Science Museum Shame

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Senior Airman
Jan 18, 2007
Ventured down to London today to attend an NZ expo.

Had a few hours left so went to look at the planes in the Science Museum which I hadn't seen since my school days. To say I was disapointed was an understatement.

As this was a spur of the moment thing I did not take my camera. The Science Museum holds a few extremely important historic planes including Alcock and Browns Vickers Vimy, Amy Johnson's Gypsy Moth "Jason", Supermarine Sb4(plus schnieder race trophy) and the Gloster-Whittle Jet to name but a few.

The museum has changed a lot since I last visted and not for better. At least a 1/5 of the floor space is empty or filled with hand on gadgets that where very unimaginative. The other 4/5 seem to contain dumbed down snap shots of a theme with little or no connection and very little explanation.

In the "Flight" section most of the aircraft are crowded toghther and hung from the ceiling and the lighting is extremely poor and difficult to view. Both the Hurri and Spit look as if they have been painted straight from a tin 'Humbrol' by a 10 year old sometime in the 80's with no attention to conserving the structure. The wood/fabric aircraft look in an even worse condition particularly Amy Johnson's Gypsy Moth if the coverings anything to go by, I would hate to see the condition of the structure beneath.

The engines have now been suspened on what looks like scaffolding to enable the vistor to view all around. Unfortuately the light from the windows puts them all in a perpectual darkness. All in a very depressing site.:cry:
Yes, sad that the aircraft aren't being better preserved. I really doubt all that hanging from the ceiling really does the aircraft much good. Also they need to be taken down and analysed for painting and restored. Then a good sort of long-lasting clear varnish of some sort over the planes and they should last for literally forever....


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Let's be clear that the sun (UV radiation) is a very REAL problem with preserving these fine machines and their vintage paint jobs. While I can sympathize with the fact that the darkness is most annoying, I also can understand that these museum pieces are literally priceless. There has been infinite debates on whether these aircraft should even be flown, so you can imagine how the debate line progresses down the conservation line of demarcation.

Enjoy them for what they are. Soon they will be behind hermetically sealed glass for future generations.

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