Aviodrome Lelystad’s redesigned main exhibition hall was opened on 10 October 2019. The ‘100 years of Dutch aviation’ revamp updates the museum’s core display area, otherwise structurally unchanged since 2003. The space is now divided into sections, each combining exhibits with background screens to highlight different eras of flight. These include ‘Early pioneering Dutch aviation’, ‘World War 1’, ‘Development of the airliner and KLM Airways’, ‘World War 2’, ‘Modern times’ and ‘Science and Technology Space Age’.
Other new features include overhead walkways that give visitors a different perspective on the Aviodrome’s superb aircraft collection. These improvements were enabled by a donation of €400,000 (approx £358,000) from the Netherlands Bank Giro Lottery.
2019 is a year of centenaries for Dutch aviation, the Fokker Aircraft factories having been opened, the Government Service for Aeronautical Studies (now the Netherlands Aerospace Centre) established and national carrier KLM Royal Dutch Airlines founded all in the same year. Newly-installed DH9B replica ‘H-NABO’, representing the first Dutch-registered example of this early three-seat airliner – and thereby KLM’S earliest days – is a star exhibit. It combines reproduction parts manufactured by the Cradle of Aviation Museum at Long Island with original wheels and tyres. Klm-marked ‘L-749’ Constellation (EX-USAF C-121A 48612) N749NL and former Raf/south African AF C-47A ‘PH-TCB’, appearing as a DC-3, highlight the airline’s glorious propliner past.
Report & photo: Simon Murdoch
'DC-3' and 'L-749' Constellation: propliner splendour at the new-look Aviodrome