Sunday, June 28, 2009


The UK is not short of museums for the air buff, but Imperial War Museum Duxford, UK, has to be at or near the top of the list. A visit there really is a full day-trip, as there is so much to see and do.

If the weather and mood take you, take the time to climb aboard a 1930s Dragon Rapide for a short joy-ride - the video here is a flight we made recently. In the video you can see several glimpses of a top attraction at IWM Duxford, the US Air Force building. It hits the spot for its Norman Foster-designed ‘crashed UFO’ appearance, and splendid internal design, where twin semicircular walkways take you past famous planes of the past, either at ground level, or hanging on cables from the ceiling.

Like most museums of its kind, the USAF building is an ace for modellers, as you can get up really close and see the detail to incorporate in that modelling project. We’ll be doing an in-depth feature on it later this year. Meantime, the Dragon Rapide is a handsome old aircraft (and surprisingly quiet to fly in), but not one that's widely served in the model department - below are some alternatives.

Some nicely made, though pricey diecast 1:72 Dragon Rapides are available from Collectors Aircraft Models here.

And the good old Airfix 1:72 scale offering is available here, prices from £9.50 GBP.

You can download a useful Duxford brochure flyer here.