Welcome to the Royal Air Force Museum Laarbruch - Weeze e.V.
1400hrs. to 1700hrs May - Sept: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday Oct - April: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday Winter break: Mid December to end FebruaryEntrance fee
Adults - €3
Children under 15 years - free
Guided tours for groups by appointment
Rod Hawkins +49 2832 70158
Heinz Willi Knechten +49 178 1356324
RAF Museum Laarbruch-Weeze e.V.
Germany's first and only Royal Air Force Museum, invites you to a trip down memory lane, through 45 years of Royal Air Force presence in Laarbruch, Weeze and the Lower Rhine area.
The museum was first opened to the public on June 3rd 2007.
The aim of the museum is to document the history of the former military airbase Laarbruch. The former St Peter`s Church has been renovated for this purpose, and now contains a large selection of exhibits including two aircraft cockpits (Canberra T4 and Buccaneer).
An English Electric Canberra PR7 is on display since March 2016. The museum is attempting to purchase more types of aircraft that were stationed at Laarbruch.
Recently purchased towards the collection is a Hawker Hunter T.7.
Photograps of it's arrival can be viewed below in the following slideshows.
Click/tap on the "Slideshow" buttons below to view the slideshow
"Royal Air Force (RAF) Museum Laarbruch – Weeze e.V." was founded on the 30th of January 2006 in Weeze. It is a non-profitmaking organisation, and is registered as such in the Register of Associations in Geldern.
New Executive Board since April 13, 2018
(Foto (c) Steve)
Left to right: Hal Palmer, Marianne Goossens, Steve Freienstein, Cilly Hawkins-Grüterich, Rod Hawkins, Manfred Beckers, Horst Gaulke, Reinhard Janssen, Mark Moodie, H W Knechten
Missing: Dr. Bernd Ahlbrecht and Wacky Knechten
At the General Meeting on the 22nd of April 2016 the following members were elected to form a committee:
|Chairman||Heinz Willi Knechten, Weeze|
|Vice Chairman||S/L Rod Hawkins MBE RAF(Rtd.),Kevelaer|
|Treasurer||Cilly Hawkins-Grüterich, Kevelaer|
|Secretary||Horst Gaulke, Weeze|
|Vice Secretary||Marianne Goossens, Weeze|
|Assessor||Dr. Bernd-Rüdiger Ahlbrecht, Kevelaer|
|Assessor||Manfred Beckers, Geldern|
|Assessor||Steve Freienstein (Hill), ex RAF, Goch|
|Assessor||Reinhard Janssen, Weeze|
|Assessor||Franz-Josef Knechten, Weeze|
|Assessor||Mark Moodie, ex RAF-Police, Nieuw-Bergen,NL|
|Assessor||Hal Palmer,Well, NL|
News and Press Articles
News Articles: Click/press on the on the blue/yellow bars below to open and close.
HEATH LANDSCAPE BECOMES NATO AIRFIELD
The exhibition "HEIDELANDSCHAFT WIRD NATO-FLUGPLATZ" ("HEATH LANDSCAPE BECOMES NATO AIRFIELD") in the Royal Air Force Museum Laarbruch-Weeze e.V. was opened on 4 May. This exhibition gives a clear picture of how Laarbruch was built from the ground within a year.
Bicycle tour follows the airplane crash sites
Every year tens of thousands of visitors come to the Lower Rhine for cycling tours. Weeze is preparing a new route with Dutch municipalities. Photo: yes/KK
WEEZE: There will be three so-called crash routes across the border. They will connect points where machines crashed during the Second World War. The municipality of Weeze is also involved in this project.
By Sebastian Latzel
The Royal Air Force Museum in Weeze deals with aviation accidents in the history of the airport. Further information is sought.
The team at the Royal Air Force Museum is meticulously researching the history of the airport. At the same time, however, it also keeps an eye on other events in the region. Over the past two years, a small working group at the museum has been investigating the plane crashes that took place around Weeze during the Second World War. 15 accidents have been recorded so far. In addition, there are four reports about aircraft in Kevelaer and five in Goch, for which it is not clear whether they crashed in Weeze.
RAF-museum seeks grave location WW II pilot
The Royal Air Force museum Laarbruch is busy locating the war grave of the Dutch RAF pilot Frans van Eijk, who was shot down on 14 February 1945 with his Spitfire from Weeze and then crashed in Hees. The fallen pilot was buried shortly afterwards near the place where his Spitfire had crashed. If you have any information or questions, please call Dr. Bernd-Rüdiger Ahlbrecht +49 172 391 6359.
In the meantime, the RAF pilot has found his rest at a cemetery in Gouda, with 'Hees' mentioned on his headstone as the place of death.
It is regarded as one of the most beautiful fighter planes: Hawker Hunter T7. In months of work, the volunteers of the Royal Air Force Museum have assembled a specimen. In spring it should look like it did in the 70s.
Städtisches Gymnasium Goch
We visited the Royal Air Force base or rather the museum which informed us about the history of that place. The museum took us on a trip through 45 years of Royal Air Force presence in Laarbruch, Weeze and the Lower Rhine area. The aim of the museum is to document the history of the former military airbase.
Hawker Hunter T7
Flip book presentation on the Hunter T7 progress.
Germany Highlights 'Forgotten Base' As RAF Celebrates Centenary
Insights into 100 years Royal Air Force
Weeze On the occasion of the anniversary of the British Royal Air Force, there was an open day at the museum at Laarbruch Airport. Numerous exhibits commemorate the official and private life of the soldiers and airmen on the base.
That this hall was once a cinema can only be seen in a few rows with folding seats. Of the former 360 places, at most a quarter are still available. It smells of the past and of metal and oil. In the middle is a semi-assembled aircraft, the Hawker Hunter T7, a British photo reconnaissance aircraft from the 1950s.
The Royal Air Force Museum Weeze-Laarbruch recently acquired the giant steel bird and will soon be enriching the collection as another historical testimony to the Royal Air Force of Great Britain, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.
On the occasion of this round birthday, the museum in Laarbruch organized an open day. Numerous visitors saw the documents from 100 years of RAF and at the same time 45 years presence of British soldiers in Weeze. Ejection seats, gala uniforms, historical film footage and a multitude of relics of military history presented themselves to the viewer. "Above all, we would like to show how the RAF soldiers helped shape life in Weeze. Occupiers and protectors became friends," emphasized Reinhard Janßen of the museum's board of directors, which also officially calls itself the "Museum for Peace and Friendship".
It was therefore not the first time that a group of six members of the Association of Reservists of the Bundeswehr, Rhine-Ruhr District Group, visited Laarbruch. "We support the museum, which both shows the remains of the Cold War and documents the growing friendship between Germany and Britain," said Mark Olaf Janssen, chairman of the reservist group. They brought along two examples of the Mercedes "Wolf", a liaison vehicle that is still in use today, and the "Hercules" motorcycle, which is now "out of service" and historic.
A German-Dutch group of re-enactors had set up a field kitchen for the British army in the outdoor area under the area of another photo reconnaissance facility, the English Electric Canberra. René Westendorp and André Maske also showed some (deactivated) weapons. The RAF soldiers, who were stationed and lived in Weeze from 1954 to 1999, also played football at TSV Weeze, which is proven by a collection of player passes from that time. And they went to their cinema, which had both a spacious stage with orchestra pit and a well stocked bar, which gave the museum visitors the very special English pub feeling. A "Slingsby Swallow T45", a historic glider, hung beautifully restored on the ceiling, reminding us that the RAF pilots also did gliding in their spare time.
"Some soldiers married German women, not a few Dutch, because they spoke English better," says Rod Hawkins, who served in the RAF for 40 years, 32 of them in Germany. Among others, he flew the "Phantom" and the "Tornado" as navigator. He also has a German wife and now lives in Kevelaer. He supports the museum as a member of the board. The "Hawker Hunter", which is currently being assembled by the Technik Group in the cinema, was discovered by Hawkins in the British Lake District from a private person. The special exhibition on the 100-year history of the 31st season of the RAF in military containers presented visitors with impressive testimonies of battle and war that made the viewer think. A handwritten log book from 1926, an edition of the "Sunday Times" from 2.6.1935 and medals that have lost their glory. "Not only the former soldiers visit us, but also their children and grandchildren. And of course many Weezer, because the RAF in Laarbruch is part of our history," said Heinz Willi Knechten, Chairman of the Museum Association.
RP Online article
CDU District Association
CDU District Association visited the Royal Air Force Museum
On the weekend, the Kleve Cultural Days uncovered something hidden for the 20th time. A short trip to three of 30 sites.
Granted: At the very beginning, the Kleve Cultural Days Circle was a big deal. There were bus shuttles to the museums, a major central event in Moyland and lots of visitors. Over time, the format has shrunk, but there are still around 30 cultural institutions that open their doors to visitors free of charge, at least some of which offer special events.
So let's go to places that are unknown to the rapporteur, at least in their function. First stop: The Royal Air Force Museum at Weeze Airport. What awaits you? First of all: a lot of people. A lady from Witten was eating asparagus in Walbeck, explored the area, came across the museum and has now organized a bus tour for 65 people to Weeze. "This happens more often here," says Maria Schmitz, who sits at the reception. Like her, her husband is an honorary member of the museum association. On days like these, they experience that their efforts are worthwhile. Dietmar Schmitz thanks for the interest by the way with a serenade on the bagpipes - fitting to the Scottish uniforms, which can be admired in the museum.
There is a lot to see anyway - from real airplanes to numerous models, frighteningly real looking dolls in uniform, photos, maps, weapons and boards to the long, eventful history of this place. You can see how the ejection seats work - within less than two seconds, the body size is temporarily compressed by four centimetres as a result of the pressure, researchers have found. The barracks church and cinema have become a museum, connected by additional containers with all kinds of exhibition material. Even the ten-year-old daughter found it totally exciting. In a reconnaissance aircraft like this, however, she would only sit in the seat that flies out first.
Visit by Stefan Rouenhoff
Photographs of the museum visit by Stefan Rouenhoff (a member of the German Parliament in Berlin) who was accompanied by Weeze Mayor "Ulrich Francken," along with members of the museum committee. The group photograph shows from left to right:Newspaper article:
Dr. Bernd Ahlbrecht (assessor), H W Knechten (chairman), Rod Hawkins (Vice Chairman), Stefan Rouenhoff (Member of Parliament), and Ulrich Francken(Weeze Mayor).
28 April 2018
John Reid's mother gave a short speech.
Link to article: Commemoration of victims of IRA terror in Weeze
28 April 2018
Memorial service at RAF Laarbruch Museum Memorial Service Slideshow
05 April 2018
Museum Guide May 2018 [Anzeige / Advert]
05 April 2018
03 April 2018
Historical tour extended by six information boards
Hawker Hunter new at RAF Museum Laarbruch-Weeze
01 April 2018
Flypast: Hunter duo delivered to Laarbruch museum.:
Two Hawker Hunter exhibits have recently arrived at the RAF Laarbruch Museum in Germany.
02 March 2018
RAF Museum is now open again.
28 February 2018
RAF museum re-opened.
28 February 2018
How an aircraft is created.
07 February 2018
Cold War Sentinel (RAF Laarbruch Museum).
27 January 2018
What are they hunting?
27 January 2018
27 January 2018
Fighter jet lands in the cinema.
27 January 2018
26 January 2018
Fighter jet lands in the cinema - Friends of the Royal Air Force Museum Laarbruch have bought another plane.
26 January 2018
25 January 2018
New aircraft for the RAF Museum.
5 January 2018
Weeze witnesses urgently needed.
5 January 2018
The Spitfire of Brückerhӧfe.
30 December 2017
In the latest issue of the British Flypast (February 2018, but since yesterday in trade) our museum is represented with a four-page article. Rod spared no effort to draw the editor's attention to our museum. Great article, which hopefully will bring us more visitors. Have fun reading.FLYPAST Article
See bottom of news/press section for all article downloads
From India To Germany: RAF Squadron Celebrates 100 Years Of History
29 April 2017
A permanent exhibition telling the story of one of the Royal Air Force’s oldest squadrons has opened in Germany, because no suitable home could be found in Britain.
31 Squadron saw action in the Second World War along with more recent conflicts in Iraq.
Enthusiasts now run a museum there dedicated to the memory of RAF Laarbruch, and it is where the 31 Squadron Association has now chosen to showcase its history.
The Squadron has been in almost continuous existence for the last 100 years, and still exists today in its home in Marham in the UK.
The Royal Air Force left Laarbruch eighteen years ago but a museum ensures they are not forgotten.
Air Commodore Paddy Teakle has opened the new permanent exhibition in celebration of his old squadron.
"The Squadron itself has a pretty illustrious history," he said.
"It was formed in India and for the best part of 85 years served overseas, of which Germany was the rump of that."
31 Squadron flew the Canberra from RAF Laarbruch between 1955 and 1971.
However, the decision to make Laarburch the main showcase of the squadron's history has not pleased everyone.
Bill Farmer, chairman of the 31 Squadron Association, said:
"Unfortunately, not all of our members were happy with the idea of coming out of Britain.
"A lot of them are getting quite elderly and travelling out here is not the easiest thing in the world for someone in their late eighties."
The 31 Squadron exhibition fills three shipping containers – appropriately 31 metres long.
At one end there is a biplane from the squadron’s beginnings in India in 1915; at the other is a nose cone representing Tornado GR4s that saw action in the Gulf and Iraq wars.
In between: a century’s worth of military history.
RAF Museum Laarbruch on Forces TV - The Royal Engineers Recreating 1970s Forces Social Life
27 Feb 2017
The Astra Laarbruch used to be a forces cinema, but now it’s being developed as an extension of Laarbruch’s Royal Air Force Museum.
Former Royal Engineers of 10 Field Squadron are to do the work.
A display reflects the unit’s role at Laarbruch repairing runways and supporting Harrier jump jets.
Volunteers have kept the Laarbruch museum going for ten years and it keeps expanding.
A section devoted to 31 Squadron will open at the end of April.
A Hawker Hunter will soon be on permanent loan from a Berlin air museum and in a few months, 10 Field Squadron hope to open a recreation of the bar that existed there during the 1970s.
United Kingdom Community Club Goch
17 Dec 2016
20 members of the UK Community Club in Goch visited the RAF Museum Laarbruch on 17 Dec 16. Cilly and Rod Hawkins had made small refreshments and cake with tea/coffee which was greatly appreciated. The club is the social centre for the service personnel working at the NATO CAOC in Uedem and their families. Grp Capt Howie Edwards presented the museum a large donation and the museum was happy to receive. Thank you.
At the same time a large number of original plans for the Goch camp and houses were handed over for the archives. These will be sorted and viewed later.
Extraordinary Museums in the Lower Rhine Area
30 June 2016
A new book from Sutton Publishers tells us about interesting and extraordinary museums of our region..
One of these museums is the Royal Air Force Museum Laarbruch.
A double page gives interesting and informative details like opening times and web address.
Photos are showing a recent photo of the newly arrived Canberra and the Bloodhound.
The book can be bought from bookshops or Amazon for 14,99 Euro.
We do have some books for sale at the museum. (Special price for members.)
RAF Museum Laarbruch on Forces TV - How An RAF Museum Is Expanding And Conquering
9 June 2016
The only Royal Air Force Museum in mainland Europe is about to get a little bigger.
Royal Air Force Laarbruch may have closed 17 years ago but the memory lives on.
One of the air base's churches now houses a permament exhibition reflecting four and a half decades of RAF history.
It hold a collection that until now has filled two buildings - but is about to expand significantly.
A museum housed in shipping containers has arrived from RAF Marham in Norfolk.
it tells the story of 31 Squadron, which spent nearly half its 100-year existence in Germany.
It’s why 31 Squadron Association wanted Laarbruch to be the display’s permanent home.
10 Field Squadron, whose job was fast runway repair, are also to be represented.
However, the star attraction is a Hawker Hunter, a single seat fighter based at another RAF base in Germany during the 1950s.
The intention is for the new museum to continue to expand further, so if you know of any artefacts linked to any RAF base in Germany, they’d love to hear from you.
3 minutes on TV: http://forces.tv/30921004
31 Squadron Association History
30/31 May 2016
On Monday 30th May, the three containers showing the 100 years of history of 31 Sqn arrived at Royal Air Force Laarbruch Museum.
They had been loaded on lorries at RAF Scampton on Friday. The lorries had used the weekend for the travel across the Channel.
On Monday morning, after the mobiole crane had arrived, the unloading was accompanied by thunder and lightning and really heavy rain.
The work had to be stopped for about an hour because of the dangerous thunderstorm overhead.
Everything went well in the end.
The rest of the day and Tuesday was used by Terence P O'Halloran, charman Bill Farmer and the other members of the association to prepare the containers for the exhibition.
An official opening will follow later this year.
10 Field Regiment - Royal Engineers
28/29 May 2016
10 ex members of 10 Field Squadron, Royal Engineers, visited the RAF Museum last weekend to create an exhibition to show that it wasn't just the RAF that were based at Laarbruch.
In a corner of the former station cinema, the ASTRA, they built a "Harrier Hide" showing interesting photos, exhibits and even video footage to explain their trade.
Each and every item they transported from UK to Laarbruch. Thanks a lot.
In the photo: Pete Frost, John Hyndman, Tony Krasij, Petra Zanelli, Rick Axon, Geoff Purvor, Stephen Paddy Feenan, Tony Zanelli Goch und Edward Briggs.
North Weald Flying Group flying Visit
14/15 May 2016
Six aircraft from North Weald Flying Group, plus one aircraft from Biggin Hill, visited the museum on Saturday 14 May 16.
After a lunch and fuel stop in France (no lunch available) they arrived at Weeze airport at 1500hrs.
A quick refuel for aircraft and body with good handling by the airport they arrived at the museum; all 19 of them.
They thought the museum was very interesting and well presented. They overnighted in Weeze with a group evening meal.
(photo on the left by Dick Smith)
After breakfast on Sunday they had a guided tour of the airport and the former military facilities before they departed to the UK; via Mitten Zeeland for fuel stop.
A full trip report can be seen on their web page (once it is published).
North Weald Flying Group
Successful working weekend
30 April 2016
On the last weekend in April, many dedicated local museum members gave the ASTRA ceiling finishing touches and other necessary works were carried out. For the work on the theater ceiling a particularly suitable working platform was hired from the company Boll, Kevelaer.
Friday Morning eight am: The first members became familiar with the technical details of the machine. In changing teams Bernd Ahlbrecht, Michael Feldmann, John Goossens, Wacky Knechten, Dick Smith and Rod Hawkins worked directly on the ceiling or the floor. Meanwhile, the glider Slingsby Swallow was assembled in the open space in the cinema. After finishing the ceiling the Glider is to be fixed in the near future to the roof structure and fly above the visitors, as if it were on the landing approach.
In the grounds Brian Bremner and Mark Moodie were busy on Saturday morning with the foundations for the ISO containers which will soon be arriving displaying 31 Squadron history. Bruno Schmitz and Rod Hawkins had already done the basic work the preceding week. For moral support Manfred Beckers made coffee and provided pastries on both days.
The completion of the ceiling was a bit faster than expected. Thus, the platform could also be used to trim some branches off the tree in front of the museum entrance.
Thanks to all the members for the work of this successful weekend.
Some pictures of the action can be seen here, some unfortunately somewhat blurred because of the lighting conditions in the cinema.
Royal Air Force Museum Laarbruch on Facebook
16 March 2016
There are lots of Laarbruch related groups on Facebook. Thanks to these I was able to gather lots of facts, stories and photos.
From today there is a special Facebook site Royal Air Force Museum Laarbruch-Weeze e.V. set up by me.
Some Facebook groups: "We love Laarbruch" - "Two Rivers Gliding Club" - "RAF Laarbruch - BFPO 43"
Canberra PR7 - WH773 - Update
29 February 2016
On Friday 26th Feb the wings were loaded on the lorry at Gatwick. To do so they had to be cut. On Monday they arrived at Laarbruch. A huge mobile crane lifted the parts from the lorry. The inner part of the wings with the fuselage were mounted on Monday. The rest of the work will be done till the end of the week.
15th March 2016 - The assembly of the big parts showed good progress. Details will take another few days.
The painting of WH773 in ist original 31 Sqn colours will be done in the near future, weather permitting.
More news will follow. Slideshow
Canberra PR7 - WH773 - returns to Laarbruch
25 January 2016
Canberra PR7 - WH773 – once again and for the last time in the air above Laarbruch before being grounded permanently.
Monday, January 25, 2016: At half past 9 the first of two trucks with the vintage aircraft arrived at Royal Air Force Museum Laarbruch. Shortly afterwards the mobile crane arrived, and the engineering team led by Konrad Josten took on the job. Several Museum members had come to help or to watch.
First, the two guns (the Bofors and the Iraqi ZPU) had to be moved a few metres. The vacant space between the museum building and Astra cinema was the position for the Canberra.
The assembly of the wings with their enormous wingspan of 20 metres will have to wait awhile, as we’re in need of the space for further improvements.
So about 13:00 hrs the job was done. Even without the wings, the Canberra is an eye-catcher.
Konrad Josten and his men have done a great job. And we know they will continue to work successfully with the assembly of the wings in a few weeks’ time.
About the English Electric Canberra PR7 with the serial number WH773
The reconnaissance aircraft (PR = photo reconnaissance) has quite a history. It was the first PR7 built. This aircraft’s first tasking was to take part in the specially formed New Zealand Air Race Flight whilst attached to 540 Sqn at RAF Wyton. The flight was headed up by Wg Cdr Lewis Hodges, and Sqn Ldr Bob Currie was the senior navigator for the RAF Canberra crews. WH773 was collected by Wg Cdr Hodges and Sqn Ldr Currie from the English Electric Factory at Salmesbury on 11 Sep 1953 and taken to Wyton. Hodges and 773 arrived at London Airport on 3 Oct 1953 for the build up to the air race. WH773 was to be Canberra Number 1 of 5.
WH773 set off on the air race at 1735 on 8 Oct 1953 heading for their first fuel stop at Shaiba, and then on to Negombo. They set an official speed record for the London to Colombo leg of 10hrs 25 mins (836.004 kmh/520 mph/452 kts).
They then pressed on to Perth and were well in the lead, but sadly a double generator failure cost them precious time. They eventually reached Christchurch New Zealand in the early hours of 10 Oct 1953 and were placed fourth, though they had the fastest flying time of 22 hrs 22mins from London to Christchurch New Zealand. The winning Canberra PR3 was crewed by Flt Lt Burton and Flt Lt Gannon – that aircraft - WE139 is in the Hendon Museum. WE139 was stationed at RAF Laarbruch as well (69 Sqn).
Late 50s, early 60s Canberra WH773 joined 31 Squadron stationed at Laarbruch from 1955 to 1971. In Germany, WH773 would have been flying low-level tactical recce missions. In 1972 Canberra’s were phased out. New aircraft types were to take their place. After several other stations WH773 was sat at Gatwick Aviation Museum, just south of London for a number of years. This museum had to restructure its collection and had to dispose of this Canberra.
Thanks to all the sponsors whose donations made it possible for Royal Air Force Museum Laarbruch to move the aircraft to Laarbruch.
Bagpipes for Peace
28 November 2015
Pietro Malaguti, an Italian Piper and photografer, asked all pipers worldwide via Facebook to blow the song Amazing Grace at 15 hrs GMT (16 hrs German time).
He said: After the tragic Paris facts, against all wars, against violence, against terrorism, hatred. Turn your "instrument of war" into an "instrument of peace" for a while!! Saturday 28th November 2015 at 15:00 GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) pick up and blow your pipes, wherever you are, and play all together AMAZING GRACE, a hymn to peace and love. It has been written for salvation and hope.
Facebook shows what happened:
Dietmar Schmitz, member of Royal Air Force Museum Laarbruch Weeze and successful piper, known as Firefighterpiper, really wanted to take part in this worldwide happening.
On Saturday he was on duty in the museum. That way he could use the Anglican church as an appropriate location for the tune.
More than 500 pipers worldwide have turned this into a very successful event. Documented with numerous texts, photos and videos on Facebook. Plans are to repeat this performance every year at the same date and time.
Firefighter Piper Dietmar Schmitz
Unusual visitors at Royal Air Force Museum Laarbruch
13 October 2015
It's not an everyday job when a group of 13 Chinese visit Royal Air Force Museum. Background was the visit of a Chinese military delegation at the Lower Rhine. After the arrival of the Chinese Air Force Boeing 737 at Airport Weeze the high ranking members of the delegation were taken by bus to their destination at the German Luftwaffe Kalkar.
The 11 crew, among them two nice stewardesses, used their spare time for a guided tour at Royal Air Force Museum Laarbruch. Not all of the visitors could speak and understand English. An interpreter was able to help in most cases.
The guestbook was signed with strange Chinese letters.
A plaque of "China Air Force" was presented the museum at the end of the visit.
2016 Calendar now on sale
11 October 2015
The 2016 calendar has the motto "Canberras at RAF Laarbruch". It shows many photos of an aircraft that belonged to RAF Laarbruch for many years.
It was in service from 1954 till 1972 and used in different roles as reconnaissance aircraft, bomber and interdictor with various squadrons.
The calendar can be purchsed in the museums shop for only 5 Euros.
Relatives of Canberra Crash Victims visit Royal Air Force Museum Laarbruch
6 September 2015
On October 5th, 1971, a few minutes before 11 a.m., Canberra B(i)8 fighterbombers of 16 Squadron, RAF Laarbruch, were flying towards Xanten along the Rhine River. Heading for Lüttingen, WT366 stalled. The pilot bunted the Canberra to avoid a crash in the middle of the village. The aircrew deliberately choose the consequences knowing they would not be able to escape.
The aircraft crashed 150 metres behind the last houses of Lüttingen. Both aircrew lost their lives.
In 2011 the Heimat und Bürgerverein Lüttingen had put up a memorial to honour the crew: Pilot Flying Officer Keith R. "Sonny" Holmes and his Navigator Flight Lieutenant Christopher W. King of RAF Laarbruch.
On 4 September 2015, nearly 44 years after the crash, relatives of the victims were able to visit the memorial. Wendy Holmes from Canada (pilot's sister) was there with her husband. Lorna Marsh und Patricia Young, sisters of the navigator, had come from the UK. Together with Ludger Rodermond (member of HBV Lüttingen and Royal Air Force Museum Laarbruch) they unveiled the newly designed memorial. Photos of the two victims had been put on the plaque.
Vanessa und Steve Freienstein (photographer) had asked the relatives to visit Royal Air Force Museum Laarbruch. So Wendy, Lorna and Patricia were once again at the base where their brothers had started their mission. After the crash they had been invited to the funeral and the remembrance service.Fatal crashes - RAF Laarbruch
Siedlerbund (Settlers) donate for Royal Air Force Museum
A few weeks ago the Deutsche Siedlerbund Weeze visited Royal Air Force Museum Laarbruch and had a guided tour.
Richard "Dick" Smith, member in both communities, had laid out a nice coffee table outdoors.
Now the chairman of the settlers, Helmut Stehr presented the museum with 100 Euros. As a surprise he even handed over a box of original English scones.
(Photo by Steve)
New church window in St. Peter's - now Royal Air Force Museum Laarbruch
30 July 2015
New church window in St. Peter's - now Royal Air Force Museum Laarbruch
When the Royal Air Force closed in 1999 in the Church of England church were three leaded windows.
One window, the choir window donated in 1990, was lost and the museum had no idea where it went despite enquiry.
An English sponsor offered to pay for a new window to be made and it is now finished and fitted.
The motive of St Peter is in the top left corner and in the bottom right corner is a harp.
New access control at Airport Weeze
30 June 2015
How to get to Royal Air Force Museum Laarbruch?
In case you want to visit Royal Air Force Museum Laarbruch you might ask yourself: How do I get there?
Do I have to pay the 2 Euro parking fee?
NO - you don't have to.
The Royal Air Force Museum Laarbruch has an agreement with the airport: Our visitors may use the parking lot behind building No 7, now "Cova" building.
There are four lanes leading to the barriers and the pay automats.
Those who want to go to the museum, take the left lane.
It's a bit confusing as it says "EXIT".
But this lane leads straight through the roundabout.
Then turn right immediately behind the white COVA-building, Nr 7.
Park your car. Only a few steps across the road and you're at the museum.
For the visitor who might be a bit handicapped and even the few steps across the road are too much:
Pay 2 Euros like every visitor to the airport does.
You are then allowed to park directly in front of the museum.
The 1 h parking time limit doesn't apply to you.
Motorcyclists and cyclists don't have any problems. They will know how to find the entrance.
The Canberra PR7 with the serial WH773 now belongs to Royal Air Force Museum Laarbruch (permanent loan).
20 June 2015
Thanks to the generosity of a British donor (31 Sqn Association Member) Royal Air Force Museum Laarbruch now has this historic aircraft.
For the time being the reconnaissance aircraft is still at its previous location at the museum Gatwick / Southern England.
The aircraft has to be dismantled and transported to its former base Laarbruch.
Dismantling, transport and reconstruction will be a complicated and lengthy procedure.
Our schedule is to transport the aircraft by the end of November, beginning of December to Laarbruch. As soon as possible the Canberra is to be assembled at its future location between ASTRA and Museum building.
In spring club member Martin Kunz will begin the painting of the Canberra in the original painting scheme of 31 squadron.
End of this week we will start with the preparatory work, e.g. the fence will have to be moved a few meters. Helpers are always needed and welcome.
In addition, we are still working on the project "Hawker Hunter". It would be a shame to miss this opportunity. This aircraft is still at the Luftwaffenmuseum Gatow near Berlin and Royal Air Force Museum Laarbruch is supposed to get it as permanent loan. We have to organize and finance the transport. To house the Hunter (as well as the glider “Swallow”) the ASTRA-cinema needs to be prepared. A lot of work!
Therefore, we depend on financial support of many donors. Several museum friends have already expressed their willingness to help with donations. (Some already have.)
We would very much appreciate any other donations.
We now ask you to transfer the promised amounts to the Museum account (purpose of payment: Canberra).
British donors please use the UK bank:
RAF Laarbruch Museum
Lloyds Bank Canterbury
Sorting Code:- 30-64-57
Account no.:- 36287368
Classic Car Rally - Museum
14 June 2015
The Friends of historic automobiles, organized together with the "General asparagus Club" from Monchengladbach, Krefeld and Dusseldorf, a classic car rally, this rally then took advantage of a well-timed pit stop / stop over by Royal Air Force Museum Laarbruch.
During this welcome break members of the club had the opportunity to fill in a short questionnaire. But to answer these questions, the members had to first walk through the museum and view our numerous exhibits. After the tour they had the opportunity to relax, have a light snack and enjoy just sitting around the Royal Air Force Museum.
Outside the museum, our visitors where offered a magnificent image of numerous classic cars parked next to each other, classic names such as Triumph, Porsche, Fiat, Mercedes, Bentley, Citroen, and lotus. In total, nearly 50 vehicles were present, thus giving off a colourful and spectacular image …. Thus an ideal opportunity to talk shop & make photos.
(English text by Mark Moodie)
Renovation Astra Cinema
Bit by bit we are moving forward with the renovation of the ASTRA cinema. In the meantime after a lot of time and energy the foyer has now been turned into an special exhibition room showing "70 years after B.100". Further all of the defective and no longer usable cinema seats have been removed to the back of the auditorium. With the removal of these seats, this new space will be used to exhibit a proposed airplane and also the glider of the Two River Gliding Club.
The company Gable & Strack had generously provided us the use of a platform (scissor lift) free of charge, with this we were able to install new ceiling panels starting at the rear of the cinema and finally covering about 2/3rd of the ceiling. Over the years the paint work on the ceiling has flaked off and thus fallen to the ground just like snow, eventually covering all of the seats, now that all of the seats these have been removed it is now clean and tidy, the intention being that for the front section of the auditorium to return the good seats and place them back so that you have a seating section for roughly 100 persons. In this area we will show films from the Royal Air Force and other related / cultural films.
(English text by Mark Moodie)
Uniform for Royal Air Force Museum Laarbruch
The Twinning-Club Weeze - Watton had a lot of visitors on Whitsuntide.
24 May 2015
And it was a nice event for Royal Air Force Museum Laarbruch as well.
Robin Rose, treasurer of the Watton Club, took the opportunity to present the museum with his old RAF uniform.
It's the mess dress of a Chief Technician. The rank is shown by three chevrons below a four-bladed propeller, golden in the case of a mess dress.
The uniform will be on exhibition in the museum.
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Free parking at Royal Air Force Museum Laarbruch
- For the "normal" museum visitor, an agreement has been made with the airport, according to which a parking space behind the COVA building may be used free of charge for the duration of the museum visit.
- Four lanes lead to the barriers and pay points.
- If you want to visit the museum, take the left-hand lane, which is somewhat confusingly called the "exit".
- It goes straight through the roundabout.
- Directly to the right is a white building with a large 7 and the lettering "COVA."
- Immediately after this building you turn right.
- From the car park it's only a few steps across the street to the museum.
Picture sequence:7 / 97: Here again the back view from behind the museum entrance to the parking lot.8 / 98: Everyone pays 2 Euro at the barrier. But you have one hour of free parking. If you have paid and the visitor's car is only parked at the museum (i. e. not on P1 or P2), then the visitor can also take advantage of the museum's full opening hours from 2pm to 5pm.9 / 99: Road map route1 / 91: New access regulations at Weeze Airport - How do I get to the Royal Air Force Museum Laarbruch?2 / 92: Take the “Straight ahead lane” marked on the left, even if it says “Exit”.3 / 93: The museum is located on the right-hand side, but the museum visitor can save the 2 Euro by staying in the left lane.4 / 94: Turn left past the pay points, pass the white house with number 7 and turn right immediately behind it.5 / 95: Drive into the parking lot behind the house.6 / 96: Then a few more steps across the street and you are at the museum entrance.
Heinz Willi Knechten
RAF Laarbruch Museum
Chairman and webmaster
Tel: +49 (0) 178 1356324
Sqn Ldr Rod Hawkins MBE RAF (Rtd)
RAF Laarbruch Museum
Lindenhoher Weg 11A
Tel: +49 2832 70158