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article imageReview: The history of aircraft on display in London Special

By Tim Sandle     Aug 23, 2015 in Travel
London - Nestled away in a corner of North London is the Royal Air Force Museum. The museum contains vast hangers containing the history of aircraft, from primitive flying contraptions to modern Tornado jets.
The Royal Air Force Museum London is based at was once Hendon Aerodrome.
A search-and-rescue helicopter on display at the RAF museum in Hendon  London.
A search-and-rescue helicopter on display at the RAF museum in Hendon, London.
The museum consists of five major buildings and hangars, each dedicated to an aspect of the history of aviation and the Royal Air Force. On hanger is focused entirely on World War II and the Battle of Britain (a museum that has been featured on Digital Journal.)
The Hawker Hart was a British two-seater biplane light bomber aircraft. It later came to be used for...
The Hawker Hart was a British two-seater biplane light bomber aircraft. It later came to be used for training pilots in World War II.
The museum has been open since 1972, and it has expanded greatly since the 1970s. The museum is free to enter, although donations are welcome.
The museum consists of five area:
Milestones of Flight,
The Bomber Hall,
Historic Hangars,
The Battle of Britain Hall,
The Grahame-White Factory.
The biggest area is the "Milestones of Flight", and it is parts of this vast area, containing former working aircraft, that this photo essay features. There are over 100 different aircraft on display. The interlinked halls are a time line of aviation milestones, beginning with the earliest flying machines and moving forwards to the 21st Century Eurofighter Typhoon test airframe ZH588.
Beginning with some of the earliest flying contraptions, the museum hosts a Blériot XI. The Blériot XI is the aircraft that was used by Louis Blériot on July 25, 1909 to make the first flight across the English Channel.
The aircraft was produced in both single- and two-seat versions  powered by a number of different en...
The aircraft was produced in both single- and two-seat versions, powered by a number of different engines and was widely used for competition and training purposes.
The most modern craft is a full-sized prototype of the Eurofighter Typhoon. This is a a twin-engine, canard-delta wing, multi-role fighter, which is currently in service. The craft can attain speeds of mach 1.5.
The Typhoon is a highly agile aircraft at both supersonic and low speeds.
The Typhoon is a highly agile aircraft at both supersonic and low speeds.
In-between these two aircraft are a host of different types of aeroplanes from different eras and different countries. Here is a Mustang, from the U.S.
The North American Aviation P-51 Mustang is an American long-range  single-seat fighter and fighter-...
The North American Aviation P-51 Mustang is an American long-range, single-seat fighter and fighter-bomber used during World War II, the Korean War and other conflicts.
And a Mosquito from the U.K.
The de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito was a British multi-role combat aircraft with a two-man crew that se...
The de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito was a British multi-role combat aircraft with a two-man crew that served during and after the Second World War. It was one of few operational front-line aircraft of the era constructed almost entirely of wood.
Or how about the first helicopter in Britain? Pictured below is the Sikorsky Hoverfly. The R-4 model was the world's first large-scale mass-produced helicopter and the first to be used by the U.S. Army Air Forces,and the U.K.'s Royal Air Force.
The Sikorsky R-4 was a two seat helicopter designed by Igor Sikorsky with a single  three-bladed mai...
The Sikorsky R-4 was a two seat helicopter designed by Igor Sikorsky with a single, three-bladed main rotor and powered by a radial engine.
Helicopters have come a long way since. Take the Boeing Chinook, for instance.
The Boeing Chinook is a tandem rotor helicopter operated by the Royal Air Force (RAF). A series of v...
The Boeing Chinook is a tandem rotor helicopter operated by the Royal Air Force (RAF). A series of variants based on the U.S. Army's Boeing CH-47 Chinook.
Or the AgustaWestland AW101, used in both military and civil applications.
The AW101 is powered by three turboshaft engines. The engines power an 18.59 metre diameter five-bla...
The AW101 is powered by three turboshaft engines. The engines power an 18.59 metre diameter five-bladed main rotor.
Not all of the aircraft have a military history. Take this Percival Mew Gull. The craft captures the 'golden age' of flying, at least for the more wealth members of society during the 1930s.
The Percival Mew Gull was a British racing aircraft of the 1930s. It was a small  single-engine  sin...
The Percival Mew Gull was a British racing aircraft of the 1930s. It was a small, single-engine, single-seat, low-wing monoplane of wooden construction, normally powered by a six-cylinder de Havilland Gipsy Six piston engine.
Important parts of aircraft are also o display, such as the iconic Rolls Royce Merlin XX engine.
The Rolls-Royce Merlin is a British liquid-cooled  V-12  piston aero engine. The first operational a...
The Rolls-Royce Merlin is a British liquid-cooled, V-12, piston aero engine. The first operational aircraft to enter service using the Merlin were the Fairey Battle, Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire.
Whereas other aircraft are not exactly in pristine condition.
The Handley Page Halifax was a four-engined heavy bomber model operated by the British Royal Air For...
The Handley Page Halifax was a four-engined heavy bomber model operated by the British Royal Air Force during World War II. This aircraft was recovered from the war and preserved.
A better preserved example of a bomber is this U.S. Liberator.
The Consolidated B-24 Liberator is a U.S. heavy bomber  designed by Consolidated Aircraft of San Die...
The Consolidated B-24 Liberator is a U.S. heavy bomber, designed by Consolidated Aircraft of San Diego, California. It was known within the company as the Model 32.
And arguably the most famous World War II aircraft of all, the Lancaster Bomber. The huge craft was designed and built by Avro for the Royal Air Force, coming into service in 1942.
Royal Air Force Avro Lancaster B I PA474  on display at the RAF Museum in London. The Lancaster was ...
Royal Air Force Avro Lancaster B I PA474, on display at the RAF Museum in London. The Lancaster was primarily a night bomber.
Although many of the aircraft are military, the horror and tragedy of war is not forgotten. There are several exhibits that show bomb sites, for example. Another way of representing the worse side of conflict is this wall carving marking airmen who survived being shot down during World War II when behind enemy lines.
A war memorial for those killed during the bombings that took place during World War II.
A war memorial for those killed during the bombings that took place during World War II.
The museum, with its various parts, interactive exhibits, cinema, changing displays, knowledgeable staff and cafes, makes for an enjoyable day out.
A cockpit-eye view of one of the aircraft on display at the RAF museum in London. This aircraft is t...
A cockpit-eye view of one of the aircraft on display at the RAF museum in London. This aircraft is the Phantom FGR2, which was in service between 1968 and 1992.
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