Yorkshire Air Museum looks to get off to a flier after months in lockdown

the yorkshire Air Museum is set to celebrate “the wonder of aviation”, which it proclaims as the region’s greatest invention.

The attraction at Elvington, near York, will be exploring aviation from its pioneering days when it opens again this Saturday.

Museum director Barbara George described how Scarborough-born nobleman George Cayley was so inspired by the passenger-carrying hot air balloons of the Montgolfier brothers in France that he defined the principles for a “flying machine” in 1799.

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Cayley blazed a path for 0thers to follow by designing the very first outline of a “conventional aeroplane with fixed wings, a ‘fuselage’ and using the acts of propulsion and lift as individual functions to make it fly”.

Yorkshire Air Museum volunteers re-arrange the main hangar and outdoor display aircraft exhibits. The theme for the Summer will be: Aviation,Yorkshire's Greatest Invention, to celebrate the county's unique aviation heritage, which continues to this day. Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe

His experiments in aviation were guided by his vision of aerial navigation.

This ultimately led to the creation of his full-size glider which, in 1853, made the first man-carrying flight at his family home at Brompton by Sawdon.

Ms George added: “The museum is proud to display a unique replica of this craft which will take centre place in our huge hangar, along with other iconic Yorkshire designed aircraft, such as the Blackburn Buccaneer and a Second World War Halifax Mk III bomber, Friday the 13th, so named after the most successful Halifax, flying from its Yorkshire base at RAF Lissett, near Bridlington.”

The museum explores aviation from pioneering days, including a full-size Wright Flyer replica also built in Yorkshire, all the way through to the thrill of the supersonic age, as represented by the awesome French Dassault Mirage IV, capable in its time of a speed more than twice the speed of sound.

Visitors are urged to enjoy the “amazing aircraft collection and extensive spacious grounds”.

The public can take a stroll around the woodland nature area, discover a tranquil spot in the Jardin des Papillon or enjoy a family picnic on the lawns.

For more details visit yorkshireairmuseum.org.