If one achievement stands out in the 20th century, it's man's ability to conquer the air. From flimsy spruce and fabric frames, to stealthy supersonic fighters, we now rely on them to take us on holiday and defend our shores.
We take for granted huge airliners, agile combat aircraft, helicopters, light aircraft for recreation and for executives, and even rockets to take us into space. Propulsion is fundamental to flight, and aero engines have evolved from simple piston engines to extremely powerful and reliable turbo jets and ramjets. The aerospace industry in the area around Filton has not only touched on all these areas, but has broken new ground and set world records in many of them.
The aviation industry in the north of Bristol was born in 1910, and was the first aeroplane factory in Britain to be set up on a commercial basis. It expanded during both World Wars, and was the largest factory of its kind anywhere at the start of the Second World War. To this day, the factories are still very much alive, both in aircraft and engine design and component production.
Considering all this together, the history of the aviation industry at Filton has to be one of the most fascinating and exciting aeronautical stories in the world!