Airfields of Great Britain Conservation Trust
An airfield preservation and protection organisation.
The Airfield Information Exchange
The Forum for Anyone interested in following military airfield history.
Bodyflight: Skydiving and Surfing in a controlled and safe environment - using the former RAE vertical wind tunnel.
Farnborough Air Sciences Trust (FAST)
BAHG is the Bedford “wing” of the Farnborough Air Sciences Trust. Farnborough was the headquarters of the Royal Aircraft Establishment from 1918 on.
306th Bombardment Group Museum
A history of Thurleigh airfield in WW2 is on display at Ralph Franklin’s 306th Bombardment Group Museum located on Thurleigh airfield. <
Boscombe Down Aviation Collection (BDAC)
This collection, now at Old Sarum Airfield, near Salisbury, Wiltshire, houses many aircraft from Boscombe Down. Bedford’s aircraft were transferred to Boscombe Down in March 1994 when Thurleigh airfield closed.
Martlesham Heath Aviation Society
Martlesham Heath (Suffolk), was home to BLEU before it relocated to Bedford in 1957.
National Aerospace Library Defford Airfield Heritage Group
Defford Airfield Heritage Group
Defford (Worcs) and Pershore were bases for radar flying trials, before the Radar Flight Trials Unit relocated its aircraft to Bedford in 1976-77.
Several Bedfordshire aviation organisations are of interest.
The Shuttleworth Collection
Shuttleworth (Old Warden) Aerodrome, Nr. Biggleswade Bedfordshire
The Aircraft Research Association (ARA)
The Aircraft Research Association (ARA) was established in Bedford in 1952 as an industry collective, and is still operating wind tunnels today.
Cranfield University was founded in 1946 as the College of Aeronautics as a component of the post-WW2 grand plan for UK aeronautics, of which RAE Bedford was also a part. Several Bedford aircraft were modified at Cranfield to suit research needs.
The Airship Heritage Trust (AHT)
Airship Heritage Trust (AHT) preserves the history of airships at Cardington near Bedford, for a short while (1980s) part of RAE Bedford.
Aeronautical Society (RAeS)
RAF Museum, Cosford
Home to several research aircraft operated at Bedford. The “Test Flight” display includes five ex-Bedford aircraft: Fairey FD2 (WG777), Short SB5 (WG768), English Electric P1A (WG760), Hunting H126 Jet Flap (XN714) and Avro 707C (WZ744) - as well as the Bristol 188, a TSR2, the prototype Meteor (DG202), and the ACT Jaguar (XX765). Vickers Varsity (WL679) is in the Transport hangar (Hangar 1).
The Imperial War Museum, near Cambridge.
Fleet Air Arm Museum Yeovilton (Somerset)
Home to HP115, research aircraft, based at Bedford 1961-1974
Home to the Short SC1 Aircraft XG900. The Short SC1 was the first British fixed-wing vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft. The Museum also houses Hawker P.1127, XP831. This is the first prototype VSTOL aircraft which achieved vertical take-off on 21st October, 1960.
Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, Cultra, Northern Ireland, near Belfast
The second Short SC1 (XG905) can be seen at the Flight Experience exhibit at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, Cultra, Northern Ireland, near Belfast. Both SC1 aircraft were formerly based at Bedford.
Home to Hawker P1127, XP984
Canberra WK163 is currently preserved at RAF St Mawgan.
Boulton Paul P111A VT935
The Midland Air Museum is situated on the North side of Coventry airport.
This page last updated - 07/06/2023
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