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Fleet Air Arm Museum, Yeovilton.

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Old 22nd August 2018, 08:28
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Fleet Air Arm Museum, Yeovilton.

I visited the FAA Museum yesterday, and spent just over 3 hours enjoying the exhibition. I took some photos that I will post later of the bells that were removed from some very famous carriers. Amongst the historical aircraft are some iconic prototypes, including the Hawker P1127, the aircraft that became famous as the Harrier. Unfortunately, the most famous Naval aircraft of all, the Fairey Swordfish, was almost missed, as the Museum have chosen to display their example above your head. It is almost hidden from view, and would be missed if you didn't look above you. I know they have one that flies, but the static exhibit should be more prominent perhaps?

However, I am puzzled why Concorde 002 is still displayed amongst Naval Aviation exhibits. Is this a silent tribute to a planned supersonic strategic bomber intended to operate from a colossal carrier that was cancelled by the Government of the day along with TSR2?
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Old 22nd August 2018, 08:50
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I've been meaning to go to that for ages, every time I see the sign on the M5. It's not that far away, I'll have to have a day out there.
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Old 22nd August 2018, 13:09
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It is a very good day out. Not been now for sometime but a revist is on the cards. Not far from me.

Dartskipper I inderstand your comment on the Concord but I always thought it was probably because it was the only place available that had the room to exhibit it in dry.

Neville
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Old 22nd August 2018, 14:08
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Ah supersonic bombers turned out to be a bad egg anyway. Rocket propelled missiles saw to that (and you can launch them from just about anywhere you can get a carrier, albeit big truck, submarine, surface ship or aircraft.)

Interesting concept though.
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Old 22nd August 2018, 14:14
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When Concorde 002 first arrived at Yeovilton it was parked outside next to the hanger that was then used as an exhibition hall. The hall where it now stands was effectively built around it and the museum as you now see it developed from the theme designed for Concorde.

The original idea was that a 'Concorde hall' should only contain exhibits relevant to its development, but I think that there has been some 'drift' on that.
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Old 22nd August 2018, 20:16
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You are quite right Malcolm. There are all the models used to test the wing design and gliding characteristics of Concorde, and the Fairey Delta FD2 that was modified. This one is the plane flown by ex FAA pilot Peter Twiss when he broke the World air speed record for level flight.
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Old 24th August 2018, 10:08
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I think the origins of Concorde at Yeovilton were a combination of; opportunity of a suitable location to save the second prototype from the cutting axe, the Somerset county link between Filton and Yeovilton and as 002 was a prototype for flight dynamics & research it would form the centre piece of the whole test programme which utilised a fair number of RN pilots. It was envisaged that a full production run of Concordes was in the offing, 64 were ordered by various airlines (all cancelled around 1973) The 001/002 prototypes and two further preproduction aircraft were so different they could not be used for commercial flight, so when the development programme finished (there was much touting of the aircraft for other trials work which came to nothing) the manufacturer was keen to discard them. Thankfully some far sighted individuals saw their significance and 002 went to Yeovilton. (001 went to France). Of the preproduction aircraft the second 001 went to Duxford. this aircraft is often wrongly believed to be the prototype sister to Yeovilton's 002 when it is actually the a preproduction aircraft not prototype.
Regarding Swordfish aircraft. the Royal Navy historic flight own three Swordfish aircraft, two are in flying condition the third in long term storage/spares. This is based at RNAS Yeovilton, access to the flight via the Navy wings heritage trust is open to the public, access the website for details. The Fleet Air Arm Museum is a non MOD operation and believe it or not there is not a particularly effective communication between the museum and the Navy (despite the RN gifting all its aircraft).
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Old 25th August 2018, 11:51
littoralcombat Australia littoralcombat is offline
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I have been there four times in total, and never tire of it. My last visit was in January 2016, when back in Blighty. I would recommend an early start (opening time), there is enough to keep one going right through to closing time, even without stopping for Lunch. My regret is that I have never been able to catch 'Humphrey' on display (Wessex HAS.3 embarked aboard HMS Antrim during the Falklands War 1982). Riddled with bullet holes, each one marked clearly with a red circle, a wonder that cab survived. Delivered the initial crippling damage to the Argentine Submarine ARA Sante Fe. They have so many Aircraft that they are rotated in and out of storage/display, and I have always missed out.
As for Concorde 002, I think we should be grateful to those individuals who managed to get it to Yeovilton, as FG86 said, far- sighted. I personally care little about it having no relevance to Naval Aviation, it is a wonderful piece of kit, of great interest.
Nige

Last edited by littoralcombat; 25th August 2018 at 11:55.
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