Opening day for transformed American Air Museum at IWM Duxford

American Air Museum at IWM Duxford Credit: IWM Duxford
Imperial War Museum (IWM) Duxford’s transformed American Air Museum, containing the best collection of American aircraft on display outside North America, will open to the public on 19 March after a major redevelopment supported by HLF.

The newly transformed American Air Museum tells the story of Anglo-American collaboration in 20th- and 21st-century conflict, as seen through the eyes of the people linked with the aircraft and objects on display.

From private to president, the museum reveals the personal stories of 85 people whose lives have shaped or been shaped by their experiences of conflict. It focuses on the key role played by American air power in conflicts from 1918 to the present day, with dramatic displays of historic and contemporary aircraft.

The American Air Museum is home to 850 objects, including equipment, uniforms, keepsakes and photographs. Many of these have never before been seen by the public.

“This project has given Duxford the opportunity… to bring many of the fascinating stories of the First World War, Second World War and more recent conflicts to life in new and inspiring ways.”Inga Grimsey, Chair of HLF East of England

Inga Grimsey, Chair of HLF East of England, said: “This project has given Duxford the opportunity to overhaul the displays and galleries and to bring many of the fascinating stories of the First World War, Second World War and more recent conflicts to life in new and inspiring ways. We are delighted that National Lottery players have been able to support this fantastic transformation.”

Diane Lees, Director-General of IWM, said: “The transformed American Air Museum tells the story of the relationship between Britain and America in very human terms. Personal stories come to the fore, vividly demonstrating the consequences of war in the 20th and 21st centuries.

“From the pilot to the female riveter who built the aircraft, the African-American engineer who built the airfields to the courageous female journalist who reported on the action, visitors come face-to-face with people whose moving stories are inextricably linked with the formidable aircraft on display.

“The impact of global warfare is told from contrasting perspectives, giving visitors a rounded view of the lasting effect of contemporary warfare.”

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