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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. 

Third Month of the Project: Finishing up Concorde

Martha Lewington

We are now three months into the project, and cataloguing the Concorde material is complete! The Concorde series is the largest of the project, totalling 106 boxes, so having it finished before Christmas puts the project in a good place for entering 2019. The next series of material will be Bristol Types, with material dating all the way from early Bristol Scout documents, to the Brabazon and Britannia.

When working with archive material it is always interesting to see the stories that present themselves rather than having to be pieced together. With the Concorde material several stories came through:

Concorde as The World Shrinker – a lot of early marketing material heavily pushed the time saving element of Concorde as a way of shrinking the world and connecting people.

Caption: Booklet credit: BAE Systems

Caption: Booklet credit: BAE Systems

Concorde controversies – Concorde wasn’t without its detractors, and the archive contains material documenting both sides, with the opposition to the noise levels and environmental effects of Concorde shown through transcripts of the 1975 public hearing in New York regarding whether or not Concorde should be allowed to land in JFK airport.

Concorde and optimism – the initial plans for Concorde and the optimism from a healthy set of options held by airlines during the late 1960s and very early 1970s show in sets of sales documents and route maps from early in Concorde’s development.

During 2019 we will be highlighting Concorde in the archive, with several events and drops ins over the year to celebrate 50 years since the first flight, so watch this space!

Most interesting find of the month:

Seeing the estimated time savings and predicted routes are some of the most interesting aspects of the World Shrinker material, and this booklet has it all!

This diagram is a popular style from World Shrinker marketing material - a larger map overlaid by a smaller map (a world that Concorde has shrunk) was a very common motif, and with the bright oranges this is a bold example.

And that’s it for 2018 in the project blog. See you in 2019!

Archives Revealed