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Hayes Way
Patchway, BS34

Aerospace Bristol is a new industrial heritage museum and learning centre being developed at Filton, to the north of Bristol. It will tell the story of the region's world-class aerospace industry - past, present and future. The Aerospace Bristol project is being run by the Bristol Aero Collection Trust.

Archive blog

Bristol Aero Collection Trust’s collection embraces objects and archives relating to the Bristol Aeroplane Company, its predecessor and successor companies (the ‘Bristol family’ of companies) and its workforce. Hear all about our news and discoveries. 

The first month and boxes of Concorde

Martha Lewington

We’re pleased to welcome our new Project Archivist who has joined Aerospace Bristol on a one year cataloguing post funded by The National Archives and The Pilgrim Trust’s Archives Revealed programme. The aim of this project is to increase both our knowledge of what we hold in the archive by cataloguing a series of archive boxes and to increase engagement with the archive by holding discovery sessions and events. By next September an extra 326 boxes will have been fully catalogued, hopefully revealing some interesting and useful pieces of aviation history, which will be shared monthly via this blog.

This first month has primarily been focused on getting familiar with the collection, and planning where to begin with 326 boxes to tackle.

Each box has a legacy label which generally works as a good starting point for identifying what is inside - so whilst you may not know exactly what documents will be in the box, you can generally identify a theme or aircraft. The largest run of boxes within this section is focused on Concorde, with a total of 106 of the 326 boxes, and with the approaching 50th anniversary of Concorde’s first flight it made sense to begin there. As of mid-October just over 50 boxes of Concorde material have been catalogued, including technical reports, in-flight material, internal memoranda, transcripts from public hearings on sonic booms and the list goes on!

Just one section of archive shelving.

Just one section of archive shelving.

An example of a booklet, this one produced for Scandinavian Airlines, from box BAE ET3/3/2

An example of a booklet, this one produced for Scandinavian Airlines, from box BAE ET3/3/2

Most interesting find of the month:

Every month our new Project Archivist will be sharing the most interesting document or box from the past month, and this month we wanted to highlight 14 specific boxes of Concorde material.

This is just 1 of 14 boxes that contain booklets from 1968-1979, largely centred around pitching Concorde to different airlines. There are 304 of these booklets, and they cover topics such as estimated costs, potential flight route plans, possible seating arrangements and information about sonic booms, providing a wonderful opportunity to see what the plans for Concorde had been if every airline who had an option did purchase the aircraft.

Finally, a reminder that the first event is approaching! On the 2nd of November we will be hosting talk by local historians John Penny and Clive Burlton. Please see the What’s On page.

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