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  • Bluebird Mike
    Rank 5 Registered User
    • Jan 2000
    • 2496

    Hendon

    I've just visited Hendon again after a gap of several years, and found it a real pleasure to be back there. I used to go so often I almost tok it all for granted, but it was great to be back after a break and to savour that atmosphere again. I have always loved the Lanc there, though I have to say she's starting to strike me as being a bit sad looking here and there-and I have NEVER agreed with the mounting of it's tail on that stupid plinth. By pure chance I was there the day they lifted her onto it, and I told the people there then that it look daft-neither one thing nor the other, and they seemed genuinely surprised at that, as if they hadn't thought about it! I don't know why she's up there like that.

    The Halifax really struck me this time-much more so than if it had been restored I think.

    Biggest letdowns of the day were the shop and the restaurant. The shop seemed to not sell half what it used to, and the restaurant-run by outside caterers-was as lame as ever, offering about two choices of hospital standard food, at high prices!

    Highlight of the day was the new sound/light/film presentation in the Battle Of Britain hall-worth a visit alone, and guaranteed to raise goosembumps!
    The Bluebird Project
  • philo
    Antagonistic purist
    • Jan 2000
    • 967

    #2
    RE: Hendon

    Thanks Lancman,
    I was planning a visit during the winter months,as i have not been for about 6 years, so your comments are welcome.
    Phil
    Country::UK

    Comment

    • Bluebird Mike
      Rank 5 Registered User
      • Jan 2000
      • 2496

      #3
      RE: Hendon

      Philo, if you can, see the presentation in the BoB hall more than once, it's superb.

      I forgot to mention also about the restaurant, they only serve food for a few hours now, it's pretty grim. The guy at the desk there was laughing his socks off when I asked him about the food! There is also a coffee bar there now too, behind the simulator in the main hall, though it was full of little kiddies from a school party when I was there so I didn't sample it.

      (overheard from aforementioned kiddies-'The Lancaster is the BEST plane there ever was!' Made my day that!)

      I also have to say that I think the Barnes Wallis office mock-up is looking pretty redundant in the corner there now.

      Good signs were plenty of work going on on various planes-the Southampton was having a viewing platform finished off/carpeted, the Lanc had an elevator off for work, things like that.

      I'll definitely be back in '03 when the new hall opens!
      The Bluebird Project

      Comment

      • SADSACK
        Rank 5 Registered User
        • Jan 2000
        • 3486

        #4
        RE: Hendon


        I thinks its appaling they wont just open up the old site where the graham White hangar is, instead of fiddling about. From what i can see, the hangar and old tower are in appaling state, yet they want to build a replica control tower!

        Theres one in the bomber hall allready!

        Think of the size of a new building they could add, as well as the hangar, it would be wonderful.

        I assume there will be no plans to save the WW1 officers mess either.




        pb::

        Comment

        • Ewen
          Junior Member
          • Jan 2000
          • 6

          #5
          RE: Hendon

          As far as I am aware the museum at Hendon does not own the land that the Grahame White hanger, officers mess or control tower is situated on. I think they have however worked out an agreement with whoever owns the land at the moment that if the land is to be developed, the hanger will be moved to an area which the museum does own and re-erected there. At least this means that another part of Britains aviation history will not be lost. OK the building will not be in its original location but at least it will still be standing which is more than can be said for many of Britain's historic aviation buildings.

          Comment

          • P9306
            Member
            • Jan 2000
            • 77

            #6
            RE: Hendon

            Just my two Euros worth.....but I think they should sell off Hendon , join together with the Cosford branch, and move the RAFM in it's entirety to an airfield in the middle of the country......maybe Upper Heyford....before the developers get their grubby hands on it ?
            That way they would have tons of space, and they could also get a few flyers as well....maybe even the BBMF should be based there, and the Red Arrows to help with recruitment for the RAF............


            Byeeee
            Mick

            Comment

            • Bluebird Mike
              Rank 5 Registered User
              • Jan 2000
              • 2496

              #7
              RE: Hendon

              As far as I understand it, the hangar WILL be moved onto the main Hendon site as part of the new redevelopment plans going on ther enow, which include the huge new third building which will link the exisiting two.

              I don't think there's any way at all that the entire museum could be moved-that's just ridiculous, the idea of having to strip all those aircraft down for road transport.

              However, it is a nice 'pipe-dream' thought to have a 'working' RAF Museum, with some flyers based there. If only Hendon had the ability to wheel some planes out to run now and then!
              The Bluebird Project

              Comment

              • SADSACK
                Rank 5 Registered User
                • Jan 2000
                • 3486

                #8
                RE: Hendon


                When you go to Yeovilton, or Duxford, you realise how poorly laid out, and badly designed the RAFM is. None of this "no money", or "we dont own the land" nonscence. They want somthing, they get on and build it.

                The FW190 is supposed to be in engine running condition allthough it hasnt been actually run up for 10 years. The idea is the WW1 airframes will be fired up when the WW1 hangar gets underway.

                Hendon could have easily been landscaped with the old East camp having room for at least 3 new buildings - in say 20 years time there will be no more room at Hendon to build anything else.


                pb::

                Comment

                • Bluebird Mike
                  Rank 5 Registered User
                  • Jan 2000
                  • 2496

                  #9
                  RE: Hendon

                  The FW190 is indeed in engine running condition, or at least it used to be prior to coming to Hendon-I guess it was inhibited first. The great techie boys at RAF St Athan got it running a few years ago, it used to be a great sight and sound, that and the Me410, running early in the morning on airshow day! Now they sit and do nothing but drip oil. I love Hendon, but God it's a dry place!
                  The Bluebird Project

                  Comment

                  • SteveYoung
                    Senior Member
                    • Jan 2000
                    • 3867

                    #10
                    RE: Hendon

                    To be fair to the RAFM, the potential space they have to play with is steadily decreasing in area and increasing in value, and has been doing so since they opened in 19-seventy-long-ago. When it first opened as a flying station RAF Hendon was located safely away from urban civilisation on the outskirts of London, and so given the way that London has sprawled out so quickly after the end of the war, I think the decision to house the museum there - and also save at least a small part of a very historic aerodrome - was taken just in the nick of time. Without that decision, we could so easily find ourselves now lamenting the loss of the whole of RAF Hendon under yet another housing estate...

                    But I digress...

                    Personally, I think the RAFM have done the best they can with the collection under the circumstances. Over the last 20 years they have added two more display halls at Hendon, both of which have been specifically themed to cover arguably the two most important aspects of RAF history - the Battle of Britain and the wartime contribution made by Bomber Command. Both of these halls have provided permanent cover for such unique (as they were at the time, and some still are) exhibits as the Fiat CR42, Ju87 Stuka, Bf110, Ju88, Defiant, Wellington, Halifax and Valiant. What would have happened to these aircraft without these halls, I wonder?

                    I think we're also forgetting that the RAFM also now have the former Aerospace Museum at RAF Cosford, which could arguably be expanded and developed in the future.

                    With regard to the Grahame White hangar and the old control tower, I have to say I'd love to see them preserved, but as someone else (David?) said; RAFM don't own the land they stand on.

                    Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that the RAFM are flawless, or that I don't support the idea of preserving these buildings. I'm just saying let's not forget what the RAFM HAVE achieved.

                    Finally (thank god I hear you all cry...) on the subject of ground running, wasn't the Cosford Me410 ground run on a reglar basis when it was at RAF St Athan? It was only about ten years ago, if I remember rightly...

                    Comment

                    • SteveYoung
                      Senior Member
                      • Jan 2000
                      • 3867

                      #11
                      RE: Hendon

                      Ah. That'll be me and Lancman both writing about the Me410 at the same time then...

                      Comment

                      • Bluebird Mike
                        Rank 5 Registered User
                        • Jan 2000
                        • 2496

                        #12
                        RE: Hendon

                        Both the 190 and the 410 were fantastic to see/hear in action, even though it was 'only' on the ground. They only used to run them fairly early in the morning of a show day so you had to be prompt, but you could get amazingly close to them and watching these poor RAF guys trying to coax the things into life was often quite amusing! But once they had splut...splutter...spluttered INTO LIFE, THEY WERE INCREDIBLY LOUD!!!

                        Also at dear old St Athan, they used to open up their Vulcan for visitors too-all you had to do was queue for a few mins for your turn, and you could clamber up the ladder into the cockpit for a while for a look! One great year a ground power unit was plugged n and all the electrics were humming and the lights twinkling, great stuff!

                        Happy days...
                        The Bluebird Project

                        Comment

                        • GrahamOD
                          Member
                          • Jan 2000
                          • 44

                          #13
                          RE: Hendon

                          Hendon is a great Museum, and an important tourist attraction being accessable from the Tube network. As such it is fine where it is. I agree entirely with the comments about the Graham White hanger and tower, what is a shame is that the powers that be didn't forsee the situation developing earlier and not sold off the land in the first place!!
                          My constant critism of RAFM is the inclusion of certain exhibts. As the Royal Airforce Museum there should be only Royal Airforce aircraft inside (exception of possibly the B of B Hall with its opposing forces layout) Including US made aircraft is fine if they were operated by the RAF and in RAF markings. Eg, the B17 in Costal Command markings (altough being a G model, perhaps not sot accurate, better still the B17 could have gone to Cosford and the B24 could have come to Hendon and put back in its RAF markings, far more logical!!!
                          Ground running.....nows there's another thing. Not appropiate for Hendon I feel, but better for Cosford or Duxford. Black 6 should have been left at Duxford so as to be able to ground run her on public days, and definately not left idle in Hendon. Duxford flightline on flying days with the 410, Black 6 and the 190 all running up infront of the crowd.......ahhh magic!!!!!!!!!



                          Comment

                          • P9306
                            Member
                            • Jan 2000
                            • 77

                            #14
                            RE: Hendon

                            The Fortress could be painted up as a BIII in No100 Group, No 214 (Special Duty)Sqn colours of dark earth/dark green and black underneath, perhaps as KH999 BU-M (!),with a big H2S scanner radome under the nose and "Piperack" aerials on the tail.......that would look just wonderful.

                            TTFN
                            Mick

                            Comment

                            • ukmams
                              Senior Member
                              • Jan 2000
                              • 132

                              #15
                              RE: Hendon

                              Lancman

                              have you visited Cosford on their open cockpit weekends?
                              If you haven't it's well worth it. I've been twice this year, and you get to have a good look over a number of the inmates, including:

                              Lincoln
                              Vulcan
                              York
                              Gnat (red arrows)
                              Hunter (cockpit)
                              JP
                              Phantom (cockpit)
                              BAC 111
                              Trident.

                              The Lincoln is worth the trip on its own. Climbing up into the cockpit over the main spar...mmmm...!


                              Scotty

                              Comment

                              • Bluebird Mike
                                Rank 5 Registered User
                                • Jan 2000
                                • 2496

                                #16
                                RE: Hendon

                                Scotty, I have never been to the open cockpit days, but I can well imagine what it is like in the Lincoln, as I have twice had the pleasure of crawling about inside 'Sugar' at Hendon in years past! (Before she had her tail stuck up in the bloody air) That was a fantastic experience, even though (it has to be said) she's not in fantastic condition inside. (Most of it is bare of equipment, I distinctly remember turning to photgraph the flight engineer's panel, and there wasn't one!)
                                The Bluebird Project

                                Comment

                                • SteveYoung
                                  Senior Member
                                  • Jan 2000
                                  • 3867

                                  #17
                                  RE: Hendon

                                  I think you'll find a lot of the RAFM airframes are like that, although more recent acquisitions such as the Bulldog have been restored to much better standards. I understand that their Beaufighter is almost empty inside.

                                  Comment

                                  • Ant.H
                                    Rank 5 Registered User
                                    • Jan 2000
                                    • 3065

                                    #18
                                    RE: Hendon

                                    I don't know about the Beaufighter,but last time I was at Hendon about 3 years ago,the Beaufort was almost completely devoid of any interior fittings.You could see down to the rear fuselage via the the nose panels!No instrument panel,no controls,no seats,no nothin!I hope that atleast some interior stuff has been fitted since,otherwise it could almost be a fibre-glass model!
                                    As a side note,am I right in thinking the Beaufort was restored in the US?
                                    "Talking about airplanes is a very pleasant mental disease." Sergei Sikorsky

                                    Comment

                                    • SADSACK
                                      Rank 5 Registered User
                                      • Jan 2000
                                      • 3486

                                      #19
                                      RE: Hendon

                                      You mean the Lanc or lincoln has nothing inside her? I read they have spent years returning sugars interior as best they can...

                                      I just hope they dont have the idea of hanging Sugar from the ceiling when theres no more room!


                                      pb::

                                      Comment

                                      • ukmams
                                        Senior Member
                                        • Jan 2000
                                        • 132

                                        #20
                                        RE: Hendon

                                        The Lincoln is still very much intact. I've a few piccies if anyone is interested, and for the other types I mentioned earlier.

                                        Let me know.

                                        Scotty

                                        We haven't had any Flypast coffee mornings for a while!!

                                        -x-

                                        Comment

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