Le Bourget Air & Space Museum

June 6th, 2012

Georges Guynemer France 1917
Georges Guynemer (1917)

The Le Bourget Air and Space Museum in Paris, France has an incredible collection of aircraft dating back to the early years of aviation. They have a fantastic World War One hall which includes an original Spad VII (rare!!!)  that was flown by French Air Ace Georges Guynemer (1894-1917) – a national hero and their second highest ace with 53 kills. A large proportion of the aircraft on display are of French origin so in that regard alone it provides a very unique experience for the aviation enthusiast. This is made even more special because many of the aircraft on display are prototypes, some of which never went into production, so you get to see a very rare collection.

There are 11 display halls in the museum and outdoor exhibits. These are Hall 1: The Beginnings of Aviation, Hall 2: The Aces of 1914-18, Hall 3: Models Gallery, Hall 4: Airships,   Hall 5: World War 2, Hall 6: Concorde, Hall 7: Prototypes, Hall 8: French Military Aviation, Hall 9: Helicopters, Hall 10: Inter-War Aircraft and Hall 11: Space Exploration.

Georges Guynemer's Vieux Charles Spad VII Le Bourget
Georges Guynemer’s “Vieux Charles” Spad VII (1916)

Unfortunately certain parts of the museum are currently under renovation (particularly Hall 10) but you can still see the main display halls and there are no issues with the outdoor displays. The Concorde Hall was closed for  a private function – this holds a prototype Concorde, a production Concorde and a Dassault Mirage IVA supersonic strategic bomber – the latter is something I really wanted to see, so I snuck into the hall……I saw it but got escorted out by security before I could take a photo (my request to do so was firmly turned down!). Oh well at least I saw them! The museum is free to visit with the only fees being if you want to enter some of the larger aircraft like the Concorde or Boeing 747.

The Beginnings of Aviation & The Aces of 1914-18

Le Bourget Air & Space Museum France World War One
Clockwise L-R: Voison Farman I, Bleriot XI, Caudron G4, De Havilland DH.9, Breguet XIV A2, Fokker DV.II, Junkers J.9 & Farman XI

World War 2

World War 2 Gallery Le Bourget Air and Space museum Paris
Clockwise L-R: Douglas C-47 Dakota, Casa C.2-111D (He-111), Dewoitine D.520, Supermarine Spitfire Mk.XVI, Bucker BU-181 & V-1, Republic P-47D Thunderbolt, North American P-51D Mustang & Focke-Wulf FW-190A-8

Prototypes

Prototype Hall Le Bourget Air and Space Museum
Prototype Hall L-R: Super Frelon, Dassault Mystere IVA, Dassault Mirage IIIV, SO Trident 9000, Nord 1500 Griffon, Dassault Mirage IIIA, Leduc 020 & SO 6000 Triton (1946)
Prototype Hall Le Bourget Air & Space Museum Paris France
Clockwise L-R: Payen PA-49 KATY, Dassault Mystere IVA, Dassault Mirage G8 (a swing wing attack Mirage that did not go into production), Nord 1500 Griffon & Dassault Mirage IIIA, SO Trident 9000 & Dassault Mirage IIIV (a VTOL Mirage that never went into production)

French Military Aviation

Le Bourget French Military Aviation
Classic Jet Age
Le Bourget Air & Space Museum French Military Aviation
Clockwise L-R: De Havilland Vampire, North American T-6 Texan, Republic F-84 Thunderstreak, North American F-86D Sabre, Dassault Mirage 2000 (prototype), Dassault Super Mystere, North American F-100 Super Sabre, Dassault MD.450 & Dassault Mystere IV A

Helicopters

Le Bourget Air & Space Museum Helicopter Hall
Clockwise L-R: Cierva C8-2 & Lioré-et-Olivier LéO, Breguet G-111, Bell-47 & Piasecki PV-18 HUP Retriever, Aerospatiale Alouette III, Aerospatiale Alouette II & Sikorsky S-55

Space Exploration

Space Exploration Le Bourget Paris
Rockets, Missiles & Satellites

Air Park

AIr Park Le Bourget Paris France Rafale A MiG-21
Clockwise L-R: Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-21 Fishbed, Sepecat Jaguar & Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-23 Flogger, Hawker Hunter, Dassault Super Mirage 4000 (prototype that never went into production), Dassault Rafale A, Saab J-35 Draken, Lockheed F-104G Starfighter, Draken – Super Mirage 4000 & Rafale, Dassault Etendard & Republic F-105 Thunderchief
Le Bourget Air & Space Museum
From amphibious aircraft to rockets!
Le Bourget Air Park Paris
Clockwise L-R: Boeing 747, Sud Caravelle, Canadair CL-215, Dassault Breguet BR.1150 Atlantique, Lockheed P-2 Neptune & Douglas DC-8 F-RAFE (electronic recon)

 

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