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24 September 2014
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Yorkshire Air Museum, Elvington, York
Austin 'Champ', Yorkshire Air Museum
An Austin 'Champ', Yorkshire Air Museum

The Yorkshire Air Museum boasts a collection of over 40 internationally recognised aircraft, military vehicles and uniforms on a historic site, with much more besides.

The site used to be an RAF airbase!

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 Eden Camp Museum
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The Yorkshire Air Museum is on the site of what was - until 1992 - RAF Elvington.

It boasts an extensive collection of aircraft, military vehicles, uniforms and medals, an Air Gunners collection, the Barnes Wallis collection and hosts regular events.

RAF Elvington
During the Second World War Elvington, originally a grass airfield, was rebuilt as a sub-station for RAF Pocklington.

In 1945 the runway at Elvington airfield was lengthened to 1.92 miles, making it the longest runway in the north of England.

The first operational aircraft at the site were the Whitley twin-engined bombers of 77 Squadron, which took part in many operations aimed at the destruction of German industry.

The 77 Squadron moved to Full Sutton airfield in 1944, and two French squadrons arrived at Elvington. After the war, the air base was used for RAF practise and test flights until its closure in 1992.

Much of the airfield and its buildings had been left derelict and overgrown throughout the 1980s, and it wasn't until 1983 that its potential as a memorial museum was realised.

Volunteers cleared the undergrowth and began to restore the buildings.

The control tower at the Yorkshire Air Museum was derelict and overgrown until its restoration in the 1980s.
Yorkshire Air Museum control tower

The French authorities had made a film of Elvington in 1944 when the two French squadrons arrived, and this made it possible to create an accurate replica of the original airfield.

See our RAF Linton on Ouse Gallery

The Yorkshire Air Museum
The Yorkshire Air Museum opened to the public in 1986, and now has a branch in Canada.

It holds regular displays and events including a forthcoming 1940's-themed VE-Day dance, a display of the rare Concorde Olympus engine, classic vehicle rallies and flypasts.

 

Aircraft
The collection of aircraft consists of originals, replicas and full-scale models of internationally recognised aircraft from 1850 to the present day.

Pre-Second World War aircraft includes replicas of the 1911 Blackburn Mercury Monoplane, and of Sir George Cayley's glider - flown in 1849 at Brompton near Scarborough in the first manned flight, more than 54 years before the Wright brothers' first powered flight in the USA.

Original Second World War planes include the 1935 Douglas Dakota IV, a 1939 De Havilland Mosquito, an original Handley Page Halifax II from 1939, and full-scale models of the Messerschmitt Bf109 and the 1938 Supermarine Spitfire.

Amongst the post-Second World War aircraft are a 1967 Hawker Harrier GR3 and a Hawker Siddley Buccaneer, which retired after the Gulf War.

Military Vehicles
Among the large collection of historic military vehicles at the Yorkshire Sir Museum are an Austin 'Champ' car, a Daimler Ferret armoured scout car, a Comer Bikini fire-pump unit and a Lansing aircraft carrier tug.

Uniform
The museum displays examples of practically every RAF, WAAF and WRAF uniform item ever issued along with medals, rank and trade badges, and aircrew brevets.

The Air Gunners' collection
commemorates the 20,000 Air Gunners who were killed in the second World War. The display includes gun turrets, weapons and air gunning techniques.

The Barnes Wallis collection
Sir Barnes Wallis was a scientist and engineer who designed the dirigible R-100 airship, pioneered the geodetic construction used in the Vickers Wellington bomber and designed many large and high impact bombs. An example of one of his 'bouncing' bombs is on display at the Yorkshire Air Museum.

Opening times
The Yorkshire Air Museum is open from 10-5 pm every day during the summer, and from 10-3.30 pm during the winter, excluding Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

2005 is the 60th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, and WW2 People's War needs your help in collecting memories and stories from that period and beyond - find out how to volunteer!

 


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