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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

Aerospace Bristol volunteers honoured with highest award

Martha Lewington

Volunteers from Aerospace Bristol – the new home of the last Concorde ever to fly - have been honoured with the highest award for UK volunteer groups: The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

As “the MBE for volunteer groups”, the illustrious Award was created in 2002 to celebrate the anniversary of the Queen’s coronation. It sets the national benchmark for excellence in volunteering and recognises groups whose outstanding work has significantly benefited their local community.

Aerospace Bristol volunteer, Jess Stone

Aerospace Bristol volunteer, Jess Stone

The dedicated team of 150 Aerospace Bristol volunteers has made an incredible contribution of more than £1m worth of their time, hard work and expertise. Their work will go on display when Aerospace Bristol opens in late summer, as part of an exhibition that tells a fascinating story of more than a century of remarkable aviation history. Volunteer projects include:

  • Adapting a mock-up of an Airbus A320 flight deck for use as a static flight simulator, which will allow Aerospace Bristol visitors to try their hand at piloting the aircraft in a simulated flight

  • Restoring the front section of a Bristol Britannia prototype that was forced to land on the mud flats of the River Severn during a 1954 test flight. Volunteers have spent more than 2 years working on the aircraft section, including electrical and lighting upgrades.

  • Preparing a Skylark 12 rocket and restoring Guided Weapons 

  • Restoring and conserving a Sea Harrier jet, which was spectacularly airlifted to Aerospace Bristol by RAF Chinook in March 2017 and will be displayed alongside its Bristol Pegasus engine

The volunteers will formally receive the prestigious Award in the form of a certificate signed by The Queen and a commemorative crystal.

One member of the volunteer team, former Concorde Chief Engineer John Britton, will also have the honour of representing his colleagues at a royal garden party. Mr Britton said “Every member of our volunteer team is hugely proud to have been a part of this wonderful group and absolutely thrilled to have received royal recognition for our work. And, of course, while our work is very much a team effort, it is a huge personal privilege to represent my fellow volunteers at Buckingham Palace.”

Chairman of Aerospace Bristol, Iain Gray CBE, added: “This truly is an incredible achievement and I couldn’t be more proud of our fantastic team of volunteers. I would like to sincerely thank everyone who has so generously given their time, knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm to Aerospace Bristol. They have helped to create a nationally-significant new museum that will inspire the next generation of engineers and I am delighted to congratulate our hard working volunteers for this well-deserved recognition of their outstanding work.”

Aerospace Bristol is set to take off in the late summer. With the last Concorde ever to fly as its stunning centrepiece, the new museum will take visitors on a fascinating journey through time and tell an inspirational story of ingenious design, engineering innovation and remarkable social history. From the earliest days of flight, when Boxkite biplanes flew over Brunel’s Clifton Suspension Bridge, the exhibition travels through two world wars, exploring the vital role of aircraft in these conflicts, through the drama and technological advances of the space race and on to the modern day, where visitors will discover the latest technologies of today’s aerospace industry. 

For further information, please contact:

Adam Jones, Marketing Manager

T: 01174 037 692 | M: 07535 502 268 | adam.jones@aerospacebristol.org

 

Aerospace Bristol judges art competition inspired by Filton's aviation heritgate

Martha Lewington

The new home of Concorde selected three winners in the Stokes Art Group contest

Ahead of the highly anticipated new museum opening in late summer, Aerospace Bristol has selected a trio of high-flying artists as the winners of a competition inspired by Filton’s aviation heritage.

Aerospace Bristol was asked to judge the competition by Stokes Art Group, a local community group that covers the six Stokes of South Gloucestershire and surrounding areas.  As well as taking pride in their art, the group are extremely proud of the link that many of their members share with the local aerospace industry and were keen to celebrate Concorde’s arrival into her new home at Aerospace Bristol with a competition themed around Filton’s aviation heritage.

Reflecting the story that will be told in the Aerospace Bristol exhibition later this summer, the group produced a collection of 18 artworks depicting aircraft spanning more than a century of fascinating aviation history; from Boxkite biplanes to Concorde and on to the modern day.

After careful deliberation, the three winners chosen by Aerospace Bristol were: 

  • Winner: Concorde 2017 Home from Home, by Susan Hartry (watercolour) 

  • Runner-up: We Love Concorde, by Sue Kelly (watercolour) 

  • 3rd place: Concorde Assembly Line, by Sara Smith (mixed media)

Working with local people and groups like Stokes Art Group, Aerospace Bristol aims to conserve Bristol's aerospace heritage and celebrate the world class achievements of our aerospace industry. To play your part in keeping Concorde’s memory alive, visit aerospacebristol.org/donate and give a gift that will help to inspire the next generation of engineers.

Concorde unwrapped ahead of Aerospace Bristol opening

Martha Lewington

Ahead of the new museum’s highly anticipated launch this summer, Aerospace Bristol has today taken the wraps off its star attraction: Concorde 216, the last of the supersonic passenger jets to be built and the last to fly. 

Concorde had been wrapped in protective film while works took place around the aircraft and the end wall of her new purpose-built hangar was built. The challenging task of wrapping and unwrapping a supersonic passenger jet was accepted and successfully completed by protective film specialists Packexe.

Lloyd Burnell, Executive Director, Aerospace Bristol, said: “It’s fantastic to see Concorde unwrapped and looking stunning in her brand new home. As the centrepiece of Aerospace Bristol’s exhibition, Concorde will inspire the next generation to pursue careers in engineering and develop the big ideas of tomorrow. We can’t wait to welcome our first visitors on board this summer.”

Packexe CEO, Andrew Orchard, said: “We pride ourselves on innovation and have over 25 years’ experience of using our technology and expertise. Although we usually supply protective film for various industries, we are always ready to meet a new challenge. So when Aerospace Bristol, one of our favourite charities, asked us to wrap Concorde to protect her from the final stages of building works – how could we refuse?”

Aerospace Bristol is being developed by the Bristol Aero Collection Trust, a registered charity that relies on corporate supporters and public donations. With a further £2m required to finalise the £19m project, the charity is currently seeking supporters who share their aim of inspiring the next generation to reach their full potential and pursue careers in science and engineering. To make a donation or offer support visit aerospacebristol.org or call 01179 315 315 during office hours.

Starting in the earliest days of flight, when Bristol Boxkite biplanes flew over Brunel’s Clifton Suspension Bridge, Aerospace Bristol will transport visitors through more than one hundred years of fascinating aviation history. Visitors will travel through two world wars, exploring the vital role of aircraft in these conflicts, through the drama and technological advances of the space race and on to the modern day, where they will discover the latest technologies of today’s aerospace industry.  As a first-class museum with learning at its heart, Aerospace Bristol aims to inspire the next generation of engineers with remarkable stories of ingenious design and engineering innovation.