Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Museum (RAF Coningsby)

Watch it in Video format: https://youtu.be/TV1WxRpQHMk

“Never was so much owed by so many to so few”

(Churchill)

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From 10 July until 31 October 1940, pilots from Czechoslovakia, Poland, South Africa, Canada, Australia and New Zealand joined the British RAF in the fight against the German Luftwaffe which has been describe as  the first major military campaign fought entirely by air forces.

The British memorial flight is housed at RAF Coningsby, situated in the heart of Lincolnshire which during WWII was known as (Bomber County) due to the twenty plus airfields dotted around this east coast county of the UK.

The museum is situated on the still fully active RAF base, Dogdyke Rd, Coningsby, Lincoln LN4 4SY .  As you travel out of the village you will see the base on your left, look out for the car park on the right, park your car, you CANNOT take any form of bag onto the base.

There is a cafe, gift shop and a small but informative display immediately upon entering the visitors centre.

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Hours

Thursday 10am–5pm
Friday 10am–5pm
Saturday Closed
Sunday Closed
Monday 10am–5pm
Tuesday 10am–5pm
Wednesday 10am–5pm

cost: £8.00

The tour guide we had certainly knows his stuff,  he guides you through the hanger sharing his knowledge and sometimes funny stories.  Many of the planes actually flew during WWII in combat.

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Above is a picture of the aircraft machine guns.  As well as taking in what is going on in this operational hanger, keep on eye on the right hand wall has you progress.

Progressing down the hanger you will see many planes in some state of repair or general maintenance, on our visit most planes were going through their annual maintenance as you can see from the pictures.

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Of course the Lancaster dominates the hanger and if you see one flying around the UK at any time then this is the one in the sky.

Everyone knows about the Lancaster and its exploits during the war but I will give you brief recap.

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1942 British engineer Barnes Wallis had the idea for a bouncing bomb, the development of this weapon started out in a water tub in his back garden.  bouncing_bomb3-removebg-preview

These bombs were developed to take out three German dams, The Möhne, Edersee and Sorpe dams of the Ruhr valley which were vital to German Industry.  This is how they work:

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And this is the result once successfully deployed:

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Breached Mohne Dam

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617 Squadron was retained by RAF Bomber Command for specialist precision bombing operations. It experimented with new bomb sights, target marking techniques and colossal new ‘earthquake’ bombs developed by Barnes Wallis,

In the run-up to D-Day, 617 Squadron attacked factories, V-weapon sites and communication targets in France. Its commander, Wing Commander Leonard Cheshire, pioneered a controversial new low-level target-marking technique. The improved accuracy minimised civilian casualties when attacking targets in occupied territory

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In the autumn of 1944, 617 Squadron joined 9 Squadron in attacks with 12,000 lb ‘Tallboy’ bombs (pictured above) on the German battleship Tirpitz, 12 November was sunk by two direct hits.

Due to the squadron requiring more space they moved to RAF Woodhall Spa where there is a memorial to the squadron.  Woodhall Spa is only a short drive north of Coningsby so we nipped up there, directly across the road from the memorial site is a couple of great cafe’s, perfect for a little bite to eat and a coffee.

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This was our day out last week, packed with great history and company……

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Newark Air Museum Visit

Following in the footsteps of the RAF I decided it was time to visit the Newark Air Museum which is situated just of the A17.  screenshot not currently working guys so I hope the google map link below works.

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Newark+Air+Museum/@53.0941342,-0.7722986,14.19z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x48784b3b9c3c09a7:0x90ea3b2bd3859cc5!8m2!3d53.095338!4d-0.758143?hl=en-GB&authuser=0

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Above is the current cost of entry per adult.

Once you enter the museum you can’t but be in ore of the magnificent Vulcan Bomber which you can walk around and under, a truly awesome aircraft.

 

then to the right there is a small rounded roof building which contains a selection of jet engines

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coming back out and turning left I spotted these two characters nestling between a couple of buildings

Then we entered the building to right that you see in the picture above, this is a great building for anyone who in interested in communication, its packed with all manner of devices and for a small donation of £2 you can sit in a cockpit and have a guy talk you through some of the basics..

We only spent about three hours at this museum due to time constrains but it really needs a good day to maybe do it full justice, they also have some great events throughout the year which I think I will return for, anyway check their website for more details on this: http://www.newarkairmuseum.org/

You will find aircraft both inside and out here, the hangers are jam packed with some unusual aircraft as well as some old favourites here is a selection of pictures:

 

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There is actually over seventy (70) aircraft for you to ponder over as well as some other great exhibits to look at, again here is a selection below:

 

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All in all I have to say this museum is a great place to visit, allow yourself plenty of time to get round, as you walk about you may bump into the odd person that works at the museum that will be happy to chat to you, I will of course upload all my pictures to the photo gallery page in the not so distant future so keep an eye out for that.

Happy travelling guys……

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