- Planes of Fame on Display

There’s lots happening at the de Havilland Aircraft Museum

CHANGE is in the air at the de Havilland Aircraft Museum as it progresses with its bid for £1.5 million of Heritage Lottery funding to build a large new hangar to accommodate more of its historic civil and military aircraft.

This year record numbers of families and aviation enthusiasts are visiting the museum at Salisbury Hall, London Colney, where a score or more of iconic exhibits, some undergoing restoration by dedicated volunteers, are on display.

During the Summer School Holidays the museum is open six days a week with free parking and is current holder of a 2016 Trip Advisor Hospitality Award. It is Britain’s oldest aircraft museum and is dedicated solely to Hatfield-based de Havilland Aircraft Company and the many types it designed and produced over nearly seven decades.

There is lots on offer for visitors, such as the opportunity for both children and adults to sit in the cockpits of both military and civil aircraft and then sit in the passenger cabins of some of the airliners there. Knowledgeable stewards are on hand to tell visitors all about both the museum and individual aircraft.

A number of new attractions which visitors will be able to use are being developed this year. These will include a computer simulator in the nose section of a de Havilland Comet jet airliner, and a Link Trainer which from the 1930s became the standard pilot instrument flying trainer for the Royal Air Force. 

Visitors can see the world’s largest collection of the famous “wooden wonder” de Havilland Mosquito fighter-bomber of the Second World War. The three on display include the prototype W4050. The adjacent Tudor mansion was the secret de Havilland Design Office and W4050 plus three more prototypes of variants were built there in a specially built hangar between 1940 and 1942.

While grown-ups are looking at the aircraft younger visitors can take part in a museum quiz which will test their powers of observation as all questions are based on the aircraft on display.

Visitors can enjoy hot drinks and hot and cold snacks in the Entrance Foyer Aeroshop Cafe, where they can also browse among the large range of aviation and museum items, from easy to build aircraft kits to t-shirts, polo shirts and baseball caps. There is also a wide range of both new and pre-owned books.

The museum is signposted off Junction 22 of the M25, Sat-Nav code AL2 1BU.

De Havilland Aircraft Museum is open Tuesdays to Sundays 10.30am – 5pm

until September 30th (closed Monday); until October 29th (closed Monday & Wednesday)

01727 826400 (24-hour)


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