Bedford Airfield and Wind Tunnel sites - major research facilities of the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Bedford.
BAHG aims to preserve the scientific and historical legacy
of the Royal Aircraft Establishment Bedford and its successors through the retention and preservation of
relevant archive material and artefacts. BAHG has been active since February 2008, when there was a danger
that much historic material would be lost.
RAE Bedford was the UK’s premier flight test and wind tunnel research establishment from 1952 until 2001.
Short SB5 research aircraft in flight, July 1962
Through this web site we aim:
. To outline the history, role and achievements of RAE Bedford.
· To promote the work and activities of BAHG.
· To provide information about material in the BAHG archive.
· To attract interest and support from former RAE Bedford staff, and as many other people as possible, to encourage involvement with the work of BAHG.
· To invite the donation of relevant material and artefacts to the archive for preservation and to collect personal recollections of life and work at RAE Bedford for the archive.
The Bedford Aeronautical Heritage Group (BAHG) is the Bedford “wing” of
Air Sciences Trust. BAHG members have
contributed a number of specialist items to the FAST these are available
BAHG will be pleased to hear from anyone with any material (photographs, reports etc) related to the former Bedford Establishment, both the Wind Tunnel site and the Thurleigh Airfield site.
of RAE Bedford date back to 1944, and Aeronautical Research Committee Report
No. ARC 7500 which recommended the setting up of a National Establishment
for aeronautical research and development. The Government, in accepting
the report, decided to set up the Establishment at Bedford. The NAE became
the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE) Bedford in 1955 and, after a brief
life (1988-1991) as the Royal Aerospace Establishment, transformed to the
Defence Research Agency (DRA) in 1991, to the Defence Evaluation and
Research Agency (DERA) in 1995 before further government policy changes
led to the split in 2001 into the Defence Science & Technology Laboratory
(Dstl) and QinetiQ, a commercial company. This is the situation today.
The NAE, and subsequently the RAE at Bedford, consisted of two main sites, the wind tunnel site (sometimes also known as Twinwoods) and the airfield site at Thurleigh. RAE headquarters was, of course, at Farnborough.
We hope this web site will grow substantially. We would welcome feedback on subjects people think
should be added or enlarged.
News and events
The Concorde exhibition at the Bedford Higgins Museum has now closed. In due course, the exhibits will be returned to FAST.
This page last updated - 17/07/2022
The Group welcomes the support of
former employees and anyone else who has interest
Web design by FBM