Plan your visit, see when the RAF Museum Cosford is open. Contact us on 01902 376 200 or email@example.com
How to find us and travel to the RAF Museum Cosford by car, train, bus or bike.
Enjoy lunch in Refuel with views overlooking the airfield. The Cold War Cafe in the National Cold War Exhibition is ideal for morning coffee and a cake.
The Royal Air Force Museum Shop has a gift for everyone from pocket money toys to specialist aviation gifts.
A car parking charge Is payable
See what events are scheduled at Cosford
Find out the latest news and updates for our Cosford site
Summer Time Advanced Aerospace Residency
Plan a day, see the opening hours & closure dates for RAF Museum London. Contact us on 020 8205 2266 or firstname.lastname@example.org
How to find us and travel to the RAF Museum London by car, train, bus or bike.
Discover our brand new green space in which to picnic and relax
Explore our brand new outdoor playground
We now have six charging points for electric vehicles
When you need to refuel during your visit why not visit Claude's between Hangars 2 and 6? At this eatery you will find a variety of delicious home-made offerings to suit all tastes and pockets
Step back into time and onto Lancaster Bomber 'G for George' to witness this iconic campaign
Sit in our Mk16 Spitfire and receive a tour of its cockpit or try out our new virtual reality experience and pilot your own Spitfire. Charges apply.
Specially created for visitors 3 - 8 by our Access and Learning Team
See what events are planned at our London site
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Want to know more about how to leave a Legacy to the RAF Museum?
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Get more from the Museum and be part of the RAF Story
Join the RAF Museum as a volunteer and create a unique experience for yourself and our visitors. Bring your enthusiasm, knowledge and skills or try something new.
A little information about what you can expect from us and what we ask of our volunteers.
Find out about our recruitment process, what you gain and who our volunteering is for (everyone!)
If you have any questions about supporting the RAF Museum, here you can find out how to contact our Fundraising Department.
air transport auxiliary,women,ATA,
1882 - 1970
Commander-in-Chief of Fighter Command, 1936-1940
"A difficult man, a self-opinionated man, a most determined man, and a man who knew more than anybody about all aspects of aerial warfare."
General Frederick Pile
Air Chief Marshal Dowding is regarded as the architect of victory in the Battle of Britain.
Dowding began his military career in the artillery but in 1913 he took the opportunity to learn to fly at Brooklands and gained his RFC wings. During the First World War he commanded No 16 Squadron before taking over the Ninth (Headquarters) Wing during the Battle of the Somme. Differences of opinion with Trenchard saw him return to the United Kingdom to training duties.
After an influential spell as Air Member for Research and Development after the war he seemed a natural choice to lead Fighter Command when it was set up in July 1936. He spent the remaining years of peace preparing it for war.
Dowding had originally been told he would retire in June 1939 but his retirement date was postponed several times. Although he did not have day to day control of the air defences, this lay in the hands of his four Group Commanders, his management of these subordinates during this crucial period of the Battles of France and Britain clearly made him the man right man in the right job and certainly one of the most important RAF commanders.
Dowding was criticised by some for not using the aggressive "Big Wing" tactics favoured by people like AVM Leigh-Mallory and Sqn Ldr Douglas Bader. Whether large formations of aircraft would really have been more effective is still in dispute.
To some he was considered dour, stubborn, obstinate and uncooperative and this made him a number of influential enemies. Within weeks of the end of the Battle Dowding had been forced to relinquish his position. He finally retired in July 1942.
The letter that changed everything
Dowding outlines to the Air Ministry the reasons why no more fighter re-enforcements should be sent to France otherwise Britain's own defences would be compromised. He believed it to be a waste of aircraft and pilots. This is the most important decision was to build up the home fighter defence. He fought for this In the face of fierce political opposition.
Listen to our podcast 'Dowding - Architect of Victory'
Dowding: Architect of Victory
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