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Report - Another Pyestock - Sep 2010

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by The Engineer, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. The Engineer

    The Engineer 28DL Regular User
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    Visited with the usuals, DHL, Adders and D-UK for a very enjoyable days exploring. Loved the site and probably could have spent another couple of days there easily.

    History....

    The National Gas Turbine Establishment (NGTE Pyestock) in Fleet, part of the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE), UK was the prime site in the UK for design and development of gas turbine and jet engines. It was created by merging the design teams of Frank Whittle's Power Jets and the RAE turbine development team run by Hayne Constant. NGTE spent most of its lifetime as a major testing and development center, both for experimental developments as well as supporting the major commercial engine companies.

    Like many companies at this time, the newly merged venture was nationalised, and the search for a suitable site for turbine development began. Pyestock, a former golf course in a secluded wooded spot between Farnborough and Fleet was chosen, as the activities at the NGTE would be top secret and (one presumes) the surrounding woodland would dampen the phenomenal noise. Construction began in 1949, but the site was not as we know it. Instead of the massive test cells there today, testing was done on a much smaller scale in test "cubicles" inside buildings like the Plant House. When the possibility of supersonic jets arose, the site underwent a massive expansion to the north west, with the massive Air House and several huge test cells being built circa 1961.

    For over 50 years Pyestock was at the forefront of gas turbine development and was almost certainly the largest site of its kind in the world. V bomber, Harrier and Tornado engines were all rigorously tested on site, the power of the air house allowed Concorde's engines to be tested at 2,000 mph, every single gas turbine installed in the Royal Navy were checked here, captured Soviet engines were discretely examined - and all this on terra firma, without a single plane taking off.

    NGTE Pyestock closed down in 2000. The Pyestock campus is now in the state of being decommissioned pending the building of a large business/industrial park.

    The Photo's

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    To be continued....
     

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