Boscombe Down Aviation Collection (BDAC) is somewhere I’ve heard about but never been too. Located closer to my family than myself, it’s somewhere I always said “I need to go there” at some point. When the opportunity arose to go from a relatives home to there (an hour instead of four hour drive) I decided it was a must.
Arriving at the show the staff/volunteers said that they were running out of parking. Luckily with my miniature vehicle I was able to squeeze in but others were sent to other units I believe. This was taken as a good sign however – the show had clearly drawn a crowd!
Entry to the show costs the same as it would if you were to enter the museum alone, so you get a 2 in 1 really. The musuem entrance is lovely and is essentially a little themeatic piece taking a flight to Boscombe Down.
The museum itself consists of a hanger which is split into two with a small room in the middle with uniforms and memorabilia situated alongside written histories and articles. I didn’t spend a lot of time here as I was somewhat conscious of my 3.5-4 hour drive home, but it seemed information packed and genuinely cared for by volunteers and staff.
The aircraft were kind of hidden by the show which means if you’re going for premium photos this probably isn’t the best day. However, it is a fantastically packed experience. A lot of venders at the show with some of the most reasonable and non-exploitative pricing I’ve seen at a show. I got myself a few grand bargains that I’m really excited for.
The displays are put in front of museum pieces and it is somewhat tight in some situations. In particular there was one trade in a narrow passage leading to Cotsworld models which was clogged up when I first tried to pass. It’s sort of just the reality of a model show in this sort of building, and it is perfectly fine considering the beautiful aircraft on display – a unique backdrop for any show.
The displays themselves are shown in the video at the top of the article, but some pictures are below to help you see some of my favourites.
Overall this show is smaller than what I’ve experienced at other shows, with a significantly higher vendor to model stand ratio than I’m used to – but for the venue itself, for cosy atmosphere, and general friendliness – it’s definitely one of the most relaxed shows I’ve ever been to.
I’d highly recommend going if you’re close or fancy a half-day show. It’s not going to take the entire day to walk round…but then you have the museum to use up the rest of your time. Outside this year was also a remote controlled tank group which was a joy to hear.