Fleet Air Arm Museum Model Show
DAVE WOOLEY visits the 2010 February event
A brand new exhibition in Hall One highlights 100 years of the Fleet Air Arm.
The FAA museum is without doubt one of the premier military and aviation museums in the UK . The number of exhibits takes your breath away and that’s just the planes, artefacts and models of aircraft carriers which are not just confined to those of the Royal Navy. However, if you have an interest in aircraft, particularly those operated by the FAA, then this is aviation paradise.
100 years of the FAA
Events at a venue such as this you would expect to be well organised and from my point of view, it most certainly was. In 2009 the museum were still in the stages of preparing their major new exhibition focusing on a 100 years of the Fleet Air Arm. On entering Hall One you are now confronted by a magnificent display of RN aviation from the early 20th century to the present day. There is a raised walkway which provides a stunning vista of the aircraft below including an F2A Harrier, Sopwith Pup and helicopters such as the Westland Dragonfly, but I shall concentrate on the model boating element.
Model boat displays
Moving on to Hall Two, there was an interesting display by Ferndown District Model Society which involved a thought provoking model by Tony Ansell of the ill-fated battlecruiser HMS Hood, but not as perhaps we have come to know, but as a ‘what if’ build. Tony Ansell’s model is based on a 1:128 Fleetscale hull but constructed as HMS Hood could have been following a post-1942 refit.
More museum displays
Looking around the museum there is a gallery of pictures, many of FAA aircraft but the one that caught my eye was in Hall One and an evocative oil painting of HMS Ark Royal. One person viewing the picture remarked that: ‘It’s so real you can almost smell the scene’.
Having missed out on last year’s flying display, this time I made sure I was ready for the display and I was not disappointed. The models were big, especially the large scale models of the Sopwith biplanes and the low level passes of the jet powered F15 and F16 models was spectacular. All most impressive and the jets sound and perform just like full size ones.
My thanks to the organisers at Fleet Air Arm Museum for facilitating my visit.
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