Two nationally significant Second World War hangars at the Museum have undergone a major £3.6 million restoration and redevelopment, offering an exciting new experience for visitors of all ages.
Built during the Second World War they are now home to an array of world-class military and civil aircraft presented alongside interactives and films. The stories of those who piloted or flew in the aircraft will also be told through thought-provoking displays featuring uniforms, documents and photographs.
One hangar displays military aircraft, including a Supermarine Spitfire, an English Electric Lightning and the oldest surviving Hawker Siddeley Harrier jump jet. The other displays smaller commercial and leisure aircraft dating from 1969 onwards including a Britten Norman Islander and a Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer.
There is much more to see in the way of stories about people who flew in or worked on the aircraft. One of the displays we caught sight of is about the Clydebank Blitz with an eye witness explaining what it was like to be there.
Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: “The refurbishment of these two iconic aircraft hangars and the new displays at the National Museum of Flight will significantly enhance the visitor experience at what is one of Europe’s major aviation museums. I’m confident visitors of all ages will enjoy interacting with the aircrafts and audio visual displays.
“The Scottish Government has contributed £1.8 million towards this project. The funding included provision for a new environmentally friendly ground-source underfloor heating system to be installed, making the hangars warm and inviting. Our commitment to the refurbishing andsafeguarding of these iconic hangars will provide new displays and encourage new visitors to the Museum and East Fortune and continues to enhance National Museums Scotland’s reputation as one of Europe’s premier museums groups.”
Funding for the redevelopment included a £1.3 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and £1.8 million from the Scottish Government.