Milestones of Flight

In Brief

The Royal Airforce Museum

RAF Hendon

Construction value:

April 2003

The new Milestones of Flight building bridges the gap between the existing disparate museum buildings at RAF Hendon, while forming a focal point for the whole site. Housing a collection of classic aircraft, the barrel vaulted form is clad externally in stainless steel, evoking the sleek fuselages of modern planes. Internally, semi-translucent fabric panels conjure up images of the stick and dope construction of early aircraft.

The Milestones of Flight Museum has a strong emphasis on natural light; a continuous roof light at the apex of the barrel vault allows daylight to fall onto the fabric panels, creating huge scalloped shadows at particular moments during the day. The fabric also acts as an environmental filter, preventing harmful UV light from damaging the exhibits. The two ends of the building are entirely glazed in cast glass channels which glow at night and provide diffused light during the day.

Selected Awards

2006 Civic Trust Award: Winner

2004 Museum and Heritage Award: Best Permanent Exhibition: Highly Commended

Milestones of Flight

“Finished on budget and on time and delivered over and above expectations.” Keith Ifould
Director Group Business Development
Royal Air Force Museum

“The project focused on sustainability and community involvement which greatly smoothed the approval and planning processes.” Keith Ifould
Director Group Business Development
Royal Air Force Museum