From the Dambusters to Rolls Royce engines, spindly 1914 style planes to A380 jets, there is plenty to keep avid aviation enthusiasts busy in London.
Less than half an hour outside the center of London is Britain’s oldest aviation museum which celebrates the De Havilland aircraft. This is the site where aeronautical innovation has been commonplace since the first planes were launched over a century ago. Explore the awesome museum with family and kids while a resident at any of the hotels near Soho London.
Explore iconic aircraft like the De Havilland Mosquito, and the Tiger Moth. Find out about the first jetliner and the Airspeed Horsa Glider that ferried so many soldiers across the Channel on D-Day. As you stroll around the museum, look out for the volunteers working on restoration projects who will be keen to discuss their work.
A short tube ride brings you to Hendon, to discover the story of the world’s oldest air force founded 101 years ago – the RAF. Explore the massive hangers at RAF Hendon housing aircraft such as Spitfires, a Lancaster Bomber, a Flying Fortress, Harrier Jump Jet, Flying boats as well as vehicles and helicopters used by the RAF over the past century.
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Free to enter, RAF Hendon is more than just a plane enthusiast’s site. There are lots of activities to suit all the family. You can try on uniforms, find out about bombing missions or digitally design a plane before seeing if it will actually fly. Enjoy a picnic on the lawn seated in the giant beanbags. There are many special experiences on offer, which have to be paid for on the day such as cinematic flying with the Red Arrows or taking part in the unique Dambusters Experience. Sitting in a mock-up of a Lancaster cockpit, wearing a special headset and vest, you discover exactly what it was like to be on that iconic wartime mission. The water in the dam really ripples as you fly low across it, experiencing the shockwaves as the bomb drops and tracer bullets cross your path.
Book your stay at a hotel in Bloomsbury London and head across the Thames to Greenwich where you can find the incredible Emirates Aviation Experience, bringing the story of aviation right up to date. Find out how modern passenger planes are serviced and prepared ready for flights around the world, see how a Rolls Royce engine powers an aircraft, and see inside the cockpit of an A380 jet. Try to take off or land a plane using a special simulator or try one of the many other hands-on activities.