Tuesday, March 13, 2007

A tad underwhelmed

My passion for 20th century history can occasionally turn a profit, so I was looking forward to a trip to the National Cold War Exhibition at RAF Cosford in Shropshire to put together a piece for an American web publication.
The 8000 square metre 21st century take on an aircraft hangar looks impressive from the outside, and certainly shows up the rest of the museum, which is now looking rather tired. But I'm not sure the designers and curators have grabbed the opportunity presented to them - I certainly came away underwhelmed, and am going to have to pick my words very carefully when writing up the site review.
First impressions? The planes don't add enough to the story. Is this a Cold War exhibition or is it a new way to store historic aircraft? At the moment, it seems to fall between two stools, and falls short of the standards set by the likes of the American Air Museum at Duxford or the Air & Space museum in Washington DC.
Clearly it's early days for the RAF Museum's newest exhibit, but I think it needs more content, more interactivity (all the touch screens lead to the same content!) and more human linkage between the aircraft and the history to really bring it to life.

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