Air Space at Duxford
Roger Cook, Pynelea Photo Bureau, takes a brief look at Duxford's Air Space exhibition preview held last November
The Imperial War Museum has unveiled plans for a £21m project to extend Hangar 1 at Duxford to provide improved visitor facilities and a significant increase in the display area.
The displays will chart the course of British and Commonwealth aviation with representative aircraft and with extensive interactive features on a new mezzanine floor. The structure will allow for a number of aircraft to be suspended from the roof beams but with vertical cables and avoid the need for specially built cradles as in the American Air Museum. This will permit aircraft to be displayed without damage to their skins or structures. The new mezzanine floor will provide excellent viewing to visitors of the suspended aircraft.
The work on the extension is due to start in Spring 2004 and will necessitate the decanting of a number of aircraft from Hangar 1 into temporary display areas although some of the larger aircraft may need to spend a Winter outside. Under consideration is a means of providing a temporary protective coating to the aircraft without distracting too much from the overall appearance of the exhibit as would happen with a 'Spraylat' type protection.
The movement of aircraft will provide for a number of aircraft to be seen and photographed outside although a number of exhibit movements are weather dependant. The IWM will attempt to keep everyone informed of the decanting through the 'stop press' page of its website at www.iwm.org.uk/duxford. Work on the extension is scheduled for completion in Spring 2006.
You can keep up with Air Space progress at www.iwm.org.uk/duxford/airspace.htm