The Royal Air Force Museum London, commonly called the RAF Museum, is located on the former Hendon Aerodrome, with five major buildings and hangars dedicated to the history of aviation and the Royal Air Force. It is part of the Royal Air Force Museum, a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Ministry of Defence and a registered charity.
The museum was officially opened at the Colindale (then part of Hendon) London site on 15 November 1972 by Queen Elizabeth II. The hangars housed 36 aircraft at opening. Over the years, the collection increased, and aircraft not on display at Hendon were stored or displayed at smaller local RAF station museums.
The first Director of the Museum was Dr John Tanner, who retired in 1987. In 1988, Dr Michael A. Fopp (who had previously directed the London Transport Museum) was appointed Director General of all three sites operated by the Museum. Retired Air Vice-Marshal Peter Dye replaced Fopp as Director General on 9 June 2010. In October 2014, it was announced that Maggie Appleton was to be appointed as CEO of the museum. Appleton took up the new role in January 2015, a departure from the traditional role of Director General which was held by Peter Dye until his retirement in late 2014.