CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Malta Aviation Museum

Sea Hawk

Trainer

Huey

AutoGiro!

C-47

Resting

Parts and rec(lamation)

Venom

Some assembly required

Pistons

Main hangar

DC-3

Dakota

Agusta/Bell

Texas trainer

Guts

'Fix It Again Tony'

G.91

My, what a big nose you have

Just the nose

Smaller jet

Bigger jet

Meteor

Restoration in progress

Night fighter

Aviation rhinoplasty

BAC One-Eleven

Cockpit

Famous Huey

Movie star

Air Battle of Malta Memorial Hangar

Spitfire

MkIX

Spitfire

MkIIA

Recovery

Near the village of Ta' Qali, the Malta Air Museum is a bit of a hidden gem. The de Havilland Vampire you see here, for example, is immaculate. 

For the full story behind this tour, check out Maltese falcons: An island museum full of beautiful aircraft.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

As well restored as the Vampire, this Sea Hawk sits right behind. 

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Looking something like a kids toy, this Link Trainer was pretty cutting-edge for the 1930s.  

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Adjacent to the Vampire and Sea Hawk are a few odds and ends, like this UH-1. 

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Home-built and powered by a VW Beetle engine.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

First flown by the US Air Force in 1944, this C-47 dominates the small hanger, and lends an eerie aesthetic to the space.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

It's awaiting restoration. One of its restored sisters is in another hangar. 

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Pieces of several aircraft, also awaiting restoration. 

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

That's an entire Sea Venom.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Probably not too hard to put back together, right? Sort of like Ikea furniture? 

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

This whole area had parts big and small, including electronics, engines pieces, even an old typewriter. 

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

The main hangar houses the big aircraft.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

A civilian DC-3, in good shape despite its age. 

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

The museum's goal is to fully restore it to passenger airliner spec.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

The tiny Bell 47, made by Agusta in Italy. This example was the first aircraft obtained by the Armed Forces of Malta.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

This North American T-6G Texan served in two Italian flight schools. But that's not what's interesting...

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

The sides are cut away, so you can see the many cables and linkages required to operate the aircraft. 

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Certainly better known for their cars, Fiat, specifically Fiat Aviazione, built aircraft for 61 years before merging with another company to become Aeritalia (which itself merged with other companies to eventually become Leonardo S.p.A.). This is the G.91 fighter-bomber.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

The sleek G.91 flew with the Italian, West German and Portuguese air forces until the mid-1990s.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

The nose of an English Electric Lightning

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Just the nose and cockpit of the EE Lightning, though. In the foreground is a cutaway example of the Rolls Royce Avon that would have powered it. This example was used in Malta for instructional purposes. 

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

In comparison to the Avon, here's a tiny Turbomeca Arriel. It was typically used as a helicopter engine.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Or, to go the other way, here's an Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire, the type of engine that powered many early British bombers and fighters. This particular one once propelled a Gloster Javelin.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

One of three Gloster Meteors at the museum (two are on display).

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

This one is going to be restored and painted to match the squadron of one of the museum's biggest benefactors (who was stationed on Malta when the RAF was here).

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

This Gloster Meteor is the NF.14 night fighter variant. 

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

It's easy to tell the NF.14s because of their extra-long nose.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Most air museums can't fit entire large aircraft, so they show the interesting bits. This is the nose from a BAC 1-11. The museum also has an engine from the same plane.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

What's cool is you can go inside. So many dials. A far cry from today's glass cockpits, like the one in the Cirrus Vision Jet.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Though stripped out, this Huey has had a long, interesting life. It served in Vietnam, the first Gulf War, and Alabama's Air National Guard. And then it became rather famous...

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Apparently it was used in "Munich," "Tropic Thunder" and eventually, "World War Z," which was shot here in Malta, where the chopper stayed.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

The last hangar commemorates the Air Battle of Malta with a Spitfire and a Hurricane, both with ties to Malta.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

This MkIX Spitfire flew in the North Africa Front of WWII before being stationed on this very RAF base, taking part in Operation Husky to take Sicily. 

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

It was then stationed in Sicily and the Italian mainland before coming back to Malta in 1945.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

This MkIIA Spitfire was built in 1941 and was delivered to Malta in May or June of that year.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

It briefly flew off the carrier HMS Ark Royal. Before dawn on July 4, 1941, after what is assumed to have been an engine fire, it crashed at night. The plane, and sadly, the pilot, Sgt. Thomas Hackston, were lost at sea.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

50 years later, the plane was found by a diver. Sgt. Hackston's sisters were still alive and were glad to learn the fate of their beloved brother. The aircraft was recovered from the sea and painstakingly restored. 

For the more about this lovely museum, check out Maltese falcons: An island museum full of beautiful aircraft.

Caption by / Photo by Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
Up Next
Which Canon dSLR?
16