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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.

Aerospace Bristol News

Descendants of World War One Aces meet at Aerospace Bristol

Martha Lewington

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.

Aerospace Bristol
Leslie Powell’s grand-daughter, Mrs Jan Absolom

Leslie Powell’s grand-daughter, Mrs Jan Absolom

Andrew McKeever’s great nephew, Ross Thompson (right) and Leslie Powell’s grand-daughter, Mrs Jan Absolom (centre)

Andrew McKeever’s great nephew, Ross Thompson (right) and Leslie Powell’s grand-daughter, Mrs Jan Absolom (centre)

Andrew McKeever’s great nephew, Ross Thompson

Andrew McKeever’s great nephew, Ross Thompson

HRH The Princess Royal attends Gala Dinner celebrating 50 years since Concorde's maiden British flight

Martha Lewington

As Patron of Aerospace Bristol, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal witnessed the dramatic moment that the last Concorde to fly sprang back to life, as Concorde’s ‘droop nose’ was lowered and the landing lights illuminated for the first time since November 2003.

Aerospace Bristol 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.

HRH Princess Anne
HRH Princess Anne

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.

HRH Princess Anne
HRH Princess Anne

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 maneuver 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.

Nose droop
Nose droop
HRH Princess Anne and Captain Les Brodie

HRH Princess Anne and Captain Les Brodie

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 aerospacebristol.org.

Concorde’s 50th anniversary celebrated by cavalcade of Bristol Cars & Buses visiting two Concordes in one day

Martha Lewington

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

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.

Concorde Cavalcade
Bristol buses

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.

Concorde Cavalcade
Concorde Cavalcade

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: