IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM: DUXFORD

 

I was sorting through old photos of trips and found the photos from our trip to the Imperial War Museum in Duxford. The Imperial War Museum in London is one of my favourite museums in the world, and it would seem that they simply had so much stuff .. and some of it very big, that they needed to build another on huge grounds with MASSIVE hangers. Not quite true, but it seems that way. It is a massive museum dedicated (not exclusively) to the air:

Imperial War Museum Duxford (commonly referred to simply as "Duxford") is a branch of the Imperial War Museum near the village of Duxford in Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom. Britain’s largest aviation museum,[2] Duxford houses the museum’s large exhibits, including nearly 200 aircraft, military vehicles, artillery and minor naval vessels in seven main exhibitions buildings.[3] The site also provides storage space for the museum’s other collections of material such as film, photographs, documents, books and artefacts. The site accommodates a number of British Army regimental museums, including those of the Parachute Regiment (named Airborne Assault) and the Royal Anglican Regiment.

Based on the historic Duxford Aerodrome, the site was originally operated by the Royal Air Force (RAF) during the First World War. During the Second World War Duxford played a prominent role during the Battle of Britain and was later used by United States Army Air Forces fighter units in support of the daylight bombing of Germany. Duxford remained an active RAF airfield until 1961. After the Ministry of Defence declared the site surplus to requirements in 1969 the Imperial War Museum received permission to use part of the site for storage. The entirety of the site was transferred to the museum in February 1976.

We spent hours meandering around the grounds. A few photos follow. Our first encounter, a massive ground to air rocket:

05 17 2009 Duxford Air Show MKII

There were lots of captured German planes like this Messerschmitt. Note the way the propeller is bent from the crash.

05 17 2009 Duxford Air Show  (13)

How often do you get to stand below a German rocket? In this case a V-1.

05 17 2009 Duxford Air Show  (24)

The tail of a German fighter found in a field by a farmer. It was shot to bits.

05 17 2009 Duxford Air Show  (26)

One of the buildings is huge with planes hanging from the roof and jammed in every corner. Bi-planes ….

05 17 2009 Duxford Air Show  (34)

Bombers, fighters … a monster A-10.

05 17 2009 Duxford Air Show  (30)

And a huge SR-71.

05 17 2009 Duxford Air Show  (37)

You then walk over to another building and it is stuffed full of WWII vehicles. That VW is one of the first WWII models I ever built as a kid.

05 17 2009 Duxford Air Show  (49)

A tried and true Sherman.

05 17 2009 Duxford Air Show  (55)

So many things to look at, filling every nook and cranny. English museums are like nothing else in the world. And then they started the world famous air show …

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