The museum is located on the edge of the former Fighter Command airfield at Tangmere, famous for its role during the Battle of Britain. The museum opened in 1982, and is home to a collection of iconic aircraft from WW2 and the Cold War Era, including full size replica of the Spitfire prototype, Hurricane, an MD Phantom, a Sea Harrier and a rare Supermarine Swift. Also housed here are two former Air Speed Record breaking fast jets and a superb English Electric Lightning.
Naturally the museum has many unique artefacts, displays and exhibits, with special emphasis on the Battle of Britain and the Cold War. Aspiring ‘pilots’ may ‘fly’ one of the simulators. A special treat is the EE ‘Lightning’ simulator (adults only) while children may engage ‘the enemy’ in the ‘combat’ simulator. A particularly poignant artefact is the remains of an excavated Hawker Hurricane, shot down during the most intensive period of the Battle of Britain. There is a section dedicated to Bomber Command and a special exhibit relating to the Dambusters raid on the Ruhr Valley dams in 1943. An extensive exhibition recalls Tangmere’s role in ‘delivering’ SOE operatives into Occupied Europe during World War Two. The role of the RAF during the Cold War is also well represented with aircraft, armaments and exhibits. Women are featured in their role in the WAAF and ATA.
The museum has a very positive attitude to visits from schools and other groups with a very active education department.
About three times a year special events are laid on to entertain visitors and encourage an interest in our aviation heritage. This year a Family Day is to be held on May 20th with special additional attractions aimed at all the family. 2012 is the 30th anniversary of the Falklands conflict and the main event will be focused on this on Sunday July 22nd. Falklands veterans will attend, and the aircraft which took part will be highlighted, amongst many other attractions including a Spitfire ‘flypast’ – weather permitting! September 23rd is ‘Classic Wheels’ day featuring classic military and civilian motor vehicles.
T: 01243 790090
Directions, tickets and opening hours information