Often times, I sit wondering what to do when I free time, I look for something interesting to do, or somewhere interesting to visit. Today was one of those days. I woke up this morning knowing that I have a day off, and knowing that I wanted to go out and find something to do. I fired up the internet on my phone, and googled Midland Air Museum. I’d seen adverts for this place before and considered going, the issue was that I’m about an hour away, and it would involve driving a bit, no problem today.
I got in the car, and just over 45 minutes later I was greeted by the following on pulling into the car park.
Pretty exciting for a geek, I could sense and smell the aviation. Now, I should add that this is not the limit to my geekery, I am keen and geeky on many things, this is just one of them, I’m not sure what is it about aircraft that I find exciting, they just are, and arguably none more so that the Vulcan.
A bit of background about the Vulcan is in order…
The Vulcan was developed in the 40 and 50’s as the UK’s Nuclear Deterrent, originally designated a high level bomber, the Vulcan was maneuverable, powerful and a good bet in a fight. Powered by four very powerful Olympus 201 (Mk II) turbojet engines, non afterburner, it just wasn’t needed. She could go almost supersonic. Later in her life she was used for low level bombing, hence why almost all survivors now carry the camouflage paint pattern.
You may have heard that in recent times one was still flying, that aircraft XH558 lived very much a charmed life, when she retired from RAF service and consequently being the only display Vulcan with the RAF, she was purchased by David Walton for £25,000, and then restored over fifteen years to flight worthy status. she wowed audiences for a further eight years before being grounded in 2015, due mainly to her airframe being well over what are sane hours for a ninety-one ton aircraft.
The Vulcan above (XL360) was retired to Coventry airport, and into the hands of the Midland Air Museum in January 1982, where she has been cared for ever since. She is complete internally, save for the Nuclear Bomb arming hardware (probably a good thing).
Back to topic.
This museum is amazing if you like aviation, it features a mix of aircraft of all types and models, the main linker is that they are all of jet provenance, have a local connection to Coventry. Something which should be applauded was the curators. We should celebrate our heritage. Too much is being lost.
I definitely recommend you attend even if you have just a passing interest in aircraft, a tip is to ask if you have something you want to see, the guides will give you access to almost every aircraft onsite. Definite winner.