Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre
If you are looking for a great day out and you love aviation museums, then you must visit the air museum in Lincolnshire.
I know aviation history is not for everyone, but even if you don’t like planes and are not interested in the Second World War, the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre is still an amazing day out.
Kid’s will love the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre. There is so much to see and do. It is not just about all the great things they can do and see at the Lincolnshire aviation museum, but it is also what they will learn. This must be one of the best educational days out in Lincolnshire for parents who want their children to learn about how important Lincolnshire was during the war.
About Lincolnshire Aviation heritage centre
The Lincolnshire air museum is located in East Kirkby. If you are staying in Skegness for a holiday, then it is just a short journey by car. The Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage centre is the largest bomber command museum in the UK.
The Lincolnshire Aviation Centre was open to the public in 1988. It was opened as a memorial to Christopher Whitton Panton who died in the Second World War. His two Lincolnshire farmers brothers Fred and Harold Panton wanted to recreate something that would keep his memory alive.
There is so much to see and do at the Lincs Aviation Centre. There are only 3 surviving intact Avro Lancaster bombers, and the aviation centre is home to one of them. Just Jane stands proud in the main hanger, and although it cannot fly you can taxi down the runway on certain days of the year. The aim of all the volunteers at the aviation centre is to get Just Jane Lancaster Bomber to fly once more.
During the year many events are held at the aviation centre. These events aim to raise money to restore the Just Jane Lancaster Bomber. These varied events are great fun but more than that, by attending the events you are helping Just Jane to fly the skies.
Lincolnshire Aviation heritage centre is open most of the year and once a year they have an air show.
About Christopher Whitton Panton
Christopher Whitton Panton was a pilot officer who served as a Flight Engineer with Royal Canadian Air Force 433 Squadron. The 433 Squadron was based at RAF Skipton-on-Swale. In 1944 on the night of 30/31 March, Christopher Panton took part in a daring raid on Nuremberg, a city in Germany with 782 other bombers. Christopher was flying in Handley Page Halifax HX272.
The raid was known as RAF Bomber Command’s “Black Friday” due to the devastating high losses that were incurred during the raid. In total, 108 British aircraft were lost during the raid in Nuremberg, Germany, and 665 aircrews were killed. Another 159 were taken prisoner by the Germans, making the Nuremberg raid one of the darkest in World Ward Two history.
Sadly, Pilot Offer Christopher Whitton Panton’s aircraft caught fire during the raid after it was attacked by fighters over Friesen, Germany. The HX272 exploded and Christopher Panton was one of five crew that were killed. Three crew members survived but were captured and became prisoners of war.
Lincolnshire Aviation heritage centre is a fitting tribute to Pilot Offer Christopher Whitton Panton and all those that served in the Second World War and lost their lives.
Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage centre Review
As a lover of planes and someone who likes to attend RAF Coningsby to watch the planes take off and land, doing the Lincolnshire Aviation heritage centre Review was a no-brainer.
When I attended the Aviation Heritage Centre Lincolnshire is proud to be the home of, I did not know what to expect. The last time I went to an aviation museum was some years ago, more years than I like to remember.
When we got to the entrance of the museum it leads you to where the café and gift shop is and that is where you pay. I was tempted to have something to eat first but I restrained myself and headed straight through the café which is very nostalgic to see what the Lincs Aviation Centre had in store for me.
The main Lincolnshire Aviation heritage centre hangar
When you enter the main hanger, you will be blown away. You will be met by Just Jane, the Avro Lancaster bomber. She stood there proud for all to see. The work that has been done to bring the Lancaster bomber to life has been amazing. This is the first time I have been so close to a Lancaster Bomber, but to be stood next to Just Jane made the experience even more special.
In the hanger, there are lots of cabinets that have lots of exhibits and display lots of great information. It is very emotional to see all the pieces on display from the crashed planes of World War Two.
When looking at the photographs of the many crews of WWII and reading their stories, it can be very emotional. When doing the Lincolnshire Aviation heritage review, I remember standing shocked at how young they were. These brave men put their lives on the line for our freedom. It is very hard to understand that until you visit the Aviation centre see their faces and read their stories.
One of the things that my daughter loved in the hanger was the remains of a cockpit. There were ladders that allowed people to climb into the three small spaces of the cockpit. There was no way I would have managed to get in there, but my daughter did, and she loved it. Watching her climb into the cockpit made me wonder about the cramped spaces the RAF pilots and crew had to fit into for hours on end.
When I agreed to do a review of the Lincolnshire Aviation heritage centre, I thought the museum was all about planes and pilots, but I was wrong.
In the hanger with the Just Jane Lancaster Bomber, there were a few vintage vehicles, which included an old single-decker bus. You can also see vintage vehicles parked around the museum, and on the day, we visited there was an old American Jeep.
Lincolnshire is known for many things but one of the most important things it is known for is being home to the squadron involved in the Dambusters raids. If you have not watched the Dambusters film then you must. There is a video showing a Lancaster bomber flying over a dam which was very interesting. I remember standing there imaging what it must have been like taking part in that raid.
There are lots of folders that you can look through which have photos of different squadrons from the Second World War. If you have any photos that you would like to donate, then the museum will welcome them with open arms.
One fascinating fact about the Lincolnshire Aviation heritage centre is the museum is actually on an original airfield used during the Second World War. The control tower that you see and get to go inside is the original tower. When you walk around and see the bunkers and the huts and the other buildings, it does make you feel like you are going back in time.
The control tower at Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage centre
As mentioned, the control tower which guards over the museum is the original tower used during the war. When you go into the tower you are transformed back in time. I actually got emotional when I was in there and hearing the voices of pilots.
The museum really impressed me with the control tower. There are mannequins in different sections of the tower in full uniform. There were authentic sounds playing and a phone ringing that no one answers. At times it did feel like be part of an old ghost movie.
The little Memorial chapel was a lovely place to visit. They have a list of all the aircrew and ground crew from RAF East Kirkby who lose their lives during WWII. It was also nice to stand there and reflect how young men and women during the war sacrificed so much, and how many young lives were lost.
I really enjoyed my Lincolnshire Aviation heritage centre Review, I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. We spent around four hours there. I personally would recommend all schools in Lincolnshire to attend the Lincolnshire Aviation heritage centre as part of their children’s education.