Real Studios is creating two new permanent exhibitions at the National Museum of Flight Scotland.
One of the galleries will tell the story of the NMFS’ home at East Fortune air base, in East Lothian, while the other will look at the science and mechanics of flying.
Alistair McCaw, director of Real Studios, says the consultancy was appointed in June 2007 following a four-way pitch. Real Studios had previously worked on the Imperial War Museum’s Air Space exhibition at Duxford, Cambridgeshire.
Alex Hayward, project director for the NMFS, says the exhibitions are the result of ‘very strong steers’ from visitors. He says the museum has seen a huge influx of customers since the opening of the Concorde Experience, which features the first Concorde used by British Airways.
He says, ‘We were very keen to learn what these visitors wanted from us. We found out they wanted to know more about the East Fortune site, which has an amazing history, and also about how planes fly – we don’t fly our aircraft, we’re more interested in preservation.’
Real Studios is creating Fortunes of War, set in an old Nissen hut, which tells the story of East Fortune, a scheduled ancient monument which is one of the best-preserved World War I and World War II air bases in the UK.
McCaw says, ‘There will be displays, clothes and items from key personalities, and some interactivity, with audiovisual displays and mixed media.’
The exhibition will be laid out like a military planning room, and one of the interactive displays will allow visitors to track submarines across a grid using three co-ordinated airships.
The second exhibition, Fantastic Flight, will be housed in an old workshop. McCaw describes it as ‘very interactive, with lots of hands-on, sit-in things’.
Following the opening of the two shows, Real Studios will start work on a display to house the front section of a Boeing 707. Hayward says this gallery is set to open at Easter 2010. There are further plans to develop the museum’s Cold War exhibitions and open a new building.