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Video Report - Rae Bedford (3 x 3) - Dec 15

Discussion in 'Military Sites' started by ledgehammer, Dec 25, 2015.

  1. ledgehammer

    ledgehammer 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Dec 25, 2014
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    Visited this one solo (and no Vince Sorry!) with The Amateur wanderer, and some great intel from the Urbexbandoned which helped a lot - thanks to both, it was a decent mooch and a good laugh ;-)

    I normally just add these to our full reports, but I just have the vid for now, there is plenty of other vids on the Facebook site, if you like the style.

    The site is on a park which has a kids playzone, and a body-flight, skydiving experience - so its open from a certain time. We wanted the cover of darkness, and were willing to wait for the light from inside. A bit of a mad infiltration, and cloak and dagger around bushes and trees and somehow avoiding secca. We were reassured of this later when the site got packed with a kids party and some reindeer in a pen were present, especially as some of the buildings are very exposed!

    We were inevitably kicked off after we got out of the 3 x 3 building, the immigration detention centre monitors parts of the site, we would need to return for the other wind tunnel, the powerstation seemed pretty sealed up though.

    I took my cam, so no photos from here - but there will be a full "state of decay" coverage in good course, the other building looks nice and access was fun...


    RAE Bedford was a research site of the Royal Aircraft Establishment between 1946 and 1994. It was located near the village of Thurleigh, north of the town of Bedford in England and was the site of aircraft experimental development work.

    Starting in 1946, construction work began to turn the wartime RAF airfield into what became known as the Royal Aeronautical Establishment, Bedford. The runway was extended in the post-war period to accommodate the Bristol Brabazon aircraft, which required a very long runway but which never went into production. A lot of the development for what became the Harrier was done here, one early version became known as the 'Flying Bedstead'. Also Thurleigh had a catapult runway and it was here that the 'ski jump' later fitted to some aircraft carriers was also developed.

    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 airfield was closed in 1997 with the RAE having become the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA). DERA consolidated its experimental flying operations at Boscombe Down, moving aircraft from Farnborough as well as Bedford.

    The wind tunnel site is now the Twinwoods Business Park and some of the buildings are in commercial use. Red Bull Racing use one and Body Flight use a vertical wind tunnel for a free fall simulator. Another building is the Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre.


    Well, thats going to be it until next year, although I'm sticking up a best of 2015 "SOD" clip over the next week, but happy xmas from Vince and the gang...

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  2. The Amateur Wanderer

    The Amateur Wanderer 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Jul 22, 2012
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    Brilliant video mate, cheers for the company :thumb

    Merry Christmas!
    ledgehammer likes this.
  3. Urbexbandoned

    Urbexbandoned 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Aug 24, 2014
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    Glad you got to see it and no worries :thumb

    Look forward to seeing the pics :)
    ledgehammer likes this.
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