Andrew reports on the recent deaf pilots visit to the RAF Museum at RAF Hendon.
The first Deaf Pilots group’s activity for 2015. A dull and rainy day with gusty wind. The perfect day for sightseeing!
On February 7th we went to visit the RAF Museum at Hendon, just off the M1. Eight of us, John, Joan and David, Yoav, Rodney, Clare, Leo and myself, turned up at the entrance at almost same time. Furthest distance from home was Rodney who lives near Manchester. Well done, Rodney! Yoav was slightly later, having spent time looking for a free parking place.
With over 100 planes on display, we started with a visit to the Milestones of Flight, which covers the great achievements over the last 100 years from Bleriot to F-35 the VTOL jet fighter. Clare’s son Leo, who is 7, tried a flight simulator and he found it a very realistic! Hanging from the ceiling is a tiny single seat plane, the Mew Gull, with a very little headroom and we presumed a very little knee room. In 1939, it broke a record for an out and return flight to South Africa. This record was stood until recently. Bomber Hall three awesome bombers: the all-black Lancaster and a metal-polished Flying Fortress and Cold War Vulcan are displayed with several fighters, helicopters and aero engines around them.
After an overpriced lunch we went over to the Battle of Britain Hall to look at planes which took part in the battle – Spitfire, Hurricane, Me109, Stuka, etc. In other hall is an evil V-1 the flying bomb, of which thousands were fired at London. In addition, a very large V-2 the rocket missile. Fortunately, only a few were used as it was developed at the end of war. We explored the inside of a huge flying boat, Sunderland, which was also very interesting.
Some of us went over to the World War One Hall to look at some wood and fabric biplanes. To improve her piloting skills, Joan tried her hands on a WW1 trainer. She found it was a bit like sitting in a bath tub with a broomstick!
We all enjoyed the visit very much. Unfortunately, Yoav’s parking space ultimately cost him more than parking in the Museum car park!