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The Phantom Experience

24 June - 11 December 2017

Phantom Pilot standing next to a phantom

The Phantom Experience

The McDonnell Douglas Phantom FGR2 is an iconic aircraft that formed a major part of the Royal Air Force’s combat aircraft strength for 23 years. We are now offering visitors the opportunity to sit in this fascinating piece of Cold War technology. 

Our Phantom has a remarkable history; it took part in a commemorative Transatlantic Flight and was painted in special colours. These colours celebrated 60 years since Alcock and Brown completed the first transatlantic flight in 1919.  After the celebrations, the Phantom was painted in the colours of the 56 Squadron. It was brought to the RAF Museum London in 1992 after accruing over 5000 hours of flight time. It is now displayed with a full load of deactivated Sidewinder and Skyflash missiles, fuel drop tanks and a centre-line Gatling cannon located the heart of the Historic Hangars.

Each Phantom Experience session booked caters for one individual and lasts approximately 10 minutes. Our wonderful volunteers will guide you into the cockpit and explain how the aircraft would have been operated. Before you book your tickets please read our access terms and conditions below. 

When? Every Saturday, 11am – 3pm.
How much? £8 (plus a 50p booking fee)


If you’re intrigued by this supersonic piece of Cold War engineering then book your chance to experience it up close now!

Visitor sitting in the Phantom Cockpit

Access:

Sitting in the cockpit of a Phantom is a unique experience. This aircraft is part of the Museum’s collection and therefore irreplaceable. We want to make sure that you enjoy your time sat in the pilot’s seat, but we must make sure you’re prepped and ready to go before you arrive:

  • You must be physically able to climb a number of steps up to the aircraft and into the cockpit. This also requires using your arms to support some of your body weight.
  • Please wear sensible clothing. Loose fitting clothing and jewellery are not advised and may prevent access to the aircraft. Trousers rather than a skirt would also be advisable.
  • Please wear flat shoes with a good grip – no flip-flops or loose sandals. Without proper footwear we can’t allow access to the Phantom cockpit.
  • You are more than welcome to take pictures once inside the cockpit – please come with a camera that can be zipped into a pocket or one with a strap.
  • The image below indicates the measurements of the cockpit – if you do not feel comfortable climbing into the space then we advise you don’t book tickets. You can still view the aircraft from the platform outside of the cockpit experience opening times.
  • If the Museum feels that it is not safe, or possible, for you to access the Phantom cockpit then we reserve the right to refuse access.
  • The seat is 47 cm wide and the entrance is 39 cm wide with a 100 cm clearance between the canopy and the side of the aircraft. You will be briefed on how to enter and exit the aircraft safely by a member of our team.
  • You must be over the age of 12 to take part in the experience, unfortunately it is not suitable for small children. 

The Phantom cockpit with measurements


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