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Posted on Jul 8, 2005 in Front Page Features, Stuff We Like

Hendon RAF Museum

Armchair General

To round off our tour, let’s see what else I was able to uncover.

Firstly – fantastic! It’s another German fighter – this time an FW190 Fighter – aka the "Butcher-Bird". the FW 190 was an improvement over the Bf109 and was much feared by Allied pilots when it first appeared in 1941, hence its nickname. Not much is known about this particular plane except that it was once used as a trainer for new pilots.

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Helicopter fans won’t be disappointed by a trip to Hendon – here are just a few examples. The rather ungainly-looking twin-rotor machine in the third photo is a Westland Belvedere HC1 tactical transport helicopter dating from 1961.

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Here are some pictures of the ONLY surviving Hawker Typhoon in the world. It survived simply because it was shipped to the US and never used.

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This is a Heinkel He 162 Jet Fighter, a contemporary of the Me 262 we saw earlier. Powered by a BMW 003A engine, the He 162 was a relatively cheap fighter that was one of Nazi Germany’s last-ditch attempts to regain control of the skies. Capable of being flown by pretty much anyone, as with most super-weapons from the Nazis, it arrived too late to have any effect on the outcome of the war.

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Let’s round off with some more bombers – firstly, a magnificent Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, and next to it, here’s a North American B-25 Mitchell Light Bomber.

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Following a successful mission over enemy territory, the crew of the B-17 disembark from their machine and head home. Which is what I’ll do now.

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And that rounds of my tour. I promise you though that I’ve barely scratched the surface of what you can find at Hendon, and I’ve not even covered the interactive areas for children (and adults!) that can be found all around the museum.

I know I’ve said this before – but you must pay Hendon a visit, it’s well worth your while.

To view the complete set of images from my visit, go to the ACG image gallery here.

A J Summersgill

andrew@armchairgeneral.com

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