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Farnborough Air Sciences Museum


RAE Photographic Collection from 1912
































The RAE Farnborough photographic and image archives, and associated historic records, were built up from the early days of the Balloon Factory and Army Aircraft Factory from around 1912 and reflect the progress of research and development into aviation from that period to the present.

The collection is in the form of various sized glass plate negatives, standard film negatives in large and 35mm format and a number of old glass projection glass slides and 35mm colour slides – in fact, virtually all formats available over almost 100 years.

The cataloguing of the collection into an electronic database allowed the database to be searched under a number of headings, but also allowed FAST to complete a definitive analysis of how much of the collection is left – many of the negatives and plates having been destroyed or lost in its 100 year history.

On a further historic note, the RAE photographic registers – recording the details of each plate (date, place, for whom and which department photographed, name of the photographer etc) – are complete from 1912 onwards.

A collaboration was later formed, under the FAST banner, with RAE Bedford and a group of ex-Bedford staff, who are sorting and cataloguing the extensive photographic and film archive.

The Collection also includes a large proportion of the NGTE Pyestock film records and the accompanying Registers.

The archives also hold a few small collections of aerial photographs. Most are of the airfield and Factory (RAE) site but a few are of Farnborough local areas, English towns and cities which were used as photographic targets during development of aerial cameras and lenses.

We also hold a few private photos albums which include some RAF-related aerial photographs in the inter-war years operating from the Middle East.

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 2024 Wind Tunnel Tour Season is now running until 27th October 2024. Details at Wind Tunnel Tours>>


FAST Talks have now resumed, please see FAST Events for details.


Trenchard House
85 Farnborough Road
Hampshire GU14 6TF

Tel: 01252 375050
(Office manned Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays & Bank Holiday Mondays)

Arts Council Accredited Museum