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Heathrow Engineering Hangars

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Heathrow Engineering Hangars

Old 24th Nov 2020, 02:05
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Heathrow Engineering Hangars

I am trying to recall the layout of the Engineering Base at LHR.
Anyone know more about TBB and TBD? Am I about right?

TBA BOAC 4 x Hangar bays and sim hall still active.
TBB BOAC Britannia / VC10 wing hangar, demolished? Is that what the story below refers to?
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/a...g-1260821.html

TBC BOAC offices still is use.
TBD BEA hangars by Cathedral? One bay demolished early 2000s?
TBE BEA Cathedral hangar still in use.
TBJ/TBK BOAC B747 hangars
TBN ex bmi hangar (also described as TBD?)

google was not my friend on this.

Last edited by Skipness One Foxtrot; 24th Nov 2020 at 02:23.
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Old 24th Nov 2020, 07:13
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Originally Posted by Skipness One Foxtrot View Post
I am trying to recall the layout of the Engineering Base at LHR.
Anyone know more about TBB and TBD? Am I about right?

TBA BOAC 4 x Hangar bays and sim hall still active.
TBB BOAC Britannia / VC10 wing hangar, demolished? Is that what the story below refers to?
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/a...g-1260821.html

TBC BOAC offices still is use.
TBD BEA hangars by Cathedral? One bay demolished early 2000s?
TBE BEA Cathedral hangar still in use.
TBJ/TBK BOAC B747 hangars
TBN ex bmi hangar (also described as TBD?)

google was not my friend on this.
That's substantially correct.

TBB was on the south side of what is now Envoy Road (currently a huge car park).

The original TBD (aka "East Hangar" or Bays 11-20, including workshope, engine test cell, etc in BEA days) was on the site of the current blast pen (you can still see the footprint of the building on GE). The designator TBD was later recycled for. I think, the BMI hangar.

TBE (aka "West Hangar" or Bays 1-10) is indeed the one to which the Cathedral hangar was bolted on (losing access to Bay 1 in the process). Bays 6-10 have been demolished together with the offices above. I have a feeling that what's left - the bit visible from the CTA - may be listed, which is perhaps why it still survives.

Other notable buildings to have vanished over the years include Speedbird House, Comet House, Viscount House (and extension) and, most importantly, the Runway and Hatton Cross canteens (I assume the one inside TBA survives).
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Old 24th Nov 2020, 07:25
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Does this help? Layout as it was around 2000 AFAIK. Image courtesy of Maurice Ungless.

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Old 24th Nov 2020, 08:29
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Originally Posted by Jhieminga View Post
Does this help? Layout as it was around 2000 AFAIK. Image courtesy of Maurice Ungless.
TBB had already gone before 2000 (as per that link in OP about demolition blast of the hanger) and the re-routed east peri road around TBA and the new E2 car park etc, were certainly in place by 2000/1, as many people that were working in the T5 design offices at WBC in 2001 had E2 passes.

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Old 24th Nov 2020, 08:55
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And don't forget the unofficial "Tiger Moth House" which was one of the wooden huts used by IM in the 1980s. You can see them on the plan just North of the TA1 TA2 parking spots - now a small industrial estate.
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Old 24th Nov 2020, 09:02
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There was also a TBF. I can't remember if that was the Engine Test Cell or something else. There was a makeshift composite/fibreglass repair facility near where the pass office building is now, opposite TBK. Was that TBF?

The ex BMI hangar is now TBN. Was used for engineering training but most of that has been moved to TBC along with classroom crew training in the 'Academy'. Engineering offices are also up in TBC.
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Old 24th Nov 2020, 10:13
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Originally Posted by Jhieminga View Post
Does this help? Layout as it was around 2000 AFAIK. Image courtesy of Maurice Ungless.
Brilliant, thanks so much all!
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Old 24th Nov 2020, 10:52
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The date for that image may well be wrong, the person who shared it with me guessed early 2000s. Based on my own recollection from that time, TBB was indeed gone by 1999, but TBD was still there. It had a Trident parked outside back then (the short-wing special that later moved to Manchester).
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Old 24th Nov 2020, 13:17
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Originally Posted by Jhieminga View Post
The date for that image may well be wrong, the person who shared it with me guessed early 2000s. Based on my own recollection from that time, TBB was indeed gone by 1999, but TBD was still there. It had a Trident parked outside back then (the short-wing special that later moved to Manchester).
GE shows TBD still there in the January 2006 imagery, but gone by March 2008. The same period saw the demolition of most of the other buildings on the West Base.

TBD's removal must have left a huge hole to be filled, because below ground level there was a gallery running the entire length of the building. In my time there it seemed to be used mainly for storing spare engines and for important stuff like my overall locker.
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Old 24th Nov 2020, 13:45
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Wow brings back some memories this question

BEA Childrens Xmas parties at the old Runway canteen , Santa disembarking from a parked Viscount. Also father in laws retirement party in same location.
Wife workd in the BEA multi story office block-top floor on the 28R (as it was ) threshold corner-fantastic views. Then she moved over to 'the enemy' BOAC , although it was all BA by then the rivalry was still entrenched and worked as one of the Speedbird London HF/SSB operators in their tiny location at the top of TBA -better known as the Kremlin- if my memory is correct. With all the outsourcing of work down to Cardiff and other progress that part of the airport has changed a lot but some of the old hangars from BOAC days will have seen everything from Britannia's and 7Cs to Concorde and Triple 7s and no doubt 78s too by now.
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Old 24th Nov 2020, 15:05
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Originally Posted by pax britanica View Post
Wife workd in the BEA multi story office block-top floor on the 28R (as it was ) threshold corner-fantastic views.
I can't recall any BEA building in that location (maybe before my time?).
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Old 24th Nov 2020, 16:38
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Hello Mr Reid

The building my beeter half worked in was 5 or 6 stories high so it really stood out on the airport especially as it was not that far from the southern runway but obviously all legal etc. I was an onlong office block with relatively small windows and if you recall where the original BEA Engineering base hangars were it was sort of grafted on to the eastern end of the second row of those hangars . . I have tried to find a link to a suitable pic without success although if you Google images for BEA hangars there is a picture of a Vanguard with the Bea base in the background which clearly shows the office block. I have a feeling it is gone now-my wife moaning about her past being eradicated.
For someone like me who grew up literally next door to LHR and who remembers -not clearly admittedly the extension of the southern runway , the Beacon, and the changes to the terminals its sad but of course they were necessary , a background to my life for many years watching it change as i grew up and being a very regular user as a grown up lol. I can hardly think of anything left from that era other than some of the hangars under discussion altho the old MT base on the north side by the Bath road , may still be there actually, must be one of the few original buildings along with some of the huts and prefabs just to the north of the BA ( BOAC ) base


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Old 24th Nov 2020, 16:48
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Hello Mr Reid

The building my beeter half worked in was 5 or 6 stories high so it really stood out on the airport especially as it was not that far from the southern runway but obviously all legal etc. I was an onlong office block with relatively small windows and if you recall where the original BEA Engineering base hangars were it was sort of grafted on to the eastern end of the second row of those hangars . . I have tried to find a link to a suitable pic without success although if you Google images for BEA hangars there is a picture of a Vanguard with the Bea base in the background which clearly shows the office block. I have a feeling it is gone now-my wife moaning about her past being eradicated.
For someone like me who grew up literally next door to LHR and who remembers -not clearly admittedly the extension of the southern runway , the Beacon, and the changes to the terminals its sad but of course they were necessary , a background to my life for many years watching it change as i grew up and being a very regular user as a grown up lol. I can hardly think of anything left from that era other than some of the hangars under discussion altho the old MT base on the north side by the Bath road , may still be there actually, must be one of the few original buildings along with some of the huts and prefabs just to the north of the BA ( BOAC ) base



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Old 24th Nov 2020, 17:04
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Originally Posted by pax britanica View Post
The building my better half worked in was 5 or 6 stories high so it really stood out on the airport especially as it was not that far from the southern runway but obviously all legal etc.
Ah, you mean Viscount House!

It was indeed 5 stories high, IIRC. I can't remember much after all this time, but I do recall that the Engineering library was on the ground floor. On the top floors were the development engineers, mods section, drawing office, etc. I briefly worked on the 4th floor, right at the end of my time at BA.

Oh, and it had a Paternoster!

It was your reference to the 28R threshold that had me fooled ...




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Old 24th Nov 2020, 17:51
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Dave

I spent so much time deliberating whether to refer to it as 28 as it was or 27 as it and of course got the important bit wrong.
It was indeed Viscount house and Mrs PB worked on the 5th floor-senior managers with tea in nicer cups , the guy she worked for handled facilities issues like jet mufflers, gantries and other specialised equipment.
Her co worker came in ashen faced one day to admit she had collided with Tri-Star while parking-they were allowed to park beneath them to some extent- of course a small car hitting a main wheel tire on a Tristar isnt going to do anything to the tristar but it didn't do her car any good- and as for 'other vehicle details' on her insurance claim well....A lot of people worked at the BA bases back in the day I am sure its much smaller operation numbers wise now . My wife got paid alot more at Speedbird London but it was housed ina tiny windowless room whereas she had a view of the airport as good as anyone in Viscount house and rather missed that
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Old 24th Nov 2020, 19:26
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Our Airport site office was the first floor of the building directly above TA4 in Epsom Square on that map.

BA used to park their 747s nose in at TA4. Being on the first floor, you could open the window and fell like you could stretch and touch them at cockpit level, such was the close proximity.

T'was a noisy place to work, being near the threshold. Never got used to it and it was constant.

I recall a rare Concorde easterly departure off the northern runway that shook our building to the point our fillings fell out along with the windows. There used to be a greasy spoon van round the corner on the Eastern Perimeter Rd who served the best bacon butties ever.

Happy memories.

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Old 24th Nov 2020, 19:42
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Talking

Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
Ah, you mean Viscount House!

It was indeed 5 stories high, IIRC. I can't remember much after all this time, but I do recall that the Engineering library was on the ground floor. On the top floors were the development engineers, mods section, drawing office, etc. I briefly worked on the 4th floor, right at the end of my time at BA.

Oh, and it had a Paternoster!

It was your reference to the 28R threshold that had me fooled ...


I just about remember Viscount House, your mention of the Paternoster lift is what jogged my memory.
As appentices we were taken to the library and told to help ourselves as the building was being emptied, this much have been around 1993 - 1994.
I've no idea when they demolished the building as I transferred down to LGW not long afterwards.
I still have the books !
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Old 24th Nov 2020, 20:41
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The secrets of Comet and Speedbird

I used to pace these buildings and always reckoned that the indoor journey from Comet House through Speedbird House and to the end of TBC (Reservations, Customer Relations and multi-storey) all on, I think, the 2nd floor, just had to be the longest indoor walkway in the UK....if not in Europe. It could take 15-20 mins.
Not many people know that!
Secrets? Speedbird House had a small 'powder room' with a lovely sofa that was put there on the occasion of a visit by Princess Diana just in case she needed a pee. Another office had inside locks on the door and a peep-hole outwards for reasons that I shall not comment on. Finally, a couple of young lads who started in Res in the 70s and had no accommodation, stashed their rucksacks and sleeping bags in a Comet House cleaners closet and lived on site for about 3 months.
If only these walls could talk.
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Old 24th Nov 2020, 22:04
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Viscount House and Viscount House annex also used you house part of Engineering training and I went through a number of courses there in the 1980s and 1990s. The whole lot was flattened along with TBD to make way for all the parking stands on that side of the base. TBD was quite a challenge, as anyone who worked there would tell you, it wasn't just a hangar complex but a whole labyrinth of passageways, stores areas, changing rooms etc all below floor level, in fact when you first entered from the landside/car park you immediately went down a few flights of stairs to be able to be able to go to any of the hangar bays, which you then had to access by climbing up stairs to get to the ground floor level.

Getting back to Viscount House annex, the Paternoster used to have signs on the top floor landing used to have signs to get off on the top floor and not to ride it "over the top" something to do with overloading I seem to remember. The favourite trick of of some Engineering staff was to ride it over the top and do a handstand so it looked as if they had been flipped upside down by going all the way over the top..



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Old 24th Nov 2020, 23:03
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A bit before this time, I think. My grandfather's business, quantity surveyors, had an office in a prefab on the South side of the airport until about 1954. He was very social and probably got most of his business through "Days at the races" and gambling parties at our house.

My fifth birthday party was held in the Nissen hut that was the airport restaurant. We got a tour round the Comet which was the newest thing and then some bonfires out at the end of the airport near the resevoirs.

When I was at home he took me to his office on Friday mornings, Putney to the Airport, an hour reading while he did some work, small writing on big ledger sheets, and then we would go to the Restaurant for lunch. They had an Hors d'oeuvres trolley with rotating layers that was a favourite and then fried fillet of plaice with chips and peas as I was too nervous to order anything else! (Six years old!) (I notice MS Office spelling does not include Hors d'oeuvres!)
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