Imperial War Museum Duxford – One of the World’s Finest Air Museums

During my travels in the UK in June 2012 I took a day trip from London to Cambridge, then caught a shuttle bus from the train station direct to the Imperial War Museum Duxford (the whole process could not have been easier). This is a massive museum with one of the worlds finest aviation collections from World War One to the modern-day (fighters, bombers, trainers, transports, helicopters and more). Duxford is an incredible place for an aviation buff and one that needs to absolutely be on your “aviation bucket list”!

Comet Tank Hawker Hurricane Gate Guardians IWM Duxford
Comet Tank & Hawker Hurricane – Duxford gate guardians

The collection is dispersed across a massive area on this old military airbase (operational from 1918-1968), with the majority located in large hangars. The key aviation displays are AirSpace (the story of British and Commonwealth aviation), Flying Aircraft (fully restored and privately owned aircraft that fly regularly at air shows and display days), Air and Sea (aircraft, boats and submarines), Battle of Britain (the story of Britain’s air defence from World War One to the Cold War), Conservation in Action (aircraft restoration hangar) and the American Air Museum (the story of American air power).

AirSpace

AirSpace Gallery IWM Duxford
AirSpace Gallery
Avro Lancaster IWM Duxford
Avro Lancaster
De Havilland Mosquito IWM Duxford UK
De Havilland Mosquito
Concorde Prototype IWM Duxford
Concorde prototype
Panavia Tornado GR.1 IWM Duxford
Panavia Tornado GR.1
Eurofighter Typhoon B IWM Duxford
Eurofighter Typhoon B

Flying Aircraft

Gloster Gladiator IWM Duxford
Gloster Gladiator
Grumman F6F Hellcat IWM Duxford UK
Grumman F6F Hellcat
Vought F4U Corsair IWM Duxford
Vought F4U Corsair
Republic P-47 Thunderbolt IWM Duxford
Republic P-47 Thunderbolt

Air and Sea

Fairey Gannet & Hawker Siddeley Buccaneer Mk.2B IWM London Air & Sea
Fairey Gannet & Hawker Siddeley Buccaneer Mk.2B
de Havilland Sea Vixen IWM Duxford Cambridgeshire
De Havilland Sea Vixen

Battle of Britain

Bristol F2B IWM Duxford
Bristol F2B – World War One
Hawker Hurricane IWM Duxford Battle of Britain
Hawker Hurricane
Supermarine Spitfire IWM Duxford Battle of Britain
Supermarine Spitfire
McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II RAF IWM Duxford
McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II – RAF Cold War fighter

Conservation in Action

BAE Harrier GR.9 IWM Duxford
BAE Harrier GR.9 (recently retired from RAF service)

American Air Museum

Consolidated B-24 Liberator IWM Duxford UK
Consolidated B-24 Liberator
P-51D Mustang IWM Duxford UK
North American P-51D Mustang
Douglas C-47 Dakota American Air Museum Duxford
Douglas C-47 Dakota
Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird IWM Duxford American Air Museum
Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird
General Dynamics F-111B American Air Museum IWM Duxford
General Dynamics F-111B

In addition to the aviation collection, Duxford has an impressive Land Warfare section where they have many military vehicles, weapons and artifacts on display. They also have operational tanks that are driven around their special “Tank Arena” throughout the year (unfortunately not on the day of my visit).

German Panzer III IWM Duxford
German Panzer III
Soviet T-34/85 IWM Duxford
Soviet T-34/85
British Conqueror Mk.2 IWM Duxford
British Conqueror Mk.2 in the tank arena

Around the airfield are static aircraft displays and the airfield itself is still active which provides not only the opportunity for annual air shows but also the chance to see warbirds flying around during your visit. You can also take joy flights if you have the money and the time!

IWM Duxford Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress
Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress
IWM Duxford old airliners
Old Airliners
McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle IWM Duxford UK
McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle
BAC Strikemaster IWM Duxford
BAC Strikemaster
IWM Museum Nieuport 17
Nieuport 17
Hispano Aviación HA-1112 Buchon IWM Duxford Cambridgeshire UK
A Hispano Aviación HA-1112 Buchon (Spanish built Messerschmitt Bf-109 variant) put on a flying display during my visit to Duxford
De Havilland Dragon Rapide IWM Duxford
Joy flights were being given in this De Havilland Dragon Rapide
De Havilland Tiger Moth IWM Duxford UK
Joy flights were also available in De Havilland Tiger Moths

Future posts on this blog will have more photos on each section of IWM Duxford. There are so many aircraft there to cover!

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