Solway Aviation Museum

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The Solway Aviation Museum is situated at Carlisle Airport, about 7 miles northeast of Carlisle. The museum is normally open Friday to Sunday and Holidays.

The image below is of the Museum buildings, a Canberra aircraft on the right, and a Percival Sea Prince on the left. You can enter both these aircraft and use the controls.

The British built Canberra was constructed from the mid 1940s as a high altitude, medium sized, jet powered, bomber. A Canberra was the first jet aircraft to make a non-stop transatlantic flight in 1951, could fly at 70,000 ft, and 580 mph.

Solway Aviation Museum Map . Canberra Wiki Page .

Solway Aviation Museum image

The image below is a UK built Avro Vulcan bomber in service from 1956 to 1984, top attraction at the Solway Aviation Museum. The Vulcan was designed as a high altitude nuclear bomber, with a speed of around 645 mph, and could fly at 55,000 ft. You can enter the aircraft for a guided tour.

In 1960, the Soviets shot down a US, U2 Spy Plane operating at 70,000 ft, with a surface to air missile. This resulted in the the UK having to operate the Vulcan Bombers at low altitude to try and avoid radar detection.

As low level bombing was believed to have a limited success rate, the Polaris Nuclear Submarines were used in the British Navy from 1968 as the main nuclear deterrent.

Five Vulcan Bombers were used in the Falklands War in 1982. This one at the Solway Aviation Museum, Vulcan XJ823, is thought to have been one of the five aircraft, the only wartime combat missions any were used in, using conventional bombs.

Vulcan Wiki Page

Solway Museum Vulcan Bomber image

The image below is of a UK built English Electric Lightning jet fighter that could operate at Mach 2, twice the speed of sound, about 1,300 mph. Altitude of the Lightning was top secrete, thought to be between 60,000 ft and 88,000 ft.

The Lightning served in the British Airforce from 1959 to 1988 as a fast interceptor, with an incredible rate of climb.

English Electric Lightning Wiki Page.

Solway Museum English Electric Lightning

The image below is of a US built Phantom FGR2 that began entering service in 1960, with a speed of over Mach 2.2, and could fly up to 98.000 ft.

Phantom aircraft were operated by the British Airforce and on British Navy Carriers from 1969. The last Phantom aircraft were taken out of UK service in 1992. These are multi role aircraft, fighters, and high or low level bombers.

The Phantom was replaced by the European built Mach 2.2 Tornado that began entering service in 1985. The Tornado began being replaced by the Mach 2 Eurofighter Typhoon from 2003.

Phantom Wiki Page

Solway Museum Phantom

The image below is of a UK built Gloster Meteor jet fighter that entered service in 1944 with a speed of 600 mph, and service height of 43,000 ft.

This was the first UK jet fighter that entered service in the last few months of WWII. The Meteor was soon obsolete due to the rapid development of jet engines, and swept wing aircraft, designed to operate close to, and break through the sound barrier, about 767 mph.

The meteor was replaced by the 720 mph Hawker Huricane from 1951, and 710 mph Gloster Javelin from 1956.

Gloster Meteor Wiki Page

Solway Museum Meteor

The image below is of the Solway Aviation Museum Engine section. The museum shows the working parts of piston engines, radial engines, jet engines and rockets.

This is a fairly large walk through museum with information on engines, ejector seats, guns, bombs and a lot more.

For more information, and a full list of aircraft, visit the museum website below.

Solway Museum Jet Engine image
Museum Website Carlisle Home Page RS Home Page