The National Museum of Flight is an outstation of the National Museums of Scotland. Telling the story of flight from the Wright Brothers to the Concorde, it uses four hangers for aircraft displays and exhibits that include trainer cockpits, engines, scale models. Aircraft range from a 1930 Puss Moth monoplane to a 1945 Spitfire to a Russian Mig, and others are on the field outside the hangers.
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The East Fortune airfield, location of the museum, played an important role during World Wars I and II. The Fortunes of War exhibition uses photographs, artefacts, and film to tell the human story of the airfield. The hands-on interactive gallery Fantastic Flight shows how planes are built and lets you discover how to handle them through flight simulations.
Hanger One is home to military aviation. A Spitfire and Panavia Tornado are among the aircraft on display. Hanger Two deals with civil aviation. Here are the de Havilland Dragon (1932) and Jetstream 31, among others. Hanger Three is for restoration and storage. There are behind the scenes tours of rare aircraft (check at the desk for further tour information). Hanger Four is the Concorde Experience. There is an onboard audio tour and a film presentation on the Concorde.
The museum has special events and activities, including a yearly air show. A hop-on, hop-off bus travels around the airfield to the different hangers and exhibitions.
National Museum of Flight Scotland
East Fortune Airfield, in a hanger
East of Haddington, Lothian
On the B1347, off the A1
Tel. 0 131 247 4238
Open: April-end Sep, daily, 10am-5pm, Nov-end March, weekends,10am-4pm
Shop; parking; special events
Web: Museum of Flight
Note: plan on spending a minimum of half a day here to take in everything.
Photos and text © by Barbara Ballard