Morayvia STEPS up
Located just south of the former RAF Nimrod base at Kinloss (now Kinloss Barracks), Morayvia is an aircraft museum with a difference. Staffed by mainly exservice personnel volunteers, it has a large collection of aircraft, cockpit sections and components on show and, being a ‘Sci-tech Experience Project’ (STEP), offers numerous hands-on and interactive experiences.
Gate guard Antonov AN-2P ‘14’, with ‘Morayvia’ written in Cyrillic lettering on its side, sets the tone. Visitors can climb aboard the vintage Soviet biplane and even ensconce themselves in the pilot’s seat. Once inside the museum, they can sit in a Vickers Valiant’s cockpit, study a Nimrod’s forward fuselage systems or try a Hunter’s (inert) ejector seat for size. UK military search andre scuei swellrepresented, with magnificentlyrestored Sea King HAR3 XZ592 being a star exhibit. The one-time No 202 Squadron machine forms an SAR line-up with the museum’s Wessex pair: HC2 XR528 and HU5 XT466 ‘Duke of York’. Completely refurbished and repainted, the HU5 appears as it did in 1982 when on the strength of 771 NAS at RNAS Culdrose, bar the addition of Falklands pilot HRH Prince Andrew’s title and insignia.
Among the other exhibits are Jaguar GR3A XZ113 and Channel Express-marked Herald 214 G-ASVO’S forward fuselage which recently arrived from the Highland Aviation Museum in nearby Inverness.
Housed in the RAF Kinloss married quarters’ primary school building, Morayvia’s maintenance and refurbishment workshops sit alongside exhibition rooms styled after No 202 Sqn’s D Flight crew areas at RAF Lossiemouth. On display is an extensive assembly of aviation memorabilia and an MBA (Micro Biplane Aviation) Tiger Cub 440 microlight. Opening times vary, so checking the website www.morayvia.org.uk before visiting is advised.
Part of the SAR line-up and half of the museum’s Wessex pair, HU5 XT466 ‘Duke of York’
Morayvia's Nimrod, Valiant and Herald sections plus – just visible – its Canberra nose