Today saw a return to the Imperial War Museum at Duxford. I think that the chill wind discouraged a lot of visitors, and to be fair we only looked at the first two hangars (there are 8 in total), but that still took nearly 3 hours. It’s the fourth time we’ve been in 8 months, but there’s always something new to see and to experience.
Taking today’s image I felt like I was being hauled into the depths of an Imperial Star Destroyer in Star Wars. In actual fact, it’s the bomb bay of an Avro Vulcan. One of my favourite planes, it’s just awe inspiring getting so close.
One of the most fantastic things about the museum is that you can get up close and personal to all manner of iconic aircraft. They’ve got fabric from the lower wing of the Wright Flyer, the first aircraft ever to take to the air. They’ve got the fastest Concorde ever – and you get to walk through the cabin – which reached 1450 mph during testing. There are Spitfires, Lightnings, Mosquitos, Tiger Moths, Mustangs, Fairey Swordfish, F-111s, B29s and B52s (to name but a few) and a whole host of commercial aircraft. And for the most part you at least get within touching distance, if not underneath or inside them.
Hangar 2 is home to a number of privately owned aircraft which are undergoing restoration. It’s fascinating to see so many planes in various stages of assembly: for example, the Flying Fortress was undergoing maintenance today, and we’d seen it flying last year. Most of the work is done by volunteers and it’s a true labour of love.
At the far end of the airfield (which saw active service during WWII there’s a Land Army exhibit, with tanks and other vehicles from that period. I need to have a proper look at that so maybe next visit…