On the 4th December 2014, the Claude Grahame-White Factory at the RAF Museum Hendon re-opened to the public after being temporarly closed on the 3rd March 2014 as a new exhibition called 'The First World War in the Air' was constructed over the summer period. The majority of the large exhibits in the Factory would remain but the replica Vickers Vimy was moved to the RAF Museum's Reserve Collection in Stafford. With the aid of a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £898,558, the Grdae II listed building was prepared to tell the story of the part the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service played during the conflict leading up to the Centenary of the merging of the RFC and RNAS to form the Royal Air Force on the 1st April 1918. The exhibition was officially opened by Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh who is the Museum's patron and runs until the 31st December 2020.
I quite like what they have done in here. Photography wise, there is a bit more access to some of the aircraft and exhibits, with a ramp up to the cockpit area of the Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.8, and different views of other First World War aircraft that were once just sitting on the ground and now hanging from the rafters. I did notice that all the hanging RFC aircraft are heading in one direction towards the Fokker DVII which is in turn heading towards them. The Drawing Office, on the first floor, is now open to the public although a few period drawing boards and equipment would have been more appropriate than a few tables with period drawings of aircraft and parts scattered on them. The Drawing Office does give you acces to a balcony view looking out across the hanging aircraft and down into the factory area. The lighting conditions appear to be about the same as before although there are now spotlights picking out details. There are mannequins in some of the cockpits but rather than being dressed up in period costume, their overall grey appearance gives them an almost ethereal and ghostly like appearance of aviators long gone. One annoying thing is the rather loud noise of engines and gunfire, coming from a moving map display on the floor between the hanging Camel and Fokker DVII. It's at shin height and ouch if you hit it and I nearly tripped on it as I was looking up to compose a shot on the Camel. I can imagine little children running around on top of it chashing the aeroplanes moving about on it.
Hand held with a Sony A7s/Sony E16-35mm f4 ZA OSS T* wide angle lens,
manual settings with a small 54x LED light panel used in flash mode.