Our purpose is to share the story of the Royal Air Force, past, present and future – using the stories of its people and our collections in order to engage, inspire and encourage learning.
The Royal Air Force has shaped our nation and our society. It has influenced how we live our lives today through its impact on world events, society and technology.
The Royal Air Force Museum was established as a legacy of the RAF’s fiftieth anniversary, opening our London (Hendon) site in 1972. From 1979, the Museum also managed the Cosford Aerospace Museum for the MOD, which had also been in operation since 1972. This was renamed the RAF Museum Cosford in 1998 when it formally became part of the Museum portfolio. The Museum also has two external stores, one in Stafford and another within RAF Cosford.
The Royal Air Force Museum is a National Museum, a Government non-departmental public body (NDPB) and a registered charity. Our collection is central to everything we are and do and comprises around 1.3m objects which we hold in trust for the people of the UK. Our RAF Centenary transformation in 2018 enabled the Museum to bring an additional 500 objects from our stores to share with our visitors – most of which had never been displayed before.
We are committed to using our collections to share the story of the Royal Air Force and its people. We are an educational charity and whether visitors are engaging with our displays, taking part in discussion and debate, studying our archive, holding a corporate event in our spaces, having fun at events and in our playground, or enjoying a rest in our café, there are opportunities for learning and inspiration in every pore of our Museum.
Our vision is to inspire everyone with the RAF story – the people who shape it and its place in our lives.