Aerospace Bristol is an aerospace museum located at Filton, to the north of Bristol, England. The museum opened in October 2017 and is run by the Bristol Aero Collection Trust. It is situated on Filton Airfield and many of the exhibits are housed in a First World War Grade II listed hangar. There is a varied collection of exhibits, including Concorde Alpha Foxtrot, the final Concorde to be built and the last to fly.
Saturday, 10th June 2023
Tony in front of the nose of a Bristol Type 156 Beaufighter (often called the Beau). This British multi-role aircraft was developed during the Second World War by the Bristol Aeroplane Company. It came into service during the Battle of Britain in 1940. Its roles included use as a rocket-armed ground attack aircraft and as a torpedo bomber against Axis shipping. 5,928 of these aircraft were built, and as well as the RAF, it was used by several other country’s air forces including the United States, Canada, South Africa and New Zealand. The RAF retired it from service in 1960.
A replica of a Boxkite (or officially the Bristol Biplane), which is suspended from the ceiling at Aerospace Bristol. These aircraft were built from 1910 to 1914 and were one of the first aircraft types to be built in quantity. It was the first aircraft produced by the British and Colonial Aeroplane Company (later known as the Bristol Aeroplane Company). It was often used for training purposes and many early British aviators learned to fly in it. No original aircraft survive and this is one of three authentic flyable reproductions that were built by the F. G. Miles group for the film Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines (1965).
An historic blue and white painted tram, which was operated in Bristol by the Bristol Tramways Company. Trams ran in Bristol from 1875 until 1941, when a German Luftwaffe bomb destroyed the main power supply cables. Until 1895 the trams were horse drawn with a maximum speed of 6 miles per hour (10 kilometres per hour). In 1895 Bristol was the first British city to introduce electric trams.
Tony in front of two historic aircraft: a Bristol Fighter and a Bristol Scout. The Bristol F.2 Fighter was produced from 1916 until 1927 with 5,329 produced. It is a two-seat biplane fighter and reconnaissance aircraft developed by Frank Barnwell at the Bristol Aeroplane Company. It is often simply called the Bristol Fighter, “Brisfit” or “Biff”. The other aircraft, the Bristol Scout, was produced from 1914 to 1916 with 374 produced. It is a single-seat rotary-engined biplane originally designed as a racing aircraft. It was used as a reconnaissance and fighter aircraft during World War One.
Tony on a viewing platform overlooking a Concorde supersonic airliner displayed at Aerospace Bristol. Concorde flew commercially from 1976 until 2003. 20 aircraft were produced between 1965 and 1980. They were produced jointly by French state-owned Sud Aviation (later Aérospatiale) and the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC). Today 18 of the aircraft survive and most are on public display in Europe and North America. This aircraft flew into Filton in November 2007 and remained out in the open for 14 years until the completion of a dedicated exhibition building in 2017.
Tony alongside the Concorde at Aerospace Bristol. Concorde was one of only two commercial supersonic aircraft, the other being the Soviet Tupolev Tu-144. The cruising speed of Concorde was 1,550 mph (2,500 km/h) at an altitude of 60,000 ft (18.3 km).
Tony by a Rolls-Royce/Snecma Olympus 593 jet engine. Each Concorde aircraft had four of these engines. Each engine is 4 metres (13 ft 3.0 in) in length and weighs 3,175 kg.
Tony again next to the jet engine which is displayed under one of the Concorde’s wings but is now detached from the aircraft.
Tony next to Concorde’s flight deck reconstructed outside the aircraft. The deck contains two pilot’s seats at the front and more seats behind. There are large control panels at the front and side with a multitude of colourfully lit controls and dials.
Another view of Tony by the flight deck which is displayed outside the aircraft.
Now inside Concorde itself with a view into the actual cockpit flight deck. Again a vast array of hundreds of dials, switches and other controls. The cockpit window is directly in front.
Tony in a corridor leading to Concorde’s flight deck. There are even more buttons and other controls attached to the walls here.
Tony sitting in one of the passenger seats inside Concorde. There is a central aisle with two seats at either side for each row. The fuselage is narrower than that of most commercial airliners and with less headroom. Concorde’s had between 92 and 120 passenger seats.
Tony on an entrance gantry outside the Concorde. One of the aircraft’s slender triangular wings and the tail fin can be seen behind.
Tony outside one of the Concorde’s cabin doors.
Tony in front of a Bristol 173 twin rotor transport helicopter. It was built by the Bristol Aeroplane Company with the first flight taking place in 1952. It was designed by Raoul Hafner as a civil transport helicopter, but found interest from the military. It did not enter production, but was developed into the Bristol Belvedere, which was operated by the Royal Air Force from 1961 to 1969.
Tony with a Bristol Bloodhound Missile rising up behind him. This British surface-to-air missile was developed during the 1950s. It served as the UK’s main air defence weapon into the 1990s. As well as the UK, these missiles were also used by the militaries of Australia, Sweden, Switzerland, Myanmar and Singapore. The missiles are 8.46 metres (27 ft 9 in) in length and weigh 2,270 kg (5,000 lb).
Tony in front of a Bristol Type 170 Freighter with the cargo doors at the nose (front) of the plane open. This cargo aircraft was built by the Bristol Aeroplane Company between 1945 and 1958 with 214 aircraft built. It was commonly used to carry cars and their passengers over relatively short distances.
Photo of a Chevaline system for a nuclear warhead with Tony in the foreground. This system was intended to increase the chances of British Polaris nuclear missiles being able to penetrate Moscow’s anti-ballistic missile (ABM) defences. It used a variety of decoys intended to overwhelm missile defence systems with many indistinguishable targets. The system was in service from 1982 to 1996.
Tony near a British Aerospace Sea Harrier. This is a naval short take-off and vertical landing/take-off jet fighter, reconnaissance and attack aircraft. It first entered service with the Royal Navy in April 1980. Its main role was to provide air defence for Royal Navy task groups centred around aircraft carriers. In total 98 were built. The aircraft was withdrawn from service by the Royal Navy in 2006, but remained in service with the Indian Navy until 2016.
Another view of the Sea Harrier with Tony in the foreground.