Aerospace museum to open in Bristol this summer
This summer will see the launch of a brand new museum, Aerospace Bristol, offering a fascinating insight into Bristol’s aviation history. Featuring the Concorde 216 (pictured below right), the last Concorde to be built and the last to fly when it was landed for the final time at its birthplace at Filton Airfield in 2003, visitors will be able to get up close and personal with this great feat in engineering.
“For many decades there has been an ambition to create a museum to recognise and celebrate the achievements of Bristol aviation industry”
The museum will also celebrate the achievements of more than one hundred years of aerospace design and engineering at the museum’s location at Filton Airfield.
To find out more, we caught up with the museum’s Executive Director, Lloyd Burnell (pictured right in main image above), who tells us: “For many decades there has been an ambition to create a museum to recognise and celebrate the achievements of Bristol aviation industry and, over time, a group of enthusiasts established a heritage collection of Bristol designed aerospace products.
“This start was given further impetus by the return of Concorde 216. Since then, there have been plans to find a fitting home for Concorde at the place where the supersonic passenger jet was designed, built and tested.”
Adventures in aviation
With Bristol and the greater South West already known around the globe as a hub for aerospace design and engineering, and it being home to world-leading companies including BAE Systems, Airbus, Renishaw and Rolls Royce, it’s no surprise that Filton Airfield was chosen as the location for this brand new museum.
- You may like: RAF names new plane ‘City of Bristol’
Check out the location and the Concorde 216 being welcomed into Filton Airfield back in February:
Lloyd adds: “Since the British and Colonial Aeroplane Company was founded here in 1910 there has been more than a century of continuous aerospace production on this site. It is this story of Bristol’s aviation heritage that is told in the museum and the location on Filton Airfield is an integral part of that story. The main exhibition is housed in a grade II listed hangar, built in 1917 and originally used as an aircraft acceptance park during World War One.
“Aerospace Bristol will take visitors on a journey through more than one hundred years of fascinating aviation history”
“Concorde 216 will be the museum’s stunning centrepiece, but there will be much more to enjoy. Starting in the earliest days of flight, Aerospace Bristol will take visitors on a journey through more than one hundred years of fascinating aviation history. Your journey will take you from the pioneering early days, through exploring the vital role Bristol played in two world wars, journeying over the drama and technological advances of the space race, and on to the modern day, where you will discover the latest technologies of today’s aerospace industry.”
The museum has received generous financial support to get to this point, from founding partners BAE Systems, Airbus, Rolls-Royce, South Gloucestershire Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund. It has also received support from the likes of Bristol City Council, the West of England LEP, GKN, Renishaw, Viridor Credits and The John James Foundation. However, with £2m still to raise, the team is now asking individuals to offer their support and donations. There are a few ways to do this – you can even support the museum by ‘naming a seat’ on the Concorde 216!
- You may like: Five drone startups to watch out for in 2017