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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.

Aerospace Bristol News

Lift off for Aerospace Bristol: The new home of the last Concorde ever to fly

Martha Lewington

The highly-anticipated new home of Concorde, Aerospace Bristol, opens its doors to visitors at 09.30 on Tuesday morning. Offering the chance to embark upon an exciting journey through more than a century of remarkable aviation history, the new museum boasts the last Concorde ever to fly as its stunning centerpiece.

Located on the historic Filton Airfield, Aerospace Bristol is a family attraction that tells a fascinating story of ordinary people achieving extraordinary things, with amazing aerospace exhibits – including aeroplanes, helicopters, missiles, satellites and more – and a variety of hands-on activities, such as a real Airbus A319 wing where visitors can move the flaps and slats to explore the physics and engineering of flight. The star attraction is Concorde Alpha Foxtrot, the last Concorde to be built and the last to fly. Visitors can explore the history of Concorde, step aboard the iconic aircraft, and be wowed by a dramatic projection show on to the supersonic jet that tells the story of Concorde and what it was like to fly at twice the speed of sound. 

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Lloyd Burnell, Executive Director of Aerospace Bristol, said “Aerospace Bristol offers something for everyone: Concorde, as always, has the power to amaze and looks just stunning in her new home; we have created a first-class exhibition to tell the story of Bristol’s aerospace achievements from 1910 to the modern day, and there are great fun interactives to keep all members of the family interested and entertained. We hope that all those who saw Concorde on her final flight into Filton that historic day will want to be one of the first to come and pay tribute to this very special design and engineering icon and learn about the Bristol people who worked here over the years. Tickets are available now at aerospacebristol.org.”

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National Lottery players have helped the new museum to take flight, as the project received a £4.7m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Nerys Watts, Head of HLF South West, said: “From First World War fighter planes to the ground-breaking Concorde, British aviation was born and bred at Filton Airfield and thanks to National Lottery players, Aerospace Bristol is an incredible gateway to that heritage. We’ve been delighted to support this project and all the wonderful team and volunteers who have made it possible – we look forward to Aerospace Bristol’s continuing success.”

The new museum also gratefully received generous support from corporate partners – including Rolls Royce, Airbus, BAE, South Gloucestershire Council, GKN and Renishaw. 

Fundraising is not yet complete and the museum is appealing for public donations and asking people to share their memories of Concorde via an online ‘memory map’ at aerospacebristol.org/concorde-stories.

Aerospace Bristol tickets are available to purchase upon arrival at the museum, to book online at aerospacebristol.org or by phone on 01179 315 315 during museum opening hours. Tickets entitle visitors to enjoy free day return visits for a whole year from the date that they are first used (T&Cs apply) and make an ideal present for birthdays, anniversaries or special family get-togethers. Advance booking guarantees entry to the museum on your chosen day and you can choose to print at home to enjoy ‘speedy boarding’ - avoiding queues at the admissions desk.

Aerospace Bristol is also open for community group and school bookings. Working with industry partners, the museum has developed a practical and inspiring learning programme for school groups of all ages and aims to inspire young people to pursue exciting careers in science and technology. 

Aerospace Bristol wants your memories of Concorde

Martha Lewington

The first 250 people to share their story and give a donation to the museum were invited to a Red Arrows flypast with a sneak preview of Concorde.

Do you remember exactly where you were on 26th November 2003 when Concorde graced the skies for the final time? Were you at the Clifton Suspension Bridge as our most famous and iconic aircraft soared over head? Did you see her touch down for the last time on that damp Wednesday afternoon at Filton?

Perhaps you have earlier memories of Concorde. Do you remember the very first flight? Were you or one of your relatives among the engineers who played a role in creating the iconic supersonic jet? Did you fly from London to New York for a breakfast meeting? Or enjoy a supersonic tour of the Bay of Biscay?

Aerospace Bristol has created an online ‘Concorde Memory Map’ where you can browse a treasure trove of Concorde anecdotes and add your stories for others to enjoy. Your memories will also be added to the new museum’s digital archive – ensuring that they are preserved, ready to inspire the next generation of engineers.

To celebrate the launch of the Concorde memory map, the new home of the last Concorde ever to fly invited the first 250 people to share their story and give a donation to a special preview event on the afternoon of Wednesday 16th August 2017. Those 250 supporters were invited into Aerospace Bristol and took part in a Red Arrows photo shoot, standing in the iconic shape of Concorde as the Red Arrows flew overhead and captured images from the air. Guests were then invited into the museum’s new Concorde hangar to enjoy an exclusive sneak preview of Concorde ahead of the museum opening later this year.

Iain Gray, Chairman of Aerospace Bristol, said: “Aerospace Bristol will celebrate the innovation and endeavor of those generations who went before us and inspire young people to consider careers in science and technology. We are asking everyone who has a Concorde story, and shares our aim of keeping the spirit of Concorde alive, to please share their story with us and support us with a kind donation. Your contribution truly will make a difference.”

To share your Concorde memories, visit www.aerospacebristol.org/concorde-stories and give a donation that will help keep the memory of Concorde alive.

 
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HRH The Princess Royal attends inaugural dinner underneath the wings of Concorde

Martha Lewington

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, as Patron of Aerospace Bristol, was the guest of honour at a celebratory dinner. The Princess formally opened the Concorde Hangar in front of a distinguished audience of invited guests ahead of the museum’s opening to the public later this year

The gala dinner marks an important milestone for Aerospace Bristol, as the new home of Concorde is now formally open for corporate and private events, award ceremonies, exhibitions, and as a very special wedding setting. 

Professor Iain Gray CBE, Chairman 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 for the inaugural dinner under the wings of Concorde. I understand The Princess has an interest in science, technology and engineering and these subjects are at the heart of Aerospace Bristol. When the museum opens to the public later this year, our exhibition, archives and learning programmes will encourage young people to join our great industry, as the school children of today become the engineers of tomorrow.” 

During her visit, Her Royal Highness toured the site and met with many of the supporters and volunteers who have played an important role in making the new museum possible. Aerospace Bristol volunteers have contributed the remarkable sum of more than £1m worth of their time to the project and were recently honoured with the highest award for UK volunteer groups: The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. The Award was presented by The Princess Royal to Mr. Oliver Dearden and Mr. Kenneth Ricketts who represented the 150 volunteers involved.

The new museum has been created from the ground up with the help of supporters who have contributed an amazing £17m to date.  With £2m left to raise in order to see the £19m project through to completion, Aerospace Bristol is appealing for further support to bridge the significant funding shortfall and help achieve its goals of preserving and restoring Bristol’s aviation heritage and inspiring the next generation of engineers. Opportunities include joining the ‘Concorde Club’ by sponsoring a seat on the iconic supersonic jet, sponsoring a seat in the museum’s lecture theatre, sharing your Concorde story via a soon-to-be-launched online map, or kindly giving a donation via aerospacebristol.org. 

Starting in the earliest days of powered flight, Aerospace Bristol will take visitors on an immersive journey through more than a century of incredible aviation achievements and fascinating tales of human endeavor. The stunning centerpiece will be Concorde Alpha Foxtrot, designed, built and tested in Bristol, she was the last Concorde to be built and the last to fly.