Friday, 7 May 2010

Wings Museum - up and Flying!

The Wings Aviation Museum opened for the first time at a new and exciting location near Balcombe in West Sussex.

This is an aviation museum with a difference! For example Ghosts of the Tundra is the only place in Europe where visitors can see recovered warbirds as they were found set in "crash diaramas" to represent the actual crash sites. These rare airframes where recovered from remote parts of Russia where they were shot down over 60 years ago.

As well as airframes the new museum also focuses on the RAF with many items and relics in the museum relating to RAF Fighter Command and RAF Bomber Command.

Since the grand opening we are pleased to report that visitor numbers are still very strong and the visitors book is bulging with new positive feedback.

The Grand Opening went very well despite some very heavy rain on the Saturday but luckily the weather was much better on the Sunday.

We were pleased to welcome some military vehicles too including a lovely Half Track which looked rather menacing with its 50 caliber machine guns and heavy armor plating.

We were also very grateful to 212 Squadron Royal Air Force Living History Group who are based in Kent who put on an excellent display regarding the RAF including a demonstration of an RAF ops room and a very information demo of Air Sea Rescue. Not only did they look the part but they also acted the part! We even had a Spitfire Pilot scrambling to his pretend Spitfire and people were amused as he ran in full flying kit out the door jumping over a puddle!

I would like to thank all those for their help in making the Grand Opening of the Wings Museum possible. It has been a lot of work relocating the museum from Redhill Aerodrome and we look forward to moving forward in a positive direction. Thank you to those also who braved the weather to bring along their jeeps and Halftracks and also 212 Squadron Royal Air Force Living History Group for bringing it all alive.

We were also honored to welcome W.O. Jack Hodges who flew Typhoons with 174 Squadron and also David Fellows who was a Tail Gunner (Tail end Charley) with 460 Squadron who flew Lancasters at RAF Binbrook.

The museum is open every Saturday between March to October 10am - 5pm. For further details please see the museum website

Thanks for reading and please be sure to visit again soon, over the next few weeks I will be catching up with the museum blog as so much has been happening that it is now running a little behind!

Daniel Hunt
Curator Wings Museum

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Wings Museum Grand Re-Opening

Wings Museum prepares to spread its Wings!

At long last I am pleased to report that the Wings Museum is due to re-open to the public on a special grand opening weekend due to take place on Saturday 20th March and Sunday 21st March 2010. Please see our website for further information.

As the opening is fast approaching I am please to report that we are now on the final stages of preparing our C-47 "Band of Brothers" Dakota (Sky Train) fuselage section as a visitors walk through. This exhibit will be complete with sounds and images and aims at letting visitors experience what it was like to be a Paratrooper on D-Day. A special ramp is in the final stages of construction and will allow our disabled visitors to explore inside.

The Grand opening weekend will also see an attendance of World War Two military Vehicles and living history groups, including an anti aircraft Half Track, the 101st Airbourne and 212 Squadron living history groups.

The weekend will also welcome several veterans including Warrant Officer Jack Hodges who flew Hawker Typhoons with 174 Squadron during the battle for Normandy.

So what will you see?
Take a deep breath...

The Wings Museum is a fascinating in-sight into life during World War Two. Each artefact or item of memorabilia tells it`s own unique story set along side the sounds & music of the times. History appears to come alive in this truly unique nostalgic experience. Walk inside the famous C-47 Dakota, experience what it was like to have been a paratrooper on D-Day. The only place in Europe where visitors can see aircraft which have been recovered from the Russian front where they were shot down over 60 years ago! Now displayed in crash dioramas representing the crash sites!

Read about the last battles of World War Two fought between the Soviets and the Japanese, these forgotten battles were still raging even after the official surrender of Japan. See the World’s only surviving recovered Japanese Nakajima B5N2 “Kate” Torpedo Bomber made famous during the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The museum aims at remembering our gallant armed forces of all nations who served during World War Two. Located in the heart of Battle of Britain country, the Wings Museum displays a variety of “themed” displays of original memorabilia and relics relating to the: Home Guard, The Battle of Britain, Blitz, Home Front, Royal Air Force, Bomber Command, 8th US Army Air Force, D-Day & Beyond, The Russian Front.

This unique exhibition is brought to life by the sounds and music of the times - visitors will be taken back to the 1940’s and get a taste of life during those turbulent times. Items on display include: Aero Engines, Propellers, Artefacts, Uniforms, Aircraft Parts, Equipment, Local History, Home Front Items, airframes, D-Day memorabilia and much much more!

See artefacts from Hitlers V-Weapons, see relics from the "Doodle Bug" V1 Flying Bomb, see the engine from a V2 which fell to earth in Essex. Enter the "Dora" room - an emotional story from the Holocaust, see images and artwork about those involved in the construction of Hitlers "Terror Weapons".

We look forward to welcoming you to the new and improved Wings Museum.