Bournemouth Aviation Museum is a truly hands-on experience where guests are encouraged to climb inside the cockpits of the aircraft on display. The museum’s main aim is to provide an interesting and informative visit for people of all ages. The volunteers are keen to share the enjoyment of the exciting world of aviation.
A Hands-On Experience
A visit to the museum is a memorable and educational time out. Visitors of all ages are encouraged to climb into the cockpits of the many aircraft on display. Imagine what it is like to be a pilot by handling the controls and fly away to wherever your imagination desires. Guests will learn about the variety of exhibits and their various operational roles as well as gaining an insight into the local aviation heritage. The exhibits are not limited to aircraft with road vehicles such as a bus and fire engine also on display.
History of the Bournemouth Aviation Museum
The Museum was originally established in May 1998 as the Jet Heritage Museum (housed in the Jet Heritage hangar at Bournemouth Airport). The museum had the advantage of visitors being able to see work underway on Jet Heritage’s fighter collection as well as access to an outside viewing area. In June 1999 a historic open day was held by the museum where, as well as the Jet Heritage aircraft, visitors were treated to a visit by Concorde.
Sadly Jet Heritage went into liquidation in August 1999. but, being a separate Charitable Foundation, the museum side remained in business. It then became the Bournemouth Aviation Museum, run by a team of volunteers. Exhibits ranged in size from an Isaacs Fury to a BAC One-Eleven.
A new location
Museum operations continued until the end of 2007 when Bournemouth Airport dropped a bombshell – Due to planned airport expansion they would not renew the lease of the museum hangar as it was needed for car parking. The airport was unable to offer an alternative site and the future looked bleak with the museum shutting on 19 December 2007. Salvation came in autumn 2008 when museum re-opened having relocated to Adventure Wonderland adjacent to the airport with the majority of aircraft transported across the road to the new site.
There are a wide range of exhibits on display, many of which you can interact with. Sit inside the cockpit of a fighter jet or become the pilot of a passenger aircraft, you can turn the dials and press the switches just like a real pilot would.
Travelling to Bournemouth Aviation Museum
The Bournemouth Aviation Museum is easy to find by car, located only 10 minutes from Bournemouth and Christchurch on the B3073, opposite Bournemouth International Airport. It is located on the same site as Adventure Wonderland, adjacent to Bournemouth airport with a viewing platform where you can watch the aeroplanes taking off and landing.
Travelling by Train
The Nearest train stations are Christchurch and Bournemouth, with busses also operating on a regular basis to Bournemouth Aviation Museum and Adventure Wonderland. Search for your train tickets using Raileasy.
There are lots of places to stay in Dorset. Bournemouth Aviation Museum is surrounded by beautiful countryside. If you only planning on visiting the park for one day and would like to explore some of the other attractions in the area then take a look at some of the wonderful self-catering cottages available from Snaptrip.
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