Fleet Air Arm Museum, RNAS Yeovilton
The Fleet Air Arm Museum is situated at RNAS Yeovilton, a short drive off the A303 in Somerset near Ilchester. The museum houses an impressive collection of aircraft and artefacts from the history of the Fleet Air Arm and more.
The four large halls at the museum each have a ground and upper viewing level charting the history of naval aviation - from the first manned kites towed behind naval vessels - to modern Sea Harriers and helicopters.
Construction on the airfield at RNAS Yeovilton began in 1939 with the runways being completed in 1941. The Naval Observer School moved to HMS HERON during 1940 and the Naval Air Fighter School soon followed.
The runways were extended in 1952 and 1957 to cope with jet aircraft.
During the 1960's the School of Fighter Direction returned to the site and the Sea Venoms were replaced by the de Havilland Sea Vixens and eventually by McDonnell-Douglas Phantom FG1.
In the early 1970's Royal Navy fixed wing operations were phased out, and the Phantoms transferred to the RAF. The base remained the home of the Commando Helicopter Squadrons, using the Wessex HU5 and later, Yeovilton became the main shore base for the Navy's fleet of Sea Harrier FRS1.
The FAA Museum opened at RNAS Yeovilton on 28 May 1964 and there is a viewing area of the airbase within the museum site in Hall 2.
This exhibition within the museum displays a collection of seven Falklands aircraft. It includes two Sea Harriers, the Westland Sea King which was piloted by HRH Prince Andrew and a captured Argentinian Agusta109 helicopter which was later used by British Special Forces.
Hall 1 - Fly Navy 100 - a celebration of naval flying
A celebration of 100 years of Naval aviation including Walrus, Sea Harrier, Lynx, Sea King, Firefly and more.
Hall 2 - World War ll & Korea
A history of the FAA during the Second World War and Korea. Aircraft exhibits include: Seafire, Avenger, Hellcat, Sea Fury, Mig 15 and more.
Hall 3 - Ark Royal flight deck experience
This award winning interactive display begins with a simulated Wessex flight to the Ark Royal flight deck. Simulated landing and take off' by Buccaneer and Phantom, and a tour of the island gives taste of what it was like aboard this huge carrier. Small children might be frightened of the noise!
Hall 4 - Leading Edge & Concorde
Concorde, BAC 221, Hunter T8M, Hawker P1127 and more are housed in this collection of 'Leading Edge' British aircraft.
Address: RNAS Yeovilton, Ilchester, Somerset, BA22 8HT
Tel: 01935 840565
The FAA Museum is located at Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton, on the B3151 just off the A303 and A37. It is accessible from the M5 motorway, junction 25 at Taunton.
Click here for a google map.
The Museum is open all year round.
Summer Opening Hours (29th Mar 2010 - 31st Oct 2010):
Open daily, 10.00am to 5.30pm
Last admission: 4.00pm
Last entry to the Carrier Exhibition: 4.15pm
Winter Opening Hours (1st Nov 2010 - 31st Mar 2011):
Open Wed to Sun, 10.00am to 4.30pm
(Closed on Mondays & Tuesdays unless school holidays)
Last admission: 3.00pm
Last entry to the Carrier Exhibition: 3.15pm
Open all Somerset Half Terms & School Holidays, except 24/25/26 December.
Admission: Adult - £13.00, Child (5 - 16 years) - £9.00, Senior - £11.70, Family - £38.00.