A MUSEUM’S new vision has taken flight after a multi-million-pound redevelopment project.

The Army Flying Museum, in Middle Wallop, closed in November 2018 but reopened to the public on Monday (April 1).

Layout improvements and exhibit additions have propelled the museum into the 21st century following months of hard work from contracts, staff and volunteers.

Chris Munns, chief executive officer, said: “This is an important milestone and a testament to all those that have helped with the planning of the project and the excellent support that we have received from the volunteers.

“Once you get inside you will notice the difference straight away.

"The museum has been completely re-laid so that it is in a much more logical order.

“There are new graphic panels, new aircraft and an attack helicopter visual audio display that’s going to run every hour, which is fantastic.”

The newly-added aircraft include an Islander and Agusta A109, which are on display for the first time having been brought out of storage.

Film footage and never-before-seen pictures have also been added thanks to installation of around 180 new information panels.

The £2.59million revamp was made possible by a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £1.59millon as well as £900,000 of the museum’s own funding.

Project planners began their work by identifying the key groups to whom the museum redevelopment should be tailored.

Those groups included families, schoolchildren, members or the army air corps and military and aviation enthusiasts.

Museum curator Susan Lindsay said: “We then went through a consultation period. That gave us a really clear story on what visitors wanted to see.

“One of the things we have really tried to do is add personal stories.”

Another key feature of the redevelopment was the expansion and modernisation of the museum archives.

The museum possesses a unqiue record of army flying exploits, but the previous archive had outgrown its space making access difficult.

“We have shifted the archive to the ground floor,” added Susan.

“It’s had a massive impact on how we are managing that resource.”

Other improvements include a new look Explorer’s World area for children, featuring a dressing up station and soft play area, plus a refurbished education centre to enhance the museum’s Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM) offering to schools.

The museum also has hopes of adding another very special exhibit, subject to the outcome of a gifting application.

“We do have a gifting application in for an Apache so we are mentally doing the planning to accommodate that,” said Susan.

“It’s going through the process but be honest it’s out of our hands. As soon as we know it will be information we will be disseminate very quickly.”

Various events are planned for the coming months, starting with a visit from Zephyr, the Army Air Corps mascot, on Friday. Craft activities will then run throughout the holiday period, with an Easter egg hunt over the Easter weekend.

Tickets for the redeveloped museum are £14 for adults, with discounts for students and senior citizens, and £8 for children. Those under the age of five visit for free.

For more information and details on upcoming events, go to armyflying.com.