Duxford’s American Air Museum to re-open to public after £3million facelift

The American Air Museum at IWM Duxford was closed for a year as it underwent a major refurbishment.

The American Air Museum at IWM Duxford was closed for a year as it underwent a major refurbishment. - Credit: Archant

The American Air Museum at Duxford will reopen tomorrow (Saturday) after a £3million refurbishment which will display never seen before exhibits.

Duxford’s latest project shows the Anglo-American collaboration in conflicts during the last 100 century, from the perspective of those linked with the aircraft and objects on display.

The American Air Museum shows the 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.

There are three themes to the museum - World Wars, Cold War and War in the Mountains and Deserts, about the Gulf, Afghanistan and Iraq.

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 twentieth and twenty-first 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.

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

Inga Grimsey, chair of Heritage Lottery Fund East of England, which helped fund the project, said: “The American Air Museum has possibly the best collection of US military aircraft outside the USA. 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.”