Exciting year ahead for Manston museum

RAF Manston History Museum has refreshed and added more exhibits – and announced two open cockpit weekends for 2024

The museum at the famous RAF airfield in Kent has expanded in recent times, adding to its aircraft collection as well as creating a new reception area and NAAFI café. It also recently launched an interactive app that tells the stories behind the main exhibits.

The Kent attraction includes numerous static aircraft, including Jaguar, Buccaneer, Lightning, Chipmunk, and Jet Provost. It also features cockpits from a Canberra, Buccaneer and Victor, among many others, plus ejector seats, simulators, engines, and weapons.

The airport did of course play an active – and crucial – role in both world wars and the Cold War that followed. The museum also has many items relating to social history from all eras. The site and taxiway are regularly used for car shows, military re-enactments, fairs, paramotor championships – and even paranormal investigations. In 2024, events include an Open Cockpits weekend April 13-14; coinciding with a car show at the attraction. There will be a second Open Cockpits weekend on September 14 and 15, with an exhibition in honour of Operation Market Garden being staged on the 15th.

The Paramotor World Championship is staged at Manston from July 29 to August 15.

The cockpit of Blackburn Buccaneer S.2B XV352 is on show at Manston
The cockpit of Blackburn Buccaneer S.2B XV352 is on show at Manston RAF Manston History Museum
Canadair T-133 Silver Star G-BYOY can also be seen at the Kent attraction
Canadair CT-133 Silver Star G-BYOY can also be seen at the Kent attraction RAF Manston History Museum