If you forgot to make it to the Wight Aviation Museum on Saturday for the big launch, there’s still time to enjoy the opening weekend festivities.
It’s taken a long time, but what started as an idea among half a dozen like-minded people in 2017 with a desire to celebrate and educate about the vast and varied aviation and aerospace history and heritage of the world. he Isle of Wight, the Wight Aviation Museum, is now open.
Over the past five years, an empty hangar has been transformed, through the efforts of a team of dedicated volunteers, into a viable and interesting museum!
Hear the stories of real people
Not only will there be exhibits of aviation and heritage artifacts in the museum, but most importantly, we will tell the stories of real people.
Including as Robert Lorraine, who was a famous actor and aviator, renowned for being the first person to land a plane on the Isle of Wight.
Also Mary Ellis, the famous WWII pilot who flew Spitfires and many other types of aircraft with the ATA (Air Transport Auxiliary) and became Commanding Officer of Sandown Airport for many years.
A wide range of display
Museum exhibits include: Wight’s early years of aviation and the Princess Flying Boat (believed to be the largest seaplane ever built and built by the island’s famous aviation designers and builders, Saunders Roe in Cowes) .
As well as The Anatomy of a Spitfire, examining the design and construction of Britain’s most iconic fighter aircraft during World War II, including a fuselage frame from a 1940s aircraft alongside the matching half of Frame 11 built for us by Airframe Assemblies based at Sandown Airport.
There’s a full-scale model of a Spitfire, aptly seen above the Mary Ellis screen, as well as a larger-scale model of a P51 Mustang aircraft, similar to the downed Mustang flight above Puckpool in February 1945, suspended above the WWII Crash Site Display.
The museum also offers the possibility for visitors to immerse themselves in a virtual flight around the island!
One of our largest displays is the fuselage of a Scottish Aviation Beagle Bulldog, which has been creatively converted into a very realistic virtual reality flight simulator which, using the control column, rudder pedals and the airplane’s throttle, allows visitors the thrill of a virtual flight around the island.
Black Arrow R3 Rocket
Outside in the Rocket Garden is the museum’s largest exhibit, a full-scale replica of the Black Arrow R3 rocket, which was designed, built and tested at Highdown (near the Needles) on the Isle of Wight .
He successfully launched the Prospero satellite into low Earth orbit in October 1971 from Woomera, Australia.
A full-size replica of the Prospero satellite can be seen in the museum’s Black Arrow Rocket and Space exhibit.
Where and when
During our grand opening which continues on Sunday 10th April, the museum will be open to visitors from 11am and entry will be by donation, with an expected donation of £4 per person.
For more information, visit our website.
You can find us at the Wight Aviation Museum, Sandown Airport, Scotchells Brook Lane, Sandown, Isle of Wight, PO36 OJP
News shared by Brian on behalf of the Wight Aviation Museum. Ed