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