While many aircraft museums present their aircraft as gleaming restoration projects, and while they also have their share of that, the Wings Museum in Sussex displays many of their wrecks as recreations of the specific crash sites they were salvaged from.
Previously housed at RAF Redhill, the Wings Museum is now tucked away in old barn on a pig farm in the middle of the Sussex countryside. Run by a dedicated group of volunteers, the museum tracks down World War II airplane wreckage and painstakingly recreates each crash site in a diorama complete with faux plants and soil. In addition to the dioramas, visitors can step inside an original Anderson Bomb Shelter as well as the C-47 Dakota used in HBO’s Band of Brothers to experience what it would have been like to be a paratrooper on D-Day. Each of the displays has been collected by the museum’s group of volunteers who seek out wrecks and collect the remnants themselves.
However the most hard-hitting exhibit may be the V-Weapon Room which, alongside recovered components of the flying bombs, chronicles the Dora slave labour camp that built the infamous V2 Rockets that rained down across England.
The “gift shop” is also not to be missed. For only a couple of quid, you’ll be able to purchase sections of plane wreckage, engines parts, and even bullets complete with certificates of authentication detailing the crash site and those who lost their lives on board.
Visit England withAtlas Obscura Trips
London Science Weekend: Medicine and Science in the Press
Join New York Times Journeys and Atlas Obscura for three days of scientific learning, special access and exploration in London. Accompanied by Times journalists and scientific experts, meet people contributing to the history of medicine and scientific journalism. This two-track program includes panels, exclusive visits and access to some of the best scientific minds available to concentrate on science reporting or medical history.