Spitfire simulator sessions, tank rides and music at Manston museums’ RAF Centenary event

RAF centenary celebrations at Manston

The RAF Manston Spitfire & Hurricane Memorial Museum and the RAF Manston History Museum will be holding a free event to celebrate 100 years of the Royal Air Force’s proud history on Sunday, April 1.

The event, funded by Thanet District Council and Kent County Council, will commemorate the finest moments of the RAF’s Second World War history. During the day visitors will be able to get up close and personal to a Mk IX Spitfire. Four lucky visitors may win, via a raffle, the opportunity to sit in it! There will also be the dulcet tones of the fabulous Bluebird Belles to listen to and a full ATS Searchlight Division encampment to see.

The RAF Manston History Museum is partnering up with the Spitfire Museum and will have an open cockpit day for those who would prefer the super sonic speeds and thrills of jets. And, most excitingly, the History Museum will also be offering tank rides for a small fee.

Museum manager Matt Demedts in the cockpit

The Centenary will also see the official launch of the long-awaited Manston Spitfire Experience simulator. There will be an hourly raffle to allow one person per hour to experience thewhat it is like to take the controls in a Spitfire cockpit.

After April 1, the simulator will be available for bookings to the general public (£30 for 30 minutes) for the duration of the year.

There will also be a variety of trade, charity, food and drink stands and, weather permitting, a flypast of the Spirit of Kent.

The event is being held all day (10am-4pm) in the museum car parks so parking can be found on the northern grass adjacent to the  site -provided by Stone Hill Park – so if you’re travelling from Ramsgate, come through the village of Manston first. From Margate, drive past the museum and turn left and left again. If you’re using a satnav, use postcode CT12 5DF.

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Whilst the event is free of charge, donations are desperately needed to help keep the museum free and interesting. Organisers might even raise enough for a second simulator!

Read here: Photos and video: The Spitfire simulator at Manston is getting ready for take off