The Army Flying Museum, formerly known as the Museum of Army Flying, reopened at Middle Wallop on 1 April following a £2.59-million, five-month redevelopment project.
Funding for the redevelopment plan, Project Eagle, came from a Heritage Lottery Fund grant and was matched by a further £900,000 raised by the museum itself, bringing the total costs to nearly £3 million.
The project has focused on the expansion and modernisation of the museum’s archive, which contains an unrivalled record of army flying exploits, and a complete update and reinterpretation of its unique collection. Project Eagle also takes in a three-year community, educational and volunteer programme, a new learning and schools programme, oral history project, pop-up museum and internship programme.
Chief executive officer Chris Munns says, “This is an important milestone and a testament to all those that have helped with the planning of the project and the excellent support that we have received from the volunteers. Once you get inside you will notice the difference straight away. The museum has been completely re-laid-out so that it is in a much more logical order. There are new graphic panels, new aircraft and an attack helicopter audio-visual display that’s going to run every hour.”
Museum curator Susan Lindsay added, “We’ve brought our story up to date, made it more interactive, included lots more personal stories, and made our collections much more accessible to our visitors.”
Regarding an uplift in visitor numbers, on 18 April museum events and marketing manager Joe Faretra reported to Aeroplane, “Although we can’t compare year-on-year figures yet, as we’ve not yet been open a full month, currently there is a queue out the door.”
Once you get inside you will notice the difference straight away. The museum has been completely re-laid-out