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Village Features

A glimpse of aviation history

Posted on December 28 2018 at 12:04:14

concorde

Kingfisher Probus Club recently enjoyed a day trip to Bristol Aerospace Museum, writes Malcolm Shine.

The Bristol Aeroplane Company was one of the first and one of the most important British aviation companies, designing and manufacturing both airframes and aircraft engines. 

We were given a guided tour of the museum starting with a tram, which was what the company originally produced.

The displays traced the growth of the Aerospace Industry at Filton from 1910 ‘Boxkites’ through to the planes and  their engines of the two World Wars.

In the post-war years the site continued manufacturing aeroplanes (Britannia, Sea Harrier) as well as Bristol cars, helicopters, guided missiles and satellites.

The highlight of the Museum is Alpha Foxtrot, the last Concorde to be built and also the last one to fly. We were able to board the plane and view the cockpit, but not sit in the leather passenger seats which replaced the original bright fabrics when the plane had a refit!

Alpha Foxtrot landed at Filton in 2003, although it wasn’t until 2017 that the museum opened to the public in two First World War, Grade II listed hangars. 

A new building opened in 2018, housing Concorde and related exhibits such as stewardesses uniforms and the crockery used by passengers.

All in all an excellent, interesting day out, from boxkite to supersonic, about 60 years of progress in three and a half hours. The only niggle is that even with satnav the museum is hard to find; if visiting keep your eyes peeled for the right turn filter on Hayes Way!

Kingfisher Probus Club of Redditch is a socially-oriented activities club for retired or semi-retired men.

With members from local villages including Alvechurch, Barnt Green, Blackwell and Burcot as well as Bromsgrove and Redditch, it arranges trips to a wide variety of places of interest.

It meets regularly at 11.30am on the second Thursday of every month, at the Foxlydiate Arms, Webheath, for lunch and to hear talks from visiting speakers.

You can find more information at http://www.kingfisherprobusredditch.co.uk


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