Main Exhibition Hangar
27th September 2011 - A new hangar was inaugurated at the Malta Aviation Museum today in a ceremony which saw two vintage aircraft - a Tiger Moth biplane and a DC-3 Dakota, perform a low flypast over the former airfield of Ta'Qali, where the museum is located.
This evening's ceremony was presided by President George Abela, who congratulated the museum for the work it is doing to promote Malta's aviation heritage.
"The new hangar opens the museum's doors to growth" Ray Polidano, the pioneer of the museum said as he welcomed guests.
This evening's ceremony was attended by Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism and Culture - Mario de Marco.
The new hangar, which is 54 metres deep, cost some €345,000 to build, with 80 percent of the funds coming from the European Regional Development Fund.
The new hangar, built opposite the Air Battle of Malta hangar, is the new home for a DC-3 Dakota which is undergoing restoration, a Bell 47G helicopter, the first aircraft of the AFM, a Birdog, which was the AFM's first fixed wing aircraft, two jet fighters from the 1950s - a British Meteor and an Italian Fiat G91, the front section of a Lightning, one of the earliest supersonic fighters, and the cockpit section of a BAC 1-11 jetliner. The Tiger Moth, restored to flying condition by the museum last year, will also be moved there. Arrangements are being made for the 'Moth' to be able to use part of the remaining Ta' Qali runway to be able to land and take off.
The museum is now spread over three sections, with a Spitfire and a Hurricane at the heart of exhibits in the Battle of Malta Hangar, an old Nissen hut housing a section on naval aircraft including a Sea Hawk, Vampire and Sea Venom, and the other aircraft in the new hangar.
Mr Polidano said completion of the project will now enable the museum to focus on its aircraft restoration projects, which include completion of the Hurricane and a much needed boost to the restoration of the DC-3 which will feature the colours of Eagle Aviation, which used the type on air services to Malta in 1952.
The museum is also hoping to restore a Dragonfly helicopter, the first rotary winged aircraft to fly from Malta, in 1947. A longer term project is the restoration of a Swordfish biplane torpedo bomber.