Britain's Prince Charles took time off from his naval duties on Tuesday (2 December) to open a new wing of the Royal Air Force Museum at Hendon, in north London.
GV PAN RAF museum at Hendon
GV INTERIOR Prince Charles signing visitors' book
SCU Sign "Dermot Boyle Wing"
SV Prince Charles unveiling plaque
SV Prince Charles inspecting Messerschmitt 109
SV PAN Aircraft
CU Iron Cross TILT DOWN TO Other medal and PAN TO Photo of General Galland
SV General Galland and Wing-Commander Stamford -Tuck
SV Prince Charles chatting (2 shots)
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Background: Britain's Prince Charles took time off from his naval duties on Tuesday (2 December) to open a new wing of the Royal Air Force Museum at Hendon, in north London.
The museum houses all types of veteran aircraft, both civil and military, everyone carefully and lovingly restored to prime working condition by trained engineers and craftsmen. The Hendon collection spans aeronautic history from the turn of the century to the present day.
Pride of place has, however, always gone to the military aircraft on display. The opening of the new wing -- named after Sir Dermot Boyle, Marshal of the R.A.F. and former chairman of the museum's Board of Trustees -- gives the Hendon collection a wide international flavour. It houses a large selection of German aircraft, including fighter planes of the First and Second World Wars.
One of the most famous of all German military aircraft was the Messerschmitt (ME) 109 -- the plane which caused British Spitfire and Hurricane pilots such great problems during the Battle of Britain. The museum now also houses a model of the first German craft ever to drop bombs over London, the Zeppelin airship of the First World War, as well as examples of German air gallantry decorations and uniforms, including one belonging to Second World War Luftwaffe chief, Herman Goerring.
Among the visitors Prince Charles met in the new wing were two Second World War fighter aces. Wing-Commander Bob Stanford-Tuck and Lieutenant-General Adolf Galland have been firm friends since the end of the War ... despite the fact they may have tried to shoot each other down in the skies over Britain during the late summer of 1940.
SYNOPSIS: Britain's Royal Air Force Museum in Hendon, north London, houses one of the widest collections of civil and military aircraft in the country. And on Tuesday, that collection was extended even further when Prince Charles visited Hendon to open a new wing, dedicated to German aircraft.
The new wing's named after Sir Dermot Boyle, Marshal of the R.A.F. and a former chairman of the museum's Board of Trustees. The Hendon collection spans aeronautic history from the turn of the century.
The Prince was particularly interested in this Messerschmitt (ME) 109 ... the aircraft that caused British fighter pilots such great problems during the Battle of Britain. It shows how cleverly aircraft are restored to prime condition at the museum.
Also displayed in the new wing are items of German air memorabilia. Decorations like the Iron Cross and the famous Blue Max ... and photographs of top German war fighter pilots, including Lieutenant-General Adolf Galland ... And marking the occasion, the General was present in person, together with former rival, Wing-Commander Bob Stanford-Tuck.
Aircraft have a special appeal for Prince Charles. Although he's currently serving as a captain in the British Navy, he's also a trained pilot ... with - like all pilots - a particular affection for old planes such as those at the Hendon museum.