Fleet Air Arm Museum

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For the Australian museum, see Fleet Air Arm Museum (Australia).
Fleet Air Arm Museum
Fleet Air Arm Museum.JPG
Fleet Air Arm Museum is located in Somerset
Fleet Air Arm Museum
Location within Somerset
Established May 1964
Location RNAS Yeovilton, Somerset, England
Coordinates 51°00′49″N 2°38′41″W / 51.0136°N 2.6448°W / 51.0136; -2.6448
Director Graham Mottram
Website fleetairarm.com

The Fleet Air Arm Museum is devoted to the history of British naval aviation. It has an extensive collection of military and civilian aircraft, aero engines, models of aircraft and Royal Navy ships (especially aircraft carriers), and paintings and drawings related to naval aviation. It is located on RNAS Yeovilton airfield, and the museum has viewing areas where visitors can watch military aircraft (especially helicopters) take off and land. It is located 7 miles (11 km) north of Yeovil, and 40 miles (64 km) south of Bristol.

Exhibits[edit]

The museum's main display is divided into four areas:

Hall 1[edit]

File:Fleet Air Arm Museum hall 1 undergoing refurbishment, 2008.JPG

Contains a display about the development of naval aviation from the early days of airships and fabric-covered wooden biplanes to modern jet aircraft and helicopters, including the front section of the fuselage of Short 184 8359, built locally by Westland aircraft in Yeovil and flown at the Battle of Jutland in 1916 before being put on display at the Imperial War Museum, where it was damaged during World War II when the museum was hit by a bomb. Displayed in an unrestored condition.

Currently contains the following aircraft:

Hall 2[edit]

Mainly devoted to World War II, with a side room containing a Kamikaze exhibit, which contains an Ohka (Yokosuka MXY-7 Ohka II (BAPC 58)), models of Japanese aircraft and final letters from Kamikaze pilots. Two aircraft from the Korean War are also displayed.. By the entrance to Hall 3 there is a collection of models of British aircraft carriers, illustrating the history of aircraft carrier design.

The aircraft on display include:

Hall 3[edit]

Simulation of the flight deck of HMS Ark Royal

Instead of a traditional museum hall, the whole hall has been converted into a mock-up of the fleet carrier HMS Ark Royal as it would have appeared in the 1970s. The entrance to this hall is by a simulated helicopter ride from Hall 2. The hall itself is a simulation of a section of the flight deck of HMS Ark Royal and aircraft are displayed as if they are on the deck. Two large screens show the takeoff and landing of aircraft such as Blackburn Buccaneers and F4 Phantoms. There is also a series of rooms simulating the carrier's island.

The aircraft include:

Hall 4[edit]

Hall 4 showing Concorde 002, Bristol Scout, BAC 221 and Hawker Hunter T8M

It was flown to Yeovilton on March 1976 and opened to the public in July of that year. It has been on display ever since.[4]

The aircraft on display as of November 2013:

Other displays[edit]

In addition to the four main exhibition halls, there are a number of smaller displays. These include:

  • A section devoted to the Battle of Taranto, the Fleet Air Arm's most celebrated exploit in World War 2. The display includes a Fairey Swordfish, which can also be seen from the link between halls 1 and 2.
  • The "Merlin Experience", which explains modern anti-submarine techniques.

Reserve Collection[edit]

The museums collection includes a number of aircraft which are currently being restored and are not on display, although public access is allowed at least once a year. These are housed in Cobham Hall, a climate controlled building across the road from the museum. Aircraft include:

  • British Aerospace Harrier GR.9A (ZD433)
  • Beech T34C Mentor (0729)
  • Bell UH1H Iroquois (AE422)
  • Benson Gyrocopter (G-AZAZ)
  • Blackburn NA39 (XK488)
  • de Havilland Sea Venom FAW21
  • de Havilland Sea Vixen FAW1 (XJ481)
  • de Havilland Tiger Moth T2 (XL717)
  • de Havilland Vampire T22 (XA129)
  • Douglas Skyraider AEW1 (WV106)
  • Douglas Skyraider AEW1 WT121
  • Fairey Albacore (N4389)
  • Fairey Barracuda II (DP872)
  • Fairey Barracuda II (LS931)
  • Fairey Firefly TT4 (VH127)
  • Fairey Flycatcher (replica)
  • Fairey Gannet AEW3
  • Gloster Meteor T7 (WS103)
  • Gloster Meteor TT20 (WM292)
  • Hawker P1052 (VX272)
  • Hiller HTE2 (XB480)
  • Hunting Jet Provost T3A XN46
  • Northrop Chukar (XW994)
  • Northrop MQM36 Shelduck
  • Percival Sea Prince T1 (WP313)
  • Saro P531 (XN334)
  • Sopwith Baby (N2078)
  • Sopwith Camel (replica) (B6401)
  • Super Eagle Hang Glider (G-BGWZ)
  • Supermarine 510 (VV106)
  • Westland Gazelle HT2 (XW864)
  • Westland Lynx (XZ720)
  • Westland Sioux AH1 (XT176)
  • Westland Wasp (XS527)
  • Westland Wasp HAS1 (XT778)
  • Westland Wessex HU5 XS508
  • Westland Whirlwind HAR3 (XG574)
  • Westland Whirlwind HAS7 (XG594)

Engines on display[edit]

Clerget 9B rotary engine on display

The museum possesses a number of aero engines located throughout the halls.

Other activities[edit]

Restoration[edit]

The museum also carries out various restoration projects. the last project was a Corsair KD 431 which in the summer of 2006 was unveiled as it would have appeared in 1944. Visitors can see into (but not enter) the restoration workshop between Hall 3 and Hall 4.

Archives[edit]

The Fleet Air Arm Museum is the home to an archive of material related to naval aviation.

Visitor facilities[edit]

The museum's shop is one has the most extensive selections of naval merchandise in the area. The selection includes various themed books and documentaries such as Sailor.

There is an outside adventure playground for children in the museum's grounds, as well as two cafés.

See also[edit]

Naval aviation museums[edit]

Other[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Fairey Albacore N4389". Fleet Air Arm Museum. Retrieved 2008-12-31. 
  2. ^ Mason, Francis K. The British Bomber Since 1914. London: Putnam Aeronautical Books, 1994. ISBN 0-85177-861-5.
  3. ^ "Corsair KD 431 - A Ground Breaking Project". Fleet Air Arm Museum. Retrieved 2008-12-31. 
  4. ^ "BAC Concorde". Fleet Air Arm Museum. Retrieved 2008-12-31. 

External links[edit]