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Comet and Trident at Wroughton

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Comet and Trident at Wroughton

Old 22nd Oct 2012, 21:58
  #41 (permalink)  
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As said on page 1 of the thread, one of the hangars is reputed to be "unsafe" for public access. If it's genuinely unsafe, surely it would be better if it wasn't full of irreplaceable exhibits...
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Old 23rd Oct 2012, 15:50
  #42 (permalink)  
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Seems that access for the public to the hangars full of fascinating aircraft has been a rather variable thing, for many years. Back in the 1950's it was still RAF Wroughton, a serving station with various duties, including maintenance work. In about 1955 my school CCF RAF section was on our annual camp at RAF Andover, not too far away, and our officer arranged for us to visit Wroughton by truck to see their aviation collection in the hangars.

There were at that time a number of WW2 warplanes in storage, some intact, others semi-dismantled, and we cadets were allowed free rein to clamber into several of them. I recall sitting in an intact German Fieseler Storch, a Fw190, and an Me109. There was also an Me163 rocket powered example, and a Japanese 'Ohka' kamikaze rocket powered suicide attack aircraft. There was a Vickers Wellington fuselage, and a much more up-to-date Canberra fuselage, possibly from the station's maintenance activities on Canberras. I imagine that several of the more 'exotic' aircraft have found their way into various museums around the UK over the years, and what photos I have seen of the current Science Museum collection do not appear to include them.
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Old 23rd Oct 2012, 15:58
  #43 (permalink)  
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See msg # 15, not much seems to have changed in three years...........

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Old 23rd Oct 2012, 17:58
  #44 (permalink)  
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I flew into a PFA rally some years ago and was amazed at the contents of the hangars (all open, no charge IIRC). Couldn't the Science Museum organise some volunteers to run weekend open days? If I lived near I'd be up for it!
At an Open Day about 5 years ago, predictably, the only aircraft hangar open was the main one with the Connie. But there was also access to one of the storage hangars, with a superb collection of British jet engines from the 1940s onwards.
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Old 26th Oct 2012, 21:20
  #45 (permalink)  
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Some years ago, when the "Warbirds" airshow relocated from West Malling to Wroughton I was one of the volunteers helping out a South African gentleman (still a good friend) in setting up the site prior to the show. During a lull in work I was lucky enough to get a look inside one of the Lamella hangars which, as I recall, was just inside a gate off a back road. Being Sodium Lamps when the lights were turned on it was very reminiscent of the final scenes of the "Raiders of the Lost Ark" Films when the Ark was being pushed into a huge storage shed. All these treasures appeared out of the gloom, prototype aircraft engines that did not make it into production, a mock up of a Concorde cockpit section and bizarrely an old BMC Van fitted out as a Television Detector to catch licence dodgers.
Happy days.

Last edited by brokenlink; 26th Oct 2012 at 21:21.
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Old 27th Oct 2012, 00:49
  #46 (permalink)  
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Don't know if it's still the case now, but in Ross Sharp's day, all the hangars had aircon running permanently in order to preserve the 'exhibits'*
*Hesitate to call them that if you can't get in to see them.
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Old 1st Nov 2012, 11:30
  #47 (permalink)  
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Wroughton storage

As one who lives in the village people who carp on about the facility seem to forget that it is a STORAGE facility and not a museum. As has been mentioned access can be gained when there is an event on the airfield, usually a motoring linked event,at no charge apart from the entry to the main do. The statement about the state of the hangars reflects the rather sad state of affairs where if anybody was injured on the site, they would undoubtedly sue the Science Museum for as much as they could get away with.
As to opening it up as a fuuly fledged museum facility one of the pointers raised against it was that access on the ground to the site is very limited, being at one side off a very narrow lane and at the other off a single road with only limited access actually onto the airfield. At the risk of being pronounced a NIMBY unless some drastic improvement could be made in ground access to remove a logjam through Wroughton village it is not realy viable, much as I to would like it to happen.
To end on a side note I was at the last Great warbirds meet at Wroughton having flown in with the static Herc display aircraft from Lynehan, long leg that one, watched the display Herc win the trophy for best display and watched the Arrows display down the valley at the back of the airfield, a great sight!
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Old 7th Jan 2013, 10:49
  #48 (permalink)  
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There was another Comet preserved in the UK and that was a much rarer Comet 2, ex-RAF. It was part of the magnificent collection of aircraft assembled at Strathallan in the 1970s by Sir William Robertson, tho sadly it did not survive the break up of that in later years. Here's a link to a photo I took of it back in 1976:

Comet at Strathallan Sept 1976 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
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Old 20th Apr 2019, 11:39
  #49 (permalink)  
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British Aviation Heritage Wroughton

The Science Museum’s Wroughton collection of Comet, Constellation and Trident are to be liberated the three aircraft are apparently available on a loan basis.
All the aircraft have been stored intact and under cover for a long period. ( thirty years?)however this development sounds uncomfortably similar to the Cosford civil aircraft solution.
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Old 20th Apr 2019, 14:33
  #50 (permalink)  
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I was Mate of the Freight Ferry,MV Tipperary,which carried the Connie from Dublin to Fleetwood sometime between 1981 and 1984.Prior to that I can remember the a/c being parked at Dublin Airport.I seem to recollect she had been converted to a freighter with a large door on the port side.
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Old 21st Apr 2019, 19:02
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The Constellation left Dublin in summer 1983.

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Old 22nd Apr 2019, 16:41
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Originally Posted by Liffy 1M View Post
The Constellation left Dublin in summer 1983.

She was intended to be a star in the next series of Airline featuring Ruskin Air Services but the corrosion was allegedly to far advanced to return her to the air.
Hope it helps
Be lucky
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Old 2nd May 2019, 21:54
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Can anyone enlighten me on the current state of things at Wroughton with the aircraft collection? Is it still in limbo with no access to the hangars due to the asbestos?

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Old 2nd May 2019, 23:37
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I've always assumed/understood the hangar was structurally unsound.
Has asbestos always been the the problem?
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Old 2nd May 2019, 23:42
  #55 (permalink)  
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DHfan - I seem to recall reading on a similar thread that asbestos was the issue. I also see from LinkedIn they have hazardous waste experts actively working there.
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Old 3rd May 2019, 01:16
  #56 (permalink)  
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Blimey, this thread has been going for ten years ! Well done.
As I see that references have been made to the Comet, just wanted to remind anyone thats interested, that they've had the Bruntingthorpe Comet running , and next appearance later this month on the bank holiday Sunday. well worth a visit to see a live comet running, plus a VC10 and a few other bits and bobs for good measure. The photo is from last May's show as she taxyed past me following her take-off run. Yes, the wing did pass over my and other admirers' heads. Looking forward to this month's.

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Old 3rd May 2019, 06:52
  #57 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by cyflyer View Post
The photo is from last May's show as she taxyed past me following her take-off run. Yes, the wing did pass over my and other admirers' heads. Looking forward to this month's.
Any dates? The Brunty website is hard to decipher.

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Old 3rd May 2019, 08:12
  #58 (permalink)  
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Sunday 26th May, links below, and August also. Honestly, I don't mind missing any other show, but I would not miss a Bruntingthorpe. Its not expensive, unlike most shows nowadays, you are in very close proximty to the aircraft because normal 'flying' rules do not apply, and pre-run up, you can freely walk around the aircraft, the atmosphere is very friendly with all the trade stalls etc, and just to hear that VC10, Lightning, Victor, and Comet running up makes it all worthwhile. Ear plugs recommended if you don't like noise, but then again you wouldn't be going if didn't like jet noise.



Here's a couple of more shots from August's show, when it didn't stop raining, which made for some spectacular spray shots. The airfield's owner Walton, I think, announced free food from the food stalls for the crowds towards the end, as compensation for the rain and a couple of delays. What a gentleman.

Last edited by cyflyer; 3rd May 2019 at 08:30.
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Old 3rd May 2019, 09:43
  #59 (permalink)  
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Many thanks: it's marked on my calendar!

PS I know it's thread creep but I'll post some photos of the Wroughton jets later to redress the balance
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Old 3rd May 2019, 19:51
  #60 (permalink)  
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As promised, Comet and Trident from June 2004:

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