Europe's Aviation Museums

Since the Wright Brothers flew the first aircraft in the world, the aviation sector has witnessed momentous changes over the years. The Aviation Museums around the world offer a great understanding of the history and also showcase the latest technology regarding the aviation.

Europe's Best Aviation Museums


French Air and Space Museum, Le Bourget, France

One of the most famous aviation museums in the European mainland, this museum hosts the only remaining part of the ‘White Bird’, the aircraft used by Charles Nungesser and François Coli in their unsuccessful attempt to make the first trans-Atlantic flight from Paris to New York in 1927, two weeks before the historical flight of Charles Lindbergh. The museum was opened in 1919. It hosts around 20,000 exhibits including 150 aircrafts. Other major displays include two Concords, various gliders, missiles and rockets.


Prague Aviation Museum, Czech Republic

The Prague Aviation Museum was established in 1968. The museum, located at Kbely airport, reflects the rich history of Czech aviation. Kbely was the first Czechoslovak military airfield, which is still used by the military and VIP aircrafts. The museum has one of the largest collections of aircrafts, numbering nearly 275, of which more than hundred are on display. The major exhibits are the early Czech aircrafts and Soviet aircrafts which served in the World Wars. Avia BH-11C L-BONK, CSA Tupolev Tu-104, Praga E-114 Air Baby and Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik are some of the prominent aircrafts on display.


State Aviation Museum of Ukraine, Kiev

Located next to the Zhulyany Airport, Ukraine State Aviation Museum is noted for its display of Soviet technology. It was opened in 2003, coinciding with the centenary of aviation history. It boasts of more than 70 aircrafts, most of which served former Soviet Union and later Ukraine. The major attractions are world’s first jet airliner Tupolev-104 and the strategic missile carrier Tu-22M. Numerous helicopters and naval aircrafts are also displayed here. The interactive displays, giving the visitors a realistic experience of riding an aircraft, are also a major feature of the museum.


Imperial War Museum, Duxford, UK

Opened in 1977, this is the largest aviation museum in Britain. It was actually military airfield till 1961. It played a pivotal role during the two World Wars. The museum houses about 200 aircrafts and many military vehicles. There are other exhibits like photographs, videos and artifacts that give a glimpse of the history of the wars fought by Britain. It houses the museums of various British Army regiments as well. Duxford is still an active airfield and hosts air shows regularly. The museum offers flying lessons to the visitors as well.


Brooklands, Weybridge, UK

Brooklands was a 4.43 km (2.75-mile) motor racing circuit and aerodrome built near Weybridge in Surrey, England, United Kingdom. It opened in 1907 and was the world's first purpose-built motor racing circuit as well as one of Britain's first airfields, which also became Britain's largest aircraft manufacturing centre by 1918. The circuit hosted its last race in 1939 and today part of it forms the Brooklands Museum, a major aviation and motoring museum, as well as a venue for vintage car, motorcycle and other transport-related events.

Brooklands Museum houses many historic aircraft including the Vickers Wellington bomber recovered from Loch Ness in 1985, a British Airways Concorde, G-BBDG, the UK's first production Concorde, and now also owns the 40 percent scale Concorde model "G-CONC" displayed for many years as a gate guardian at Heathrow Airport. After restoration and repainting, the model was relocated for similar duty at Brooklands Museum's public entrance off Brooklands Drive on 29 September 2012.


National Museum of Flight, Scotland

The National Museum of Flight is Scotland's national aviation museum at East Fortune Airfield, just south of the village of East Fortune, in East Lothian. It is one of the museums within National Museums Scotland. The museum is housed in the original wartime buildings of RAF East Fortune which is one of the best preserved wartime airfields in the UK. As a result of this the entire site is a scheduled ancient monument with no permanent structures added by the museum. The hangars, control tower and stores were designated as Category B listed buildings by Historic Scotland.

The National Museum of Flight is Scotland's national aviation museum at East Fortune Airfield, just south of the village of East Fortune, in East Lothian. It is one of the museums within National Museums Scotland. The museum is housed in the original wartime buildings of RAF East Fortune which is one of the best preserved wartime airfields in the UK. As a result of this the entire site is a scheduled ancient monument with no permanent structures added by the museum. The hangars, control tower and stores were designated as Category B listed buildings by Historic Scotland.


Aeroscopia Museum, Toulouse, France

Aviation’s past, present and future have come together in southwestern France with this month’s official opening of the Aeroscopia museum – which was developed with Airbus support. Aeroscopia is located adjacent to Toulouse-Blagnac Airport, putting it in proximity to Airbus’ home location – including the company’s headquarters and its A380, A350 XWB, A330 and A320 Family final assembly lines. This enables visitors to appreciate Airbus’ current production activity while exploring aviation history at Aeroscopia. The museum features a collection of iconic aircraft displayed in its exhibition hall and paved grounds, including an A300B – the landmark widebody twin-engine jetliner that launched Airbus – a “Super Guppy” outsized transporter used by Airbus to carry aircraft components during the company’s early days, and an Aérospatiale-BAC Concorde supersonic passenger airliner.


Luftwaffen Museum, Gatow, Germany

The Luftwaffen Museum of the German Armed Forces located in the former Gatow military airport has shown the development of the air force in Germany since 1984. Viewable are military planes, trucks, helicopters and much more in the hangers, the tower and on the former runways. Central is Hanger 3 with the permanent exhibition for the history of military aviation. In the tower, uniforms and gear are presented, during which, one can gaze onto the exterior grounds at the more than 100 military planes and helicopters.


Deutsches Museum Flugwerft Schleissheim, Munich

The Deutsches Museum presents another important part of its collections at Oberschleissheim Airfield in the north of Munich, close to the old Bavarian palace buildings. The airfield and its historic buildings were constructed between 1912 and 1919 by the Königlich-Bayerische Fliegertruppen (Royal Bavarian Flying Corps). In the early 1990s the historic maintenance hangar was restored and enlarged with a new exhibition hall and a restoration workshop. The Flugwerft Schleissheim complements the big aerospace exhibitions in the main museum in Munich.


Aviodrame, Lelystad, Netherlands

The Nationaal Luchtvaart-Themapark Aviodrome is a large aerospace museum in the Netherlands that has been located on Lelystad Airport since 2003. Previously the museum was located at Schiphol Airport. On the current location, it has three buildings: the main building where most of the aircraft on display are located and where there's a restaurant and a cinema, a replica of the old Schiphol terminal building from 1928 and a hangar for aircraft storage with limited access for visitors. Added to the aviation theme were several artifacts from several Dutch space programs. In doing so the aviation museum became an aerospace museum.


Space Expo, Noordwijk, Netherlands

The history and future of space travel is the subject of Noordwijk Space Expo. Many space secrets are revealed here. Scale models show you what our solar system looks like and where the planets are located in relation to the earth. There are beautiful satellite photos of the main cities of the world. There is a space station and a piece of lunar rock. Free admission.

Design by W3layouts