Prior to visiting Aeroscopia, we'd had a look around the fence of nearby Ailes Anciennes as we thought it was closed on Sundays (it's advertised as being open on Saturdays and the afternoons of Tuesday to Friday), but on finishing at Aeroscopia, we noticed that the entry gate was open and this museum was indeed open. What a bonus this was!
First the bad news - this is not a glossy all-singing, all-dancing supermuseum like Aeroscopia; and it would be advisable to keep excitable children close at hand as there are no barriers and plenty of potential hazards.
Now the good news - the collection is absolutely wonderful; a true treasure trove of wrecks and relics from the unique e.g Breguet Sahara and 941S, SO6025 Espadon fuselage and Mirage III in 50th anniversary markings; to the more regular museum fair e.g Super Sabre, Vampire and Hunter. All of the exhibits are outside and it is quite cluttered as the site is fairly small, but it's sensibly laid out, especially the line-up of fighters and trainers close to the fence. I particularly enjoyed the 2 Nord Noratlas', the Caravelle, the Vautour and especially the Breguet Sahara Deux Ponts which has been under restoration for some years.
We were also treated to a personal tour of the small Cap Avenir Concorde exhibition which in on two levels in part of the main restoration building. The gentleman who spoke with us here didn't speak English, and we don't speak French, but for about half an hour we were treated to his enthusiasm and knowledge of Concorde and left with the shaking of hands and a couple of Concorde A4 prints. What a lovely experience.
Ailes Anciennes is really inexpensive (6 euros) and worth every penny, and you will receive a folder of information on each aircraft to take around with you which I found far more useful and interesting than I had thought it would be. Very highly recommended.
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