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RAE Thurleigh

Old 12th Sep 2008, 17:50
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RAE Thurleigh

I used to work at RAE Thurleigh about 20 years ago. At the time they had a BAE111, amongst others. I seem to remember a Seaking with a radar bulb built on the nose. I know it is a long shot, but anyone got any photos of the Thurleigh fleet ?
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Old 12th Sep 2008, 21:00
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I suggest you look for a copy of “A short illustrated history of RAE Bedford” by Arthur Pearcy. Airlife pubs ISBN 1 85310 660 8. Although the book is published in black and white, there is a good range of photos.
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Old 12th Sep 2008, 22:08
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I've only got images of Puma XW241 and Lynx ZD559. Will scan them next week and post. Both official shots by site photographer (Peter ?). I never ever took a camera onto the site. Now I wish I had. Do an airliners.net search for ZB506 and you'll see it with the nose radar. 241 is now a sad looking specimen; 559 is at Boscombe. Many happy hours on both as an FO (no, not a first officer)
 
Old 13th Sep 2008, 01:35
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Canberra line up here

http://forum.keypublishing.co.uk/att...hmentid=109932

edited: to add that there was a unofficial and very limited edition video tape, made by some of the ground crew, of the last days at Bedford. It showed most of the aircraft doing very low farewell passes in front of the hangars. I had a copy but I can't find it (think the wife probably through it out when we dumped the vhs m/c.

Last edited by green granite; 13th Sep 2008 at 09:06.
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Old 13th Sep 2008, 08:18
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'Testing Colours' by Adrian Balch ISBN 1-85310-349-7 has many colour photos of the RAE & A&AEE air fleets. Many of the Bedford types are included.

lm
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Old 13th Sep 2008, 11:15
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I may have a few lurking in an album somewhere, what are you after?

G
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Old 13th Sep 2008, 21:21
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Oddly enough I saw the Sea King when it visited Odious....... it had strain gauges all over its nose as part of the trial.... a Chief we had who had just done all the courses to move onto it, but did diddly squat else rushed out to refuel it and could not find the caps........ it was a US model I believe and they were on the other side to ours...
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Old 1st Oct 2008, 18:04
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Thanks very much, i was an electronics apprentice at RAE Thurleigh, and remember doing compass swings on a god awful day in December. My apprentice master was in the cockpit putting his thumbs out of the window every now and again.

Many happy memories of RAE Thurleigh, from heading into the site on my little 80cc moped from bedford in the driving snow, to being caught using the phone to ring the Met Office, to get weekend weather report so could work out if I could met the girlfriend, urmmm to continue my education !!!

I also never dared to take a camera onto the site, and camera phones didn't exist.

I remember as a treat we were taken up in a BAE111 for a fly around. I also remember another apprentice had built a digital clock, that worked, but drew 3 AMPS !!!!

Just really looking for photo's to help jog the memories, i also recall a Jaguar coming in that had had some of it's wing ripped off, young pilot did not eject, brought it in safely
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Old 1st Oct 2008, 19:05
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Got a copy of 'Testing Colours' and it's a very interesting book with some excellent photographs.

Here's a recent shot of Thurleigh from the air -

- - Aircraft Photos - Bedford-Thurleigh @ Airplane-Pictures.net
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Old 2nd Oct 2008, 13:00
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Two books about RAE Bedford, one as safetypee has mentioned

“A short illustrated history of RAE Bedford” by Arthur Pearcy. Airlife pubs ISBN 1 85310 660 8.

and another book with more information and photographs

"Wings over Thurleigh" by Micheal D. Dobson ISBN 0-9541594-0-3

The second book covers 1954 to 1994, an amazing history of research and development.

ps In 'Wings over Thurleigh' I figure in the photograph on page 98
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Old 2nd Oct 2008, 14:19
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i also recall a Jaguar coming in that had had some of it's wing ripped off, young pilot did not eject, brought it in safely
IIRC he lost the rest of it on the guy wires at the Sandy Heath TV mast.
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Old 13th Oct 2008, 17:24
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YDNRC - You do not remember correctly!
I'd left by then and that was I was told by what I thought was a reliable source.
Charwelton Radio Tower is even more solid than Sandy Heath twr.
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Old 14th Oct 2008, 07:35
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Well someone from Northants eventually had to be famous I suppose. I lived in Bedford in the 70,s and remember the RB engined VC10 doing circuits in the distance. As with so many things in life in those days had no interest in aviation and only recall driving past the airfield once.
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Old 20th Oct 2008, 18:29
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Anyone know where I could get a copy of "Wings Over Thurleigh? Booksellers of the world seem to be bereft of copies.
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Old 20th Oct 2008, 18:36
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Try putting in a request at your local library and tell them that Bedford Library has a copy.
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Old 21st Oct 2008, 08:54
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Thanks for that, GG, I'll give it a try.
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Old 21st Oct 2008, 13:00
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I had the privelege of a guided tour of the windtunnels there a while ago, what a fascinating place! I live locally, went to school within a couple of miles of the airfield and wind tunnels.

Unfortunately the airfield is now covered in parked cars. I flew over it many times during my training. Of course now part of the runway and some of the taxiways form the Palmer racing track. There were plans mooted recently to turn it back into an active airfield, but I think they've been shelved because of complaints from locals.
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Old 21st Oct 2008, 16:38
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rae thurleigh

I also lived in Bedford during the 1960s, 70s and 1980s and well remember Monarch Britannias and B720s pounding the circuit doing training as well as BOAC aircraft (cannot remember if they were B707s and B747s probably both) - am now an old git. As a member of Air-Britain Luton branch we managed to have a tour round in the 1980s and a fascinating day we all had. I could not believe the amount of aircraft they had there ranging from Tornados to a Vickers Viscount. Also went to an Arthur Piercy lecture in Bedford - he used to work at Thurleigh - very interesting it was too - he was also trying to sell some of his books as well - good old Arthur now sadly missed.
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Old 23rd Oct 2008, 07:28
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I did a liaison vist there years ago when I first arrived at Farnbrorough. The wind was south westerly favouring runway 24, but this didn't have ILS, so there was a Monarch '720 doing visual and ILS circuits on 27, interleaving with an Andover doing 5.5 deg MLS approaches; on the reciprocal 09 there was a Hunter doing 1 in 1s, and there was the odd departure/arrival on runway 24; yes it did get busy!!
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Old 23rd Oct 2008, 09:48
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I believe there is a strip available for "fly-in" visitors to the Jonathan Palmer driving days. Anyone used it or know where it is?
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