Yorkshire Air Museum

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The Yorkshire Air Museum & Allied Air Forces Memorial, (RAF Elvington airfield during the Second World War), is an air museum in England. The Museum was founded, and first opened to the public, in the early 1980s.

The Yorkshire Air Museum & Allied Air Forces Memorial is the largest independent air museum in Britain and is the most original Second World War RAF Bomber Command station open to the public and the only base used by the French Heavy Bomber Squadrons, (346 'Guyenne' & 347 'Tunisie'. Preceded by No. 77 Squadron RAF when the Station first opened in 1942. It is also the only Allied Air Forces Memorial in Europe. The Museum has a good international reputation and profile with established branches in Canada and France and is supported by over 4,000 registered “friends” across the world. It is a Corporate Member of Friends of the Few (Battle of Britain Memorial) and the Royal Aeronautical Society.

The Vice Presidents of the Museum include: Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton GCB, BSc, FRAeS, CCMI; General Denis Mercier, Chief of the French Air Force; Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu; and TV Presenter, Jan Leeming.

The Museum's principal activity is in education and the history of flight, through which it is involved with aerospace manufacturers and organisations via its long term "Reach for the Sky" project which delivered the first KS2 History of Aviation educational resource book to all 26,000 primary schools in UK, supported by RAeS and the Ministry of Transport.

The Museum has around 50 aircraft scanning the development of aviation from 1853 up to the current GR4 Tornado. Several aircraft are kept live and operated on special "Thunder Days" during the year. Over 20 historic vehicles and a Registered Archive containing over 500,000 historic artefacts and documents are also preserved at the Museum, which is also the Official Archive for the National Aircrew Association and National Air Gunners Association. It is nationally registered and accredited through DCMS/Arts Council of England and is a registered charity. The 20-acre (81,000 m2) parkland site (which has held the Yorkshire in Bloom, Silver Gilt Award 3 times) includes buildings and hangars, some of which are “listed”, and the site incorporates a 7-acre (28,000 m2) managed environment area and a DEFRA and EA supported self sustainability project called "Nature of Flight". The Museum is situated next to a 10,000ft x 400 acre international standard runway which holds the current European Land Speed Record.

One of the UK’s most important permanent exhibitions on RAF Bomber Command was opened at the Museum by Life Member, Sir David Jason OBE. In 2010 a new exhibition called “Pioneers of Aviation”, and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, was opened featuring the lives and achievements of Sir George Cayley, Sir Barnes Wallis, Robert Blackburn, Nevil Shute and Amy Johnson.

Principal on-site businesses include: Restaurant, Publishing, Retail Shop, Operational Fire Service, Events, Aircraft Operation Engineering Workshops, Archives and Corporate Business Suite. The Museum produces its own films and publications and is also a popular location for TV and film companies.

The Museum undertakes several annual events each year within the general attraction / entertainment area as well as educational / academic events for specific audiences, plus several corporate events in association with companies such as Bentley, Porsche, Banking, Government Agencies etc. The biennial Allied Air Forces Memorial Day takes place in September.

It is operated by 149 employees, of which 138 are unpaid volunteers. A small operations team works closely together in a variety of specialist subjects from PR/marketing to Corporate Affairs and Museum Management.

The Museum is expanding rapidly and currently receives over 90,000 visitors per annum. It has received numerous awards, such as: Top Specialist Attraction in UK - 2011; Top Attraction in Yorkshire, Press Top Tourism Business; York Top Marketing Award and Winalot Top Dog Friendly Museum in UK.

The Museum is open every day except Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Museum features[edit]

Building 1. Airborne Forces Display & No. 609 (West Riding) Squadron Room.
Building 2. Uniform Display.
Building 3. Air Gunners' Exhibition.
Building 4. Archives & Reference Library.
Building 5. Museum Shop.
Building 7. Memorial Garden.
Building 8. Museum HQ, Main Entrance.
Building 9. Against the Odds - History of Bomber Command, RAF Regiment Exhibition, 77 Squadron Exhibition and new Digital Astra Cinema
Building 10. Elvington Corporate Room.
Building 11. Museum NAAFI Restaurant.
Building 12. Control Tower.
Building 13. French Officers' Mess.
Building 14. Airmens Billet and Station MT Display.
Building 15. Royal Observer Corp.
Building 16. Signal Square.
Building 17. Hangar T2 Main Aircraft exhibition.
Building 18. Archive & Collections Building Building 19. Handley Page Aircraft Workshop.
Building 20. Pioneer of Aviation Exhibition

Military vehicle[edit]

Second World War

1937 Ford Model E 1940 "Tilly" Standard 12hp Mkl RAF Utility Vehicle.
1941 Chevrolet 4x4 CMP.
1942 Austin K2 NAAFI Wagon.

Cold War

1947 Commer one & a half deck sirport coach 1948 David Brown VIG.2 Aircraft Tractor.
1949 David Brown VIG.3 Aircraft Tractor.
1951 David Brown GP Airfield Tractor.
1953 Alvis Saracen 12ton APC.
1953 Austin Champ Cargo 4x4 General Purpose Vehicle.
1958 Commer Q4 Bikini Fire Pump Unit
1958 Lansing Aircraft Carrier Type Tug
1959 Daimler Ferret ASC MK.2/3/7
1970 Douglas P3 nuclear aircraft 25 tonne tug 1971 Pathfinder Fire Engine 35ton (ex. Manchester Airport
1972 TACR2 Range rover - 6 wheeled fast response fire unit 1974 GMC 6 wheeled fast respose airfield fire truck 1976 Dennis Mercury 17.5 tonne aircraft tug

Aircraft collection[edit]


1853 Replica George Cayley Glider
1903 Replica Wright Flyer
1911 Replica Blackburn Mercury Monoplane BAPC-130

First World War

1913 Replica Avro 504 H1968 BAPC-42
1914 Replica Royal Aircraft Factory BE.2 6232
1917 Replica Port Victoria P.V.7 Grain Kitten
1917 Replica Royal Aircraft Factory SE.5 F943


1925 Replica De Havilland Gypsy Moth G-AAAH
1933 Mignet HM.14 Pou-du-Ciel BAPC-76

Second World War

1935 Avro Anson VV901
1937 Replica Messerschmitt Bf-109G6
1938 Replica Supermarine Spitfire
1940 Handley Page Halifax LV907
1941 De Havilland Mosquito HJ711
1942 Waco Hadrian 237123 BAPC-157
1944 Gloster Meteor WK864, WS788

Cold War

1948 De Havilland Sea Devon VP967

1950 Westland Dragonfly WH991
1951 English Electric Canberra WH846
1952 Canadair CT-133 Silver Star
1952 De Havilland Venom WX788
1953 Fairey Gannet XL502
1954 English Electric Lightning XS903
1954 Hunting-Percival Jet Provost XP640
1956 Gloster Javelin XH767
1956 Hawker Hunter N268, XL572
1956 Saro Skeeter G-AWSV
1958 Handley Page Victor XL231
1961 Dassault Mirage III 538
1962 Blackburn Buccaneer XN974,
1964 Blackburn Buccaneer S2 XX901
1969 Hawker Siddeley Harrier XV748
1969 Hawker Siddeley Nimrod XV250
1980 Panavia Tornado ZA354
2003 Panavia Tornado XZ631

Civilian Aircraft

1955 Handley Page Herald
1961 Beagle Terrier TJ704

"Friday the 13th" original reconstruction of Handley Page Halifax - part of Yorkshire Air Museum's Second World War aircraft collection


Yorkshire Air Museum,
Halifax Way, Elvington, York, YO41 4AU

External links[edit]

Media related to Yorkshire Air Museum at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 53°55′29″N 0°57′55″W / 53.92480°N 0.96531°W / 53.92480; -0.96531