A recent visit to the museum at Baldonnel reveals the volunteer work on preserving the Air Corp's heritage continues. A nice collection of artifacts and aircraft have been put together for the visitor to view including the beautifully restored Avro Cadet C7 long with Avro Anson 141 plus many more. What is badly needed is more space to display our military aviation history and some way of getting better public access though this would require investing money not available in the current climate. Meanwhile you can enjoy some photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanair/
Surely some room could be found in Collins barracks for one of each of these, waste in Baldonnell with no real public access, or maybe even some of the open space indoors in the airport. great to see these aircraft restored but pity no real public access
Having them in Collins or the airport would keep them away from the people who actually physically care for them (the techs and personnel of the Don) and would destroy the years of work put in by the excellent Curator, Mick Whelan. A lot of the collection spent years locked away in a shed in the airport and went neglected and unseen for years. The Don is it's natural home.
It's a shame that they cant have something along the lines of the FAA museum at Yeovilton where the museum is part of the airfield but easy for the public to access...
The fact that the Museum hangar is so far within the camp itself is a problem, because it opens onto the active flightline. There was a lot of thought given to sorting out public access, as there is an obvious demand for it but the actual route from main gate to hangar door is a twisty one (no direct route, lots of turns) and right now, the only way in is by escorted tour. Apart from that, the toilet/disabled access facilities required by modern standards aren't there nor is the funding to provide it. So, access is in effect restricted by the geography of the location and not by any unwillingness to show it off.
That's why it should be like Yeovilton where the museum is beside the airfield and can be accessed without having to enter the main base , but still has all the benefits of being part of the airfield..
I know it's not going to happen but as someone said in a film a few years ago... ''Build it and they will come''....
What I said. The Museum is too far within the bowels of the camp to allow direct access from the public road.It doesn't have a means right now of segregating the public from the operational areas of the airfield.All of the buildings that surround the Museum are active and it fronts onto the active ramp area, so it is not easy to have unrestricted access for the general public.
Even if the present museum was open to the public, it would still be very much of "niche" interest and, given Baldonnel's location, I would say visitor numbers would be small. In my experience Irish people are not generally very interested in either military matters or aviation (except to take them on their holidays!). If the Collins Barracks complex could accommodate a larger and dedicated aviation element, that might be a better option.
I didn't even know of the existence of this museum but it certainly good to see so many well cared for exhibits. It would be a big draw with British enthusiasts and the general public - if they knew about it or could access it. Even the poor old National Transport Museum at Howth Castle gets quite a lot of visitors. Definitely a case of 'build it and they will come' and it's projects like this that the clowns in Bord Failte/Failte Ireland should have been backing down the decades instead of rubbishy interpretative centres.
Wow! Never knew it existed
More details please!!!!
Where in Baldonnel us it located? Can one just walk in? What are it's opening hours?
See what you're saying Stove but would you not agree that these historic aircraft deserve a home where can get maximum exposure and where as many people as possible can see them without having to jump through hoops by trying to arrange a visit to the Don, again all credit to Mick and the personnel who work on and look after them.
All the info you need is here... http://www.aviationmuseum.eu/World/Europe/Ireland/Baldonnel/Air_Corps_Museum.htm
Just ring the The Station Commander's office and they will take it from there...
I wonder how many of the empty units in the Greenogue Industrial estate that's just outside the airfield could be adapted to house the collection?
And I bet if there was a shop attached to the museum selling Air Corps memorabilia it could make a few bob to help fund itself...
But this is Ireland where it seems that anything that caters for hobbies that dont involve sport is not worth doing...
I couldn't agree more about increasing access and I know from experience that many, many people would visit if access was easy and it was more widely known. Giving greater public access has already been discussed at length in the Don and even up to Govt level but physically, right now, it's too difficult and too expensive. The Museum contains a lot of stuff that was located in Dublin airport for many years and was neglected and in a lot of cases, ruined by bad storage so at least now, the stuff is well-kept and in a safe home. With maximum respect to the National Museum, they have done a great job with the stuff in Collins' but they are concerned with the National picture and not the Air Corps as an entity. I like the idea of relocating some of it to Greenogue as that is easily accessed and is near to the Aerodrome.You should put it to the OC Air Corps.See where it goes.