with radar and performed well at night against Germany. The last of 5,562 Beaufighters was delivered in September 1945. Towards the end of it's career many were converted to target tugs.
The aircraft on display was built by the Bristol Aircraft Company at Oldmixon and delivered to the RAF in November 1944. In 1945 it was transferred to the Portuguese Navy for maritime patrol. After a period of ground instruction use it was given to the Lisbon Technical Institute. It was stored out side for 15 years before being presented to the RAF in 1965. At RAF Bicester it was cannibalised for spares for another Beaufighter that was being prepared for Canada. The remains were sent to St.Athan where RD253 was completely restored and moved to Hendon in 1972.
Vickers Wellington T.10 (MF628 and 9210M). Using a very strong geodetic type of construction developed by Barnes Wallis, the Wellington went into service in 1938. Designed as a long range bomber, it was also found to be an effective torpedo carrier with Coastal Command. By 1941 four-engine bombers were introduced and the Wellington was transferred to Transport and Training Commands. 
The example on display was delivered to the RAF in 1944 as a Wellington 10. In 1948 it was converted to a T.10 and transferred to 1 Air Navigation School but suffered an accident in 1951. Following repair it was sold back to Vickers in 1955 who presented it to the Royal Aeronautical Society. In 1964 it was placed on permanent loan to the RAF moving to Hendon in 1971. A front gun turret was fitted in 1981.
Fairey Battle 1 (L5343 with parts from L5340). Built in 1939 it served with 266 then 98 Squadron before its transfer to Coastal Command in 1940 for operations in Iceland. Soon after its arrival it force landed in a remote area and was subsequently torched. In the early 1970s parts were recovered for restoration at RAF Leeming and later at Henlow with extensive part from another Battle L5340. Restoration was completed at St.Athan. (The finished restoration was completed in 1990 and is around 40% original, 30% L5343 from Iceland, 25% L5340 and 5% from donated components. It retains the serial L5343 as the major identifiable parts are from that aircraft). Further work was done at Roachester from 2006 till 2008 when it moved to RAFM Hendon and Cosford before it was ready for display in 2010.
Boulton Paul Defiant I (N1671 'EW-D' also 8370M). The Defiant entered service in 1939 as a two-seat turret armed fighter. Unfortunately the concept of a rear facing turret and no forward facing guns was not very successful. After suffering considerable losses in daylight its operations were switched to night-time. Despite adding radar to improve its effectiveness, the Defiants were withdrawn in favour of Beaufighters and Mosquitos.
N1671 entered service in August 1940 with 307 Zwowski (Polish) Squadron at RAF Kirton-in-Lindsey and later at Blackpool, Colerne and Exeter. After transfer to 153 Squadron at Ballyhalbert and 285 Squadron at Honily in 1942 it was withdrawn from service in 1943. Following periods of storage at various airfields it ended up at St Athan in 1960 before moving on to Finningley in 1968. It was transferred to Hendon in 1971 and moved to the Battle of Britain Hall in 1978. It was no longer on display by December 2009.
Lockheed Hudson (A16-199). The Hudson was based on the Lockheed 14 Super Electra civil airliner and 2,942 were built. The first of over 2,000 Hudsons ordered by the RAF in 1938, entered service with Coastal Command in 1939 on anti-submarine and general reconnaissance duties. When they became obsolete they were switched to the transport role which included the dropping of Allied agents in Nazi-occupied Europe. Other impressive actions attributed to the Hudson, was being the first Allied aircraft flying from the UK, to shoot down an enemy aircraft. Also it was the first aircraft to capture a U-boat, when U-570 surrendered to a 269 Squadron Hudson in August 1941.
A16-199 was ordered as FH174 but was in 1942 one of 247 diverted to the RAAF before delivery to the RAF. The RAAF operated the Hudson until the remaining 48 were sold in 1946 and 1947. A16-199 became VH-SMM in 1950 and was owned by the Sydney Morning Herald Newspaper but was withdrawn from service in 1953. Following a period of aerial survey work it was put on display with Lancaster NX611 at Bankstown by 1964. In 1966 it was re-registered VH-AGJ by Adastra Aerial Surveys and later operated by Adastra Aerial Spraying in 1969. Operated by Adastra Airways in 1973 it was flown to the Strathallen Collection in Scotland where it was repainted in the colours of 13 Squadron RAAF and registered G-BEOX. In 1981 it was sold for £16,000 to the RAFM and moved to Hendon.
de Havilland DH-98 Mosquito TT.35 (TJ138 'VO-L' and  7607M). The Mosquito was designed to be fast, very fast. Constructed out of wood it was light and with conventional armament eliminated it was very light. It could carry 1,000 lb of bombs 1,500 miles at a speed of almost 400 mph. This was twice the speed of contemporary British bombers. Using the experience of building the DH.88 Comet Racer de Havilland conceived the aircraft in 1938, with the prototype day bomber taking to the air for the first time in November 1940. The Mosquito would eventually be used in a variety of roles, including; low-level tactical daytime bomber, high altitude night bomber, pathfinder, day and night fighter, trainer and for reconnaissance. Towards the end of its career it was used as a target tug. 7,781 were built the last was completed in 1950.
TJ138 was part of a batch of 70 Mosquito B.35s ordered in 1944 but not delivered till the latter half of 1945 when it was put in to storage with 27 MU at RAF Shawbury. In 1950 it was put in to service with 98 Squadron at Celle in Germany and later Fassberg. In 1951 it returned to storage at 38 MU Landlow to make way for the Vampire FB.5 at 98 Squadron. In 1953 it became one of 205 B.35s converted to TT.35 standard to be used as target tugs, initially at Llanbedr in 1954 and later at Woodvale from 1958. In 1959 it was put in to storage at 27 MU Shawbury. Declared to be of historical significance it was moved to 71 MU Bicester in 1959 and moved on to RAF Thorney Island in 1960. By 1967 it was at RAF Colerne where it was refurbished in 1970. With the closure of Colerne in 1975 it was moved first to RAF Finningley and then to RAF Swinderby before arriving at RAF St Athan in 1986. It was repainted in the colours of 98 Squadron in 1991 to join the RAFM Hendon in 1992.
Avro Lancaster I (R5868 'PO-S' later 7325M). The Lancaster was based on the twin engine Avro Manchester, and made its first flight on January 9, 1941. It employed four Rolls-Royce Merlin engines. By the time production had ended 7,377 aircraft had been built by six major companies. During the last three years of the War it was a very successful night bomber and continued in service until 1954. Today only 17 survive and of those only two are maintained in flying condition.
The aircraft on display was built by Metropolitan Vickers in 1942. It started its service life with 83 Squadron, before transferring to 467 Squadron RAAF. During the War Lancasters on average flew 21 missions before being lost. Little more than 20 flew over 100 missions, R5868 flew a total of 137 missions. In 1945 it went in to storage at Wroughton. By 1970 it had been refurbished at Bicester before moving to Hendon in March 1972.
Handley Page Halifax II (W1048 'TL-S'). The Halifax was perhaps over-shadowed by the more famous Lancaster which also entered service in 1941. It was the first RAF bomber to fly over Germany when it took part in a raid on Hamburg in March 1941. Between 1941 and 1945 the Halifax flew over 75,000 bombing raids dropping more than a quarter of all bombs released over Germany by the RAF. Replaced as a front line bomber at the end of the war it continued its service until 1952 with Coastal Command and Transport Command.
Halifax W1048 was part of a eleven aircraft raid on the German battleship Tirpitz in April 1942 by 35 Squadron based at Linton-on-Ouse. Tirpitz was reported to be in Foettenfjord in Norway. Flying from Kinloss W1048 was over the target but hit by flak and forced to make a landing on the frozen Lake Hocklingen. Five of the crew escaped to Sweden, the sixth member, due to an injured ankle, was unable to get away was taken prisoner. In 1971 the Halifax was found to be in remarkable condition at the bottom of lake. In 1973 using oil drums filled with air the Halifax was raised from the lake bottom and towed to the shore, where it was dismantled and brought back to the UK. Although a full restoration was considered it was finally decided that it should be displayed as the aircraft was found.
Boeing B-17G-95-DL Flying Fortress (44-83868 'N' later N5237V). The B-17 started life on the drawing board in 1934 with deliveries starting in 1937. At the time of the attack on Pearl Harbour there were fewer than 200 B-17s in service. Production was immediately stepped up and at Boeing's Seattle plant alone production rose to an aircraft every 90 minutes. It was the first massed produced large aircraft and 12,731 were built in total. Just over 200 B-17s were supplied to the RAF starting in 1941. 
The B-17G on display was built by Douglas Aircraft Corporation in 1944. In July 1945 it was transferred to the US Navy and equipped with radar for a maritime reconnaissance role along the US West Coast. In 1955 it was withdrawn from service and sold to Butler Aviation who converted it into a water bomber for fire fighting duties. After its retirement in 1982 it was flown to the UK in 1983. It is painted in the markings of 94th Bombardment Group when based at Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.
Consolidated B-24L Liberator VI (KN751 later with Indian Air Force as HE807). Designed by the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation the B-24 made its first flight on December 29, 1939. By the time production ended in 1945 19,257 Liberators had been built by Consolidated, Douglas, North American and Ford. Compared with the B-17 it had a longer range and could carry a greater payload. 1,900 aircraft were delivered to the RAF, with over 100 more being transferred during operations. The final Liberators in service were flown by the Indian Air Force until December 1968.
The example on display was built in 1944 at Ford's Willow Run factory which had attained a production rate of one aircraft per hour. It was flown via the Middle East to 99 (Madras Presidency) Squadron at Dhubalia. It was then detached to Cocos (Keeling) Islands until the Squadron was disbanded in November 1945. KN751 was struck off charge in April 1946. Transferred to the Royal Indian Air Force as HE807, in 1948 it was converted to the maritime patrol role with 6 Squadron. It served with 15 other Liberators at Poona until 1968, when they were replaced by eight Super Constellations. Following an overhaul it was handed over to the Royal Air Force Museum and flown to the UK in July 1974. In 1976 it was put on display at Cosford, where it stayed until it was moved to Hendon in 2005.
Republic P-47D-40-RA Thunderbolt ('KL216' 'RS-L' also 9212M). The P-47 Thunderbolt did not enter service with the RAF till 1944 for use with South East Asia Command. They were used to attack Japanese ground forces as well as for escorts of RAF Liberators. By the end of 1945 they were replaced by Hawker Typhoons. 
This particular aircraft was built in 1945 and did not see operational service, passing to the US Air National Guard (as 45-49295). Later it was transferred to the Yugoslavian Air Force (as 13064). The RAF Museum acquired the aircraft in 1986. It is painted in 30 Squadron markings representing the period when they operated the Thunderbolt from June 1944 to May 1945 in Burma.
North American B-25J Mitchell (44-29366). The prototype first flew in 1940 with initial deliveries commencing in the following year. The Mitchell was also delivered to the RAF, the Dutch and Russian Air Forces.
This actual aircraft was delivered in 1944 but did not see any operational service, but was used for training from 1946 to 1959. Following a film career ('Catch 22' and 'Hanover Street') it joined the RAFM in 1982. It is painted in the scheme applied to it on delivey.
Curtis Kittyhawk IV (A29-556 painted as 'FX760' coded 'GA-?' ex 42-106101). The P-40 was developed as a ground attack fighter, in US service the P-40 was known as Warhawks. Over 3,000 P-40s entered service with Commonwealth Air Forces from 1942. In RAF service P40A, B and C variants were named Tomahawks. The more powerful P-40Ds were named Kittyhawks. The Kittyhawk served in Italy till 1945 and in the Far East. 
The aircraft on display is a composite, made up of parts from wrecks found in New Guinea. It is painted in authentic markings of an aircraft serving with 112 Squadron in 1941 in the Mediterranean.

North American P-51D-30-NA Mustang  ('41-3317' 'VF-B' really 44-74409 later NL51RT). Perhaps the best fighter of World War II, the P-51 Mustang was built from 1940 by North American Aviation to a British specification. By 1941 the first Mustang was delivered to the RAF for testing. In 1942 a Rolls-Royce Merlin engine was fitted to the P-51B giving the aircraft at 30,000 feet an extra 100 mph to 440 mph over the Allison engine. In June 1944 the first of 8,000 P-51Ds with the British designed bubble canopy were produced. It had now become a vital long-range fighter escort, equipped with drop tanks, which could be jettisoned when empty of fuel, to improve the aircraft's performance. Over 2,600 Mustangs were supplied to the RAF flying with 31 squadrons during the war. They were all withdrawn from RAF service by November 1946.
Kawasaki Ki 100-1b ('24' also 8476M). Introduced late in World War II the Ki 100 was one of the most effective Japanese fighter aircraft. Its first flight was on February 1, 1945 272 Ki 100 1a's were produced followed by 188 Ki 100 1b's with bubble canopies. The aircraft on display is the only survivor. In September 2011 it was relocated to Cosford where it went on display in October.

Flying boats...
Supermarine Southampton I (N9899). The Southampton flying boat was designed by RJ Mitchel for reconnaissance duties the 24 Mk.1s built were of wooden construction (cedar and mahogany) followed by 40 Mk.2s with hulls of aluminium alloy. Entering service in 1925 the reliable aircraft remained in service for eleven years, flying all over the world.
The Southampton Mk.1 flying boat N9899 was built in 1925 at the Supermarine Aviation works in Southampton. It entered service with 480 (Coastal Reconnaissance) unfortunately it was damaged beyond repair at Portland in a Gale and the hull was sold in 1929. In 1930 the hull was converted to a houseboat. Recovered in 1967 the hull only had been found on the mud flats of Debden river in Suffolk. The all wooden hull was the subject of extensive restoration starting in 1984 at Cardington and completed nearly eleven years later. The wings could not be rebuilt as the drawings no longer exist.
Supermarine 304 Stranraer (RCAF 920 'QN-' and CF-BXO). The Stranraer was developed from the Southampton flying boat (the hull of a Southampton is also at Hendon). It had a speed of 165 mph (266 kmh) and an endurance of over nine hours. The hull is constructed from anodised Alcad sheeting with wings and tail of duralumin and fabric covering. 17 aircraft were manufactured by Supermarine Aviation Works (Vickers Ltd) and delivered to 228 Squadron at Pembroke Dock in 1937. They served with the RAF until they were withdrawn in 1942. Vickers (Canada) built 40 Stranraers for the Royal Canadian Air Force. The RCAF used the flying boats to patrol their coastlines until they were withdrawn in 1945. Queen Charlotte Airlines of Vancouver continued to fly their aircraft until the 1950s.
The aircraft on display was delivered to 5 (Bomber Reconnaissance) Squadron at Dartford, Nova Scotia in 1940. In the following year it was transferred to 9 (Bomber Reconnaissance) Squadron who operated from Prince Rupert and later Bella Bella in British Columbia. It was withdrawn from service in 1944 and sold to Labrador Mining and Exploration Co., registering it as CF-BXO. As a civilian carrier it continued with several owners till it was purchased from Fortune Films in 1969 by the RAF Museum. It was collected in two RAF Belfast transport aircraft in 1970. Following extensive restoration work in was put on display at RAF Hendon, resplendent in its former RCAF, 5 (BR) Squadron markings. Unfortunately its code of 'QN-' could not be completed with the aircraft's individual letter, due to a lack of information.
Supermarine Seagull V (Australian Air Force A2-4). It was designed by R J Mitchell as an Air and Sea Rescue amphibian in 1933. It was used for rescuing downed airmen or for reconnaissance and could be catapulted from warships. It was known as the Walrus in RAF service, when the Australian Air Force ordered 24 they named it the Seagull. With Supermarine concentrating on building Spitfires, production of the Walrus was assigned to Saunders Roe Ltd (SARO). SARO eventually built 461 out of a total of 746 aircraft by January 1944, when production ended.
The aircraft on display was test flown in December 1935 before its shipment to Australia. Before and during the war it was embarked on a number of HMAS ships suffering a number of accidents, including a sinking in 1938. After the war it was sold, becoming VH-ALB and operating successfully till the late 1960s. After a crash in 1970 it was held by the RAAF before being shipped to the UK in 1973. Restoration began in 1975 at Henlow and the aircraft was moved to Hendon in 1979.
Short Sunderland V (ML824 'NS-Z'). The Sunderland entered service in 1938 and was based on the 'C' class Empire flying-boat operated by Imperial Airways. It was the first British flying-boat to have power-operated gun turrets for its defence and was also the last flying-boat to be operated by the Royal Air Force after 20 years of service. At the start of World War II there were three squadrons operating the Sunderland. Eventually 749 were built serving with Coastal Command till 1945 and continued to its retirement in 1959, after operating from the United Kingdom, Africa and the Far East.
The Sunderland on display was launched as a Mk.III in 1944 from Short's factory at Belfast and was immediately converted to a Mk.V. It served with 201 Squadron at Castle Archdale and 330 (Norwegian) Squadron at Sullom Voe. After a period with 57 MU at the end of the war it was transferred to the French Aeronavale with 13 others in 1951. It was donated to the Short Sunderland Trust at Pembroke Dock in 1961. In 1968 it passed to the RAF Museum and was stored in the Graham White Hangar from 1971. In 1976 is was painted in its original 201 Squadron markings at St Athan before moving to Hendon in 1978.

Enter the Jets...
Messerschmitt Me-262A-2a Schwalbe 'Swallow' (112372 '4' later VK893 and 8482M). This was the most advanced fighter of World War II. Design work began in 1938 but problems with the revolutionary turbojets delayed the first flight till July 1942. An interfering Hitler insisted that it be manufactured as a fighter bomber and as such it was not operational till summer 1944. As an fighter the Me262 was formidable but the small numbers produced meant that it had little impact during the war. It was on display at the Milestones of Flight Exhibition before mving to Cosford by 2018.
Heinkel He-162A-2 (120227 '2 red' later VH513 and 8472M). The German aircraft industry were pushed towards the end of the war to produce aircraft designs that could reverse an ever increasingly desperate situation. The He-162 jet fighter took just 69 days from initial design to its first flight. It was the first aircraft to be fitted with an ejection seat. Deliveries began in February 1945, with 200 only being delivered. Due to a shortage of supplies it was mostly built of wood. This aircraft was captured at Leck in Northern Germany and brought back to Great Britain for evaluation. It flew 26 sorties before being put into storage.
Gloster F.9/40 Meteor Prototype (DG202/G later 5758M). This is one of eight Meteor prototypes ordered by the Ministry of Aircraft in February 1941. It was built by Glosters at Brockworth by Autumn 1941. Following ground running tests it attempted to take to the air in July 1942, but was beaten by sister aircraft DG206 to a first flight. Its actual first flight took place in July 1943. Trials continued until 1945 including deck landings before it was put into storage with Glosters at Moreton Valance and was later alotted the instructional serial 5758M with School of Aeronautical Engineering (Officers) at RAF Henlow at the end of 1945. There it was used for ground training until it was transferred to the main gate at RAF Yatesbury in 1958. In 1965 after a period of storage it moved to RAF Cosford where it remained until its transfer to RAFM Hendon in September 2011. DG202 had returned to RAF Cosford store by February 2018.

Gloster Meteor F.8
(WH301 later 7930M). The Gloster Meteor was the RAF's first operational jet fighter and saw combat during World War II. By 1947 30 squadrons were equipped with 1,000 of the improved Mk.8 Meteors. The F.8 however did not actually see combat and some were eventually converted into target tugs. 
The Meteor F8 on display started its service career at the Day Fighters Leaders School at the Central Fighter Establishment from 1952 to 1955. It then moved to 609 Squadron before passing to the RAF Flying College at Manby in 1956. It later served with 85 Squadron in 1965 after periods in storage. WH301 was given to the RAF Museum in 1967 and was stored at Henlow until it was put on display at Hendon in 1980.
de Havilland DH.110 Vampire F.3 (VT812 'N' later 7200M). Work began in May 1942 on the prototype de Havilland DH.110, with the first flight taking place on September 20, 1943. The Vampire F.1 entered service with the RAF in mid 1946 followed by the longer range F.3 version.
VT812 was delivered in 1947 and allocated to 32 Squadron in 1948 then based at Nicosia, Cyprus, replacing their Spitfire FR.18’s. By 1950 it was with 614 Squadron at Llandow and later with 601 Squadron at North Weald before moving on to 602 Squadron at Abbortsinch. The surviving F.3’s were retired during 1953, being replaced by the improved FB.5 variant. Following a period of storage with 48 MU at Hawarden VT812 was allocated 7200M for ground instructional use in 1955. It was then put on display at various locations before moving to Abingdon by 1968 and later Colerne where it was refurbished. When Colerne closed in 1975 it was moved Cosford via Shawbury in 1976 for the Aerospace Museum. In 1978 it was transferred to the RAF Museum. In 1997 a full restoration was started at Cardington and completed at Cosford by 2003, prior to its return to Hendon for display.
English Electric Canberra PR.3 (WE139 and 8369M). The Canberra was the Worlds first jet-powered bomber when it entered service in 1949, replacing the obsolete Avro Lincoln. Later photo-reconnaissance versions replaced de Havilland Mosquito's, another World War Two designed aircraft. Eventually 1,352 Canberra’s were built, 782 serving the RAF for over 50 years, during which time it achieved 20 World records before the last remaining PR.9s were retired in 2006.
WE139 was ordered in 1949 and first flew in 1953 it was delivered to RAF Manby and later moved to RAF Wyton where it was prepared for the New Zealand Air Race in which it took part later in 1953. It won the Speed Section of the 12,270 mile London to Christchurch route in a time of 29 hours, 51 minutes. In 1954 it was transferred to 69 Squadron at RAF Gütersloh and later RAF Laarbruch both in West Germany. By 1958 it was with 39 Squadron at Luqa, Malta. To make way for the newer Canberra PR.9’s it was transferred to 231 OCU at RAF Bassingbourne in 1962, remaining there till its final flight in 1969 before it was put in to storage at RAF Henlow. It was moved to the RAF Museum at Hendon in 1971.
Left to right:
Hawker Hunter FGA.9 (XG154 and 8863M). Based on the Hawker Sea Hawk, the first production Hunter F.1 flew in 1951, following flight testing of the P.1052 and P.1081 test aircraft. Neville Duke broke the world speed record in a Hunter F.3 in 1953 when flying at 727.63 mph. Eventually 1,972 Hunters were built serving with 19 air forces to 1994. In 2007 two of a large number of privately operated Hunters were contracted to fly once again for the RAF. The last FGA.9 flew with 8 Squadron till its disbandment in 1971.
XG154 was built at Bitteswell as an F.6 and was delivered in 1956 to join 56 Squadron later in the year. By 1957 it was with 66 Squadron at RAF Acklington. In 1959 it was one of 36 to be modified to FGA.9 standard. In 1960 it flew with 43 Squadron before its transfer to 8 Squadron based at RAF Khormaksar in Aden in 1963. Following a number of deployments around the Middle East and Africa up to 1971, XG154 was transferred to 229 OCU which became the longest serving RAF unit to operate the Hunter. By 1976 it was with the Fleet Air Arm at RNAS Brawdy later transferring to 1 TWU at RAF Brawdy. Following its final flight in 1984 it was put into storage at St Athan. It had flown for 5,500 hours and had made 675 landings. In 1989 it was moved to RAFM Hendon.

Hawker Hunter FR.10 (853 (Jordan & Oman) formally XF426). XF426 was delivered to the RAF in 1955 as a F.6 variant of which 379 were built. It initially served with 208 Squadron in Cyprus before being recalled in 1959 for conversion to FR.10 standard. From 1965 it was used by A&AEE at Boscombe Down for camera trials before moving to 2 Squadron at Gutersloh in West Germany in 1967 and then to 229 OCU later in the year. In 1972 it was given to Jordan before moving on to Sultan of Oman in 1975 serving until 1993. After years of static display it was transferred to the RAFM in 2003. It was placed around the back of the museum for a while before being mounted on a plinth at the front in 2010.
Left to right: Avro Vulcan B.2 (XL318). The Vulcan B.1 took to the air in 1952 followed by the B.2 variant in 1956, which was modified to carry the Blue Steel stand-off nuclear missile. The Vulcan's mission changed from high level to low-level in 1966 with the withdrawal of their nuclear weapons in 1970. As a conventional bomber and with in flight refuelling it continued in service until 1984.
XL318 was delivered to 617 Squadron in 1961, it later joined Scampton Wing (27, 83, 617 Squadrons) in 1965. Back with 617 Squadron in 1969 it then moved to 230 OCU in 1972. In 1975 it was with Waddington Wing (9, 44, 50, 101 Squadrons) before moving back to 230 OCU and finally returning to 617 Squadron once again in 1981. In 1982 following retirement it was moved to RAFM Hendon.

Left to right: British Aircraft Corporation Lightning F.6 (XS925 'BA'). The English Electric Lightning, when it became operational in 1960, was the first truly supersonic fighter and had twice the top speed of other fighters in the RAF. It was employed on air defence duties for an extraordinary 28 years till its retirement on April 30, 1988 at RAF Binbrook. The F.1 variant (18 F.1 and 28 F.1A built) initially served with 74 Squadron and later by the F.2 (44 built) with 19 Squadron in 1962 and was followed in to service by the F.3 (70 plus 16 F.3A built) in 1962. The F.6 (39 built) had a longer range and entered service in 1965. Additionally 20 T.4 and 22 T.5 two seat side-by-side trainers were delivered.
XS925 was delivered in 1967 and served with 74, 11, 23 and 5 Squadrons before it was put in to storage at Binbrook in 1986. It joined the RAF Museum for display in 1988. Two early P.1 Lightning prototypes are on display at RAF Museum - Cosford
Left to right:
McDonnell Douglas F-4M Phantom FGR.2 (XV424 and 9152M) Originally developed for the US Navy, the Phantom is a two-seat, twin-engine, all-weather, long-range interceptor jet fighter/fighter-bomber and entered service in 1960. The Royal Navy ordered 52  Phantom FG.1’s to fulfill the fighter/ground attack role and the RAF ordered 118 Phantom FGR.2s for the fighter/ground attack/reconnaissance role. The Phantom FG.1s and FGR.2s entered service in 1969 and were supplemented by 15 former US Navy F-4Js in the 1980s. Following the introduction of the Tornado F.3 the last RAF Phantom was retired in 1992 when 74 Squadron disbanded.
XV424 was delivered to the RAF in 1969 and entered service with 6 Squadron at RAF Coningsby with eleven other FGR.2s. In 1972 it served briefly with 54 Squadron and 228 OCU before returning to 6 Squadron. In 1974 it was transferred to 29 Squadron when 6 Squadron disbanded and moved on to 111 Squadron at RAF Leuchars in 1976 and then on to 56 Squadron at RAF Wattisham in 1978. In 1979 it was back at RAF Coningsby with 228 OCU as the RAF’s solo display Phantom. In 1985 it served with 92 Squadron at RAF Wildenrath, before returning to 29 Squadron in 1986 and 228 OCU once again in 1987. In 1988 it was moved to RAF Wattisham where it served with 56 Squadron It made it last operational flight in July 1992, before moving by road to Hendon in the November.

Hawker Siddeley Buccaneer S.2B (XW547 'R', 9095M/9169M). The Blackburn Buccaneer was designed for the low-level strike role and was in service with the Royal Navy from 1962 to the 1970s when they were transferred to the RAF who operated the Bucc' between 1969 to 1994.
The aircraft on display was first delivered to 15 Squadron in 1972 when based at Laarbruch in Germany. By 1974 it had been transferred to 12 Squadron and later 237 OCU and 216 Squadron at Honington. In 1981 it moved north to Scotland with 12 Squadron at Lossiemouth. After a spell with 208 Squadron and 237 OCU it returned to 12 Squadron where it saw out its service days before being retired in 1991. By 1993 it was on display at the RAFM at Cosford. It has retained its Gulf War sand 'pink' camouflage applied for Operation Granby along with nose art 'Guinness Girl' and 'Sky Pirates'.
BAE Harrier (XZ997 'V' and 9122M). The Harrier was the first operational jet fighter capable of vertical take-off and landing. It was utilised by the RAF in the ground attack and reconnaissance role and for Close Air Support (CAS). The GR.3 was developed from the GR.1 and had a more powerful engine with improved attack sensors and electronic countermeasures.
XZ997 was first allocated to 4 Squadron at Gütersloh with RAF Germany in 1982 and later that year moved to Yeovilton for ski-jump training prior to being involved in the Falklands War on HMS Hermes. After the war it returned to 4 Squadron at Gütersloh before a spell with 1435 Flight for the Air Defence of the Falklands. In 1986 it was with 1 Squadron and 233 OCU at Wittering. From 1988 to 1989 it was back with 4 Squadron before it was withdrawn from service and transferred to St.Athan for storage making its final flight with a total of 2,200 hours and 6,050 landings. In 1991 it was allotted to the RAF Museum at Hendon. In 2003 it was put on display in the new Milestones of Flight Building.
Left to right:
Panavia Tornado GR.1B (ZA457 'AJ-J'). Panavia was a consortium put together by the United Kingdon, West Germany and Italy to develop a combat aircraft in three main versions; Tornado IDS (Interdictor/Strike), Tornado ECR (Electronic Combat/Reconnaissance and Tornado ADV (Air Defence Variant). 992 Tornados were built including 72 for Saudi Arabia. The first British prototype flew in 1974 and was initially the designated the GR.1 when it entered service in 1980, 142 Tornados were later upgraded to GR.4/4A standard as a mid life update, entering service in 1998. It still is the RAF's primary long-range strike attack aircraft and is fitted on each side of the nose two 25mm cannons. Capable of flying in all weather and at low-level, using its terrain-following, ground-mapping radar. It has Forward Looking infrared (FLIR) and linescan imaging systems to help fulfil its reconnaissance role, along with a 'RAPTOR' (Reconnaissance Airborne Pod TORnado) reconnaissance pod. For close air support and interdiction, the aircraft would be equipped with iron bombs, cluster bombs and laser-guided bombs. In the defence suppression role, it is equipped with anti-radar missiles. The Tornado GR.4/4A can also carry 'TIALD' (Thermal Imaging and Laser Designator) pod, first introduced during the first Gulf War in 1990.
ZA457 was built by British Aerospace at Warton in 1983 and was delivered to the Tornado Operational Evaluation Unit at Boscombe Down in the same year. It later served with 9, 15, 17 and 617 Squadrons. In 1994 it was modified to a GR.1B standard to carrying the Sea Eagle anti-shipping missile. It last served with 2(AC) Squadron from 2001 till 2002 before being delivered by road to RAF Museum Hendon in July 2003 after a period of spare reclamation at DARA St Athan. The aircraft has 617 Squadron markings including two LGB (Laster Guided Bombs) mission symbols representing attacks made on Iraqi targets during Gulf War I.

Panavia Tornado F.3
(ZE887 'GF'). 152 Tornado ADVs (Air Defence Variant) started entering service from 1987. ZE887 first flew on September 30, 1988 and was delivered to the RAF in 1989 to 229 OCU at RAF Coningsby as 'AN'. By January 1990 it had become 'GE' with 43 Squadron. After periods with 11 Squadron and 5(AC) Squadron in 2005 it was painted with a black fin of 43(F) Squadron's Commanding Officer it has a specially painted tail fin with the code 'GF' which stands for the Squadron's motto; 'Gloria Finis' (Glory is the end). It was eventually withdrawn from service on March 4, 2010 having logged almost 5,000 hours. It was taken by road to St Athan on September 23 in preparation for preservation at the RAF Museum at Hendon. On October 18 it arrived at Hendon and was put on display there on November 25, 2010.
Eurofighter EF2000 Typhoon (ZH588). The UK, Germany, Italy and Spain from 1986 started work proper on this state-of-the-art multi-role aircraft. The consortium utilised development work from earlier projects including the European Combat Fighter (ECF) from 1979, the Agile Combat Aircraft (ACA) from 1982 and the Experimental Aircraft Program (EAP) from 1983 and also the European Fighter Aircraft (EFA) program also from 1983. The BAE EAP prototype aircraft was rolled out at Warton in 1985 and from 1986 flew for five years for flight testing. By 1992 work started on the EF2000, as it was now named, this final design was very similar to the EAP. The first flight of the EF2000 took place in March 1994. In 2002 it was finally agreed that production would be set at; 232 for the UK, 180 for Germany, 121 for Italy and 87 for Spain. Each consortium member manufactures all the parts of the whole production, but each nation’s own aircraft are assembled in their own countries. The German Air Force, Italian Air Force, Royal Air Force (Typhoon) and Spanish Air Force (Tifón) accepted their first Eurofighters in 2003.
ZH588 (DA2) was rolled out from BAE Warton in 1993 and first flew on April 6, 1994 starting the 575 sorties scheduled for its test life. Its first supersonic flight (Mach 1.05) took place in June 1995 and by August 1996 it had made 132 test flights In December 1997 it reached a speed of Mach 2. In 2000 it was painted black to hide nearly 500 pressure transducers used for further flight tests. By April 2002 DA2 had made 419 test flights. In 2007 it made its final flight into Coningsby and following some spares recovery there and C-17 portability trials at Brize Norton it was taken by road to the RAF Museum at Hendon in January 2008.

Slingsby Grasshopper TX.1 (WZ791 later 8944M). 152 Slingsby Grasshoppers were built at Ings Lane, near Kirbymoorside, Yorkshire for the Combined Cadet Force and Air Training Corpsfrom 1952 to 1953. They were used for ground training and with a rubber bungee for ground slides to develop a cadet's self discipline, leadership and as an introduction to RAF procedures. Some Grasshoppers remained in use until 1986 when structual defects were discovered. This example was transferred fromthe Air Cadet Central Gliding School at RAF Syerston to RAFM Hendon in 1991 after it had been on display for a period.

Slingsby T.31B Cadet TX.3
(XA302). The Slingsby Cadet first flew in 1935 and was utilised by the Air Training Corps as the Cadet TX.1 from the 1950’s.
XA302 was part of a batch of 32 Cadets built by Slingsby Sailplanes at Kirbymoorside from 1950. In 1952 it was allocated to 22 Gliding School (GS), RAF Kirton-in-Lindsey. It operated with a number of Gliding Schools and Gliding Centres until it was withdrawn by the Air Cadets in 1985. In 1987 it was donated to SLdr William Connell Walker OBE who had prepared 1,000 cadets for their first solo on XA302 between 1961 and 1967. By 1996, with an estimated 20,122 flights recorded, it was stored at RAF Syerston. In 2005 it was donated to RAFM Hendon where it was put on display in the historic hangars in March 2006.

de Havilland DHC-1 Chipmunk T.10 (WP962 'C'). Designed by de Havilland Canada eventually 735 examples were built. Replacing the Tiger Moth from 1950 the Chipmunk was the RAF’s primary trainer, initially with the University Air Squadron’s and later with the Air Experience Flights till the 1980’s and beyond.
Percival Prentice T.1 (VS618 registered G-AOLK). 349 Percival P.40 Prentices were built at the Blackburn Aircraft factory at Brough, deliveries were from 1947 to 1949. The Prentice was the first side by side trainer in the RAF and were in service as trainers until 1953 and were retired during 1956. 252 examples were offered to the civilian market, however due to excessive fuel consumption only a few were sold the rest were scrapped.
The example on display was sold in 1961 and after periods of storage was eventually bought by RAFM in 2009 and restored to its former 22 FTS colours. Only 17 Prentices exist today.
British Aircraft Corporation Jet Provost T.5A (XW323 '86' and 9166M). The Hunting Percival Jet Provost first flew in 1954 and was the first jet powered basic trainer to go into service any where in the world and was based on the piston powered Percival Provost. Ten T.1 variants were initially ordered followed by 201 T.3s which had an improved engine, an ejector seat and retractable tricycle undercarriage. 70 T.3s were later upgraded to T.3A standard with improved avionics. From 1961, 185 T.4s were delivered incorporating further improvements to the engine. The T.5 variant took to the air in 1967 and introduced the much needed pressurised cockpit. The first of 110 T.5s were handed over to the Central Flying School in 1969. 94 were later upgraded to T.5A standard between 1973 and 1976 with the introduction of improved avionics.
XW323 started its service life with the Royal Air Force College at Cranwell in 1970 and remained there apart from periods with 5 MU at Kemble till 1991. Its final year was with 1 FTS at RAF Linton-on-Ouse before it was put on display in the RAFM in 1992. A T.3A (XM463 '38') is also on display.

Sikorsky S-47 Hoverfly I (KL110 painted as 'KK995' 'E' ex 43-46558). 133 Hoverfly 1’s were built by Vought-Sikorsky in Stratford, Connecticut, 45 of which were supplied to Britain under lend-lease conditions in 1944 and 1945.  The Hoverfly is credited with being the first operational helicopter in service with the RAF and the United States Army Air Force.
The Hoverfly on display is painted as KK995 but thought to be KL110 with parts taken from KK995. In 1945 KL110 was delivered to UK and assembled at Hooton Park, Cheshire. Later in the year at  RAF Andover the 43 Operational Training Unit – Helicopter Training Flight was formed to train 29 Army pilots to fly the new helicopters. By 1947 KL110 was one of a number of Hoverflys allocated to the Kings Flight at RAF Benson, some of which were transferred to Scotland to operate the daily mail run to Balmoral Castle.  The Hoverfly was withdrawn from RAF service in 1949 and some were evaluated by the Royal Navy till 1951. Both KL110 and KK995 found their way to the Cranfield College of Aeronautics for vibration testing. In 1966 they were offered to museums and KL110 was moved to Henlow with parts from KK995 for preservation and restoration as a composite from 1968. It was moved to Hendon in 1970 and suspended from the ceiling in the new Milestones building in 2003.
Saunders-Roe (SARO) Skeeter AOP.12 (XM555 and 8027M). Designed by Cieva from 1948 development continued by Saunders Roe from 1951, when they were taken over. The Skeeter was the first helicopter to operate with the British Army Air Corp (AAC). Eventually 64 AOP.12 variants were produced for the AAC and delivered from 1958 to replace the Auster in servce. It was later replaced by the Sioux and Scout from 1967.
XM555 was built at the Eastleigh factory and delivered in July 1959 to the AOC at Middle Wallop, before transfer to 654 Squadron at Hildesheim, West Germany. It later went to Osnabruck before its retirement in 1968 when it went to RAF Upwood as a Ground Instructional airframe (as 8027M). From 1973 it was displayed on the gate at RAF Ternhill and then RAF Shawbury from 1977. Restored in 1983 it was transferred to RAFM at Cosford and later to Hendon in 2003. It had been removed from display by December 2013.
Bristol Type 192 Belvedere HC.1 (XG474 'O' and 8367M). Following its first flight in July 1958, 26 Belvedere’s were delivered to the RAF from 1961. Till its retirement in 1969 they operated mostly in the Middle East and Far East.
XG474 was one of six shipped to Singapore in April 1962 for 66 Squadron at RAF Selatar. In 1963 it operated in Brunei and Borneo before joining 26 Squadron in Aden until they disbanded in 1965 when it returned to 66 Squadron in Singapore. When they disbanded in 1969 nine Belvederes were scrapped leaving XG474 which was shipped back to the UK for preservation. It arrived at RAFM at Henlow in August 1969 before moving to Hendon in 1971.
Westland Whirlwind HAR.10 (XP299 and 8726M). 68 Whirlwind HAR.10’s were built and supplied for Search and Rescue (SAR) duties during the 1960’s.
XP299 was built in 1961 by Westlands at Yeovil and was initially used for trials till it was delivered to Ternhill in 1966. In 1967 it was transferred to 230 Squadron at Odiham before its allocation to Finningley with 22 Squadron in 1971. It operated in the SAR role at Chivenor, Brawdy, Coltishall and Manston before its retirement in 1981 when it was presented to RAF Cosford Aerospace Museum. It was moved on to Hendon in 2003.
Westland Wessex HCC.4 (XV732). The Wessex was a development of the Sikorsky S-58 and was produced at the Westland factory in 1956 at Yeovil initially for the Royal Navy with deliveries of HAS.1s commencing in 1958. In 1962 the HC.2 variant commenced deliveries to the RAF with 18 Squadron at RAF Odiham. In 1968 the Queen's Flight required two HCC.4s (VIP version of the HC.2) which operated from RAF Benson as 32 (Royal) Squadron until disbandment in 1998. XV732 went to RAF Shawbury for storage until it was moved to the RAF Museum in 2002. XV733, the only other HCC.4 and the last Wessex built, went to the Helicopter Museum at Weston-super-Mare in 2001. The last RAF Wessex flight took place in January 2003.
Westland SA.341E Gazelle HCC.4 (XW855). The Sud Aviation (later Aérospatiale) Gazelle was designed in France as a lightweight utility helicopter. In 1967 Westland Helicopters secured an agreement to build 292 Gazelles for all three services.
Built by Westlands at Yeovil in 1973 to SA.341D/HT.3 standard it was one of 32 Gazelles delivered to the RAF. It initially operated at RAF Turnhill as a helicopter pilot trainer but moved in 1976 to 32 Squadron at RAF Northolt, following modification to HCC.4 standard for the VIP communications transport role, it was the only HCC.4 conversion. The final flight took place in April 1996 after which it was put in storage at RAF Shawbury before being transferred to the RAF Museum in April 2003.

How do you get to the Museum?

The Museum is very easy to get to, it is situated to the north of London, six miles from central London, just off the M1 motorway. The Museum is seven minutes walk from Colindale Underground station (not Hendon Central) on the Edgware branch of the Northern Line. Mill Hill Broadway rail station is also within walking distance.

Consult the RAF Museum website (London) for more details, including opening times. Admission is free, car parking is now 'pay and display'

Royal Air Force Museum London
Grahame Park Way
London, NW9 5LL

Telephone: +44 (0)20 8205 2266 (General Information)
Liberator VI (KN751) carries an inscription on the nose stating that the aircraft was
donated by the Indian Air Force to the RAF Museum.
This image is a good example of the excellent use of lighting which includes concealed spotlights under and around the aircraft.
Photography Note:
This is not a museum I have visited very often, the first time was over 20 years ago. In those days I found the museum dark and the aircraft too pristine to look real. Well many years older and perhaps more appreciative, I have changed some of my opinions of Hendon. I prefer to see aircraft looking as they ended their flying days rather than as they had looked on the day they were delivered. The aircraft at Hendon were as expected in excellent condition. Typical of most indoor museums they are often tightly packed together, making photography difficult. The lighting is pretty good now, with spotlights discreetly positioned beneath many of the larger the aircraft, offering some very nice images. For most of the shots I used flash to pick out the detail in the shadows. As the museum's atmospheric lighting is interesting, some shots were taken without flash (See example shot with flash and without flash). The barriers where necessary are small and low and don't spoil the shots unduly.

Throughout the visits I used either a Canon 24-105mm suplemented with  a Sigma 20mm f1.8 in 2006 or a Sigma 15mm f2.8 fisheye in 2008 and 2009 with a Canon flash and a tripod. Exposures were around one second at f.8. Incidentally to use a tripod you need to be issued with a pass. This pass is free and easy to get from the staff at the main desk. The staff I must say were very helpful, I was hardly ticked off at all for encroachment or stepping over the lines. I was also assisted on several occasions with crowd control, to make sure the public did not get between my camera and the aircraft. The visits lasted from 10:00 till 18:00. During those hours I felt there was too much to see in one day and so had to be selective with what I photographed during each of the three visits. In planning your time, watch out for the different opening and closing times for each of the three halls.