The magnificent Lightning was the RAF's first truly supersonic aircraft remaining in front-line service for 28 yrs, longer than any other fighter. Although tasked primarily with defending UK airspace the type was also deployed successfully in Germany as well as further overseas. This particular airframe was built in Preston and delivered in Mar. 1967. By Jul. 87 she had served with No.5 & 11 Sqdns accumulating 4,015 1/2 h and was out-of-hours arriving at the RAF Museum in April 1988.
The Stranraer was the final development of the Southampton and one the last biplane flying boats to be produced. The type served much longer with the RCAF than with the RAF. This example was built in 1940 and patrolled the Canadian coastline until 1944, when she was demobbed and registered CF-BXO. In 1947 she was acquired by Queen Charlotte Airlines, renamed 'Alaska Queen' and based in Vancouver until retirement in 1952.
The Belvedere was the Royal Air Force's first twin engined, twin rotor helicopter to enter service. This particular Belvederes was one of six crated for transfer by cargo ship to Singapore where they joined 66 Sqdn at RAF Seletar in June 1962. She gave loyal service both in Singapore and Aden before being retired upon 66 Sqdn's disbandment in March 69. XG 474 was then shipped to the UK for preservation arriving at the RAF Museum in March 71.
This Emil was built in Leipzig in Sept. 1940. On 27th Nov. it took off from Peuplingues flown by 21-year-old Leutnant Wolfgang Teumer of 2/JG51 on a sweep over Kent. At 1550 h he was engaged by Flt Lt George P Christie DFC, flying a 66 Sqdn Spitfire from Biggin Hill, who was able to damage the radiator forcing Lt. Teumer to belly land at Manston. Repaired using parts from other 109s and given the RAF serial DG200 she underwent extensive performance trials. Eventually donated to the RAF Museum in 1978.
Of the 1146 German aircraft found on Danish airfields after the German surrender 37 were Bf-110 variants. This aircraft was recovered from Grove (now Karup) airfield after serving with 1/NJG 3 tasked with the night defence of Denmark and Northern Germany and has been fitted with a FuG220b Liechtenstein SN-2 radar. Due to the wonderful foresight of someone in the Air Ministry this aircraft was selected as early as May 46 for long term preservation and ended up at the RAF Museum in 1978.
The Sunderlands design was so good that it is one of the very few pre-WWII types to remain in service with the RAF long after the end of that conflict. The type also participated in the Berlin Airlift and the Korean War with the last examples being scrapped at Seletar in 1959. After her RAF service this particular aircraft served for four years with the Aeronavale (51-56) before being donated to the Short Sunderland Trust for preservation.
This particular aircraft actually served in the USN with VX-4 as 77233 being one of 20 brand new B-17Gs allocated to the Cadillac II programme (land-based long-range Airborne Early Warning, command and control system) until replaced by WV-2 Warning Stars. In 1956 she was converted to a water bomber and flew with Butler Aviation as N5237V. After acquisition by the RAF Museum she was converted to 1944 USAAF configuration and displayed in markings representing the 94th BG, 8th AF based at Bury St. Edmunds.
The Lysander has become famous for her covert work in WWII dropping agents in and out of occupied Europe. However, the closest this aircraft got to special operations work was an appearnace in the film 'Now it can be told', as she spent most of the war patrolling the coast, as a target tug and as a navigational trainer.
Of the total 5,195 Phantoms built this was one of the 118 FGR2s ordered for the RAF & RN and was delivered to RAF Coningsby for service with No 6 Sqdn in April 1969. Her last operational sortie was in July 1992 and arrived at the RAF Museum a few months later. In 1979 this aircraft performed a commemorative Trans-Atlantic flight on the 60th anniversary of Alcock and Brown's first crossing.
The Hudson was the military version of the Electra airliner and entered service with Coastal Command in 1939 on anti-submarine and reconnaisance duties. This particular aircraft was delivered to the RAAF in 1942 and actually was responsible for two Japanese kills during WWII. After the war this airframe was placed on the Austrailan register as VH-SMM and -AGJ before returning to the UK, firstly to the Strathallan Collection and then the Hendon Museum.
Built in 1945 in Evansville, Indiana and delivered to the USAAF as 45-49295. Under the terms of the Mutual Assstance Pact she was flown in 1951 to Yugoslavia and subsequently served with the Yugoslav AF as 13064. She never flew with the RAF but is displayed in South East Asia Command markings of No. 30 Sqdn, which operated Thunderbolts between July 1944 and June 1946, when it re-equipped with Tempests.
Envisioned by Westland as a development of their successful Wapiti, the Wallace was rapidly overtaken by aeronautical progress, eventually only finding a role as a trainer or target tug. This example lay abandoned at Cranwell for thirty years and fell into disrepair. Fortunately, restoration was begun in 1987 and she is now on display at the RAF Museum.
Built in 1956 at Cadiz by CASA as a licenced version of the Bucker Bu 131 B 'Jungmann' primary trainer. She then served with the Spanish AF until being withdrawn from use in June 1984 and placed into storage at Albacete before being donated to the RAF Museum in 1997
This 109 was built in Leipzig in 1942 and ferried to North Africa, entered service with 8/JG77 and was danaged in combat a few days later. It was flown to Gambut Main for repair but captured essentially intact when this airfield was overrun. She was extensively testes and evaluated before being shipped to the UK where the serial RN228 was allocated. Following a crash at Duxford in 97 it was decided that she should be rebuilt to static display standard and ariived at the RAF Museum in March 02.
The Snipe was introduced just before the end of WWI as a successor to the Sopwith Camel the and proved to be a very effective fighter that remained in RAF service until 1926. This replica was built in New Zealand using an original engine and many original parts and is painted in the colours of FO Dermot Boyle who served with No.1 Sqdn in Iraq in 1926. He later went on to become founding Chairman of the Trustees for the RAF Museum.
Problems with the Centaurus engine resulted in long production delays and, with the end of the war in sight, orders were trimmed. Many surplus aircraft were handed over to the Royal Indian Air Force and PR536 became HA457 in Sept. 1947. Six ex-Indian Tempest IIs were shipped back to the UK in 1979 and this example in the RAF Museum is actually a composite of three aircraft. The forward fuselage of PR536 is supplemented by the wings and the rear fuselage of unidentified Tempest IIs.
The Heliliner was envisioned by Agusta Westland as the civil passenger variant of their multirole medium lift Merlin helicopter. Originally registered G-OIOI for her first flight in April 1990 she acquired this military serial for flight-tests and trials. Upon expiry of her cleared life she arrived at the RAF Museum for display in Nov. 2002.