Sunday Drive – Midland Air Museum

Back in February, on a wet and cloudy day (in fact much like today), we took a Sunday drive up to Coventry Airport to visit the Midland Air Museum.

IMG_1443.JPG
English Electric Lightning T.55. This was the first and last all-British Supersonic fighter. This particular example is a Two seat conversion trainer and was flown by the Royal Saudi Air Force.

This is a really great little place to visit, and I’ll do a more in depth post on it later in the year when I can go back and take some decent photo’s.

IMG_2940
The Museum entrance – there is a large car park with plenty of parking. 

This is a small museum that in 2017 celebrated it’s 50th anniversary. It’s run by a small dedicated staff ably assisted by lots of willing volunteers and there’s a great atmosphere about it. It has a basic but good cafe, we had tea, toasted sandwiches and a bar chocolate (of course!), and a VERY well stocked Aviation book and model shop – if you’re into that sort of thing. They’re all really friendly and did’t seem to mind my son running about excitedly. I much prefer the small little independent museums to the big national ones, there’s always something a bit more personal about them.

IMG_2925
Foreground: CMC leopard – powered by two Williams engines. It first flew in 1997 and was intended to be a small private four seat business jet. Middle: SAAB J-29F Tunnan. The first swept wing fighter to be built in western Europe after WWII. Background: Druine D.31 Turbulent. A popular homebuilt aircraft from the 1950’s.

They do have some really nice aircraft on display. As I said, they mainly concentrate on jet powered aircraft and have a good selection of jets from all over the world, with types from the 1940’s right up to the modern day.

We had a good mooch around the hanger, and then on the mezzanine – were my Son and daughter had a race around the circular displays – much to the dismay of the people below having a quiet cuppa I’m sure!

IMG_2929
CMC – Leopard. Such a great looking aircraft. I’d love to see Alli at the controls of this, I’m sure she’d enjoy whizzing about in it, visiting castles all over Europe! In the foregorund is the engine that powers it (well it has two) 

They have a decent selection of mainly Cold War era jets, along with a few large transports. You can walk around inside a large Argosy Transport, which is great for rainy days and if there is a volunteers about, you can sit in it’s cockpit, or the one in the Vulcan Bomber. On selected days, they also have open cockpits – were you can sit inside a wider variety of their aircraft.

IMG_2938
Armstrong Whitworth Argosy. First flew in 1959 and retired in 1987. This was a large four turboprop powered aircraft designed for passenger and cargo work. You can sit in side the cabin of this aircraft, and if a volunteer is about, climb up a ladder and have a tour of the cockpit. In front of it is the rear of a Gloster Meteor NF.13 Night fighter

Although they have some hanger space – most aircraft are outside. There are also a few benches about where you can sit and eat your lunch. We didn’t have a picnic – it was far too cold. We did however have a good walk around and a look inside some of the aircraft – My daughter and I sat up in the giant Vulcan bomber cockpit and listened to the volunteer as he told us the history of the aircraft.

IMG_2939
Canberra, Lightning, Voodoo, Viscount

There’s also a lot of display space dedicated to various aviation company’s (like Dunlop) based in the local area, along with a large section  on Sir Frank Whittle – the inventor of the Jet Engine. There’s also a LOT of models on display (which I always enjoy).

IMG_2933
Vickers Viscount – The world’s first turboprop powered airliner. This has been restored by a group of enthusiasts and on some days, it is opened up so that you can sit inside it. I’ve never actually managed this yet however!

After a little while, the cold once again forced us back to the Ratmobile and we headed home. All in all I’d recommend a visit if you have a couple of hours free – and like a bit of aviation history (I’ll be back to do a proper report).

Website: Midland Air Museum

IMG_2931
Panavia Tornado GR.4. Recently retired from the Royal Air Force, this is one of the newest additions of the museums’ fleet, and it’s been interesting to see it come together over the last few visits.
IMG_1455
De Havilland Dove II. A successful light airliner that first flew in 1945. This actual aircraft was the personal transport of an Indian Maharaja but was repainted to represent an example that was based on Coventry airport. All I can say is he had good taste – what a lovely looking aircraft.

21 thoughts on “Sunday Drive – Midland Air Museum”

  1. I didn’t realise there was such a museum at Coventry, and even though you say it’s small, the aircraft on display look impressive (well, impressive to me anyway). I’d love to see inside the Vulcan cockpit, that would be worth the journey alone. I’ll be looking forward to your post on your return visit. Hopefully, it’ll be a nicer day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. WOW – that is a superb looking Museum Tyson – much much larger than this one. I’ve love to see some of those aircraft!
      Thanks for dropping by – I hope you’re having a good week too!

      Like

  2. I love aircraft, so it was an absolute pleasure to see all these magnificent flying machines, especially the English Electric Lightening which was extremely difficult to fly. Wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This was fun to view and I love “children-friendly” places
    😉
    The Opening photo is my fav because the cloudy sky adds so much mood!
    And cool that they let folks go in that turboprop one – when you go back and if you get in – please grab a pic and drop by my blog to let me know (or I will check back – but just in case – 😉 )

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I will indeed grab a few more pictures when I’m next there – as the insides are very olde-worlde.
      The first picture is my favourite too – It’s a very photogenic aircraft and as you say – the sky suits it. Thanks for the visit!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the visit Sue! Yes it is indeed worth it – and it’s rather a strange experience. You have to climb up a folding ladder on the bottom of the aircraft and it’s like climbing into a coal hole – very cramped
      (surprising for such a big aircraft) and dark – as everything is painted black. Everything is covered in old fashioned dials and switches and haphazardly placed everywhere – it’s quite interesting.
      Thanks again for the visit!

      Like

  4. This was great fun, Stuart. That Leopard is a pretty sweet looking plane. And yes, I’m thinking one of those might be a necessary graduation gift for Alli. Lol. I can totally see that. The Viscount reminds me, mainly by being outside with the stairs out offering tours, of Elvis’s Lisa Marie parked behind Graceland. That was a crazy place. Were you a model builder? My husband had model planes tacked to the ceiling on strings. But I think he just enjoyed building them and painting them. Lol. Anyway, enjoyed it! Can’t wait to see the rest of the story! 😃

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Lindsay and thanks for taking a look. The Leopard is pretty cool and I think it would definitely suit Alli, but it’s a one of a kind so I’d have to try and find a way to pinch it… Maybe if I hid it under my coat the next time I’m there – it’s pretty small 😀
      I am still a model builder – although not as much as I used to. In fact I have one on the go at the moment – I doubt they’ll end up on strings though. That’s cool that your husband used to make them – I’m guessing it would be quite hard to do in an RV though. 😀
      Glad you enjoyed post – I’ll have to get back there and take some more pictures.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s