This newly restored hangar tells the stories of aircraft in war, from the first use of air-to-air weapons in 1914 to drone warfare in the 21st century. Here you can see how the technology of military aircraft and their weapons has developed, and meet the people who designed and flew combat aircraft, or whose lives were changed by conflict.
Key aircraft include the world-famous Spitfire, the oldest surviving Harrier jump jet, and the Tornado F3, only recently replaced in RAF service by the Eurofighter Typhoon. Also on display is an English Electric Lightning, the RAF's first supersonic jet fighter, which could match the speed of Concorde.
Alongside these pioneering aircraft are thought-provoking displays of uniforms, photographs and documents, telling the stories of people whose lives have been affected by aerial warfare.
People have always dreamed of flying; to have the freedom to soar with the birds. That same desire drives the passion many people have today for flying.
This redeveloped hangar explores some of the different uses of civilian aircraft, from ‘Flying for Fun’ and ‘Connecting Communities’ to how ‘Aerial Photography’ gives us a bird’s-eye view of the world.
Highlights include one of the most versatile aircraft ever built, the Britten-Norman Islander, and a Druine Turbulent microlight plane built in a family home in Airdrie!
When Concorde first took to the skies, she epitomized a brave new world of scientific and technological innovation, of European co-operation and space age sophistication. Get up close to Scotland's Concorde, G-BOAA, in Hangar 4 and find out what made supersonic travel so special. You find out more about the Concorde Experience here.
Alongside Concorde in Hangar 4 you'll also find the UK's only surviving Boeing 707 cockpit and cabin and discover the role of this iconic aircraft in ushering in the age of commercial passenger travel and creating the original 'jet set' of the 1960s.
You’ll find G-APFJ, also known as Foxtrot Juliet, in Hangar 4, alongside Concorde. Discover how she was built and watch interviews with passengers and former crew members, who explain how their lives were transformed by the introduction of the early jet aircraft and the growth in transatlantic flights.
Due to its revolutionary design, the Boeing 707 could fly faster than any other passenger jet at the time. As a result, fewer stops were needed to refuel. This made it possible to fly from New York to London in just six and a half hours.
The early flights, however, were hugely expensive and their exclusivity to pop celebrities such as the Beatles, Sandie Shaw and Twiggy, and sports stars such as Jackie Stewart coined the expression the 'jet set' for a whole generation.
Explore our three hands-on galleries and find out how aeroplanes fly, how they are built and the skills needed to fly them. Join in with over 25 activities and feel the force of lift, discover what planes are made of and test your own skills. Can you navigate your way round the world or land an aeroplane? Try your hand with our flight simulators.
Get to grips with the mechanics of flight with buttons, dials, switches, propellers and wings. Look out for a Wright Brothers engine, the propeller from an aeroplane which flew over Everest and Shelia Scott's record-breaking Piper Comanche, which she flew solo around the world!
The National Museum of Flight stands on the UK's best-preserved Second World War airfield. Fortunes of War recounts the vivid human story of this historic military airfield. Through personal testimony, photographs, film and unique artefacts, it tells the story of service at East Fortune.
See wings from an East Fortune Sopwith Cuckoo and the original painted gate from the Royal Naval Air Station. View objects from R34, East Fortune's record-breaking airship, which flew to North America and back in the first ever trans-Atlantic crossing.
Discover how the airfield has changed during the years with our interactive map, navigate an airship to find the enemy submarine and watch historic film footage. Get a first-hand look at what life was like on an active airbase with models, aircraft parts, uniforms and flying equipment.
A parachute is an essential piece of air crew equipment, and this oddly-shaped building is where these vital life-savers were kept in pristine condition, ready for active service.
Easily recognised from the outside amongst the more familiar bunkers, aircraft hangars and Nissen huts on site, East Fortune’s parachute store has been carefully recreated from information preserved in a 1936 Parachute Maintenance manual. You will see the pulleys holding drying parachutes from the ceiling, original stoves that were used to keep the store warm and dry and a very long table where the parachutes were laid out ready to be packed.
The Military and Civil Aviation Hangars are supported by
Fantastic Flight! is supported by
Fortunes of War is supported by
April 2017- 31 October 2017
Open every day
November 2017 – March 2018
Saturday and Sunday only
Child: £7 (under 5 free)
Family £31 (2 adults and 2 children)
National Art Pass holders: free (charge for special events)
Discounts are available for schools, those travelling by bicycle and groups
Concorde Audio Guide: Free
There is an extra charge for some events