Monday, 24 August 2009

Monday 27th July

We went up to the RAF Museum in Cosford on this day. Mum stayed in the caravan, cos she was feeling a bit off colour, but James, Dad and I went up. It was a bit off a drive, but it's a fantastic museum. If you're ever anywhere near, you really should go take a look. It's not just all aeroplanes either. Well, there are a heck of a lot of aeroplanes, ranging in size from this tiny little man-carrying kite used by u-boats in the Second World War right up to a mammoth transport plane, the three V bombers (Victor, Vulcan and Valiant), a Pave Low helicopter which only came out of Afghanistan last year... The Cold War gallery is amazing. For a start, it's in a pretty noticeable building. For seconds, inside is an amazing selection of aircraft (that's where the V bombers live), integrated with displays explaining different aspects of the Cold War, from MAD (mutually assured destruction), CND, the Berlin Airlift (looking at it, that has got to be one of the most spectacular aerial operations ever. The sheer quantities they were taking in! And the number of aircraft--one would land ever 90 seconds at the height of the airlift!), the differences between East and West, and so on. There were a couple of tanks and cars mingled in with the aircraft too.

If the Cold War gallery isn't enough reason for you to visit, there's a brilliant hands on exhibit called Fun 'n' Flight, which shows the practicalities of all the various aspects of flying. I didn't go in this time, it was pretty busy, but my brother did and he definitely enjoyed themselves. There's also a brilliant collection of Second World War aircraft, all with nice labels telling you what they were etc, and information about the particular craft on display. They had an example of the only jet-propelled aircraft ever used operationally. It looked pretty cute, but apparently was tricky to fly and liable to explode due to the volatile nature of the fuel... They had a Spitfire of course--everywhere seems to have them for some reason ;), and a development of the Lancaster Bomber which is virtually identical apart from the fact it's bigger. Then there's an incredible display of model aircraft. Actually, there's two displays of them, in different places (I'm sure there was only one the last time we went, presumably the collection did what my own is doing and kinda grew). It's great because it lets you see the aircraft that you no longer get to see such as the old biplanes etc which being made from wood and canvas were not exactly easy to preserve, and you can see how they look like in comparison to other ones. Quite impressive.

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