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Sri Lanka Air Force Museum

The Sri Lanka Air Force Museum is the foremost museum in the country that provides a comprehensive understanding of the history of the Sri Lanka Air Force, right up until the present day. Boasting of many hangars; possessing a great many aircrafts, both old and new, along with flight simulators, a research library and even exhibits depicting aviation technology that has led to the rapid advancement of aeronautics in the country, the Sri Lanka Air Force Museum proves to be the perfect stomping ground for the aviation enthuse.

Best Known For

  • Being one of the premier military museums in Sri Lanka, the museum is famed for boasting a great many artifacts that go all the way back to the days of the British colonial period, in which it heavily contributed to the Allied effort, during the Second World War.
  • Coupled with a hub dedicated to the study of the developments in the aviation industry of the country and the world, along with a flight simulator, the Sri Lanka Air Force Museum will certainly delight many a traveller.

Interesting Facts

  • The existence of the museum came about in 1993, when the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) took the initiative to preserve artifacts and aircrafts that depict the history of the country’s aviation industry, along with the history of the SLAF.
  • However, it was in 2008 that the museum underwent a modernisation programme, with Air Chief Marshal W. D. M. R. J. Goonetileke spearheading the initiative.
  • Ever since, the museum has acquired a great many exhibits and has opened new facilities to showcase the contribution of the SLAF, since its inception in 1951.
  • At present, the museum complex consists of a main hangar and 3 other small hangars, along with a great many outdoor exhibits and a knowledge hub for researching the aviation industry.
  • The main hangar consists of a collection of vintage aircraft used by the SLAF since its inception. Some notable mentions being the de Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk and the de Havilland Tiger Moth.
  • The first of the small hangars, Hangar No. 1 possess the past and present of the SLAF, along with documents and images that showcase the milestones of the aviation industry in Sri Lanka.
  • Hangar No. 2 houses general exhibits which have been used by the SLAF during the past years, up until the present. These include weapons, small armaments and uniforms utilized during the years.
  • The last of the smaller hangars, Hangar No. 3 showcases the different types of vehicles used by the SLAF, including exhibits that were used when the military wing was under the Royal Air Force (RAF).
  • 2 of the most notable vehicles being the car used by the first commander of the SLAF, Air Chief Marshal Harry Goonetileke and the bullet proof car used by former President R. Premadasa.
  • Apart from the hangars, there are a great many outdoor exhibits scattered throughout the museum complex that display the more recent history of the SLAF, such as the more modern jet fighters like the Kfir C2 and wreckage from successful engagements against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) during the 3-decade long Civil War.
  • The HS 748 Avro Aircraft simulator is another noteworthy outdoor exhibit, as it is possible to experience how it would feel like flying over the skies of Colombo.
  • More recently, in 2013, the modernising programme has introduced a new facility within the complex, dedicated to the field of educating the masses more efficiently and provide opportunity for researchers to access necessary material easily.
  • Further enticing the aviation enthuse, is the souvenir shop that possesses a number of unique souvenirs and gifts to finish off the visit to the museum in style.

Times, Seasons and Tips

  • The national aviation museum in Sri Lanka is open from Tuesday to Sunday and operates from 8.30am to 4.30pm. Do note that the museum is closed on public holidays.
  • If you are the aviation enthuse looking to delve into Sri Lanka’s aviation industry, then it is best to visit the museum just after it opens, since the afternoons can get quite cluttered with other visitors and could be an impediment to your visit.
  • Go ahead and climb aboard the aircrafts on display to gain the best experience, however, be mindful that these are museum pieces for a reason. Therefore, it would not hurt to be careful too.
  • Please keep in mind that there are clearly demarcated areas that are restricted to the public, along with strict rules on photography and videography.
  • However, do inquire from the staff about the photography restrictions and they will be happy to explain what can be photographed.
  • After perusing through the exhibits, do take the opportunity to visit the souvenir shop too, as it sells some intricately crafted miniature scale models of the aircrafts still in service and decommissioned too, making it a perfect end to that memorable visit.

In conclusion, the Sri Lanka Air Force Museum, boasting artifacts of great historic importance pertaining to the country’s aviation industry and the military arm, this national aviation museum serves to be the perfect establishment.

Title image by: Sri Lanka Air Force Museum The information displayed is provided by Sri Lanka Air Force Museum

Tickets

Local Adults
LKR 100
Local Children
LKR 25
(LKR 5, if in an Educational Tour with School)
Foreign Adults
USD 10
Foreign Children
USD 3

Tickets At

Type

Culture and Heritage

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