Posts Tagged ‘Aerospace Bristol’

Aerospace Bristol receives lifeline grant from Government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund

Wednesday, October 14th, 2020

Aerospace Bristol

Aerospace Bristol has been awarded £514,000 as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure they have a sustainable future, the Culture Secretary has announced today.

Aerospace Bristol is one of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support. £257 million of investment has been announced today as part of the very first round of the Culture Recovery Fund grants programme being administered by Arts Council England. Further rounds of funding in the cultural and heritage sector are due to be announced over the coming weeks.

Aerospace Bristol reopened its doors to the public on 1 August. The grant from the Culture Recovery Fund is vital in allowing the museum to remain open and continue to provide the opportunity for people to enjoy and learn about the region’s rich aviation heritage, including Concorde.

The grant will protect key jobs and skills and allow Aerospace Bristol to resume its learning and community outreach programmes. It will also enable the museum to further develop its digital content, adapting for a ‘post-Covid’ world.

With a comprehensive range of Covid-19 safety measures in place, Aerospace Bristol is open Wednesday to Sunday, 10am to 4pm.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:

“This funding is a vital boost for the theatres, music venues, museums and cultural organisations that form the soul of our nation. It will protect these special places, save jobs and help the culture sector’s recovery.

“These places and projects are cultural beacons the length and breadth of the country. This unprecedented investment in the arts is proof this government is here for culture, with further support to come in the days and weeks ahead so that the culture sector can bounce back strongly.”

Chair, Arts Council England, Sir Nicholas Serota, said:

“Theatres, museums, galleries, dance companies and music venues bring joy to people and life to our cities, towns and villages. This life-changing funding will save thousands of cultural spaces loved by local communities and international audiences. Further funding is still to be announced and we are working hard to support our sector during these challenging times.”

Executive Director, Aerospace Bristol, Lloyd Burnell, said:

“We are delighted to have received this grant from DCMS Culture Recovery Fund which should safeguard the future of Aerospace Bristol, our wonderful collections of objects and archives, our important learning and community engagement programmes and, of course, jobs and skills. We look forward to continuing to welcome visitors to the museum, especially over the upcoming October Half Term”.

Aerospace Bristol to ‘return to flight’ on 1st August

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2020

Aerospace Bristol re-opening in August

The family visitor attraction, which offers the chance to step aboard the last Concorde ever to fly, is certified as ‘Good to go’ by Visit Britain, with new Covid-19 safety measures in place

Aerospace Bristol has announced that it will reopen its doors to visitors from Saturday 1st August, with tickets available to book now at

The museum will open from 10am to 4pm, Wednesday to Sunday. Tickets must be booked in advance and numbers are strictly limited to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Rachel Chivers, Visitor Services Manager, said: “We can’t wait to welcome visitors back to Aerospace Bristol from the start of August. The museum is always so popular in the summer, with children enjoying our time-travel trail, the outdoor play area, the interactive exhibits and, of course, all the amazing aeroplanes, helicopters and space technology on display.”

Aerospace Bristol is set to open its doors having received ‘Good to go’ certification from Visit Britain. The ‘We’re Good To Go’ COVID-19 industry standard and consumer mark confirms that the attraction adheres to Government and public health guidance.

New safety measures include a one-way route around the museum, with visitors encouraged to stick to the ‘flight path’ as they follow the story of Bristol’s aerospace achievements. The story begins with the formation of the Bristol Aeroplane Company and some of the earliest powered flights, before exploring Bristol’s contribution to two World Wars, the space race, the supersonic Concorde, and the cutting-edge technology of today’s aerospace industry.

“We’re fortunate that the museum is situated in large, spacious aircraft hangars”, Chivers adds. “There’s lots of space between the exhibits and an easy-to-follow one-way route, which will allow people to enjoy a family day out while maintaining safe social distancing. We also have a large outdoor space, where the kids can enjoy the Little Pilots play area, while the grown-ups grab a coffee and bite to eat from the cafe.”

The museum’s star attraction – the last Concorde ever to fly – will be open, with visitors able to step on-board the supersonic jet and glimpse into the cockpit.

Due to the confined nature of the aircraft, visitors will be asked to take extra precautions if they wish to go on board Concorde as part of their visit. These include wearing a face covering while on-board and using hand sanitiser both prior to boarding and upon exiting Concorde.

The museum exhibition includes a stunning show projected on to the side of Concorde, giving visitors the chance to learn all about a remarkable aircraft that cruised at 1,350mph – twice the speed of sound – and reached altitudes of 60,000 feet, where passengers could see the curvature of the Earth from their windows.

Tickets to Aerospace Bristol are available to book now at Discounted family tickets are available, as well as reduced price tickets for seniors and students. Aerospace Bristol tickets include free return visits for 12 months from the date they are first used.

UK Space Agency funding for Aerospace Bristol

Thursday, November 21st, 2019

STEM at Aerospace Bristol

Aerospace Bristol has been awarded over £8,500 from the UK Space Agency, enabling the museum to expand and improve upon its highly-popular Mission to Mars workshops.

The workshops see pupils take on the role of space explorers, building and coding robots to navigate a representation of the Martian surface. Along the way, pupils of all ages have the chance to discover the important role engineers and designers play in exploring other planets.

Amy Seadon, Learning & Community Engagement Manager at Aerospace Bristol, said: “We’re really excited that Aerospace Bristol’s Mission to Mars workshops are being supported by the UK Space Agency. Together we will encourage more young people to engage with space exploration through fun, hands-on activities. The funding will also support the development and delivery of new activities, where museum visitors of all ages will be able to take on their own mini mission to Mars.“

Mission to Mars workshops are available for Key Stages 1 to 5 and more information can be found at

Aerospace Bristol offers an inspiring and practical learning programme, developed in partnership with industry and delivered in fully-equipped learning spaces. A range of workshops are offered for all Key Stages, allowing school visitors to explore Bristol’s amazing local history, develop STEM skills and discover the possibilities of a career in engineering.

70th anniversary of the Brabazon

Monday, September 2nd, 2019

Brabazon collection at Aerospace Bristol

As you may be aware, this Wednesday marks the 70th anniversary of the first flight of the Bristol Brabazon aeroplane from Filton Airfield (4th September 1949).

While only one complete example of the huge aircraft was ever built (and that has since been scrapped), there some Brabazon parts – including a propeller and wheels – in the exhibition at Aerospace Bristol, as well as a scale model of the aircraft (top right). There are also plans to develop the airfield into a residential and commercial area known as Brabazon.

On 8 March 1910, John Moore-Brabazon became the first person to qualify as a pilot in the United Kingdom and was awarded Royal Aero Club Aviator’s Certificate number 1. When his friend C.S. Rolls was killed in a flying accident later in 1910, Moore-Brabazon’s wife persuaded him to give up flying. However, he remained very visible in aviation and also motor car and sail/motor-boat racing. He joined the RFC in 1915 in a ground-based role, but it was as a Member of Parliament after 1918 that he grew to prominence, becoming Minister of Transport in 1940.

In 1942, he was tasked with setting up a technical committee to investigate the post-WW2 needs of the British Empire’s civilian airliner market. Brabazon’s Committee was formed on 23rd December 1942 and consisted of many of the “great and good” associated with the aircraft industry of the time.

In 1942, the UK and the USA had agreed to split responsibility for building multi-engine aircraft types – the UK focus was on bombers, with transport aircraft being left to the USA. It was soon recognized that as a result of that decision the UK could be left at the end of the war with little experience in the design, manufacture and final assembly of transport aircraft; in addition, it would have little or no infrastructure or trained personnel for doing it.

The Brabazon study was tasked to define, in broad overview, the impact of projected advances in aviation technology and to forecast the global needs of the post war British Empire (in South Asia, Africa, the Near and Far East) and the Commonwealth (Australia, Canada, New Zealand) in the area of air transport, for passengers, mail, and cargo.

The study recognized that the British Empire and Commonwealth, as both a political and economic entity, would have a vital need for aviation systems (principally aircraft) to facilitate its continued existence and self-reliance in the post-war world. For military and commercial reasons, the Empire simply could not continue to exist if it did not understand these needs, and develop the industrial infrastructure to provide the aviation systems and sub-systems necessary to supply and maintain a global air transport service.

For more info and to see the collection:

Descendants of World War One Aces meet at Aerospace Bristol

Thursday, May 30th, 2019

Bristol F2B Fighter

Descendants of World War One aces, Canadian Andrew McKeever and Bristolian Leslie Powell, have met for the first time. The two met at Aerospace Bristol, in front of the museum’s replica of the biplane that McKeever and Powell flew with distinction.

McKeever’s great nephew, Ross Thompson, travelled from his home in Canada for the meeting, while Powell’s grand-daughter, Mrs Jan Absolom, has travelled from Berkshire.

The museum’s Bristol F2b Fighter is in the colours of the No. 11 Squadron aircraft in which McKeever and Powell recorded 31 and 19 “kills” respectively in the skies over France, earning national fame and the nicknames of The Hawk and The Gnat.

The Airbus and Rolls-Royce engineers who built the replica Fighter were also there to meet Ross and Jan, and were delighted to have the opportunity to explain how they recreated the WWI aircraft.

Find out more about Aerospace Bristol at

HRH The Princess Royal Attends Aerospace Bristol Gala Dinner

Thursday, April 11th, 2019

HRH Princess Royal at Concorde50 Gala Dinner

Filton, Bristol, April 9, 2019: Aerospace Bristol, a family visitor attraction that is home to the last Concorde ever to fly, has celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of Concorde’s first British flight with a dinner kindly attended by HRH The Princess Royal, Patron of the museum.

Delivered in partnership with Airbus, the Concorde50 gala dinner was held under the wings of the supersonic passenger jet in Aerospace Bristol’s Concorde Hangar, on the edge of the historic Filton Airfield. It was from there that Concorde first took to the skies from British soil on 9th April 1969, and landed for the final time on 26th November 2003.

Fittingly, it was the pilot of that final flight, Captain Les Brodie, who returned to the Flight Deck and – as Her Royal Highness and distinguished guests looked on – operated the controls to lower and raise Concorde’s droop nose and activate her landing lights. The manoeuvre was possible thanks to careful restoration work by Aerospace Bristol’s Conservation team and volunteers, with Concorde smoothly returning to motion as if waking for the first time since touching down more than 15 years ago.

Professor Iain Gray CBE, Chair of Aerospace Bristol, said “I am most grateful to Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Patron of Aerospace Bristol, for so kindly accepting our invitation to join us in celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of Concorde. The iconic Concorde was an engineering marvel, developed far ahead of its time by talented engineers working on the cutting- edge of 1960s technology. Through our exhibition, inspiring workshops for schools, and Concorde50 events, it is this spirit of innovation that Aerospace Bristol aims to ignite in the engineers of the next fifty years and beyond, encouraging the young people of today to develop the big ideas of tomorrow.”

Katherine Bennett, Senior Vice President Airbus, said: “Concorde has a special place in Airbus’ heart and history. Many of its innovations, from electronic flight controls to anti-skid braking systems, helped inform future aircraft designs. We also maintained the aircraft at Filton for more than 10 years after its final flight.

“To see the aircraft once again at the centre of celebration, helping inspire the next generation of engineers, is fantastic, particularly as we are fast approaching Airbus’ own 50 year milestone which is a celebration of everyone who has the courage to bold and improve things, just as Concorde did.”

Aerospace Bristol will continue its Concorde anniversary celebrations with a series of Concorde50 events taking place throughout the year. The first public moves of Concorde’s droop nose will take place on Saturday 13th April 2019 at 11am and 1pm. An Aerospace Bristol ticket is required and further details can be found at

Concorde’s 50th anniversary celebrated by cavalcade of Bristol Cars & Buses

Tuesday, April 9th, 2019

Bristol Buses

Over 150 passengers travelled from Aerospace Bristol to the Fleet Air Arm Museum on board classic buses and cars

Filton, Bristol, April 9, 2019: Today marks 50 years since the first test flight of a British-made Concorde was completed – flying from Filton Airport to RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, a journey taking just 22 minutes but changing the course of aviation history.

To celebrate the anniversary, Aerospace Bristol – the museum that is now home to the last Concorde ever to fly – and the Fleet Air Arm Museum – home to Concorde 002, which first took to the skies 50 years ago today – teamed up to organise a nostalgic journey across the West Country.

Over 150 people visited Concorde Alpha Foxtrot at Aerospace Bristol this morning, before boarding Bristol Buses and Cars and travelling to Yeovilton, where they visited Concorde 002.

The two museums give visitors the opportunity to discover more about the world’s most famous aircraft, from the people behind its initial forays to the edge of space and record-breaking speeds, to the experience for passengers and even the food served on-board.

Aerospace Bristol tells the story of Bristol’s aviation and engineering heritage – from the first powered flights through to the modern day – including how Bristol diversified into the automobile industry and produced the cars and buses that formed the cavalcade today.

The museum will be celebrating Concorde50 throughout the year, with special events taking place around its star attraction Concorde Alpha Foxtrot, the last Concorde ever to fly. Upcoming events include:

9th April: Meet Concorde pilot Captain Colin Morris
13th April: The first public move of Concorde Alpha Foxtrot’s ‘droop nose’
16th April: A talk on the life of a Concorde pilot, with Captain Tim Orchard
20th April: Special tours to mark 40 years since Concorde Alpha Foxtrot’s maiden flight

£0.5m Biffa Award for Aerospace Bristol

Thursday, January 3rd, 2019

Aerospace Bristol Hangar

Thanks to a Biffa Award grant of £547,277, Aerospace Bristol will restore a 103-yearold hangar, making it publicly accessible for the first time. Visitors will witness ‘Conservation in Action’ as volunteers undertake important aerospace conservation and restoration projects.

Visitors to Aerospace Bristol will soon be able to enjoy live conservation work taking place on historic Bristol aircraft such as the Bristol Freighter, Fighter, and Bolingbroke. ‘Hangar 16M’, a 103-year-old grade-II listed building on the historic Filton Airfield, is to be restored and repurposed as a Conservation in Action workshop.

Restoration of the hangar – which, until recently, was home to the GWAAC air ambulance helicopter – has been made possible by Biffa Award: a multi-million pound fund that helps to build communities and transform lives through awarding grants to communities and environmental projects across the UK.

Lloyd Burnell, Executive Director of Aerospace Bristol, said:

“This fantastic grant from Biffa Award has given us the opportunity to repurpose the building to become an exciting new part of the visitor experience, engaging visitors with engineering marvels from our aerospace heritage, offering exciting hands-on learning opportunities and stories to inspire future generations. Most museum conservation work is undertaken behind ‘closed doors’, unseen by the public. But as a result of bringing conservation into public view, visitors will not only learn more about the Aerospace Bristol story, but also how vital heritage skills are saving the nation’s past.”

Aircraft and engine restoration works will be undertaken by volunteers, who have already played a pivotal role in making Aerospace Bristol a reality. Over 150 former engineers and community volunteers spent thousands of hours restoring objects that are now on display at Aerospace Bristol, which opened to the public in October 2017. The new facility and Conservation in Action project will allow many of these volunteers, and new members of the volunteer team, to put their skills to good use and share their knowledge with a new generation of engineers and innovators.

Jess Stone, Aerospace Bristol volunteer and Airbus Undergraduate Engineering Apprentice, said:

“It’s really exciting that a new generation will be able to get involved in exciting engineering projects and gain hands-on experience working with aircraft and engines. This is an amazing opportunity for young people to learn from the older generation, who have so much experience and knowledge of Bristol aircraft.”

Maurice Thompson, Air Cadet Squadron Leader, Bristol & Gloucestershire Wing, said:

“It’s absolutely fantastic that Cadets will soon have the opportunity to see aircraft being worked on in a stunning historic hangar. I can’t wait to visit, as I know they’ll be excited and inspired to learn more about the workings and mechanics of aircraft.”

Gillian French, Biffa Award Head of Grants, said:

“It’s fantastic to see this iconic building being given a new lease of life. We are thrilled to support this project that will allow people to witness, and take part in, real life conservation work.”

Restoration work on the hangar is set to begin early this year, to be completed in Autumn 2019.

Aerospace Bristol celebrates its 1st birthday

Wednesday, October 17th, 2018

Concorde at Aerospace Bristol

Aerospace Bristol is celebrating its 1st birthday today. Situated on the historic Filton Airfield, the museum opened its doors twelve months ago and has quickly established itself as one of Bristol’s must-see family attractions. A remarkable 160,000 people have already visited Aerospace Bristol; embarking upon a journey through more than a century of Bristol’s aerospace achievements and stepping aboard the last Concorde ever to fly.

Lloyd Burnell, Executive Director of Aerospace Bristol, said: “We always knew there was huge enthusiasm and passion for Concorde, and great pride in our aerospace heritage, but the incredible number of visitors – 160,000 in just twelve months – and the fantastic feedback we’ve received, has exceeded all expectations. We’re now looking forward to the next phase of the museum’s development and to celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first Concorde flight in 2019.”

Aerospace Bristol is planning a year-long ‘Concorde50’ celebration, with a programme of special events, opportunities to share Concorde memories, and the chance to support the charity in its mission to inspire the next generation of engineers.

Over 6,000 schoolchildren have already taken part in the museum’s national curriculum-linked science, technology and engineering workshops, with younger visitors also enjoying fun children’s trails around the exhibition, hands-on interactive exhibits, and even an aviation-themed outdoor play area.

Find out more about Aerospace Bristol at

It’s coming home! World’s only flying Bristol Sycamore visits Aerospace Bristol

Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

Bristol Sycamore

Visitors to Aerospace Bristol will be able to see the Sycamore up close on Tuesday 10th July and Wednesday 11th July, before watching it take off at 1pm on Thursday 12th July.

Filton, Bristol, 10th July 2018: It’s not just football that’s coming home! The world’s only flying Bristol Sycamore helicopter is making a return to the city for three days only. The Sycamore is on display at the new Aerospace Bristol museum this week and will be available for visitors to view from Tuesday 10th July until Thursday. The unique example of a flying Sycamore will then take-off, as museum visitors look on, at 1pm on Thursday.

A total of 180 Bristol Sycamores were built at Filton and Weston-super-Mare, but the particular example visiting Aerospace Bristol this week is the only one in the world that is currently capable of flying. Built in 1957, this particular Sycamore served with the German Armed Forces before being decommissioned in 1969. It is now operated by the Flying Bulls (

The Bristol Sycamore was developed by the Bristol Aeroplane Company at the end of the Second World War and named in reference to the seeds of a Sycamore tree, which fall with a rotating motion. It was the first British helicopter to receive a certificate of airworthiness and to serve with the Royal Air Force.

Featuring rotor blades constructed entirely from wood, the prototype Mk 1 lifted off for its maiden flight in 1947 and the Mk 2 followed in 1949. With a top speed of 200 km/h and a range of around 430 km, the Bristol 171 was ahead of its time and used for sea and mountain rescue, passenger and freight transport, and surveillance flights.

Opened in October 2017 and situated on the historic Filton Airfield, Aerospace Bristol is a new family attraction that tells the story of Bristol’s remarkable aviation heritage. The museum’s star attraction is Concorde Alpha Foxtrot, the last Concorde ever to fly, with visitors able to step aboard Concorde, glimpse into the cockpit, and enjoy a stunning show projected on to the fuselage of the supersonic jet.