Bentwaters Cold War Museum

Unofficial Museum Guide

Key Facts

RAF Bentwaters, Suffolk
SatNav: Region:
IP12 2TW East Anglia
United Kingdom
Open Days Only
Category: Only Aviation:
General Yes
Aircraft Exhibits: Status:
circa. 5 Open

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What’s Here

This new museum, dedicated to preserving the aviation heritage of the Cold War Era, and specifically the history and units that served at the ‘twin’ bases of Bentwaters and Woodbridge, opened to the public on 27 May 2007. The main exhibition area is located in the former Wing Operations Centre – a hardened command bunker which has been completely refurbished for visitors to a very high standard. The history of the locally based 81st TFW features prominently in the museum displays, as does the 527th Aggressor Squadron which used to fly from here. Visitors can see the War Operations Room used to direct the operations of USAF aircraft during Operation El Dorado Canyon in 1986 and the First Gulf War in 1991. Coach tours of the huge base are planned for 2008.


Within the Wing Operations Centre at RAF Bentwaters. Take the A12 eastwards from Ipswich until you reach Woodbridge, turn right onto the A1152. At Rendlesham you will come across what was RAF Woodbridge. Follow the signs for Bentwaters Park from the A1152 at Rendlesham. (RAF Bentwaters is part of the same base complex).

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Opening Hours:

First and third Sunday of each month Easter to October, 10.00 am to 4.00 pm. See official site for exact dates.


See official site for details.


Toilets, Parking, Cafe, only limited access for the disabled.

List of Aircraft Exhibits

Displayed I.D. Aircraft Type Real Identity Condition Status
ZF581 English Electric Lightning F.53 ZF581 In Restoration Displayed
WH453 Gloster Meteor D.16 WH453 Complete Displayed
XE707 Hawker Hunter GA.11 XE707 Complete Displayed
XN629 Hunting Jet Provost T.3A XN629 Fuselage Displayed
E.18-2 Piper PA-31-425 Navajo E.18-2 Complete Stored
XX741 SEPECAT Jaguar GR.1A XX741 Complete Displayed

Notes: BAC Strikemaster 80 1125, reported elsewhere as being with the museum, is not part of the collection and is stored in another hangar. BAC Canberra B(I)6 (cockpit) WT319 and Hawker Hunter F.1 (cockpit) WT684 have passed to a private owner offsite.

More Information

Bentwaters Cold War Museum, Building 134, Bentwaters Parks, Rendlesham, Woodbridge, Suffolk, IP12 2TW. Tel: 07588 877020. Bentwaters Cold War Museum

Any photographs illustrating this museum would be welcome.
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2 thoughts on “Bentwaters Cold War Museum

  1. We are a bunch of volunteers and opening a new scheme
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