Malta Aviation Museum
Malta has a very historic connection with military aircraft. The island’s geographical location in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, situated between Italy and the North African coast meant that it has always been an important place throughout history.
The military significance of Malta became readily apparent during the Second World War, as both the Allied and Axis forces realised that the island held a vital strategic position that could affect the outcome of the war.
During the Second World War there were airfields located at RAF Hal Far, RAF Takali (known locally as Ta’Qali), RAF Kalafrana, RAF Luqa, plus a dispersal at Safi.
Currently, the only airport remaining on Malta is the main International Airport at Luqa, also the home of the Armed Forces of Malta.
The old RAF airfield of Ta’Qali was located in the centre of Malta, and was used by the RAF until the 1950’s. Ta’Qali itself (pronounced Ta’Ali, because the “Q” in Maltese is usually silent) is now the location of the National Stadium, and also is home the Malta Aviation Museum. A visit was arranged here in March 2015, and our host was the affable and knowledgeable Ray Polidano who had agreed to show us round. The museum is located just to the south of the National Stadium, and is extremely well signposted and easy to find by car. Public transport (buses) is a very popular way round on the island, and there is a nearby bus stop.
The main display hangar is quite a substantial building, with plenty of space in to house even very large aircraft. At the centre is a Douglas DC-3, and spread throughout the hangar are aircraft with various historic associations with Malta.
The outside storage area near the Nissen huts holds some larger artefacts that don’t fit inside the workshops, including two HP Hastings nose sections, recovered from a Maltese scrap yard.
The final exhibition area is the recently constructed Air Battle of Malta Memorial Hangar which proudly houses their fantastically refurbished Spitfire and Hurricane, as well as the recently restored Tiger Moth. Also in here is a recovered Fairey Swordfish, as well as a Piper Grasshopper that is being restored.
Our thanks to Ray Polidano for taking the time to answer our questions and guide us through the museum.
An up-to-date list of Museum residents is available on EuroDemobbed
Museum contact e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Museum website URL is www.maltaaviationmuseum.com