Museum in the Making

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Midland Air Museum, John Berkeley describes how this pioneering collection got started

Aviation heritage is now a multi-million-dollar global phenomenon, but half a century ago things were very different. At its peak in the 1930s Warwickshire had 45 airfields and landing grounds within its boundaries and the region made a massive contribution to manufacturing in both world wars.

Coventry alone could boast an output of more than 14,000 aircraft. Yet in the 1960s there was little or no evidence of this great industrial heritage: it was as though it had never happened.

Britain’s grassroots preservation movement was still in its infancy when Roger Smith, a 19-yearold apprentice draughtsman at Dunlop Aviation, founded the Midland Aircraft Preservation Society (MAPS) five decades ago.

Become a Premium Member to Read More

This is a premium article and requires an active Key.Aero subscription to view.

I’m an existing member, sign me in!

I don’t have a subscription…

Enjoy the following subscriber only benefits:

  • Unlimited access to all KeyAero content
  • Exclusive in-depth articles and analysis, videos, quizzes added daily
  • A fully searchable archive – boasting hundreds of thousands of pieces of quality aviation content
  • Access to read all our leading aviation magazines online - meaning you can enjoy the likes of FlyPast, Aeroplane Monthly, AirForces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, Aviation News, Airports of the World, PC Pilot and Airliner World - as soon as they leave the editor’s desk.
  • Access on any device- anywhere, anytime
  • Choose from our offers below