News 2012
Farnborough Air Sciences Trust
Safeguarding Our Unique Aviation Heritage
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FAST Volunteer Derek Parks enables a Museum Visitor to get close and personal with the FAST Harrier, one of her favourite jets; while Dad looks on.


We are delighted to unveil the Concorde simulator which has been reassembled and refurbished by FAST volunteers at the Museum.  The simulator uses some of the training aids used by British Airways used to train pilots on the iconic supersonic aircraft. 

By popular demand, the FAST Museum now has a coffee lounge!  Located on the first floor of the Museum, the lounge is open during Museum opening hours.  Come along and enjoy hot and cold drinks, cakes and biscuits. All proceeds to the work of the Trust.
ABOVE : FAST Chairman Richard Gardner presented a framed print of his painting of a BE2 flying over the RFC HQ (now the FAST Museum, Trenchard House) to Wg Cdr Nick Tucker-Lowe DSO, the current Officer Commanding No 2 Squadron, RAF, which as 2 Sqn RFC was formed at Farnborough flying BE2s in May 1912.
ABOVE : The new RFC/Royal Aircraft Factory exhibition in the FAST Museum where the original RFC HQ was established in 1912. The exhibition is open every weekend for the rest of the year.
ABOVE : A replica BE2 observation aircraft celebrates the centenary of its own design as well as the centenary of the Royal Aircraft Factory and the Royal Flying Corps at Farnborough on April 12.
On April 12th, a replica BE2 - the original of which first flew 100 years ago and which was designed by Geoffrey de Havilland and built at the Royal Aircraft Factory - returned to Farnborough skies and parked in front of the original RFC Headquarters, now the museum of Farnborough Air Sciences Trust, alongside the famous Black Sheds, where so many early RFC squadrons were formed and based.

Participating at the celebrations were representatives from the first three squadrons, which went on to become Nos 1,2 and 3 Squadrons of the RAF; and also representatives from RAF Odiham, which is only five miles from Farnborough.  Later, an Army Air Corps Apache joined the BE2 and a DH Dragon Rapide in a fly-past over the former RFC HQ building, now known as Trenchard House, in memory of Hugh Trenchard, "The father of the RAF" who had his office there before taking the RFC squadrons to the Western Front in France.

12 APRIL 2012

ABOVE : Wg Cdr Nick Tucker-LoweDSO with the pilot of the replica BE2, Matthew Boddington, and local Member of Parliament and Minister for International Security Strategy, Gerald Howath MP, who opened the new RFC exhibition.
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In April a double aviation centenary was celebrated at Farnborough. It was on April 13th 1912 that the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Aircraft Factory were officially created, paving the way for the formal establishment of a combined British military air arm and an official centre for aviation research and development. This was the birth of air power and grew out of the previously fragmented activities carried out by the Army and Royal Navy, supported by visionary individuals and small pioneering aeroplane companies. The Royal Engineers Air Battalion, based at Farnborough, and a Naval Wing, based at Eastchurch, would form the basis of the new RFC, developing what had been a mix of  enthusiastic and negative official views on aviation, but bringing, at last, government support for a cohesive organization that recognized the potential of air power. And with increasing aviation progress in Germany, France and Italy, it was clear that more technical effort was needed if Britain was to be able to grow a home aviation capability that might supply the future needs of the Army and Royal Navy.
Little did anyone realize at the time that over the next six years British air power and manufacturing would see massive expansion with the production and operation of over 22,000 military aeroplanes. The First World War introduced the new concept of air warfare - a third dimension over the battlefield - which has remained dominant in military strategy to this day. This was truly the dawn of military aviation, and Farnborough was at its heart with the operational administration of early flying units and, in the Royal Aircraft Factory, a growing capacity to design, build and test not only engines and aeroplanes, but everything to do with equipping and operating them. While engine and aircraft production reverted to commercial manufacturers, the role of research and development testing continued after 1918 when it became the Royal Aircraft Establishment.

The Annex has been given a great new look and improved visitor experience.  Come along and see the models and displays in their new improved surroundings.
Left : Gottingen Wind Tunnel
Right : Concorde Wind Tunnel Models
On this day, 99 years ago, Samuel Franklin Cody - the first person to make a powered, heavier than air flight in the UK - was killed.  In what should have been a pleasure flight over Bramshot golf course, his aircraft broke up, killing Cody and his unfortunate passenger.  Probably as a result of a structural failure, the aircraft swerved violently, and both men fell out of the aircraft.  The wreckage fell onto Ball Hill, an area within what subsequently became the Royal Aircraft Establishment and now known as the Cody Technology Park.

Cody was given a full military funeral and, such was his fame at the time, 100,000 people lined the route of his cortege, from his home in Ash Vale to the Aldershot Military Ceremony.

A project to erect a statue of Cody has begun and an event is being held in the Farnborough Air Sciences Museum to create publicity for the statue project and to help to raise the funds needed to pay for the statue and for the surrounding area.  When in place, the statue will be a fitting memorial to Britain's colourful pioneer airman; will create a lasting reminder of the area's aeronautical heritage; and will generate civic pride in the scientific achievements of Farnborough in the County of Hampshire.

Please see the Cody Statue Project pages for more details.  We would also sincerely appreciate your kind donations to help make this important project happen.

7 AUGUST 2012

An aviation history showcase in Farnborough's  Princes Mead Shopping Centre was unveiled on Tuesday 4 September. The showcase which displays artefacts from the Museum of the Farnborough Air Sciences Trust (FAST) has been provided by the Rushmoor Rotary Club.
At the unveiling : Rushmoor Councillors Roland Dibbs and Charles Choudary on the left,  Dr Graham Rood - FAST and David Pickett - Princes Mead Centre Director at the back; and in front and looking at the display -  Mrs Evelyn Kerr, wife of the late Tom Kerr CB, Pyestock and subsequently RAE Director
Farnborough Air Sciences Trust
Safeguarding Our Unique Aviation Heritage