Dumfries & Galloway Aviation Museum, Scotland
The Dumfries & Galloway Aviation Museum is based on a former WW2 RAF station just to the north east of Dumfries in south west Scotland. The heart of the Museum is the former RAF Dumfries WW2 Control Tower and all airframes are displayed externally.
Many thanks to Alec Brown for his assistance in compiling this feature and supplying the photographs.
The RAF moved into the airfield at Dumfries in 1940 and the base became a training station for RAF bomber crews - including Bomb Aimers, Air Gunners and Navigators - flying a variety of aircraft such as Fairey Battles and Armstrong Whitworth Whitleys. By the end of the war over 400 courses had been trained at RAF Dumfries and in the post-war years the base became a training station for the RAF Regiment until 1957.
In 1976 the Dumfries and Galloway Aviation Group was formed after a number of aviation artefacts were excavated in the area. It was agreed that the collection should go on display and the old airfield was the obvious choice of location.
During 1976 a large amount of memorabilia was gathered and the first complete airframes - a Vampire T11 and Meteor T7 were acquired from the Royal Aircraft Establishment at West Freugh, 80 miles west of Dumfries. In 1977 the Dumfries and Galloway Aviation Museum was established and opened to the public.
Our visit took place in early June when the Museum is only open at weekends (extended opening in July and August, see below for full details) and It's run by an enthusiastic and helpful group of volunteers.
All airframes are exhibited outside around the restored former WW2 Control Tower, which contains many interesting artefacts including aero engines.
The Highlight of the aircraft collection is the English Electric Lightning F53, a former Saudi Arabia export version based on the F6, which has been tastefully finished in RAF 111 Squadron colours. Other airframes include an early Hawker Hunter F4, SAAB Draken, Westland Wessex and a Fairey Gannet AEW3.
This Museum is great value for the admission price and has a small shop with the usual items such as models and aviation memorabilia.
Photography should pose no problems due to external displays, but the Control Tower is not brightly lit and has small windows, therefore flash photography is a must.
The museum is a member of BAPC, BAAC and the Scottish Museums Council.
|The airframes (partial and full) are listed below:
Bae Jet Provost T4 XP557
Bae Jet Provost T5A XW383
Blackburn Buccaneer S2B XT280
Bristol Sycamore III WA576
Dassault Mystere IV 318
de Havilland Vampire T11 XD547
English Electric Canberra T4 WJ880
English Electric Lightning F53 ZF584
Fairey Gannet AEW3 XL497
General Dynamics F-111E 680060
Gloster Meteor T7 WL375
Hawker Hunter F4 WT746
Hawker Siddeley Trident 3 G-AWZJ
Lockheed T33 FT-36
North American F100 Super Sabre 542613
Saab J35A Draken 35075
Westland Wessex HU5 XT486
The Museum is situated just off the A75 Dumfires Bypass from the A701 roundabout.
Click here for a google map.
Dumfries & Galloway Aviation Museum, Former Control Tower, Heathhall Industrial Estate, Dumfries, Scotland DG1 3PH
April - October weekends 10am - 5pm, July/August also open Wed/Thu/Fri 11am - 4pm
Admission: Adults £4, Children up to 14years and concessions £3
Family 2 adults and up to 4 children £12
T: 01387 251623
School parties, groups and coach parties are always welcome out with normal opening times:
Contact: Alan Lammin, Visits Co-ordinator on 01387 720487.