MAY 10 2021 marks the 80th anniversary of a key moment in the history of an unusual object on display at a flight museum.
Fast-forward through 80 years of mystery and conspiracy to 2021, where one of the engines is on display in The National Museum of Flight‘s Military Aviation hangar, on loan from the board of trustees of RAF Museum.
Rudolf Hess, Hitler’s right-hand man, was rumoured to be flying to Scotland to meet the Duke of Hamilton after the pair originally met at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games.
However, when Hess’ plane crashed in East Renfrewshire, he was subsequently arrested and later convicted at the Nuremberg Trials, and the real reason for the visit was never uncovered.
Ian Brown, Assistant Curator of Aviation at the National Museum of Flight, said: “80 years ago to this day Rudolf Hess’ aircraft appeared in the skies above Scotland, before crash-landing in the East Renfrewshire countryside.
“Rumours suggest that Hess hoped the Duke of Hamilton would help him achieve peace between Germany and Britain, and some believe that more secrets may come to light on the 100th anniversary of the incident, when official files are no longer closed.
“However, what we can be certain of is that we are fortunate to display an object from one of the most unusual events of the Second World War.”
Steve McLean, General Manager at the National Museum of Flight, added:
“The engine belonging to the aircraft carrying Rudolf Hess is one of the most thought-provoking items on display at the Museum.
“It is a popular object due to its rich history and we love sharing with our visitors details of the mysterious events that unfolded that day 80 years ago.”