Frequently asked questions

At the start of the First World War aircraft bore no markings to denote their nationality, and thus often came under fire from British troops on the ground. From late August the Union Jack was painted on the undersides of aircraft, but this proved unsatisfactory, as from a distance it resembled the cross worn by German aircraft and thus still drew "friendly fire".

In December 1914 the RFC followed the example of their French Allies and adopted red, white and blue circles - the French roundel has blue in the centre and red on the outside, so the RFC reversed the order to give the roundel which (in differing forms) has distinguished British military aircraft ever since.

Yes, there is a picnic Area in Aeronauts interactive centre which is reserved as part of your timetable. If the weather is nice there is also an out door picnic area near the Battle of Britain Hall.

Access times alter depending on your specific requirements. The Museum is open from 10:00 to 18:00 every day and photography and filming (using hand-held video cameras) for private and non-commercial use is permitted during this time. Filming with special equipment is permitted while the museum is open under the supervision of a Museum representative; appointments can be made with prior agreement. If you require access while the museum is closed, out-of-hours appointments can also be agreed.

Access to restricted areas can also be organised prior to your appointment; this includes close proximity to the aircraft and exhibits, and areas that are normally closed to the public. Please note that this may not include access to the interiors of any of the aircraft. Personnel and equipment must not touch the aircraft or other exhibits.

An experienced technician will be on hand to supervise the filming and photography in the Aircraft Halls; our representative is responsible for the safety and conservation of the exhibits and reserves the right to remove any person or equipment at any time.

We do allow special lighting rigs but the use of these needs to be agreed beforehand with the express permission from the technician. Lights must be at least 1.5m from metal aircraft and 2.5m from fabric-covered aircraft; they must also be far enough away not to fall onto the aircraft and surrounding exhibits. Lights must be more than 3 metres directly below the fire detection sensors. Lighting must also not be used longer than necessary and should be switched off when filming is not taking place. No adjustments to the Museum lighting is permitted without prior approval, if any adjustments are required they will be made by the Museum's electrician.

Under the supervision of the Museum technician, and with prior arrangement you are welcome to film with specialist camera equipment. Power cables are permitted, but may only be run along walkways in exceptional circumstances, in which case suitable precautions must be taken to prevent a trip hazard. All plug-in electrical appliances must have been tested in accordance with the recommendations of the Health and Safety executive's publication HS(G)107 or any publication which supersedes it. Gangways and fire routes must be kept clear at all times and cable must be fixed firmly to kerbs with gaffer tape or similar. Where drum-type power cables are used, cable must be pulled away from the drum before power is supplied.

The material may only be used for the purpose specified: use for any other purpose must be the subject of separate agreements. The material must not be used for purposes that may bring the Museum or the Royal Air Force into disrepute.

The College of Arms has stated that "no authoritative translation is possible" but the usual translation is "Through adversity to the stars".

The museum does not hold personnel records, but two leaflets are available which explain how to trace these and other sources

Museum staff can give advice on simple queries and should be able to say whether we have relevant material in our collections. They are unable to conduct extensive research for enquirers, but you would be welcome ro make an appointment to do your own research, or we can provide a list of record agents who can do the research work for you.

Enquiries are normally answered in the order in which they are received, and our target is to reply within 20 working days. If you enquire by fax or e-mail, please include your postal address as we may need to send you photocopies or leaflets.

The museum does not hold personnel records, but two leaflets are available which explain how to trace these and other sources

The Department of Research & Information Services (DoRIS) holds the Museum's Library and Archive Collections.

The Department of Visual Arts, Medals and Uniforms manages, amongst others, the Film, Photographs and Fine Art Collections.

The Department of Aircraft and Exhibits looks after aircraft, engines and other three-dimensional items.

The Reading Room is open Tuesday to Friday, 10am to 5pm, and appointments can be made by contacting:

Department of Research & Information Services
Grahame Park Way
London, NW9 5LL
020 8358 4873

Fax: 020 8358 4991

Please give as much notice as possible and indicate the subject of your research, as we may be able to suggest more relevant repositories.

Requests for access to the film, fine art and three-dimensional collections should be made in writing or by e-mail, using the same fax number or via

Please follow this: link

We are often asked the history of 633 Squadron, but this famous Mosquito unit only exists in the pages of Frederick Smith's novels!

The Royal Air Force Museum London houses one of the largest aviation collections in the United Kingdom. Over 70 historic aircraft covering the whole span of the first 100 years of aviation development.

The Royal Air Force Museum has a number of small collections of aerial photographs. Most are held by the Photographic Section but some are in archive collections within the Department of Research & Information Services. A leaflet is available giving details of other collections holding relevant material.

Only your chosen activity is led by museum staff. Visits to other parts of the museum are led by the teachers themselves. You may however find some of the resources on our website helpful

The timetable is flexible; however there are some elements that must be adhered to at the specified times e.g. your chosen activity, lunch and Our Finest Hour show. These are all written in bold on your timetable.

Yes all parts of the museum are accessible to wheelchair users. It is helpful for us if you inform us prior to your visit if there are wheelchair users within your party.

Yes! There will be a reserved party table in the Refuel Restaurant for your party.

Yes! You can use cameras, camcorders etc throughout your visit in any part of the museum.

If you are arriving by car or minibus you will be required to pay for car parking. The charges are £2.50 for up to 3 hours and £3.50 for 3 to 6 hours. Coaches are not required to pay car parking charges. Blue badge holders are required to pay for car parking.

Admission to the museum is free of charge.

Storage capacity is extremely limited and cannot be guaranteed. We recommend that bags and coats are kept to a minimum and either left on the coach or carried around.

Yes, there is a shop in the Historic Hangars building. Groups of no more than 10 children should visit the shop at any one time, and should be accompanied by an adult.

Yes, the RAF Museum has Public Liability Insurance of up to £5 million

The cost is £13.50 per child for all bookings made before 31st March 2013.

The minimum group size for this package is 8 children and the maximum 50 children per party.

The catering provided is solely for children attending the party. If you would like to organise catering for adults supervising the party, please ask about this at the time of booking.

When you arrive please make your way to the Milestones of Flight Reception where your children's goody bags and activity sheets will be waiting for them. This is also the place for the party to meet.

Yes! As part of the package we will reserve the appropriate size of table(s) for your party in the Wings Restaurant.

The organiser's car is exempt from the parking charges, however all other vehicles attending will need to pay the charges. £2.50 for 3 hours or £3.50 for 6 hours (coin machine)

For any other questions contact one of the team on 020 8358 4849 between 9.15am and 2.30pm Monday to Friday or email us We will endeavour to respond to your email by the next working day.

You must stay with your coach until a member of the Access and Learning Department comes to greet you. If you arrive by foot please make your way to the Conference reception where you will be directed to us. Please note that the museum opens at 10am. If your party arrives before this time please wait in your coach or by the entrance to the reception until 10am as we cannot let you into the museum before this time.

Please remember to bring payment with you on the day. This is to be paid at the Milestones of Flight reception. The amount due is on your booking form and you can pay with cash, cheques or card. We accept payment by Maestro, Switch, Visa, Barclaycard, AMEX. Cheques should be made payable to Royal Air Force Museum.

This experience does not include a personal guide around the Museum. Children must be accompanied at all times around the Museum by responsible adults. We recommend one adult per 5 children attending this event.

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Contact us

T: 020 8358 4873

Archive & Library
RAF Museum London
Grahame Park Way
London, NW9 5LL

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