Filton Airfield - General Thread


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TheLocalYokel

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Following its tour of UK airports and sites today an A380 will land at Filton around 1615 and remain on the ground until noon tomorrow ehen it will leave for Toulouse.

As I type this the weather around Bristol is not the best for anyone deciding to have a look - low cloud and light drizzle.

A380s have spent time at Filton in the past doing test flights.
 

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The 380 did a low fly past at BRS before going to Filton to land.
 

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I didn't go to Filton as I've seen a 380 there before and Filton, although only about ten miles away from me, is a slog right across the city and can take an hour by car sometimes.

However, I did see the 380.

It flew almost over my house before lining up for the 27 approach to BRS around seven miles finals. Didn't expect it because there was no publicity saying it would do a fly-past at BRS. The aircraft was so quiet and made a real change to the 319s and 737s and 757s that are the usual diet of the BRS approach.

Bet it gave a shock to some of the antis living underneath the approach and a very pleasant surprise to any watchers at BRS who are aviation enthusiasts and had no idea it was coming.

I don't know if this was a decision made on the day because the local paper carried a full story the day before about the Filton stay and how it was the climax of its UK tour. Had they known it was to overfly BRS as well I'm sure they would have mentioned it.
 

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[textarea]A century of aviation achievement in Bristol

For many Bristolians, the aviation industry has been a backdrop to their lives.

Some can recall hearing the sound of test flights at Filton. Others helped to build vital components for planes such as Concorde and the Airbus A380.

And it is all because of the creation of the British & Colonial Aeroplane Company and the Bristol Aeroplane Company, which were formally registered by Sir George White on February 19, 1910.

The 100th anniversary of that date will be marked next month, at the start of BAC 100 – an event which will celebrate throughout the year the industry that has had such an impact on the lives of so many in Bristol and South Gloucestershire.

The BAC 100 celebrations will also commemorate the 100th anniversary of the flight of the first aircraft built at the former tram shed on top of Filton Hill, which was adapted to become a production line for the new company.

The Bristol Boxkite, piloted by Frenchman Maurice Edmond reached a height of 150ft on its maiden flight from Larkhill, Wiltshire, in July 1910.

It was the first of many aircraft to be built at Filton – including Concorde, which was the last complete aeroplane to be built there, and made its maiden flight on April 9, 1969.

In recent years, wings for the double-decker Airbus 380 superjumbo have been designed and part-built at Airbus in Filton.

"In 100 years, aviation in Bristol has gone a long way from making planes out of wood, glue and paper to making Concorde and the Airbus A380," said Andrew Kelly, the director of the Bristol Cultural and Development Partnership, which is co-ordinating the BAC 100 programme.

"The West of England has become one of the world's leading centres of aerospace engineering and technology, with companies like Rolls-Royce and Airbus.

"So this event will not only be a celebration of the innovation and adventure of the past – it will also celebrate the achievements of the present and the challenges of the future."

The launch of BAC 100 will feature a celebratory flight around Bristol by an easyJet A319 – which has wings designed, engineered and manufactured in Filton. The programme of activities during 2010 will include an exhibition at Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery; the publication of two books; a rally of Bristol cars and vintage Bristol vehicles; and workshops in schools teaching about the science of flying.

"The aviation industry has touched the lives of so many people in Bristol in so many ways," said Mr Kelly.

"I've met people who have had three generations of their family work in aviation in Bristol. So many people have stories to tell, so we're trying to make this something which is very much about social history."

As part of preparations for BAC 100, an oral history was taken from 80 former employees in the Bristol aviation industry, which developed from the British & Colonial Aeroplane Company and the Bristol Aeroplane Company, which adopted the latter name in 1920 and was known as "the BAC" to generations of Bristolians. Bristol Cars Ltd evolved out of BAC, and BAC's engine department went on to become Bristol Siddeley and later merged with Rolls-Royce to form that company's Bristol division.

BAC also contributed to the formation of the British Aircraft Corporation and can be linked to BritishAerospace (Filton), BAE Systems, Airbus and other aviation companies in the West of England.

"Sir George White made sure that the swirling logo with the Bristol name went on everything built by the company: cars, buses, trams, planes," said Mr Kelly. "He very much wanted to be seen as a Bristol man, and had a widespread influence around the city."

Mr Kelly pointed out that the aviation industry has made a significant contribution to the prosperity of the Bristol area.

"It has certainly played a vital role in the development of South Gloucestershire," he said.

"It has also brought all sorts of international connections to this area over the years. Within just a few months of the company being set up it was selling Bristol Boxkites to India and Russia."

BAC 100 is a partnership initiative between Bristol Cultural Development Partnership – which consists of Arts Council England, Bristol City Council and GWE Business West – working with Airbus and Rolls-Royce.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has made a grant towards the project, and Bristol City Council and South Gloucestershire Council are also funding it. Other partners include: Bristol Aero Collection, Filton Community History, Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust, SWRDA, and WEAF.

BAC 100 is sponsored by Airbus, BAE Systems, Bristol International Airport, Component Coating and Repair Services Ltd, GKN, MBDA, Rolls-Royce, University of Bristol, and the University of the West of England. "The private sector has really come on board, not just in Bristol and the West of England, but all over the country," said Mr Kelly, who was responsible for organising the Brunel 200 events to celebrate the bicentenary of the birth of the engineer Isambard Brunel in 2006.

He added: "During the celebrations of the anniversary of Brunel's birth it became clear that there was a huge warmth in Bristol towards great characters who had helped to shape the city, and we hope that BAC 100 will generate similar enthusiasm."

? The website for BAC 100 is http://www.bac2010.co.uk. This will be expanded from February 19 to include online games and puzzles, film and audio clips, and children's activity sheets.

The site will also contain background information, and news of events taking place throughout 2010.

KEY BAC 100 EVENTS

? Official launch celebrations on February 19, which will include a celebratory flight around Bristol on an easyJet A319 – for which five Evening Post readers can win a VIP ticket.

? Local heritage groups' exhibitions.

? Workshops at schools in Bristol and South Gloucestershire from March.

? Publication in May of A Book of Aviation Wonder, containing comic strips, puzzles, illustrated stories and things to make.

? Talks, debates and conferences including Royal Aeronautical Society Barnwell Lecture on May 7, and sessions in the Bristol Festival of Ideas.

? Parade and rally of Bristol cars and vintage Bristol vehicles on June 13.

? Multi-faith service of celebration at Bristol Cathedral on July 10.

? Exhibition on 100 years of aviation in the West at the City Museum and Art Gallery in Bristol, September 18 to November 20.[/textarea]

http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/homepage ... ticle.html

There is now a centre of excellence at Filton involving the industry and local universities geared to find new generation lightweight materials from which future aircraft can be built.

Doesn't make clear whether the easyJet flight around Bristol will depart from Filton or Lulsgate (BRS).
 

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With such a large aviation background in Bristol it's difficult to understand why there are so many apparent anti airport / aircraft people in Bristol.
 

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Over the past three decades Greater Bristol has seen tens of thousands of people moving to the area as the economy of the area burgeoned.

Many of them have moved to the country and in so doing spoilt the villages they regard as rural retreats by moving in in such numbers. The villages were that once.

Nevertheless, these people often see themselves as some sort of nouveau riche or modern village squires - there's a hell of a lot of them in the expanded villages - and it's them who make the noise about airports.

They are a minority but a very vociferous and often well-connected minority.
 

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[textarea]Fears are growing that Bristol's Concorde could be mothballed

Fears are growing that Bristol's Concorde could be mothballed in a hangar and permanently closed as a visitor attraction.

The iconic aeroplane has been open to visitors at Filton since 2005, but today the Evening Post can exclusively reveal that the attraction will close in the autumn – with the supersonic plane being moved into a hangar on October 15 for maintenance to be carried out.

However, Airbus UK are unable to provide a date for when the maintenance will be completed and the plane will reopen to the public – leading volunteers to fear that it
simply will not.

Volunteer Phil Kirley, who is a team leader with the Bristol Aero Collection, said: "Airbus contacted us and told us they are going to move Concorde into one of the Brabazon hangars at Filton on October 15, and from that point it will no longer be open to the public.

"It's very sad, we're all very concerned by this, but we're in a position where there seems to be nothing we can do about it. It is very difficult to even get to speak to the top managers at Airbus."

Andy Treweek, visitor centre manager, who is one of just two paid employees on the project, believes he has "effectively been made redundant" from October 15.

"I've been made redundant verbally, though I've not yet been given anything in writing," he said.

"We're all disgusted by the way Airbus are handling this, in what appears to be a cynical attempt to close Concorde quietly.

"I believe the plane will be put indoors for supposed maintenance work but it will never reappear.

"They know there will be a public outcry if Concorde is closed, so I believe they are trying to get around it under the pretense of removing the plane for maintenance work."

Oliver Dearden, chairman of the Bristol Aero Collection, which manages the public tours for Airbus, said: "We have around 40 volunteers, who spend six hours a day showing visitors around the plane, and I think they're understandably concerned that there isn't a date for the maintenance to be completed.

"While we appreciate Airbus engineers maintaining the aircraft, it is hard to know what maintenance would be so technical as to need the plane to be moved indoors – after all, this is an aircraft that is never going to fly again, and is well painted-up to prevent corrosion."

Kristi Tucker, spokesman for Airbus UK, said: "Concorde is being moved into a hangar in the autumn as part of routine maintenance work. We are not able to give an indication of the timescale for this work."

The Concorde 216 made its spectacular final flight home into Filton on November 26, 2003, following a successful Evening Post campaign to bring the last Concorde to be built at Filton back to its spiritual home.

But the Filton site was only ever meant to be a temporary home for the aircraft. Plans have long been in the pipeline for the creation of a major aviation heritage centre, where planes such as Concorde would be under cover as the centrepiece of displays telling the story of the region's long-standing role in the world of aerospace.

In October 2006 an announcement was made that a site near Cribbs Causeway had been earmarked for a permanent home for the museum. A new organisation, the Concorde Trust, was set up to manage the development.

Plans for the £10 million museum took a step forward in 2008 when South Gloucestershire Council granted planning permission for the attraction behind The Venue complex at Cribbs Causeway.

But Mr Dearden said there had been no progress with the project since planning permission was granted.

Concorde Trust chairman Mike Littleton, who is also community liaison manager at Bristol Airport, was unavailable for comment yesterday.

It remains unclear what would happen to the estimated £350,000 raised so far towards the project – by visitor admission fees to Concorde – if the museum plans are scrapped.

A BA spokesman said: "We visit all eight Concorde each year to do an audit of the maintenance that has taken place on our aircraft. But the maintenance schedule itself is a matter for Airbus, as is the question of when the public is given access to the aircraft."

Mr Treweek, who has managed the centre since its opening, said: "The group who are looking after Concorde at Filton are in a state of shock. Airbus have totally shafted the Aero Collection, insomuch that they have been led them down the garden path for the last few years."[/textarea]

http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/news/Mot ... ticle.html

This will be a great shame and will put the entire Bristol Aero museum proposal into great doubt.

This aircraft is G-BOAF, the last one to be built at Filton and the last Concorde ever to fly (so far anyway) when it returned to its birthplace on Wednesday 26 November 2003.

I was on the very high Dundry Hill to the south of the city that gives an incredible view of the entire city below and on clear days views as far as the Brecon Beacons in South Wales to the west and the Marlborough Downs to the east.

Huge crowds gathered at all the viewing points in and around the city and AF passed almost overhead Dundry before swooping low over the Clifton Suspension Bridge then over the city before travelling east, after which she did a 180 and began that final approach and landing into Filton. All was viewable from Dundry Hill, albeit about twelve miles away from Filton on the other side of the city.

Incidentally, the (I'm sure apochryphal) popular view is that the village of Dundry's name comes form a builder of churches (the village boasts a striking church on the top of the hill) who when asked about this one is said to have replied in the Somerset vernacular, "I baint doin no more. I dun dree already".
 

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[textarea]Desperate measures as work on Concorde is taking place outside

Plans to move the last Concorde to be built at Filton into a hangar have been delayed – meaning maintenance has to be carried out in the open air, as our picture shows.

The iconic aircraft had been due to be moved from the tarmac at Filton Airfield into the nearby Brabazon hangar in October after it closed as a visitor attraction.

It was due to be moved into the hangar for maintenance and repairs to be carried out.

But the supersonic aircraft remains outside and can be seen by motorists travelling on the new link road between the A38 and Cribbs Causeway.

Airbus UK, which hosts the aircraft on its site and carries out maintenance on the plane, says the Concorde has not been moved because specialist equipment needed to transport it inside has not been available.

However, Kristi Tucker, spokeswoman for the company, said restoration and maintenance was taking place outside. She said: "We have intrepid engineers out there in the cold and the rain to make sure what needs doing is being done. It's going well.

"When the specialist equipment becomes available, we will move it into the hangar.

"The key thing is that the maintenance and restoration is being done, which is a good thing."

Concorde 216, also known as Alpha Foxtrot, which was brought to the Airbus factory in Filton six years ago and was the last to fly in the UK, has been closed to the public since September.

It had been brought back to Filton in 2003 after a loan deal was agreed between Airbus and owner British Airways. Airbus UK has decided not to reopen the attraction because of dwindling visitor numbers and the cost of keeping it open.

A recent inspection of Concorde 216 revealed the plane was in desperate need of repair and was starting to rust in several places.

Mark Stewart, the head of Airbus in the UK, said the exhibition on the Airbus site at Filton was always meant to be an interim step towards a more permanent home in the Bristol area.

The firm has spent £1.4 million over the past seven years maintaining the aircraft and supporting the tours.

The Concorde Trust is hoping to raise the £8 million needed to pay for a planned permanent visitor attraction close to The Venue at Cribbs Causeway.

The trust says it has already secured planning permission for the museum and is now speaking to leading aviation firms about funding the project.

At the end of October, Jack Lopresti, MP for Filton and Bradley Stoke, submitted an Early Day Motion urging MPs and the government to acknowledge the "importance of aviation heritage" and to find a resting place for historic aircraft.[/textarea]
http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/news/Wor ... ticle.html

It's a great pity it's come to this.

The last ever Concorde to fly and the one thought most likely to return to the air if any of them did looks to be well beyond that now.
 

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[textarea]'Grizzly' new A400M Airbus draws crowds on its first visit to Bristol

Hundreds of Bristol workers came out to see for themselves a multi-billion-pound military aircraft which they helped to build when it made its first visit to the city.

The A400M – which has been nicknamed Grizzly – will replace the long serving Hercules when it eventually gets into service.

The plane has been plagued by problems which has seen production delayed by four years and budgets £4 billion over original estimates. Orders have started to come from across the world and the future of the plane is looking increasingly healthy.

At one stage Tom Enders, the chief executive of the plane-maker threatened to pull the plug on the project unless the eight nations which originally backed the project came up with more funding.

But all those problems appeared to be forgotten yesterday when the Grizzly touched down in Filton for the first time. The mammoth plane, which is powered by four propellers, was greeted by cheering crowds and spring sunshine as it landed at the air field.

The wings and fuel system have been designed by around 400 staff working on the project at the Filton factory.

After being built in the South West the wings are shipped out to Seville where the plane is assembled.

Four of the huge transporter craft have now been built but when production gets into full swing 30 planes will be built every 12 months.

Bristol has a long and proud aviation history, which includes the A380 – the largest civil aircraft ever built – and the iconic Concorde.

Graham Wood, head of the Airbus Filton plant, witnessed the momentous occasion.

He said: "I am sure the people of Bristol are as proud as I am of the A400M. It is a fabulous aircraft, and it's flying with wings made right here in Bristol. It's a timely reminder of what Airbus, including its UK facilities, do – design and build great aircraft."

The aircraft, which was at Filton for just one day, is an Airbus Military test aircraft called Grizzly 3.

Airbus test pilots gave it the nickname Grizzly, but RAF officials are said to not like the name.

The A400M has been designed to meet the needs of the world's armed forces. Thanks to its advanced technologies, it is able to fly higher, faster and further. At the same time it is still highly manoeuvrable at low speed, and has short, soft and rough airfield capabilities.

The plane's hold is specifically designed to carry the outsize equipment needed for modern military and humanitarian disaster relief missions.

It can transport material and supplies quickly and directly to where it is most needed.

The wing of the plane is the largest composite wing ever made for a military aircraft.

The A400M recently underwent a series of tests which it passed with flying colours. The test means that production can now begin in earnest.

As reported in the Evening Post Airbus has enjoyed one of its best years to date.

The firm is now the biggest plane maker in the world and has started to outsell its biggest rival, the American based Boeing.

Louis Gallois, the chief executive of parent company EADS, said the firm had enjoyed one of its best years.

He added: "2010 was a year of significant progress for EADS.Commercial aircraft orders exceeded expectations and our cashflow generation was excellent."[/textarea]
http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/news/Gri ... ticle.html

I was walking in the country yesterday a few miles from Bristol Airport and saw the A400M carrying out an approach to BRS's easterly runway, BRS being on the opposite of the city to Filton. The aircraft disappeared from sight behind a hill but re-appeared a minute or so later on the far side beyond the airport.

C130s (and Sea King helicopters) are not uncommon at BRS doing practice approaches - they have a huge base at RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire (currently under threat of closure, that's the RAF base not Wiltshire :blush: ) and anyone living in or around, say, Chippenham becomes used to the Hercules aircraft flying circuits from their base.
 

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[textarea]Bristol aeroplane maker Airbus to build £70 million design and research centre at Filton


Bristol aeroplane maker Airbus has announced that it is to build a new £70 million design and research centre at its Filton factory.

The news was announced as business minister Vince Cable paid a flying visit to the complex which employs about 4,000 Airbus workers.

The new office block will be built on the site of Pegasus House which will be refurbished and included in the designs. No new jobs will be created as a result of the development, which will cover a 12-acre site, but the manufacturer says the investment is a clear sign of its commitment to the Bristol area.

Airbus has enjoyed a great start to the year thanks to the popularity of the latest version of the A320.

The redesigned wing shape of the plane has made it more fuel efficient and cheaper to run, and orders for the modified plane have been pouring in.

Much of the technical and design work on the remodelled plane will be carried out at the new centre once it is up and running.

Mark Barclay, head of the Airbus site, said: "Filton has been a place where dreams and ideas have been turned into some of the best and most iconic planes in the world.

"What we are doing here will carry on that legacy and we are ensuring the future of aerospace in Bristol. This is a firm commitment to the South West that Filton will remain a centre of excellence for aerospace It will enhance the working environment for our employees and the Filton landscape."

The new centre will be based next to the A38 on a 12-acre site, and include office space and an auditorium for lectures. A planning application is being put together for the scheme but representatives from South Gloucestershire Council were at the official launch event yesterday. Vince Cable came in person to show his support for the project but the event came less than 12 hours after Defence Secretary Liam Fox sent out a warning to the aerospace industry.

Dr Fox was speaking at an event in Bristol when he spelt out a warning to the region's leading defence companies.

In his speech he warned that the major firms would no longer be able to take Government orders for granted.

He said: "We will release details to the market if we feel it necessary. I have always been a great believer in the market and we should let the market judge."

Mr Cable said: "This is not a day for criticism. This new multi-million campus will help secure thousands of jobs in advanced engineering in the South West which has become a key region for the aerospace industry."

Colin Skellett, who is head of the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership, said: "This is very welcome news."[/textarea]
http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/news/163 ... ticle.html

Excellent news for the area.

With the new GKN facility a couple of miles away plus Bae and Airbus at Filton, and Rolls Royce Aero-Engines directly across the A38 at Patchway, it looks as though Bristol's proud aviation history is set to continue long into the future.
 

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[textarea]Bristol's Filton airport to close from end of 2012

Bristol's Filton airport is to close from the end of 2012 following a review of its commercial and economic viability.

A BAE Systems spokesman said all users of the airfield had been informed and the airport's 19 employees had been told of the closure.

Jack Lopresti, Conservative MP for Filton and Bradley Stoke, said he was disappointed at the news.

"The closure means the end to over 100 years of use as an aerodrome," he said.
'Employment opportunities'

"It's a huge part of our aviation history. We must of course respect and honour the past but always keep looking to the future, which Filton has always done and thrived.

"Clearly the priority is to make sure that the airfield's closure does not have an adverse affect on the local economy and the South West's standing as the home to the British Aviation Industry," Mr Lopresti added.

The airfield, which opened in 1910, is mainly used for corporate passengers, training flights and aircraft maintenance operations.

It is also used by the police helicopter operated on behalf of Avon and Somerset police and Gloucestershire Constabulary.

A separate helicopter run by the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity is also based at the South Gloucestershire site.

Bristol's main passenger airport, at Lulsgate, North Somerset, is not affected by the decision.

BAE Systems would not comment further but in a statement said it regretted the impact it would have on its 19 employees.

"We recognise the importance of Filton airfield to the local residential and business community and understand the concerns its closure may have," the company spokesman added.

Aircraft maker Airbus - which has a site at Filton and uses the airfield - said it had been in contact with BAE over the decision and was working to ensure a smooth transition to new working systems and practices.

A spokesman said: "We're confident that once the airfield closes we will have in place a range of effective mitigation measures that will allow our work here to continue effectively and efficiently, without any major disruption.

"Airbus is fully committed to its site at Filton which is a global centre of engineering and design excellence.

"This is clearly illustrated by our recent decision to build a multi-million pound business park at Filton and the continued investment in state of the art facilities such as the A350XWB Landing Gear Test Facility."[/textarea]
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-13086783

Never saw that one coming.

It's extremely sad when one remembers what the site has given to the country and the world in the past 100 years in terms of aircraft development.

From the Bristol Fighter of WW1 through the WW2 Blenheims, Beauforts and Beaufighters, to the post-war Brabazon from which morphed in part the highly successful Britannia, and the Quuen of the May - Concorde.

It's also sad that Bristol will never again see the huge aircraft that fly the skies such as the A380. It wasn't so long ago that all sorts of aircraft from 747s downwards could be seen at Filton awaiting service, overhaul or change of identity - several Arab and Russian billionaires have had their personal aircraft turned into near-palaces at Filton.

I went past the place earlier this week and the only aircraft visible were a bmi ERJ 145 (for the Airbus Toulouse shuttle) and Concorde G-BOAF.

Part of the site has been sold for housing and a new road cuts across part of it already improving access from the A38 to the regional shopping centre at Cribbs Causeway and beyond.

It seems the only people affected by this in terms of jobs will be the small number who run the airfield. Maybe a only a few but it's a serious matter for them.

I suppose Airbus will switch its daily Toulouse shuttle to Lulsgate as it did with its OLT service to Bremen which is now also used by the general public. I doubt that the TLS route will be open to the public though as easyJet already operates their own daily service to Toulouse.
 

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Yes it's very sad news but could something come of it?

Do you think this could open the door to a commercial offer to purchase the airfield with a view to developing it as a major airport, or do you think this will be the final nail in the coffin for the airfield?
 

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As an airfield it doesn't seem to have any chance of survival. The runway needs resurfacing at around £20 million for a start.

Shouldn't affect all the other aviation-related industry on the site that don't need aircraft to actually fly though.

Part of the site is already being built on and the likelihood is that the rest of the actual airfield will be sold off for industry, housing, warehousing, shops or a mixture of some or all.

A bit like the old Whitchurch airport on the other side of the city which is now mixed use including a new hospital and a very large park.
 

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[textarea]Cribbs Causeway Concorde museum gets £840,000 boost

A museum planned in Bristol which would house the last Concorde to fly has been given a £840,000 cash boost by Airbus.

Plans for the £9m museum at Cribbs Causeway were first submitted in 2007 but building work has never started because of a lack of funding.

The proposed museum will also house the Bristol Aero Collection, as well as an education and learning centre.

The Bristol-based Concorde Trust has also applied for £2.9m of funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

That decision is due to be made in the next week.

In April, Airbus denied speculation that it was planning to move a Concorde exhibit away from the city.

The jet has been at Filton since 2003 and was closed to the public in October 2010 for maintenance.

Airbus has previously said it was committed to supporting a bid to build a permanent home for it in the Bristol area.

But BAE Systems, which owns Filton Airfield where the jet is based, is to close from the end of 2012, meaning a new home will soon have to be found for the jet.

The plane - called Concorde 216 or Alpha Foxtrot - was the last of the fleet to fly when Concorde was withdrawn from service by British Airways in 2003 due to increased running costs.

British Airways, which owns the plane, has handed over responsibility for the aircraft to Airbus.

Airbus said it had been carrying out extensive maintenance on Alpha Foxtrot, including weather proofing, skin panel repairs and corrosion removal work.

Other Concorde exhibits are located at Manchester Airport, Edinburgh, Heathrow Airport, Seattle, New York and Barbados.[/textarea]
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-13452615

Another welcome step on the way to obtaining the much-needed museum to house G-BOAF.
 

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[textarea]Lottery blow for £9m home for Bristol's Concorde

A HUGE blow has been dealt to the £9 million plans to build a permanent home for Bristol's Concorde.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has announced it has turned down a bid for £2.9 million from the group which is hoping to build a museum next to Cribbs Causeway which would also have been a home for the iconic plane.

The announcement has come as a major shock and the Concorde Trust charity will now have to rethink its plans over the coming weeks.

Concorde 216 is being looked after by Airbus at its Filton factory.

The company has spent almost £2 million renovating the supersonic plane after engineers discovered it was starting to fall apart as a result of corrosion.

Earlier this year it was announced that Filton Airfield is to close and the trust now fears that Bristol's long aviation heritage will be consigned to history.

Last week Airbus announced it will make a donation of one million euros, around £840,000, to the appeal but the organisers of the charity admitted they would be gutted if the bid was turned down.

Airbus closed the plane to the public in October last year and has made it clear that it wants to move the plane to a new home.

Last night the trust was putting a brave face on the decision and claimed it will still press ahead with its plans.

A spokesman added that it would be highly unlikely that they would put in another bid for lottery funding in the near future.

The trust already has planning permission for the visitor centre and museum which would be built next to Cribbs Causeway and a deal for the land has been agreed. The museum would also house the Bristol Aero Collection, which is based at Kemble Airfield in Gloucestershire. The bid, which took more than a year to pull together, was backed by local MPs, South Gloucestershire Council, Bristol City Council, Airbus and Bristol Aero Collection. The bad news was broken to the charity last Tuesday by the HLF Board of Trustees but has not been made public until today.

The charity asked for feedback and was told that requests for funding from projects across the country had been more than three times greater than the level of funding available.

The HLF also said there were some issues that would have strengthened the bid, which The Concorde Trust is looking at and intends to address.

The Concorde Trust said it was also looking at other major sources of funding and is talking to major aviation and engineering companies in the area about the possibility of sponsorship or donations.

Mike Littleton, chair of the trust, said: "Although the decision is a setback, we remain determined to make this project a reality. We now need some time to review and decide our next steps but remain confident.

"Our professional team delivered a first class bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund with a project that was exceptionally well researched, financially sustainable and, we believe, met the funding criteria.

"Given the overwhelming support we received from the general public, local government, industry and education, we are confident that we can deal with the issues and succeed with our ambitions."

As reported in the Evening Post, BAE Systems announced in April that Filton Airfield will close in December 2012 after a century of military and commercial operation.

Mr Littleton added: "Bristol is one of the cradles of aviation in the UK, the only one with a history of continuous industrial production and it remains a world-class centre of aerospace innovation.

"With the announced closure of Filton Airfield it is even more important that we have a major museum acting as a permanent legacy to celebrate a century of aviation heritage and inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers."

Concorde 216, also known as Alpha Foxtrot, was brought to the Airbus factory in Filton in 2003 and was the last to fly over British skies.

Thousands of people turned out to watch when she made her last flight over the Clifton Suspension Bridge back to her spiritual home.

Concorde – designed and built by engineers in Bristol and France – was the first passenger aircraft to fly at twice the speed of sound in Europe. It entered service in 1976 and continued commercial flights for 27 years.[/textarea]
http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/news/LOT ... ticle.html

One step forward with last week's funding news - two steps backwards with today's funding news.

A great pity and one wonders if this museum will ever be built and whether G-BOAF will ever secure a home in which visitors can view her.
 

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The Heritage Lottery Fund should be ashamed of itself. Concorde is an iconic piece of British history and if anything deserved the funding this did.
 

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A rival group was featured on the local tv news this evening asserting that the plans are too grandiose and expensive and that they intend to putting in an alternative that would cost £2 million.

We'll see......................
 

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It seems that Airbus has now withdrawn its offer of a £820,000 donation to to the Bristol Aero Collection Museum, which would have featured G-BOAF as its centrepiece, as the donation was subject to the group getting Heritage Lottery funding which it failed to do.

Not only is there a second local group in being that reckons it could establish a permanent home for £1.5 million, a mere fraction of the other scheme's costings, but a third group has emerged that wants to site AF alongside the London Eye.

It will be a shame if it leaves the Bristol area but it would be a great attraction in central London though perhaps the outdoor setting would count against it as years out of doors at Filton have caused serious damage that Airbus has spent a lot of money putting right.

The optimistic bit is that Airbus say they would consider part-funding a viable new plan but they are are looking to the the best business plan and are are talking to all three groups.

[textarea]Bristol could lose Concorde to rival attraction

Bristol is in danger of losing the last Concorde ever to fly to a rival tourist attraction in London.

Airbus, which maintains the supersonic aircraft, and owner British Airways announced yesterday that they are holding a series of talks with various interested parties following the decision of the Heritage Lottery Fund not to back a multi-million-pound bid for a visitor centre for Concorde 216 at Cribbs Causeway.

Three groups have competing schemes for the iconic plane and one of them – Club Concorde – wants it to go on permanent display on a jetty on the river Thames, alongside the London Eye.

Concorde 216, also known as Alpha-Foxtrot, is currently parked on the runaway of Filton Airfield, close to the factory where it was designed and built, under the care of Airbus.

The plane-maker had pledged a donation of £820,000 towards the cost of the planned £9 million museum planned for Cribbs Causeway. But it has since emerged that the donation was conditional on the bid by the Concorde Trust for a £2.9 million lottery grant succeeding.

Airbus has also made it clear that following the announcement that Filton Airfield is to close at the end of next year, a new home will have to be found for the airliner, which made the last ever Concorde flight in November 2003. The company has already spent £1.8 million on restoring Concorde after it started to rot and an Airbus spokesman stressed that it cannot stay at Filton.

The Concorde Trust, which is behind the Cribbs Causeway scheme, still wants to press ahead with its plans. But Airbus pulling the plug on its sponsorship is the second blow the group has suffered in less than a month.

Concorde Trust project director Lloyd Burnell said: "It is imperative that Concorde remains in Bristol and that we meet the ambition of creating an aviation heritage museum.

"We will talk to other people who can help to make that a reality."

Last week the Save Concorde Group said a permanent home for the plane could be built for £1.5 million.

A spokesman for Airbus said the company and BA had been "in close discussions to look at a range of possible future options to help safeguard the aircraft's future".

He added: "Both Airbus and BA are determined to secure the long-term future of this iconic aircraft and Airbus has recently undertaken a thorough deep maintenance check on the aircraft. Although in a good condition, Concorde 216 has been parked outside at Filton airfield since 2003 and is clearly in need of a permanent home under cover."

"Both BA and Airbus hope that there will be a clear way forward for the aircraft by the autumn. We must stress that no decisions have been taken and the three parties we are talking to are invited to discuss their detailed business plans within the next three months."

The spokesman said Airbus would be prepared to consider part-funding a "viable new plan" for the aircraft.

The desire for Concorde's new home to be under cover could count against the London bid, which currently involves an open-air display.[/textarea]
http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/Bristol- ... story.html
 

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It's very sad that Filton is being pushed aside especially as it is the rightfull home of Concorde. The idea of yet another attraction heading towards London is annoying to say the least. I suspect the only flying to be done at Filton will be gliders in a couple of years time, very sad.
 
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