Singapore Air Force Museum Review Essay

Earlier this year, after bringing MY for the preview of RSAF Open House at Paya Lebar Air Base, we couldn’t resist hopping over to Singapore Air Force Museum to check it out.  After all, it was like right down the road.  And which mother (of boys especially) would turn down a visit to an AIR FORCE MUSEUM that it’s in her face, right?

C’mon, just look at the CARPARK!  How awesome are those planes up there? MY’s squeal of excitement, “Mama, look look! Aeroplane! Ha Ha Ha! So many aeroplanes!” was like music to my ears.  Because that’s what awesome moms do.  We bring our boys to the AIR FORCE MUSEUM and get them all freaking excited over dangling planes.

The moment we got off the car, MY dashed towards the big plane at the entrance and kept jumping up and down, asking me to take a photo of him, and I was like, I CANNOT take a photo of you while you keep jumping around non-stop??

Then he ran down to what I think was a GBAD (a term I came across in the museum later on) and started waving to me like, “Mama Mama, here! Take a photo of me!”

When we were done in the CARPARK (yes, we were still in the carpark), we headed into the museum proper.  Or rather not so proper.  Because I think we went in from the exit, and found ourselves at the outdoor gallery.

MY found an airplane that he could climb up to (but not climb into) and obviously he ran up and asked me to take a photo.  As usual, he jumped up and down in excitement and both me and the guy on duty were like, “WOAH WOAH WOAH… NO JUMPING! DANGEROUS!” So he finally stood still and posed for a proper photo.

We went around checking out the exhibits at the outdoor gallery which were super cool.

I think this outdoor gallery is supposed to be at the END of the museum so it was meant to be like the highlight of the museum.

After we were done with the outdoor gallery, I asked the guy on duty where is the rest of the museum exactly? Because this can’t be all there is? And he directed me to the other side of the building and we had to climb up the stairs to the second floor to get to the indoor galleries.

So what you saw before was the outdoor gallery.  The indoor section of the museum had 5 galleries.  The galleries were revamped last year and re-opened in September 2015, so they were rather new.

The 5 galleries were:

  • Gallery A: Taking Flight – Our Heritage
  • Gallery B: Scaling New Heights – Our Capabilities
  • Gallery C: Beyond Safeguarding our skies – Our Peacetime Operations
  • Gallery D: Above All – Our People
  • Gallery E: Air Force Insights – Our Stories’

Okay, to be honest, I didn’t realise there were 5 galleries when I was there.  To me, it was just one big indoor gallery.  It was only after I saw their website that I realised there were 5 galleries.

As you would expect, the museum started with the RSAF (Republic of Singapore Air Forces) story, from its beginning to what we have now, and how it developed along the way.

While there were prints of photographs over the years, considering this was a revamped gallery, of course we needed to have touch screens where you could swipe right? Any gallery opened since iPads were invented had to have a screen for people to swipe.

There was an interactive exhibit, but MY was too short to reach it, so we skipped it.

As we moved along, we came across a jet engine and MY was absolutely intrigued by it.  I suspect because of the futuristic lighting.

Moving on, we saw some headphones and MY couldn’t resist putting them to his ears to listen. I frankly cannot remember what was said because, well, this visit was 4 months ago and my memory is just super bad like that.

Next, we found this ultra cool game that up to 3 players could play.

Each player could choose between one of the three roles for a missions: Pilot, C3 (command, control and communications) or GBAD (ground based air defence).  Man, those acronyms.

Anyway it was all too complicated for MY, so he just went around to check out the exhibits by the side.

We passed by a window that looked out to the outdoor gallery. See? I told you we got the order all wrong.  Pretty sure we were supposed to be here BEFORE we reached the outdoor gallery and we would be like, “Wow! Look at all those planes! I can’t wait to go there!”

Anyway I believe this area was made to resemble an airport control tower.

We then came across a set-up of a Hawker Hunter, which was RSAF’s first combat-ready fighter jet.

And then we walked past some creepy mannequins.

And we came to a big screen showing a video on RSAF’s peacetime operations.

And more headphones for you to listen in to learn more about the different roles in the RSAF.

We saw another game with an Xbox-style controller, but again, it was too complicated for MY and we passed.

And before we left, we saw a section dedicated to the Black Knights which we have all come to love after their amazing SG50 aerial displays and flypasts at National Day Parades.  I’m sure they do much more than those of course.

And last but not least, there should be a flight simulator.  But when we were there, there was a sign that said they had moved the flight simulator from the museum to the RSAF Open House.  It should be back home by now.  Not sure if it’s the same one as the photo below I took at RSAF Open House, but even if it wasn’t, probably something similar at least?

After exiting the indoor gallery, we also came across a theatrette where they had video screenings.  We didn’t get to watch any of the videos due to lack of time.

On the whole, I felt the indoor galleries were better for older children, maybe at least 8 years old to be able to fully participate in the games available.  However, younger children will definitely love the exhibit in the outdoor gallery and maybe the video screenings.  Admission to Singapore Air Force Museum is FREE, so no harm popping by with your kids when you’re in the area!

Singapore Air Force Museum Visitor Information:

Address: 400 Airport Road, Singapore 534234

Map:Click here for google map location

Getting There:

  • Bus 90 from Toa Payoh MRT (NS19)
  • Bus 94 from Eunos MRT (EW7) – NOT available on Sundays & Public holidays

Opening Hours:

  • Tuesday to Sunday 8.30am to 5.00pm
  • Closed on Monday & Public Holidays

Admission: FREE

Contact Number: 64618507

Official Website:Homepage

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THE AUTHOR

Queen Bee

A mom of two boys who can't sit still. SAHM, WAHM, WM... Been there and done all that. Definition of parenting is bringing the boys out for 'experiential learning' in Singapore, Japan and wherever else in the world life takes her.

Singapore’s Air Force Museum: Feel Free To Explore This With High Interest

Singapore’s Air Force Museum

If you grew up wanting to be part of Saving Private Ryan, Pearl Harbour, or Top Gun, the Air Force Museum brings back all the kid-like memories you must have forgotten. Certainly, the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) did a pretty phenomenal job in turning this museum. From its inception at Changi Air Base on 1 September 1988 to what it is now in the compound next to Paya Lebar Air Base, you’ll be (air)blown away by a number of original artefacts and interactive media found here. Not only are the engaging hands-on experiences fascinating, the aviation-related exhibits on display also are very educational, good for all ages.

With three levels, galleries and amenities are spread out strategically. Without any rigorous air force training, you can effortlessly peer into the cockpit of a vintage two-seater TA-4S Skyhawk plane, or perhaps see a genuine Rolls-Royce Avon MK-100 engine? 

Level One is all about the outdoor gallery of helicopters, missile systems, plane engines, and real planes. Don’t forget to find French-built Alouette III helicopter, which was one of eight which formed the RSAF’s first helicopter squadron in the 1960s. Pretty damn cool, I assure you.

Level Two is indoor and air-conditioned. All about galleries related to: Taking Flight, Scaling New Heights, Beyond Safeguarding Our Skies, Above All, and Air Force Insights. Too cool to see: RSAF uniforms from the past till the last they noted. Okay, the cooler one: the multimedia touchscreen where you can play around the aircrafts of RSAF. Okay okay, the coolest one: it’s for you to find out through these pictures here, yes?

Best to visit during the afternoon slowdown weekends, because it gives you that full visibility without the crowd. You’ll certainly appreciate how Singapore is so passionate about protecting and instilling safety and security for its homeland, and this level of patriotic passion is inspirational. Now, is it time to enroll in a crash course on helicopter driving? :-)

Address: 400 Airport Road, Singapore 534234

Opening Hours: Tue – Sun 8:30 A.M. – 5:00 P.M. (Closed on Monday & Public Holidays)

Official Website

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