Often aviation collections tied in as part of a less specialised museum can be basic affairs with the same old “Obvious” choices in place.
The Science Museum’s London collection is quite the opposite, in fact it without down forms one of Britain’s most important collections.
Its hard to know where to start really, but as you walk in to the flight gallery the first thing you see above your head is a 1960s built replica of the original Wright Flyer, its always an important reminder of how far aviation has come.
Of course this collection houses some of the most historically significant aircraft around, Amy Johnson’s record breaking de Havilland Gipsy Moth hangs from the ceiling of the gallery opposite a skywriting SE5a, a rare sight in itself.
One aircraft that clearly stands out, in fact the gallery was designed around it, is Alcock and Browns Trans-Atlantic Vickers Vimy fills the space, it is truly remarkable to see such an important aircraft.
That isn’t the end of the record breakers in place, as almost in the Vimy’s shadow is the Supermarine S.6B Schneider Trophy racer. The S.6’s younger cousin, the Spitfire hangs low from the ceiling in the company of a rare fabric winged Hurricane. Both of these fighters have Battle of Britain service History.
The first ever British Jet aircraft, the Gloster E28 can be found hanging on the ceiling the other side of the walkway, with an ME163 Comet just ahead.
Other exhibits worth mentioning are the first prototype for the Harrier project, along with the only surviving original Fokker Eindecker, which is displayed in a stripped down fashion.
This small gallery also features an extensive engine collection, ranging from pre-war right up to fairly modern jet units.
For something of a hidden collection the Science museum flight gallery is truly remarkable, with record breaker and historically significant aircraft in every corner. It is worth making a separate trip to the museum just for the flight gallery, as one could easily spend all day there looking around the various exhibits and displays.
I’ve included a Gallery of further images below, which I’m hoping allows a few more pictures to be shown without making these pages too lengthy, let me know what you think!
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