The Aviodrome in Lelystad in the Netherlands calls itself a Luchtvaart Themapark – an “Aviation Theme Park”. You can definitely spent as much time as in some parks on the Lelystad grounds – you might , however, miss the roller coasters if you take the theme park thing too seriously. The Aviodrome is sometimes also called the National Aviation Museum of the Netherlands. Sounds promising? Here are more reasons why I feel that the trip to Lelystad is a good option.
Aviodrome – Location & Admission
The Aviodrome is located South of the runway of Lelystad Airport. As far as I got, the museum has really been used for charter flights, but is nowadays just used for general aviation. It is located a some ten kilometer drive away from Lelystad City center. The Aviodrome is located some 50kms East of Amsterdam. There is a local bus connection, but you will likely go there by car.
The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday, from 10:00 to 17:00 hours. Adult admission is 15.95 Euro if you pre-book online. The price at the door is 17.95 EUR. The museum is accepting the Museumkaart. There is a daily parking fee of 7.50 EUR. However, we could park for free there: the parking is identifying guests by their registration plate – however, they did not program the system in a way that it identifies German licence plates.
Aviodrome – Indoor Exhibits
After entering the museum, you can either visit the indoor or the outdoor part of the exhibitions. Some parts of the documentation are in Dutch only – but as the language is quite close to English (and German), you will find your way around. There was also quite some volunteers, who were very friendly and helped in case of questions. We first watched a show about the fascination of aviation called Skymania before we headed to the exhibitios.
The indoor exhibition space has recently been restructured and gives a lovely overview of one hundred years of Netherlands (aviation history). Thereby, the museum is concentrating on civil aviation. From some points, you have a nice view over the whole exhibition – but overall, it is split into different section, which are done with a lot of details and quite a bunch of flight models. Very early in the exhibition, you of course run into the story of Anthony Fokker and his famous Dutch aviation company.
There are a lot of models, but also originals, which tell you the history of Dutch aviation. It also touches important influnces like The Red Baron, the German Manfred von Richthofen. Visitng this part of the exhibition is a lot of fun.
In this section of the museum, there is also a flight simulator, which was closed during our visit due to hygienic measures. However, this did not really decrease the fun of our visit – there were quite some planes and cockpits you could visit and have a look into.
Lockheed L-749 – The Superstar at Lelystad
There are so many interesting planes at the Aviodrome – but finally, nothing beats visitng the Lockheed L-749 Constellation. Being able to step into this piece of aviation history was indeed the highlight of my visit. The plane is in quite good condition, so that it has really been fun to explore it.
Dutch Civil Aviation Companies and Aerospace
The last sections of the indoor exhibition especially focus on Dutch aviation companies – not just Fokker and KLM, but also franchises like Transavia or Martinair.
In one section of the museum, there are also some quite interesting exhibits on space flight – Lelystad used to host the National Aerospace Museum as well.
Aviodrome – Outdoor Exhibits
In addition to the indoor space, the outdoor exhibition features a couple of aviation highlights as well. Unfortunately, just a few planes like the not too well-preserved Antonov An-2 can in fact be visited from inside. There are a couple of interesting planes like a Fokker 100, a DC-3 and others.
Around the indoor exhibition space, there are also a few military jets. The museum also features a second indoor exhibition space, Hangar T2, which was unfortunately closed during our visit. Among others, it features a Douglas DC-2.
The Queen of The Skies
One of the highlights for many visitors is a Boesing 747-206B(M) SUD, i.e. the 747-200 in the combined version (you can use it for freight flights as well as for passenger transport with the stretched upper deck. The plane with the registration PH-BUK is fully accessible in general – however, they could not allow you to visit the upper deck and the cockpit due to Covid-19 restrictions. The plane served KLM from 1978 to 2003 and is named after Louis Bleriot. You could access it by the staircase and leave it via the gangway.
Aviodrome – Historic Schiphol Terminal
More than just a hidden gem ont he outside grounds is a replica (original size) of the historic terminal of Amsterdam – Schiphol airport. To me, it was definitely the highlight of the visit, as it gives a very realistic overview of civil aviation in earlier days. Especially the departure hall with the different routes offered on a large board, but also a lot of historic memorabilia, was really amazing.
Aviodrome – Services / Food
There is a lot of space outside, where you can sit and relax or watch your kids playing at one of the playgrounds. In the reception area, the Aviodrome is also offering a snack bar, which really served nice food. They had a very well-working social distancing concept, making use of one of their conference rooms onsite.
Of course, right before leaving the museum, you can stock up your aviation souvenir collection by some posters, planes – or buy a captain’s cap for your younger ones. On the whole grounds, the staff was very welcoming.
Aviodrome – Gallery
As I feel the Aviodrome is very special place, I added 320 major size pictures to the travel galleries:
Aviodrome – My View
The location of Lelystad Airport feels a bit remote, but once you made it, you will have a great day at the Aviodrome in Lelystad. It is a great overview of aviation history in the Netherlands, but by that also tells a lot of aviation in other parts of Europe. No matter if you are an aviation buff or travel with your kids to Lelystad, you will have a great time there!
Here are all postings about museums concentrating on aviation:
Here are all places I visited in the Netherlands, which accept the Museumkaart: