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Report - RAE Bedford 3X3ft Supersonic Windtunnel Building & Observation room - Nov 15

Discussion in 'Military Sites' started by Urbexbandoned, Nov 16, 2015.

  1. Urbexbandoned

    Urbexbandoned 28DL Regular User
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    History

    The wind tunnel provision consisted essentially of four large high-quality research facilities, which would allow the
    testing of aircraft configurations and components at speeds from around eighty miles per hour up to a Mach number of 5, or five times the speed of sound. These were (in order of completion) the 3x3 supersonic tunnel, the 13x9 low speed tunnel, the 8x8 supersonic tunnel, and the 3x4 high supersonic speed tunnel (HSST). The numerals identify the working section dimensions in feet, width by height. The 8x8 and the 3x4 were the largest tunnels in their Mach number range in Western Europe. A low speed tunnel was also provided specifically to study the spinning characteristics of aircraft, which was a little understood phenomenon at the time.

    Explore

    Visited with my better half, @hamtagger :). Now I had a bit of unfinished business with this little beauty! I first visited in May after seeing it pop up on the radar again and with it being just 8 miles from the area that I grew up, it was inevitable that I visited.
    It was @hamtagger who had helped me with details back in May on the place. Going in May with someone who had no idea about this place, no idea about access, the location nor any history it was nice to come back feeling confident and knowing about what the site meant, what history it had and what exactly happened here.
    After leaving the site the last time and doing a report it was brought to my attention that there was a 3rd control room/observation room. Now there are 2 in the 8x8ft tunnel building and when I went one of the doors was locked so I missed out on that. I was set on seeing the 3x3 control room at some point. It just took some time, fast forward to July when me & @hamtagger were in the area again. We checked out the 8x8ft building and at that time it had a film crew there. We managed to sneak in to the control room that I had seen and hide behind the control panel for a little while. We left and checked out the building I had been told the 3rd room was in. Thanks to @darbians for his help, really really helpful :) It seemed that as much as it had been open it seemed pretty tight on this visit. We left it and decided to come back yet again.
    Since the July visit we have done some research on this place and seen that not only is there a 3x3ft supersonic windtunnel built, there was also a 3x4ft high supersonic wind tunnel built. This was quite confusing for me. Were they in the same building, were they in separate buildings?! Trying to tie up the interior of buildings with photographs I had seen on the internet was getting a bit anal. We found some really old documents regarding the installation of both smaller wind tunnels and testing results.
    The vertical spinning tunnel is still in use at the flight centre and the largest wind tunnel is used by RedBull Racing.
    Fast forward to November and we decided to check it out yet again, arriving really early was the key here. Entry wasn't hidden and the later it become it would have become impossible with the amount of people around. Needless to say and I couldn't quite believe it but we were in! Greeted by this lovely corridor, wooden parquet flooring and lots of peeliness. After 5 minutes, there it was.. This little room we had both wanted to see. Walking in everything was tinged with a greeny blue, a colour I associated to the military infact.
    It is a shame people go to some lengths to get in places, we found the wood that had been used to secure the door to the room pulled off and on one side the whole doorframe had been pulled off.
    I was pretty impressed by the whole building to be honest, it was somewhere I had really wanted to see and it didn't disappoint. The decay in some areas was really nice and natural and in others looked like there was nothing. Some of the building is quite open to view of those on site so had to be careful when taking a few pics. The areas where the windtunnel was had some nice little features left behind, which was nice to see.
    As much as it pains me to say,I still think I have unfinished business with this place. I am sure there is more here, infact one of the other buildings that housed another control room is in use as a company so time will tell I guess.

    Anyway, on with the pics.

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    I loved this, the fact that it says 'Required Attitude'... None, fuck off! :D

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    This little tag stood the test of time for 45 years!

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    And a selfie to finish the report...

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  2. hamtagger

    hamtagger 28DL Regular User
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    Cracking place this, glad to finally get it done. Pics came out great! :)
     
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  3. crablab

    crablab 28DL Full Member
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    Looks awesome! Great pictures too; must pay it a visit soon.
     
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  4. Urbexbandoned

    Urbexbandoned 28DL Regular User
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  5. Els

    Els Obsessed with BS7671
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    Looks good mate. Need to go back for a visit myself soon.
     
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