Greatest display of WW2 aircraft?

Discussion in 'Warbird Displays' started by Lighthunmust, May 16, 2011.

  1. Lighthunmust

    Lighthunmust Banned

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    #1 Lighthunmust, May 16, 2011
    Last edited: May 16, 2011
    This post is especially for members who have extensively traveled to air museums throughout the world, but can be answered by anyone familiar with museum collections. What in you opinion is the museum with the greatest display of WW2 aircraft? Please take into consideration I am not just asking for what museum has the most aircraft. In giving your opinion please consider what museum has the best display of aircraft from many different nations, different aircraft types, most significant aircraft used during the war, and level of preservation. Please explain your choice. Of the museums I've visited Pima and the USAF are my choices. Both of these have aircraft from different nations, some of which are the rarest of the rare, they have a fair to good selection of the most significant aircraft, and the level of preservation is good to very good. They do however lack some very significant aircraft from the axis powers and the U.K., and the aircraft are not airworthy so preservation is not excellent.
     
  2. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    I will vouch for Chino to have the largest display of flying aircraft.
     
  3. Lighthunmust

    Lighthunmust Banned

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    I have visited Planes of Fame and Yanks at Chino several times and I agree. If POF had more types instead of mainly fighters I would rank it equal or greater than Pima and USAF.
     
  4. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    #4 buffnut453, May 16, 2011
    Last edited: May 16, 2011
    For displaying a cross-section of WWII aircraft, I think the RAF Museum collection has to be pretty high on the list - in addition to all the RAF types (including many unique veterans including a BP Defiant), there are also many USAAF types (P-51, B-17, B-24, P-47 etc) and an amazing collection of Axis aircraft (Ju-88, He111, Stuka, Ki-100 etc). Finally, the quality of restoration is always of an amazingly high standard. Some of the craftmanship (the Supermarine Southampton hull, for example) is truly breathtaking.

    I also love the USAF Museum at Dayton. Like the RAF Museum collection, it has many one-of-a-kind types including the B-10 and others. I also like Duxford which has the added advantage of displaying airworthy warbirds.

    Overall, I think it's pretty hard to come up with any one collection as being "the best". I love visiting collections over and over again because they keep changing. I also have a soft-spot for smaller collections which have a special atmosphere to them. The Shuttleworth Collection in the UK and the Cavanaugh Museum in Dallas, TX are examples of places that just send a shiver down my spine. Wonderful treasures one and all.
     
  5. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    I've been to Chino and it's impressive. So is Duxford.
     
  6. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    In my opinion the two best museums in the world (at least from the ones that I have been to) are:

    1. RAF Museum Hendon (London, England)
    2. Smithsonian Air and Space Museum (Washington DC)

    In my opinion they have the greatest range and best examples of historical aircraft on display hands down. Others may have more aircraft, but these two cover the whole spectrum the best.
     
  7. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Smithsonian, yes, if you include all aircraft but WW2? Maybe if you include all the stuff yet to be assembled in various places, gems like the only He 219 (slowly ccoming together) and Ta 152, yet to come together....
     
  8. ToughOmbre

    ToughOmbre Active Member

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    The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, specifically the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Washington Dulles International Airport.

    The Enola Gay is the centerpiece of the collection.

    TO
     
  9. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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  10. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    I'd love to hit all of them.
     
  11. Lighthunmust

    Lighthunmust Banned

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    I visited the Canadian museum in Ottawa in 1971 when I was 12. I remember it as having very well preserved aircraft in a very crowded building/hanger. It was the second air museum I ever visited and for a young boy from Phoenix, Arizona a truly awesome experience. I wish Ottawa was not so far off of my normal travel routes.

    The RAF museum appears to be magnificent. Even though it is thousands of miles farther from home, I am more likely to visit England than than Canada.

    Has anyone visited the museum in Seattle, Washington? My beloved Champlin Fighter Museum in Tempe, Arizona was liquidated and most of the aircraft went to Seattle. Before Champlin closed, its collection of fighter aircraft was in my opinion superior to the Planes of Fame.
     
  12. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    I agree the Enola Gay display is impressive but there are major gaps in the WWII coverage - no B-17, B-24, Me109, Lancaster, A6M etc etc. Whilst it's an amazing collection of aircraft through the ages, I don't think it's the best for WWII despite the unique items like the Me410, Toryu etc.
     
  13. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    #13 DerAdlerIstGelandet, May 18, 2011
    Last edited: May 18, 2011
    Actually they have a very impressive set of WW2 aircraft on display. Alone because of the historical aspect of the particular aircraft that are on display.

    Well lets see on display...

    Bf 109G
    Spitfire
    Zero
    B-29 (The Enola Gay none the less)
    Do 335 (only one in the world)
    C.202
    Aichi M6A1 Seiran
    Arado Ar 234 (only one in the world)
    Bell XP-59 Airacomet
    Boeing F4B-4
    Boeing FB-5 Hawk
    Curtiss F9C-2 Sparrowhawk
    Curtiss P-40E Warhawk
    Douglas SBD-6 Dauntless
    Focke-Achgelis Fa 330A-1 Bachsteltze
    Focke Wulf Fw 190
    Grumman FM-1 (F4F-4) Wildcat
    Grumman TBF-1 Avenger
    Hawker Hurricane Mk. IIC
    Junkers Ju52
    Kawanishi N1K2-Ja Shiden
    Kugisho MXY7 Ohka
    Lockheed P-38J-10-LO Lightning
    Messerschmitt Me 262 A-1a Schwalbe
    Nakajima J1N1-S Gekko
    Nakajima Ki-43-IIb Hayabusa
    Northrop P-61C Black Widow
    Republic P-47D-30-RA Thunderbolt
    Vought F4U-1D Corsair
    Vought OS2U-3 Kingfisher
    Vought-Sikorsky XR-4C
    Westland Lysander IIIa
    Horten H III f
    Horten H III h
    Kawasaki Ki-45 Kai Hei (Mod. C) Type 2 Toryu
    Lockheed XP-80
    Martin B-26B

    Not on Display or out on loan to other museums:
    Arado Ar 196 A-5
    Bachem Ba 349 B-1 Natter
    Bell P-63A-10-BE Kingcobra
    Blohm Voss BV 155 V2
    Consolidated PBY-5 Catalina
    Curtiss SB2C-5 Helldiver
    Curtiss XP-55-CS Ascender
    De Havilland DH-98 B/TT Mk. 35 Mosquito
    Douglas VB-26B-61-DL Invader
    Focke-Wulf Ta 152 H-0/R11
    Horten H IX V3
    Kawanishi N1K1 Kyofu
    Kugisho P1Y1 Ginga
    Kyushu J7W1 Shinden
    Lippisch DM-1
    Martin PBM-5A Mariner
    Mitsubishi G4M3 Model 34 BETTY
    Nakajima B6N2 Tenzan
    Nakajima C6N1-S Saiun
    Nakajima J5N1 Tenrai
    Nakajima Ki-115a Tsurugi
    North American B-25J-20-NC (TB-25N) Mitchell
    Aichi B7A2 Ryusei

    Not true, they have a Bf 109G and an A6M on display.

    I have pictures of them both from when I visited the museum. You have to remember the museum is broken down over two buildings. You have to take a shuttle bus to get to the other one.

    I agree, that is my favorite museum as well. I was so happy to finally go to it last October.
     
  14. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

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    The Imperial War Museums have some wonderful aircraft. There is a Lancaster set in a very brooding pose.Its almost like its thinking....

    Duxford and the flying legends displays are fantastic.

    I was lucky enough to see Ray Hanna in MH434 flying over RAF Manston a very evocative display and also at the 60th anniversary of the BoB.
    Stirring stuff for any Englishman.

    There were smaller displays at West Malling in the 1980's with the Bearcat strutting its stuff. Performance with a capital P.

    I'm sure the American displays are just as good and until I get there I'll have to rely on 'you tube'....

    Cheers
    John
     
  15. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Yes it is! Unfortunately when I went there last October, I had my camera settings wrong and the pictures of her came out too dark. I did not catch it until I was in the other building and did not have time to make it back to it before heading out. Oh well, that just means I have to go back to the museum again! :)
     
  16. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

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    You understand what I mean about the Lancaster display. I'm glad I'm not the only one then....
    I stood and looked at the Lancaster for a long time.
    I tried to take a picture too but, to be honest the museum brochure picture was better than my efforts.
    Its a full day out, and this year's trip is the IWM in London with my lad.
    Cheers
    John
     
  17. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    #17 DerAdlerIstGelandet, May 18, 2011
    Last edited: May 18, 2011
    Yes I stood for about 20 minutes in front of it and could not stop staring at it. Here are the pics I took but like I said I had my settings wrong.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Here is the thread I posted them all in if anyone wishes to see them:

    http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/warbird-displays/raf-museum-london-27004.html

    Here are also some pics of the NASM in Washington DC. Unfortunately they were taken with my old Camera back in 2005. Not the greatest quality, but that just means I have to go back again.

    http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/aviation/smithsonian-national-air-space-museum-789.html

    Here are a few pics I took at the Deutsches Museum in Munich, Germany. They do not have a large collection, but they do have some very nice aircraft (Bf 109E, Me 262, Me 164, Ju 52, etc). The pics of the museum start on page 2.

    http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/off-topic-misc/munich-10217.html
     
  18. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

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    Better pictures than I managed !
    You have captured the essence of the Lancaster with its atmospheric display.
    Whoever set the scene there was very imaginative.
    I'm looking forward to a revisit.
    Cheers
    John
     
  19. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Some great pics here, thanks.
     
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