Thursday, 26 February 2015

Duxford Imperial War Museum

Yesterday we had a great day at Duxford Imperial War Museum, I had emailed in advance asking if we could have the education discount rate. I had to fill in a form for our visit and email it back to them but it saved us quite a bit, a ticket for 5 of us would be over £50 normally but all we had to pay was one extra adult at £13.20. Definitely worth emailing in advance.
It took two hours to get there as thankfully we didn't hit any traffic. The first part of the museum was Airspace, upstairs there was a huge area with plenty of hands on activities for the children to try. We all got a bit competitive with the pilot hearing test-you had to respond by pressing the blue button in under 0.25 seconds, I was winning with 0.17 but then Ruben got 0.01!!!! Not sure he will fancy being a pilot since he has a real fear of flying/aeroplanes.....

The gallery view was really brilliant:

Have to admit to getting excited about the concorde! Its such a strange shape though, the wings are huge..

Inside was much smaller than I had imagined, very cramped and I think I'd have been unimpressed with a £7000 price ticket, its not exactly luxury but I suppose speed over luxury was the selling point! Three and a half hours to New York is pretty fast. Ruben didn't like it in here at all.

He did like looking at them just not being inside of the planes!

A Rolls Royce engine:

Ruben said this was his favourite plane, the wings were pretty big and it had what looked like small boats on the end of each wing. It was an American Catalina, 650 of these were operated by the RAF.

I liked the art work on some of the planes-I haven't seen the film though!

This was a spitfire, there were quite a few of these so I think they might stay in our head. Especially given their significance to WW2.

The children spotted the name on this one "Ferocious Frankie" (after the pilot's wife!) and also the stickers on the window representing how many enemy planes they had shot down:

I thought this was a model submarine but its actually a one-man submarine from Germany. It was found off the coast of Dover and sadly the solider inside had died from Carbon Monoxide poisoning after not sealing it properly.

I loved the paint on this helicopter!

The American Air museum was quite a walk away but was worth it, the building was really cool-it won building of the year in 1998 when it opened-Hubby got really excited about the Blackbird spy plane, which looked like something out of Avengers!

I loved the artwork on this plane

Trying on the very heavy helmets...

The view as you entered the American gallery:

My favourite I think was the Stratofortress-it was HUGE, the wings must have only just fitted into the building. I can't even imagine something that wide actually being able to fly.

The last building we visited was the Land Warfare, it was brilliantly displayed with lots of tanks being surrounded by sandbags, bricks and mud/sand. Some of the tanks were even inside bombed buildings or shops like this one:

Was incredibly realistic. There was also a good exhibit on the D-Day landings including an area which gave you opportunity to hold the heavy backpacks, guns, hand grenades, helmets and even boots so you could see how heavy they were. I have no idea how soldiers could carry all of that and then fight too and think it brought it home to the children too.
A really good place to visit, and I much preferred it to the London Imperial War Museum but maybe because it was so much bigger and spread out that it didn't feel as busy.
Back home in two hours, in time to watch the Brit Awards and poor Madonna taking a fall down the stairs #capegate

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