Hangar 1 – Our Main Entrance

Hangar 1 houses two new interactive exhibitions that explore the first 100 years of the RAF, its roles today and invite you to imagine its future contribution and technology.

Our shop and café can also be found in Hangar 1.

RAF Stories, The First 100 Years 1918–2018

This new introductory exhibition is an ideal place to start your visit. Explore the first 100 years of the Royal Air Force through the stories of its people and partners from its formation in 1918 as the world’s first independent air force.

100s of new objects are revealed including log books, hidden maps, survival rations and mascots alongside aircraft, vehicles and boats from the RAF’s first century.

Opportunities to get hands-on include:

  • Try on an RAF uniform
  • Sensory areas include tactile models of aircraft and other objects, iconic RAF smells and sounds
  • Could you have been a Women’s Royal Air Force Plotter? Set plots on an interactive Second World War operations room table
  • Explore Sir Frank Whittle’s innovative Power Jets engine on an interactive screen
  • Test yourself: test your reaction timing; test your multi-tasking skills; work together on an engineering challenge
  • Learn how to fly a Gnat in a simulator
  • Take the pilot’s seat in our Simulator Zone (£)
  • Fix a Sea King (under 5s experience): refuel, fix bolts and turn propellers
  • Sit in a miniature plane (under 5s experience): DH9A, Spitfire, Gnat and Sea King.

Large print guides are available. Below are the links to the electronic version:

This exhibition is supported by:

The BAE Systems, Heritage Lottery Fund, and Garfield Weston Foundation logos

With further support from:

The Rolls Royce Logo, Bomber Command Association Logo, The Mac Robert Trust logo, The Wolfson Foundation Logo

RAF – First to the Future

To deliver its mission, the RAF needs effective technology, to give it the agility to respond quickly and effectively over long distances. The RAF also relies on its people – well-trained, creative and forward-thinking men and women – working together with global military and industry partners to develop new, innovative designs and practices. 

Explore how this innovation has always been of vital importance to the RAF, and how it will become ever more so in the future, keeping the RAF at the leading edge of Air and Space Power.

Opportunities to get hands-on include:

Take on an RAF Mission through digital experiences:

  • Discover: locate and ‘collect’ assigned items as an RAF Intelligence Analyst
  • Defend: your information from cyber hackers
  • Decide: use your information to complete an operation
  • Debate the future of Artificial Intelligence – a power for good or a challenge for humanity?

Speed, Reach or Height? Choose your mission, design an aircraft on a digital drawing board and then test your design on screen.

Large print guides are available. Below are the links to the electronic version:

This exhibition is supported by:

BAE Systems and Heritage Lottery Fund log

With further support from: Northrop Grumman 

Northrop Grumman Logo

Please note: The Museum regularly undertakes a programme of maintenance and conservation, so some exhibits or Hangars may be temporarily inaccessible. If you are visiting us to see something specific, please contact us in advance to ensure it that it is on display and available for public viewing.