Boscombe Down Aviation Collection

Boscombe Down Aviation Collection Come and sit in fast jet cockpits! Telling the story of flight and flight testing at Boscombe Down and the Wessex Area. We are an interactive history and aviation museum telling the story of flight and flight testing from Boscombe Down, Salisbury and the Wessex Area.

Operating as usual

597 spent many years as an exhibit at BDAC while it was based in the HAS at MoD Boscombe Down until 2012. Just to clarif...
22/07/2021

597 spent many years as an exhibit at BDAC while it was based in the HAS at MoD Boscombe Down until 2012. Just to clarify, it is not our exhibit.

Progress on LANCASTER B1 special PD130
21/07/2021

Progress on LANCASTER B1 special PD130

Please see below for the Boscombe Down Aviation Collection open day, featuring some interesting talks and a tour round t...
21/07/2021

Please see below for the Boscombe Down Aviation Collection open day, featuring some interesting talks and a tour round the Museum!

Please see below for the Boscombe Down Aviation Collection open day, featuring some interesting talks and a tour round the Museum!

Photos from Panavia Tornado Preservation Group's post
21/07/2021

Photos from Panavia Tornado Preservation Group's post

Photos from Hornchurch Aerodrome Historical Trust's post
20/07/2021

Photos from Hornchurch Aerodrome Historical Trust's post

Very sad to hear of the passing of ex-617 Squadron member Sqn Ldr Benny Goodman. He visited BDAC several months ago. RIP...
19/07/2021

Very sad to hear of the passing of ex-617 Squadron member Sqn Ldr Benny Goodman. He visited BDAC several months ago. RIP.

19/07/2021

Happy birthday Group Captain John Hemingway, 102 today! The Trust sends its very best wishes to Gp Capt. Hemingway, thought to be the last of the Few still with us. You can read more on our website. The picture below shows him with friend of the Trust and author Jonny Cracknell

Photos from Luftwaffe cockpit workshop's post
16/07/2021

Photos from Luftwaffe cockpit workshop's post

Very pleased to announce that Avro 707A WZ736 and English Electric P1A WG763, whom both served extensively at Boscombe D...
15/07/2021

Very pleased to announce that Avro 707A WZ736 and English Electric P1A WG763, whom both served extensively at Boscombe Down, are to be rehomed at BDAC following their move from
Science & Industry Museum in Manchester. Two fantastic exhibits for the Collection to display in our hangars! With thanks to the RAF Museum.

Maggie Appleton, RAF Museum CEO said: “We are delighted to be rehoming these aircraft and sharing them with new audiences to enjoy and connect with their stories. I know they will resonate with audiences and communities, with some even having local stories linked to them."

The Boscombe Down Aviation Collection is set to receive the Avro 707A and English Electric P1A - the prototype Lightning...
15/07/2021

The Boscombe Down Aviation Collection is set to receive the Avro 707A and English Electric P1A - the prototype Lightning - that were previously homed within the Manchester Science Museum.

Sad news just in about what used to be the Manchester Air and Space Museum:

SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY MUSEUM TO VACATE LEASE ON AIR AND SPACE HALL

The Science and Industry Museum and Manchester City Council announce today that the museum will no longer lease the historic Lower Campfield market hall building which houses the Air and Space Hall.

This hall, which is closed due to the extent of repairs needed, and many of the objects within it, formed Manchester City Council's Air and Space Museum, which opened in 1983.The Air and Space Hall was originally taken on by the North Western Museum of Science and Industry in 1985 due to the disbanding of Greater Manchester Council’s Air and Space Museum, before transferring to the Science Museum Group in 2012.

The majority of the aviation collection on display will be returned from loan to their home organisations, which include the RAF Museum. Many new onward destinations are currently being planned to ensure that the collections can continue to be enjoyed by the public across the UK.

The RAF Museum’s Avro 707A and English Electric P1A will be rehomed at Boscombe Down Aviation Collection, and the Avro 504K will find a new home at the Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome in Essex – where members of the public will soon be able to see them on display. The Yokosuka Ohka II will travel to the Pima Air & Space Museum in Arizona, USA, while the Avro Shackleton will travel to its ‘spiritual home’ at the Avro Heritage Museum in Woodford, Stockport. Aircraft will also return to The Aeroplane Collection at nearby Ellesmere Port.

Maggie Appleton, RAF Museum CEO said: “We are delighted to be rehoming these aircraft and sharing them with new audiences to enjoy and connect with their stories. I know they will resonate with audiences and communities, with some even having local stories linked to them. As a National Museum, the RAF Museum is committed to sharing the story of the Royal Air Force with everyone, and having jewels from our collection on display in different parts of the country, and indeed the world, means that this story is more accessible and available. I look forward to visiting each site to see them on display.”

Science and Industry Museum Director, Sally Macdonald, says: “The decision to vacate our lease has not been easy but it’s the right thing to do for our visitors, the building and the city. Since the Science Museum Group took on the Science and Industry Museum in 2012, we have been working hard on an extensive and intensive programme of urgent repair and conservation work to the buildings the museum inhabits so we can continue to inspire visitors with ideas that change the world.
“We have just completed a £5million new Special Exhibitions Gallery which over 20,000 visitors have already enjoyed, and we are investing £11.3million in our iconic Power Hall, due to reopen in 2023. We are also undertaking repairs valued at over £3m to the 1830 Station and 1830 warehouse.

“As a charity we have invested significant resource to maintain and repair the Air and Space Hall since we have taken on its stewardship, however historic buildings do have a complexity of issues that date back many decades. The repair and investment work required to bring this beautiful building back to life is substantial, the space presents real challenges in the sustainable display of historic objects and ultimately, it is the responsible thing to now pass the building back to Manchester City Council, ready for its next chapter. We take seriously our responsibility to look after our globally significant buildings, which include the world’s oldest surviving passenger station and railway warehouse and we have to prioritise these buildings that we own.”

“I would like to thank all of the visitors, volunteers and partners that have helped to make the Air and Space Hall such a special place for many. We will continue to tell stories and display iconic objects demonstrating the region’s transport innovation in our galleries, in our new talks and learning programmes and online.”

Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, says: “The Council welcomes the significant investments which are being made to improve the Science and Industry Museum across the heritage buildings that the museum owns. We recognise that to thrive and continually attract visitors museums need to evolve over time. As such, we support the planned changes. This creates an opportunity to introduce new activities into the Lower Campfield Market building to help support Manchester's economic recovery from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. Working with Allied London, we are developing proposals to refurbish both Upper and Lower Campfield Markets to create and support jobs. These will be brought forward in due course."

The museum collection, including objects of scale, will continue to be used to tell the story of aeronautics in the North West and will be used in future galleries to showcase the huge contribution the region has made in aviation history.

Visitors in Manchester will also be welcomed when they visit Greater Manchester Transport Museum, Bury Transport Museum, Avro Heritage Museum, Runway Visitor Park, North West Museum of Road Transport and other Greater Manchester Transport Heritage partner venues to view heritage transport collections nearby.

The museum’s historic New Warehouse which houses the Revolution Manchester, Textiles, Experiment, and Special Exhibition galleries remains open with a changing programme of major special exhibitions including Top Secret: from ciphers to cyber security and Use Hearing Protection: the early years of Factory Records, and events for visitors of all ages. The rest of the 7 acre museum is currently undergoing a multi-million pound restoration programme to carry out crucial conservation and renovation work across its listed buildings and structures, bringing to life the story of the site, revealing new spaces and perspectives for all visitors to enjoy, play and learn in and creating a more sustainable museum. The Museum’s much-loved Power Hall is due to reopen in 2023.

(Photograph from Science Museum Group)

Fantastic news that Woodford is to receive a full-size Shackleton!
14/07/2021

Fantastic news that Woodford is to receive a full-size Shackleton!

Well, Football didn’t come home, but Dougal is!

After today’s news from the Science and Industry Museum, we are happy to announce that we have been chosen as the new home for their Avro Shackleton AEW2, WR960.

While we can’t yet tell you when she will be joining our collection, we all look forward to unveiling her at her spiritual home on the historic Woodford Airfield.

Remember, in the mean time you can still visit us! We are open Saturdays and Sundays, 10-5 with tickets available here www.avrotickets.co.uk

Photo credit: Johnathan Schofield

12/07/2021

⚓ Artifact of the Week ⚓

This week we spotlight an artifact that was very closely connected to the impact with the iceberg: the main wheel stand of Titanic.

This amazing artifact was spotted on the ocean floor by Rory Golden and recovered from a pile of debris along the Officer's Deck by Ralph White and himself in the year 2000.
In spite of having spent nearly 90 years immersion while laying on the ocean floor, amazingly the boss still rotated after the stand was brought up to the surface. This gives an impression of just how well-greased the bearings were.
When Rory Golden got out of the submersible, he was the very first person to handle this stunning artifact after it was lost for so many years.

One of the last people who touched this piece before Mr Golden, namely during the collision of Titanic with the iceberg, was Quartermaster Robert Hichens.
Hichens was the man at Titanic's wheel, when at 11:39 pm First Officer Murdoch and the two lookouts Fleet and Lee spotted the iceberg right ahead of Titanic.

Officer Murdoch gave the order 'Hard a starboard' and Hichens turned the wheel.
Unfortunately, as we all know, there was not enough time for Titanic to turn and avoid a collision with the iceberg.

Today, this powerful reminder of that fateful moment of impact is on display at the Titanic Artifact Exhibition in the Luxor Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Post by: Anka Schlayer
Special thanks to: Rory Golden
Picture source: unknown (if you knew the source or the photographer please let us know)

RIP, Per Ardua Ad Astra Sir.
09/07/2021

RIP, Per Ardua Ad Astra Sir.

BDAC Founding member Norman Parker and the Secret Spitfires Memorial replica Spitfire.... Taken a few days ago.
09/07/2021

BDAC Founding member Norman Parker and the Secret Spitfires Memorial replica Spitfire.... Taken a few days ago.

BDAC Founding member Norman Parker and the Secret Spitfires Memorial replica Spitfire.... Taken a few days ago.

09/07/2021
Secret Spitfire takes off! The big unveiling is tomorrow.... Secret Spitfires Memorial: Official Inauguration Ceremony
08/07/2021

Secret Spitfire takes off! The big unveiling is tomorrow.... Secret Spitfires Memorial: Official Inauguration Ceremony

Our teams are working hard.... Plus, we have some aviation-related paintings FOR SALE now on display in our North hangar...
07/07/2021

Our teams are working hard.... Plus, we have some aviation-related paintings FOR SALE now on display in our North hangar. Please do stop by and take a look, and purchase as many as you like; ask a guide and they will be able to help with your enquiry...! They are of fantastic quality and wont last long....

URGENT HELP! We are looking to source a Martel missile (either the AS.37 or AJ168 variant) to complement our Sea V***n X...
07/07/2021

URGENT HELP!

We are looking to source a Martel missile (either the AS.37 or AJ168 variant) to complement our Sea V***n XJ476 cockpit, the airframe which was utilised for the Martel evaluation trials carried out at RAF Boscombe Down. If anyone would have an example to loan, donate or assist in us sourcing one to put on display alongside our cockpit, that would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

https://www.itv.com/news/meridian/2021-07-06/lancaster-bomber-section-being-built-from-original-parts-by-enthusiastsFor ...
06/07/2021
Lancaster Bomber section being built from original parts by enthusiasts | ITV News

https://www.itv.com/news/meridian/2021-07-06/lancaster-bomber-section-being-built-from-original-parts-by-enthusiasts

For those who missed it on TV, here is the ITV News report on the Lancaster build. With many thanks to Richard Slee at ITV for covering us!

With the easing of Covid restrictions, work is now underway again to complete the only full size replica of the front section of a Lancaster bomber. | ITV News Meridian

Tune in to ITV Meridian tonight at 1810-1815 to see the lengthy news report they have done on BDAC...!
06/07/2021

Tune in to ITV Meridian tonight at 1810-1815 to see the lengthy news report they have done on BDAC...!

A bit of social history that happened on this day 73 years ago. The National Health Service was founded! Established by ...
05/07/2021

A bit of social history that happened on this day 73 years ago. The National Health Service was founded! Established by Minister for Health Aneurin Bevan MP after the passing of the National Health Service Act 1946 in Clement Attlee's government, it revolutionised healthcare in Britain.

“Illness is neither an indulgence for which people have to pay, nor an offence for which they should be penalised, but a misfortune the cost of which should be shared by the community.” - Aneurin Bevan

05/07/2021
The lights were fitted today to the Secret Spitfires Memorial fibreglass replica that is to be erected in Salisbury on t...
05/07/2021

The lights were fitted today to the Secret Spitfires Memorial fibreglass replica that is to be erected in Salisbury on the 9th July. Not long to go! I shall definitely be in attendance....

The lights were fitted today to the Secret Spitfires Memorial fibreglass replica that is to be erected in Salisbury on the 9th July. Not long to go! I shall definitely be in attendance....

2500 people attended to see the aircraft and classic cars and the organisers hope the event will take place every year f...
04/07/2021
Airshow returns to Army aerodrome for the first time since 2000 | ITV News

2500 people attended to see the aircraft and classic cars and the organisers hope the event will take place every year from now onwards.

The money raised will help fund the Army Flying Museum.

An airshow has returned to Middle Wallop Aerodrome for the first time in more than two decades. 2,500 people attended the event. | ITV News Meridian

04/07/2021
Amazing to see these photos of yesterday's Army Flying Museum Wings & Wheels event. I used to remember the Vintage Sunda...
04/07/2021

Amazing to see these photos of yesterday's Army Flying Museum Wings & Wheels event. I used to remember the Vintage Sundays at Old Sarum which of course naturally no longer happen, sadly.

03/07/2021

Continuing the Vulcan theme, another of the late Ron Tidbury's photos given to me by his daughter Sue.

It shows the prototype Vulcan VX770 in flight. VX770 arrived at Hucknall on 24th August 1957 from Avro at Woodford having been converted to Rolls-Royce Conway engines by Avro at Langar first.

Whilst flight development testing the Conway engines it spent time in Malta and at Boscombe Down. Tragically it was lost with its aircrew whilst carrying out a display at the Battle of Britain Display at RAF Syerston on 20th September 1958

03/07/2021

Looks like a fantastic, busy day out at Wallop Wings & Wheels! Wonder if events like these could be hosted at Old Sarum....

He was assigned to the 367FG, who were based at RAF Stoney Cross in the New Forest before moving briefly to RAF Ibsley. ...
03/07/2021

He was assigned to the 367FG, who were based at RAF Stoney Cross in the New Forest before moving briefly to RAF Ibsley. They departed for France in July 1944.

DECORATED WWII P-47 FIGHTER PILOT TURNS 100

Please join us in wishing WWII US Army Air Force veteran Jack Hallett a happy 100th birthday! Attached to the 9th Air Force in the European Theater, Hallett flew 104 combat missions in P-38 and P-47 fighter aircraft. He was shot down twice by enemy fire while overseas but found his way to safety and evaded capture both times. Most of his missions, including flying aerial cover during D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge, were focused on providing support for ground soldiers by bombing and strafing enemy installations, including bridges, airfields, tanks, and troop convoys.

In his P-47, nicknamed "Frigid Midgit," Hallett scored one aerial kill and destroyed several hundred German ground targets. He returned home a hero, achieving the rank of Major and receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross along with twelve Air Medals, awarded for "heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight." Upon returning home in 1946, Jack married his wife, Martha Jane, after meeting her during flight training in Alabama four years earlier.

We had the privilege to meet and interview Hallett in 2018, capturing his wartime memories in a compelling video interview. On the occasion of his 100th birthday, we recognize his service in defense of our nation during WWII.

"Giving the Past a Future, One Story at a Time."
WWII Veterans History Project
Visit us online: WW2VeteransHistoryProject.org

Address

Hangar 1 North Old Sarum Airfield
Salisbury
SP4 6DZ

Via the Red 11 Bus from Salisbury to Old Sarum. Also includes Salisbury Train Station.

Opening Hours

Tuesday 10am - 5pm
Wednesday 10am - 5pm
Thursday 10am - 5pm
Friday 10am - 5pm
Saturday 10am - 5pm
Sunday 10am - 5pm

Telephone

01722 323636

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Comments

From our friends of New Zealand Bring our Birds Home Donate to https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/savetheplane in order to preserve the last kiwi example 747-419 left on the planet.
They could do with one of these at BDAC 🙄
Most of you will know this but might be of interest to some. Lightning F.6 XS922/BJ 11 squadron climbing out from Binbrook with a pair of live Firestreaks, I'm assuming heading to RAF Valley to fire them, the target would be a infrared flare towed by a GAF Jindivik drone A92-739-A (second picture) the Jindivik would take off from RAE Llanbedr and fly out into the Aberporth range, the Jindivik would always be shepherded by a piloted aircraft Meteor Sea V***n as in my visit (third fourth picture) Hawk or Alpha Jet . I think i was pretty lucky to catch the Jindivik returning to RAE Llanbedr. (The Sea V***n Was XP924 later Foxy Lady) Post from the The Official Fighter Control Group.
Inside the Wasp..
115 Sqn Wellington wearing the early BK code at Marham. The Squadron soon swopped to its well known KO code. This first set of Wellington Is was received in Apr-May 1939; the first one, L4299 arrived on 30 March and the last (of 17) was delivered from Weybridge on 16 May. The most infamous incident in the pre-war period was 28 August when the AOC, Air Commodore A A B Thomson "stepped back into a revolving propeller when a 'special bomb' slipped when being loaded." He was killed; the incident took place at Boscombe, which was being used a fuzing base for live bombing practice. There was no detail of why this was a 'special bomb'. Most of the Wellington Is had gone by the end of year. Copied from Aviation History Research Centre
I have just spoken to the Manager who has given me the up to date prices. Adult 16-64 £9.50 Concession £8.00 Student £8.00 Disabled £6.50 Accompanying Carer Free Child 5-15 £6.50 Child under 5 Free Family ticket (2 adults, 2 children) £25.50 Please Gift Aid if you are a UK Taxpayer so the Charity can claim an extra 25p for every £1 paid from the Government.
A bit of satire for you on this Thursday night....
Would you like this?
A rare aircraft gone - the Patchen Explorer. Both pilots dead.
Lovely sunrise over BDAC this morning.