As part of my trip through the UK, I went to visit the best flight/plane museums, and what I have now seen is:
London Science Museum's Airplane Section
RAF Museum North of London
RAF Museum in Cosford (this one)
Imperial War Museum in Duxford
I was going from Liverpool to Cambridge, so I figured I'd stop at Cosford for its enticing RAF museum. I have to say right here that it is not easy to get there by public transport only, unless you have a lot of time. In order to save 1H off the trip, I took a trail to Stafford, got off there and caught a somewhat expensive cab to Cosford (public transport only requires going to Birmingham, and then changing to a once per hour slow train, plus a 10mn walk from the station to the museum).
I got there just before 10:00 as was my plan, and they nicely agreed to stash my luggage which was not a given in the UK (they are more against it as everything is now a bomb apparently). The best part though was that I was able to arrange a private guided tour with a guide called Frank who was a wealth of knowledge on the museum and gave me a 3.5h tour of everything. It was absolutely fantastic, and well worth the 50GBP donation to the otherwise free museum.
The museum is big, 4 different hangars:
this prototype plane actually had an alternate T tail made for it, but it didn't work as the elevator could stall at high angles
the english electric lightening is really a cool powerful plane
when the harrier went to a 98.5 degree angle, it could fly backwards
the brits invented ejection seats and made many different kinds
Frank giving me cool explanations like how this plane had motors to speed up the wheels to landing speed before they touched the ground, how cool is that?
brakes and motor in the same wheel
plane to test alternate pilot positions
this was uncomfortable but allowed the pilot to take more G forces (that was before G suits)
this one is a little bit black bird looking
The section on Japanese aircraft, was surprisingly good:
KI-46-III reconnaissance plane
the Yokosuka Ohka suicide powered rocket, was sobering
Nice german planes too:
Spitfire Mk I
Ju 88R-1 with advanced radar
German U-boats even had this towed autogyro, it didn't have power but would be towed by the submarine and take off high enough to see far away targets
let's not forget the first turbojet powered Me 262, so ahead of its time
and the Me163B-1a komet was liquid fuel rocket powered, super cool too (with dynamo generator in the front for electrical power)
This plane attached to a bomber turned into a bomb that work be flown to and dropped on the target, was interesting too:
A few russian planes too:
More planes in another hangar:
And a good rocket and missile collection too, the germans were way ahead during the end of WWII:
And that was it for the visit. Frank was a fantastic tour guide and really made the visit a lot better. A huge thanks to him and Cosford for putting us in touch.
Getting out timely was not trivial either, but byo sheer luck I was able to call an uber that happened to be driving by and got me 10mn after I called it. Normally it would have been a hard to get cab and a longer trip.