Farnborough Air Sciences Museum


Pressure Suits
















As aircraft performance increased and high altitude flight became the experimental norm, there rose a need to protect Test Pilots and, later when high-altitude flight in the operational RAF became usual, to protect Squadron pilots.

RAE started to design and test pressure suits in WW2 for flight above 40,000 ft in Photo Reconnaissance Spitfires (before pressure cabins were used) and in post war times the need to fly at 50,000ft and above – with the V-Bomber fleet – became a necessity. This involved the design of Full Pressure Suits – essentially Space Suits – and this programme involved both RAF IAM and British Industry. It ran from the mid-1950s to the mid-1960s and provided pragmatic and successful solutions, only to be torpedoed by the U2 Gary Powers accident and the cessation of high altitude operations for the RAF Bomber fleet.

Enquiries & Access

If you wish to see any of our archives or artefacts, or to enquire whether we have a particular item, please see Enquiries & Access for details and forms.


Saturdays, Sundays and
Bank Holiday Mondays
10.00am - 4.00pm


The FAST Museum RE-OPENED on Saturday 31 July 2021.

The Wind Tunnels remain CLOSED, but we expect an update on this very soon.

Covid Secure Guided tours of the Man-Carrying Centrifuge are running.


All postponed events are currently being rescheduled and dates will be posted soon>>


Trenchard House
85 Farnborough Road
Hampshire GU14 6TF

Tel: 01252 375050
Email: secretary@airsciences.org.uk
(Office manned Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays & Bank Holiday Mondays)

Arts Council Accredited Museum