New-look Avio­drome

Pilot - - OLD TIMERS -

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

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