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The Farnborough Air Sciences Trust (FAST Museum)

27 February 2017

57° 16′ 57″ N / 0° 45′ 13″ W

The Farnborough Air Sciences Trust (FAST Museum) is one of those most special of aviation’s history sites to visit. Just as my visit to Huffman’s Prairie and Cape Kennedy, FAST also has a power-of-place that is equally both invigorating and intimate. Farnborough is not only the site of the UK’s first powered and controlled flight, it is also the site where untold engineers, tradespeople, technicians and pilots developed significant advances in aviation. Soon after Sam Cody’s famous first powered, controlled flight for the UK, Farnborough evolved from balloon development to design of stable aircraft (the first aircraft were not inherently stable). Soon improvements to engines, flight systems, the Harrier, the Concorde and more would all occur here. FAST is now a single historic building (the historic Trenchard House) and pavilion, not Farnborough’s expanse of buildings in former days, making the museum a personal affair as one walks among the aircraft, artifacts and displays. Cheerfully, these are hardly separated from the visitor as one has to do a bit of bobbing and weaving to see them. This is perhaps rare, such an historic place that can be seen with the informality of a local museum though the Farnborough Air Sciences Trust (FAST Museum) is a national treasure.

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The sign for FAST—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

Parking is plentiful though not initially appearing so—simply enter and turn right at the Sam Cody Pavilion’s far side to access more than enough parking. There is no entry fee, a cozy café, facilities and plenty of space for children. Aircraft on the outside, a replica of the Cody Flyer in the Sam Cody Pavillion and the Trenchard House is a treasure chest of displays. This museum is unusual in that it can equally serve engineering as well as aviation interests.

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Main entry to FAST at the Trenchard House—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

A pleasing bonus is the expertise of the invigorating docents with many being retired aerospace engineers and technicians. During my visit there was a bit of rain but the docents were more than willing to remove the tarps covering the open cockpits.

Farnborough Air Sciences Trust (FAST Museum) is a world class facility with its individual blending of history, displays and staffing.

Many thanks to Mr. David Wilson of FAST for improving this post by noting a silly error on my part. The error has bern corrected and thanks, too, for the further information he provided which will be utilized to produce a subsequent post regarding Sam Cody.

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Aérospatiale Puma—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

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Aérospatiale Puma—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

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Westland Scout—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

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Hawker Hunter T.7—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

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Hawker Hunter T.7—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

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Hawker Hunter T.7—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

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Aérospatiale Gazelle—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

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Aérospatiale Gazelle—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

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GAF Jindivick target drone produced in Australia—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

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GAF Jindivick target drone produced in Australia (on the original launching trolley)—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

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Folland Gnat—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

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Folland Gnat—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

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Folland Gnat—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

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Looking down the line of a portion of the display aircraft at FAST—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

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Bristol Beagle—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

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The Whittle jet engine from 1943—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

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In the Concorde flight simulator Michael Dowman brings the SST into Heathrow—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

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Wind tunnel model to test M-wings—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

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Wind tunnel models—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

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Valves! Electronic tubes used before diodes on display in FAST—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

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Display and test models both abound at FAST—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

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SE 5 diorama displayed at FAST—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

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Red Baron diorama on exhibit at FAST—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

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Fokker DR1 airframe model exhibited at FAST—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

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FAST Concorde SST model, part of the Concorde exhibit—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

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FAST model of the Avro Type D—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

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Harrier T.4—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

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Harrier T.4—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

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Harrier T.4 dorsal view—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

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Harrier T.4 forward cockpit—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

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Fuller viewer of the historic Trenchard House where pre-WW I balloons through the Concorde SST were in part developed—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

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Concorde test airframe member—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

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Faithful full scale replica of the Cody Flyer within the FAST Sam Cody Pavillion—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

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Sam Cody Flyer replica emphasizing the cockpit as well as engine and fuel tank—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

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English Electric Lightning (note the over-under engine placement and how the dorsal tunnel widens near the cockpit for extremely close side-by-side seating in this training variant)—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

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EE Lightning—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

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The English Electric Lightning was one hot interceptor (capable of intercepting an SR-71 under special circumstances)—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

 

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. 27 February 2017 09:40

    Some GREAT personal shots, young man!

    • travelforaircraft permalink*
      27 February 2017 11:07

      Thanks 🙂 It was a blast being there.

  2. shortfinals permalink
    27 February 2017 10:38

    Really grand series of shots from FAST…………took me back to my days at Farnborough!

    Thanks, Joe

    Ros

    On Mon, Feb 27, 2017 at 1:00 AM, Travel for Aircraft wrote:

    > travelforaircraft posted: “57° 16′ 57″ N / 0° 45′ 13″ W The Farnborough > Air Sciences Trust (FAST Museum) is one of those most special of aviation’s > history sites to visit. Just as my visit to Huffman’s Prairie and Cape > Kennedy, FAST also has a power-of-place that is equally both” >

    • travelforaircraft permalink*
      27 February 2017 11:08

      Let’s meet at the Aviator Hotel for a pint!

  3. 1 March 2017 01:10

    Lightning 🙂

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