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

Hendon RAF Museum

Armchair General

BOMBER HALL/HISTORIC HANGARS

The final part of my tour covers what is, by far, the largest part of the Museum. Contained within the Bomber Hall are, as one would expect, Bombers of all ages, all of which were once operated by RAF Squadrons in war or peacetime.

To start us off, here’s a Vickers Wellington long-range bomber complete with mock-up ground crew. The Wellington came into service in 1938 and were the mainstay of British Bomber Command in the early years.

And…I’m afraid here’s another picture of me – stood in front of a Lancaster heavy bomber. The man looking after this machine was kind enough to remove a signpost for me to take this picture – he said the Lancaster was the most heavily photographed plane in the whole museum, and it’s not hard to see why.

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Another Spitfire sits not far from the Lancaster. This one’s a post-war type 24 model. Further in, I found yet another variant, a Mk VB

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I thought we’d have a small montage of some aerial weaponry next. In addition to displays of missiles and bombs, it’s possible to view turrets free of their mountings, along with this COW 37mm Quick Firing Gun (first picture) and the Aden Gun (third picture). The Aden Gun can be found on the Jaguar, Hawk and Harrier and was originally devised in 1949. It’s essentially a revolver feed system using ammunition on steel-link belts, capable of firing 1,200 to 1,400 rounds per minute.

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This next weapon is a Molins 6-Pounder Class M Gun. Originally an anti-tank gun produced for the British Army, it was modified to be installed into an aircraft and guns of this nature were fitted to Mosquito ground attack aircraft. Next to it we see some typical vehicles as might have been used by RAF ground crew, an Austin K9WD Ambulance with 4×4 drive dating from 1955 and an Alvis Mk 6 Salamander Crash Tender (with 6×6 drive!) from 1958.

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[continued on next page]

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