Malta Aviation Museum
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There is a generation of men, especially men who were born during or just after the World War II, who go all gooey at the mere mention of the name of the famous fighter plane, the Spitfire. They also get misty eyed at the sound of its power unit – the legendary Rolls Royce Merlin engine.
The Supermarine Spitfire is considered by many to be the E-Type Jaguar of the aeroplane world. A design classic of such grace and beauty that all you can do is stand and admire it. It’s all sleek lines and sensual curves – absolutely stunning – and you may be surprised to learn that you can get up very close to one of them at the Malta Aviation Museum. (You can even hear the Merlin engine as a form of ‘audio porn’ on the museum website!)
The reason for this plane being in a museum in Malta is that this little island actually played a massive part in helping the Allies secure victory in the Second World War. That’s why there’s a George Cross medal on the national flag, in case you were wondering what that was! It’s also why there’s a particularly fine assortment of war artefacts in this museum.
The collection is housed in three buildings - two 200ft long Romney Huts and a larger hangar dedicated specifically to the wartime Air Battle of Malta. The whole thing is based at the former Royal Air Force aerodrome in Ta' Qali. That makes it a very easy attraction to find as it’s literally next door to the National Stadium.
The undoubted star of the show though is the Mk IX Spitfire, lovingly rebuilt to its former glory. Close by you’ll also find the other great British wartime fighter, the Spitfire’s slightly less attractive although equally effective sister plane, the Hawker Hurricane.
Among the other aircraft on show are a De Havilland Tigermoth, a Douglas DC3, a Beechcraft 18, a De Havilland Vampire T11, a Fiat G91R, a Fairey Swordfish, and the cockpit section of an English Electric Lightning.
This very appealing little museum is run by volunteers from a non-profit organisation and contains an exceptional collection of aircraft engines, models, uniforms and memorabilia, among other items. There’s also a shop that helps raise some much-needed funds to keep things running smoothly.
The museum was originally set up in 1994 by the Malta Aviation Foundation. They joined forces with various other associations with the aim of creating a display of unique aviation related exhibits. They have since worked long and hard to acquire, restore and preserve a good selection of aircraft, artefacts and documents that have cultural, historical and educational value.
The museum is renowned on the island for the enthusiasm and devotion of the people who run it and some of these can usually be found knocking around to answer any questions you might have.
It’s easy to get to and find if you’re driving yourself there because it is close the National Stadium, which is well signposted. There are also several bus routes that stop in Ta’ Qali, where you’ll also find the Crafts Village.
Malta Aviation Museum opens seven days a week from 9am to 5pm although there is an earlier closing time of 1pm on Sundays in the summer months. Admission is €6 for adults, €5 for students and €2 for children.
Address: Ta' Qali, RBT 13
Phone: +356 2141 6095
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