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Middle Wallop museum gears up for reopening

Photo: Falklands War-era helicopters being prepared for display: ex-Argentine Agusta A109 and Bell UH-1, and former Army Air Corps Scout AH1.

 

The Army Flying Museum, formerly the Museum of Army Flying, is nearly ready to reopen at Middle Wallop in Hampshire after a £2.59-million programme of work.

Falklands War-era helicopters being prepared for display: ex-Argentine Agusta A109 and Bell UH-1, and former Army Air Corps Scout AH1.

From 1 April, visitors will be able to see the significant changes that have taken place since the museum’s closure in November 2018, including new exhibits, better lighting, interactives and audio-visual displays.

Curator Susan Lindsay said, “The history of army flying is interesting, it’s dynamic, it relates to events all over the world, it’s got some great personal stories associated with it, and we’ve got a really good collection to help us tell that story.

“In terms of interpretation we will be providing information panels for general visitors, but we’ll also be having touch-sensitive screens which will hold a wealth of information from our archives that will provide the aviation enthusiast with some really interesting information that they should enjoy looking at.

“We represent a unit” — the Army Air Corps — “that is very active and still writing history to this very day and it’s important for us to tell that story right up to date.

“And, therefore, for our operations from 1950s onwards, we will have new graphic panels, screens showing footage, showcases with new objects being brought out, and we’re running a really exciting oral history project whereby we’re gathering reminisces from members of the Army aviation community.

“One of the things we’re particularly excited about is a brand new immersive audio visual presentation that tells the story of the attack helicopter, it really will bring that story to light in a dynamic way.”

Islander AL1 ZG993 will be displayed in an elevated position. This aircraft is a new addition to the museum.

Despite the sweeping differences throughout, regular visitors to the museum will still see a few recognisable areas with the 1940s house, glider collection and First World War area remaining largely familiar.

Susan added: “In short, we’re bringing our story up to date, we’re making it more interactive, we’re including lots more personal stories, and we’re making our collections much more accessible to our visitors.”

The museum will reopen to the public at 10.00hrs on Monday 1 April.

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