The Aviation Museum of Malta...

...we visited back in 2014

When my eldest daughter and her now husband chose to get married on the island of Malta back in 2014, it meant my wife and I also had the opportunity to visit the George Cross island.  While one day was rather busy thanks to the wedding going on, the days around that while we were there gave an opportunity for one or two visits to places of interest.
Takali was the site of one of the vital airfields on this small island where the RAF flew from against attacks from both Italian and German aircraft during WW2.  The other main airfield at Luka is today the international airport, while Takali, having been used by the RAF even after the war, is now a Craft Village, a large sports stadium and home to the Aviation Museum of Malta.  We made use of the Malta bus service to get around, and having checked the bus route that passed closest, I asked the driver if he could let us know the stop closest to the museum.  Having driven past one sign pointing to it I asked again and was told to sit down and that he would tell me when.  Having followed the route up to the walled town of Mdina, we came down again and in driving along the road, the bus turned off the road down a narrow road, clearly off the normal route.  Twisting through some small roads within the Craft Village, we found ourselves stopped right by the entrance to the museum, much to the mystery of some other passengers I think.  Even the driver got off to chat to someone before resuming his route!  That was some rather special Customer Service we hadn't expected.
The core museum building is two large, conjoined Nissen huts with the small shop and entrance kiosk.  In one half are a couple of restored jets, a Vampire and a Supermarine Attacker along with some display cases and engines.  Behind them are some excellent model display cases and then a store room of a dismantled Venom and other assorted spares in need of some TLC.  The other half of this building has a Dakota with all the wings off, a Lodestar and a Huey, all awaiting restoration when we visited.
Moving on to the second, and largest building, there is a hanger with a good variety of aircraft and in a variety of conditions.  A nice Fiat G91R (the reconnaissance variant), a Bird Dog, a Dakota with the main wings in place, though missing the tail planes, a Bell Sioux, a couple of Meteor variants and the cockpit section of a Lightning.  Other items in here were a little Flying Flea, a Commer runway control caravan and a nicely restored David Brown tractor (as in the Airfix kits).
Then there is another even newer hanger, which contained a Spitfire, Tiger Moth and Hurricane along with the dismantled remains of a very dilapidated Swordfish that they plan to restore, a Bedford QL refueller and a very nicely done example of the British Airborne Jeep complete with cable reels mounted on the front.  Between the two hangers you will find two small buildings, one containing vending machines for drinks and snacks and just behind that a small chapel.
When we were there it was baking hot and clear blue skies.  A very nicely presented collection and well worth the visit.  If your other half needs some convincing to visit another museum collection, then they may be persuaded by the lure of the delightful collection of business in the Craft Village, which is found in the adjacent buildings, all of which appear to be the old Nissen hut style buildings from when it was an RAF airfield.  Here there are a couple of glass making businesses, where it is fascinating to watch the glass blowers at work on some beautiful designs and a couple of Jewellery makers as well among the variety of craft shops you can find here.  All in all well worth the trip to see.

 

Robin