Yorkshire Air Museum

Yorkshire Air Museum & Allied Air Forces Memorial

Replica of a Wright Flyer at the museum
Established 1986 (1986)
Location Halifax Way, Elvington, York, YO41 4AU
Coordinates 53°55′29″N 0°57′55″W / 53.92480°N 0.96531°W / 53.92480; -0.96531
Type Aviation museum
Director Ian Reed
Website www.yorkshireairmuseum.co.uk

The Yorkshire Air Museum & Allied Air Forces Memorial is an air museum in England on the site of the former RAF Elvington airfield. The museum was founded, and first opened to the public, in the early 1980s.

The Yorkshire Air Museum & Allied Air Forces Memorial is the largest independent air museum in Britain and is the most original Second World War RAF Bomber Command station open to the public. It is also the only Allied Air Forces Memorial in Europe. The museum has a good international reputation and profile with established branches in Canada[1] and France and is supported by over 4,000 registered "friends" across the world. It is a Corporate Member of Friends of the Few (Battle of Britain Memorial) and the Royal Aeronautical Society.

The President of the Museum/Memorial is Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton[2] and Vice Presidents include; the Chief of the Air Staff, Sir Andrew Pulford; Chief of the French Air Force, General Andre Lanata; Supreme Allied Commander NATO, General Denis Mercier; Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu; and TV Presenter, Jan Leeming.[3]

The Museum's principal activity is in education and the history of flight, through which it is involved with aerospace manufacturers and organisations via its long term "Reach for the Sky" project which delivered the first KS2 History of Aviation educational resource book to all 26,000 primary schools in UK, supported by RAeS and the Ministry of Transport.

The Museum has around 50 aircraft[4] spanning the development of aviation from 1853 up to the latest GR4 Tornado.[5] Several aircraft including Victor, Nimrod, Buccaneer, Sea Devon, SE5a, Eastchurch Kitten; DC3 Dakota; are kept live and operated on special "Thunder Days" during the year.[6] Over 20 historic vehicles and a Registered Archive containing over 500,000 historic artefacts and documents are also preserved at the Museum, which is also the Official Archive for the National Aircrew Association and National Air Gunners Association. It is nationally registered and accredited through DCMS/Arts Council England and is a registered charity.

A permanent exhibition on RAF Bomber Command was opened at the museum by life member, Sir David Jason. In 2010 a new exhibition called "Pioneers of Aviation", and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, was opened featuring the lives and achievements of Sir George Cayley, Sir Barnes Wallis, Robert Blackburn, Nevil Shute and Amy Johnson.[7]

Principal on-site businesses include: Restaurant, Publishing, Retail Shop, Fire Service, Events, Aircraft Operation Engineering Workshops, Archives and Corporate Business Suite. The museum produces its own films and publications and is also a popular location for TV and film companies.

It is operated by 149 staff, of which 130 are unpaid volunteers. A small operations team works closely together in a variety of specialist subjects from PR/marketing to Corporate Affairs and Museum Management.

The museum is expanding rapidly and has received over 100,000 visitors in a year.[8] It has received many awards, such as: Top Specialist Attraction in UK - 2011 & 2015; Top Attraction in Yorkshire, Press Top Tourism Business; York Top Marketing Award and Winalot Top Dog Friendly Museum in UK.

The Museum is open every day except Christmas Day, Boxing Day & New Years Day.

The site

Further information: RAF Elvington

The 20-acre (81,000 m2) parkland site (which has held the Yorkshire in Bloom, Silver Gilt Award 3 times) includes buildings and hangars, some of which are "listed", and the site incorporates a 7-acre (28,000 m2) managed environment area and a DEFRA and EA supported self sustainability project called "Nature of Flight". The museum is situated next to a 10,000ft x 400 acre international standard runway.

Whilst the Royal Air Force carried on using the runway for aircraft landing and take off training until 1992, the buildings and hangars had long been abandoned. In 1983, a group started clearing the undergrowth and the site was ready to be unveiled as the Yorkshire Air Museum in 1986.[9]


The Museum undertakes several annual events each year within the general attraction / entertainment area as well as educational / academic events for specific audiences, plus several corporate events in association with companies such as Bentley, Porsche, banking, government agencies etc.[10] The unique annual Allied Air Forces Memorial Day takes place in September.

Museum features

Military vehicles

Second World War
Cold War
The museum's TACR2

Aircraft collection

The following is a list of aircraft on display at the Yorkshire Air Museum.[11]


1853 Replica George Cayley Glider
1903 Replica Wright Flyer
1911 Replica Blackburn Mercury Monoplane BAPC-130

First World War

1913 Replica Avro 504 H1968 BAPC-42
1914 Replica Royal Aircraft Factory BE.2 6232
1917 Replica Port Victoria P.V.8 Grain Kitten
1917 Replica Royal Aircraft Factory SE.5 F943


1933 Mignet HM.14 Pou-du-Ciel BAPC-76

Second World War

1935 Avro Anson VV901
1937 Replica Messerschmitt Bf-109G6
1938 Replica Supermarine Spitfire
1940 Handley Page Halifax LV907
1941 De Havilland Mosquito HJ711
1942 Waco Hadrian 237123 BAPC-157
1944 Gloster Meteor WK864, WS788

"Friday the 13th" original reconstruction of Handley Page Halifax - part of Yorkshire Air Museum's Second World War aircraft collection
Cold War
Civilian Aircraft

1961 Beagle Terrier TJ704


  1. Hemmings, Julie (18 March 2009). "Next generation renews air links across ocean". Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  2. "Battle Of Britain Commemoration Service and Parade at Yorkshire Air Museum, Elvington". York Press. 7 September 2009. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  3. Hickling, Michael (26 March 2012). "Breaking news on Jan's new flightpath". Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  4. "Yorkshire Air Museum & Allied Forces Memorial". Moviemakers Guide.com. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  5. "Allied Forecs memorial & Yorkshire Air Museum". Yorkshire.com. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  6. "Thunder Day at Yorkshire Air Museum". York Press. 10 April 2013. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  7. Mead, Helen (7 February 2012). "The shy's the limit at Yorkshire Air Museum". Craven Herald & Pioneer. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  8. "Ian Reed, director of the Yorkshire Air Museum and Visit York's York Ambassador Of The Year 2012". York Press. 1 May 2012. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  9. "Yorkshire Air Museum, Elvington, York". BBC North Yorkshire. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  10. "Yorkshire Air Museum". York Press. 1 June 2007. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  11. Hitchens, Frank (2016). Aircraft museums of the United Kingdom. Andrews UK. pp. 169–170. ISBN 9781785384516.
  12. "Aircraft celebrates birthday at Yorkshire Air Museum". York Press. 24 November 2008. Retrieved 20 July 2016.

Media related to Yorkshire Air Museum at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 53°55′29″N 0°57′55″W / 53.92480°N 0.96531°W / 53.92480; -0.96531

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