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It’s all ‘Up in the Air’ at the RAF Museum this summer

Published on: 21 July 2023

Get ready to experience the (sometimes gruesome) history of flight at the RAF Museum this summer holiday, as the Horrible Histories Up in the Air Adventure gets airborne.

Opening tomorrow, the event will run for the entire summer break with thousands of families expected to visit the Museums ‘horrible hangar’ for an interactive aviation adventure like no other. Six themed zones will explore the truly brainless blunders of fearless and foolish flyers throughout history, in their eager pursuit to fly!

The sky’s the limit in the Engineers Workshop, where you’ll take on the role of inventor and create a crazy flying machine! See spins, dives loop-the-loops and barrel rolls in the Barnstorming Braves zone – are you brave enough to walk the tightrope?

Have you got what it takes to crack the case in the Up in the Air Challenge, with six puzzles to solve and clues to find families will need to work together to succeed before the time runs out! Meet the Inventor whose aeroplanes didn’t always stay up in the air and hear about the hilarious mishaps.

Capture the moment in the Selfie Zone and create your own fabulously funny photos with the posing props. Let your imagination run wild in the Creation Station, using colourful pencils to design a hot air balloon or an incredible flying circus.

Amy Bertaut, Public Events Executive at RAF Museum Midlands said:

‘We’re excited to welcome families to the Museum over the summer for our big Horrible Histories event. We’ve taken inspiration from the Horrible Histories ‘Up in the Air’ book and developed six activity zones that will get families designing, building, solving clues, and interacting with the characters. We’ve also created some Horrible Histories activity packs that will allow families to continue the Up in the Air Adventure at home.’

The event is based on the Horrible Histories book, ‘Up in the Air’, written by Terry Deary, and illustrated by Martin Brown. This year celebrates the 30th anniversary of Horrible Histories – the world’s bestselling historical book series for children. Families attending the launch event were treated to a guest appearance from the books illustrator Martin Brown who got to see first-hand the characters and stories within the book being brought to life. He also shared tips on how to create some of the characteristically Horrible Histories illustrations in an ‘anyone can draw workshop’ before signing copies of his book.


Martin Brown, Illustrator, Horrible Histories said:

‘I’ve always been fascinated by how us humans got into the sky – all the fatal failures and flimsy firsts. So where better to celebrate those triumphs and tragedies than at the RAF Museum Midlands with their brilliant new Horrible Histories, Up in the Air Adventure. Apart from being just plane good fun (plane, geddit?) the setting is AMAZING. You look up from building your own flying machine at the Engineers Workshop and realize you’re a couple of metres away from a Chinook helicopter, or an enormous Comet airliner. Awesome.’

On top of all the interactive fun in the Horrible Hangar, families can take part in a free Twinkletoes Trail to follow around the Museum. As readers of Horrible Histories ‘Up in the Air’ will know, Twinkletoes is the high-flying feline who accompanied Arthur Whitten Brown on the first ever non-stop transatlantic flight in 1919 – quite an adventure for a cat! These days Twinkletoes can be spotted on display in the Museum enjoying a well-earned rest.

The Horrible Histories Up in the Air Adventure runs from Saturday 22 July until 3 September, with three 2-hours sessions daily at 10.30am, 12.30pm and 2.45pm. Advanced booking is strongly advised for this immersive experience. Tickets are £7.50 per person, or £25 for 5 people with a group saver ticket. Book now for a great day out this summer, visit

Horrible Histories Up in the Air Adventure is run in partnership with Scholastic. The event has also been supported by Way to Play, providing flexible roads to create a test runway, and Cicada, who supplied Mobilo for the Engineers workshop.

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