Sywell Aviation Museum

Unofficial Museum Guide

Key Facts

Sywell Airfield, Northamptonshire
SatNav: Region:
NN6 0BN East Midlands
United Kingdom
Category: Only Aviation:
General Yes
Aircraft Exhibits: Status:
circa. 5 Open

Rate this Museum:

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (4 votes, average: 3.50 out of 5)
FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites

What’s Here

Officially opened on 21st July 2001, the Sywell Aviation Museum aims to preserve the history of Sywell Aerodrome and Northamptonshire’s rich aviation heritage from the early days of aviation to the Second World War and beyond.
There is a large collection of memorabilia photographs, artefacts, models and uniforms on display which charts the history of the area. Aviation Archaeology – the recovery of crashed aeroplanes – is a core aspect of the displays. One of the larger exhibits is a Bristol Hercules engine recovered from the wreck of the Vickers Wellington bomber which crashed tragically at Hardwick, now carefully cleaned and preserved. Other displays include the History of Sywell from 1928; Brooklands Aviation etc; RAF memorabilia; USAAF Display hall (concentrating on the USAAF at Chelveston); RAF/USAAF ordnance including a 1943 Mercury Bomb Tractor, period C Type Bomb Trolley and inert 1000 lb bomb, Norden Bomb sight, mock up B17 Cheek Position etc. The museum building comprises three linked together Second World War Nissen huts, previously located at the now closed RAF Bentwaters and moved by S.A.M. members.


At Sywell aerodrome, off the A43 north east of Northampton, just before the village of Sywell, Northamptonshire. The museum is in the large green Nissen hut located in the large car park, close to the Aviator hotel.

Loading map...



Opening Hours:

Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays 10.30 am to 4.30 pm, Easter to the end of September. All other times by prior appointment.


Entrance to the Museum is free, (donations are welcome).


Free Car Park; adjacent to Aviator hotel with overnight accomodation, WCs, Bar, restaurant; fixed wing, helicopter, microlight pleasure flights and aircraft hire; hangarage etc; Public airfield viewing area; Conference centre (Hangar One).

List of Aircraft Exhibits

Displayed I.D. Aircraft Type Real Identity Condition Status
G-BHLT de Havilland Tiger Moth IIa G-BHLT Complete Displayed
XD599 de Havilland Vampire T.11 XD599 Cockpit Displayed
WG419 De Havilland Canada Chipmunk T.10 WG419 Cockpit Displayed
WN904 Hawker Hunter F.2 WN904 Complete Displayed
WZ820 Slingsby Grasshopper TX.1 WZ820 Complete Stored

Note: The Auster J/1 cockpit G-AIJZ was scrapped circa 2008.

More Information

Sywell Aviation Museum, Sywell Aerodrome, Sywell, Northampton, NN6 0BN. Group Secretary, Ben Brown Tel: 0796 8061708. email. Web: Sywell Aviation Museum

Any photographs illustrating this museum would be welcome.

6 thoughts on “Sywell Aviation Museum

  1. Is the Rick Watts associated with your museum, the Rick Watts from East Cowes Isle of Wight? I am trying to locate that Richard Watts and would be grateful if you would let me know and pass this on to him if it is! Thanx, Debi Banks

  2. I’m not sure if the Chairman is the Rick Watts I knew from East Cowes. He went on to join the RAF. We were best friends at Carisbrooke Grammar School and I lived near him in East Cowes. I would very much to make contact with him again and with Debra Otten Banks if she has any contact info Many thanks for any assistance you can offer Regards and thanks Rob Harwood

  3. My wife and I were part of a group visit at 6pm on the 16th May. The visit was organised on behalf of Northants WEA and our expectation was for a tour of the airport facilities and the aviation museum. Only the latter took place was disappointing on two counts. We convened immediately outside the museum building and were addressed there for 15 minutes on a cold, windy evening. We entered the building – a nissen hut – where Ben continued to address the group. There were at least 30 of us and we felt cramped. Most were unable to hear what Ben was saying as we were strung-out along the full length of the museum building. When he finished talking we had all of ten minutes ‘free’ time to examine the many exhibits. We had made a 56 mile round trip to attend this event and frankly felt it was a wasted opportunity and a wasted evening.

  4. Hello there, I have only just come across this post. We are all volunteers and I personally give up my time after a busy day at work to take tours round (for the cost of £1.50 per person!!) In the eleven years I have been doing tours this is the first…ever…complaint we have ever received. I am sorry that you were disappointed. The thousands of visitors which we welcome and the 40+ tour groups per year who I do take round have a great time. I am disappointed you did not raise any concerns during the evening nor indeed take the time to contact me afterwards but rather posted a complaint on the internet. We work extremely hard to run our little museum – I am sorry that there wasn’t even one aspect which met your approval. If you would like a refund of your £1.50 please contact the Museum.

    Rob- the Richard Watts was a different chap as he hailed from Northamptonshire. He sadly passed away just before Christmas.

Leave a Comment