This month has seen the start of a long-term project at the London branch of the Royal Air Force museum. Plans are in place to change things around at the site, one change will see the Battle of Britain aircraft moved to different parts of the museum. Ahead of these moves the very rare opportunity to see these historic and in many cases unique aircraft being pulled apart, exposing hidden details and making Hendon feel very much like a living museum.
At the stage of this visit the Spitfire, Hurricane and 109E were all missing their wings which made for some unique images as you can see below. The Hurricane and 109 wings were also stored together showing just how thick the Hurricane’s wing is by comparison. Other aircraft in the collection also had signs of work.
The HE111 had the bomb bay doors removed and a cowling open along with JU-88. The ME110 had both tail fins removed and an engine cowling open, again providing a rare look at the engine inside. The JU-87 Stuka was the other airframe with noticeable work done. The dive-bomber had plenty of panels and control surfaces missing.
I’ve said before that the Battle of Britain hall at Hendon is one of the premier aircraft collection’s in this country and with the ongoing work currently taking place it has become even more of a must-visit.
These are airframes that have mostly sat in this hangar for decades now so to see them in a slightly different environment is an excellent opportunity. I’m hoping to make a few more visits as the work progresses and will be sure to check in here with any further reports!