The origin of the FAST collection was a "skip rescue"! When the Ministry of Defence (MOD) announced the closure and sale of its site in Farnborough it was evident that a large amount of historically important material would end up in skips. FAST got recognition from the MOD. as recipients of this large amount of artefacts, records and documentation. FAST were encouraged by the MOD to take a lease on the building known as R52 to house the collection. R52 was the home of the FAST collection for three years.
The new owners of the site required FAST to vacate R52. They refurbished building G1, since renamed Trenchard House, to house part of the collection and to be the home of the FAST museum.
Hampshire County Council Museums Service made a substantial grant to establish a collections policy document and the methodology and computers for cataloguing. A small army of knowledgeable and enthusiastic volunteers undertook the rescue, sorting and cataloguing.
Trenchard House houses part of the collection. There is a library, an archive, and a store. There are selected items on display, chosen for their interest to visitors of the museum: models, photographs, documents, artifacts and memorabilia. Outside the building, there are aircraft on display which had significant design and development contributions from the Farnborough site.
In the Listed Buildings in the Farnborough Aviation Site Conservation Area
All the material of special historical interest has been catalogued and removed but many items of general interest remain, some too large to move and store, for example, a 1500 horsepower propeller testing rig. FAST is working with the site owners on how to protect this part of the collection in situ while restoration of the listed buildings is carried out.
In the reserve collection
In the Reserve Collection
In two storage sites, near Farnborough, FAST is looking after a large collection of wind tunnel models and other artefacts, many cabinets of documentation and historical records of engineering and technical development and a large collection of plans and drawings relating to the Farnborough and Pyestock sites.