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Report - NGTE Pyestock Farnborough - Oct 2011


big in japan
Regular User
Visited with Gone, Tweek, Hiddenshadow and NickUK
This post is dedicated in loving memory to Gone's Olympus. May it rest in pieces.


Another Pyestock report? I hear you cry.. Bear with me.

I've had Pyestock described to me as a rite of passage for any UK explorer. There are few places in these isles that match the NGTE's thousands of miles of interconnected pipe runs or the vastness of the huge supersonic jet engine test cells, and after reading about it on Simon Cornwells brilliant www.ngte.co.uk/, I had been dying for a visit. Most of the construction of the National Gas Turbine Establishment was in the decades after the second world war, a rare period in history of huge mechanical and electronic technological advancement in the time before peta-flop super computers. Building supersonic gas turbines is, well, really really hard, and if you can't simulate the extreme pressures, temperatures and stress of jet flight on computer, you had to do it on the ground.
Essentially, getting enough air to drive a jet engine at mach 3.5 through simulated pressure around 1/10 atm takes a lot of go, which set the stage for the mammoth construction projects at the NGTE. Over the 60 years of its existence, field-leading research in gas turbines pushed the envelope of jet-engine R&D in Europe, with the Olympus Concorde engines and Vulcan engines among many other being put through their paces in its test cells. For an insanely in depth description of Pyestock, go to ntge.co.uk, I'm not going to be able to do a better job than that.

I've been wanting to head to Pyestock for ages, and after mentioning it to HiddenShadow in Chernobyl, the idea of a roadtrip was set in motion. It wasn't long before I was outside NickUKs house, loading up my boot full of camera gear and tesco's sandwiches, ready to head off to Manchester to pick up Tweek and Gone.

After three and a half hours of boring motorway driving (made up for by Nick sat in the back rapping along to the entirety of Dre2001), we arrived.
In the middle of nowhere.
Despite the stories of angle grinding pikeys cutting up the turbine in the middle of night, we still though it would be a good idea to head in under darkness, get some kip, and kick off first light. Parked up, gear on, over the fence.

Hilarity ensues.

We made our way in and set up camp.

After getting a few hours kip, we woke, ate some sarnies and began the day.

Airhouse by night


Chair shot.

Pikey choppage.

Airhouse. The shot.


Cell three 'Sahara' doors.

We dashed on through monks tunnel to the computer building, and chilled for a bit. View looking back at the airhouse.

Then charged on to Cell Four. Seeing this for the first time is definitely one of lifes 'woah…' moments.



Woah.. pipes.

Off to Number 10 exhauster..


Number 10 exhauster, used to evacuate air from test cells to produce high altitude air pressures.


Back out, chill in Cell three west.


On to the plant house, used to test smaller scale turbines. This place has been pikeyd to death.






Apart for Gone's camera's leap of faith off a 60ft gantry crane, it was a hitch free day, nicely topped off with the sunshine on top of the airhouse.



Who are these krimz?


I'm totally coming back.
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