Report - - Pyestock NGTE Feb 2010 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Pyestock NGTE Feb 2010


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
This was a last minute flyer for BigJobs and myself, we'd had other plans which fell through so it left us with a bit of a hole to fill timewise. I am going to bore you with some history regardless of whether it's been done to death or not. In reality that means I'm going to shamelessly steal some history and put it in here.

From Wikipedia;

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.

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.

Pyestock was used for several scenes in the 2005 film Sahara by Breck Eisner, based on the best-selling book of the same name by Clive Cussler. Internal sections of Cell 3 and Cell 4 and were suitably reworked for the film. These were to represent the internal working of the solar powered waste disposal facility that was the source of the pollution illness that is the main thread throughout the film.

That doesn't nearly do it justice, it's like a footnote decribing the pyramids as 'some stone things out in the desert'......

Hence why MoLAS (Museum of London Archaeology Service) undertook a project to record as much as they could while it still stands and there is still documentation available.

During 2004 and 2005, MoLAS undertook a major programme of building recording and research at the former National Gas Turbine Research Establishment (NGTE) at Pyestock in Hampshire, adjacent to Farnborough airfield. Gas turbines are otherwise known as jet engines and NGTE Pyestock was the foremost jet engine test facility in Europe from the 1950s to the late 1980s - at times it was the leader in jet engine research and testing in the world. The engines for military planes and passenger jets, including Concorde, were tested in one of 4 test cells ? each designed to replicate flight conditions, speed, temperature, pressure and relative moisture.
The engine research facility was largely decommissioned by the late 1990s, partly as a result of the relative maturity of jet engine technology and also the increasing use of computer modelling in tests. The site is now owned by Astral Developments Ltd and MoLAS is working with Astral, the Farnborough Air Sciences Trust (FAST) and Hampshire County Council to ensure that not only an appropriate record has been made, but that archive material from the site is secured for the future.

It's brutal that this place was effectively killed off by computer modelling, computers don't come up with ideas, they don't wake up in the middle of the night with an inspired 'crazy' idea that then becomes ground breaking technology, men do that... men who scribble things down on beermats and fag packets.

Pyestock wasn't built by a computer, nor would it ever be. When you look through the filing cabinets in here there are hundreds of sketches, sketches done without computers, many without even a ruler, that doesn't matter, what matters is the ideas that people had, ideas that they had the bottle to 'try it and see' Your computer won't do that. They talk about the 'maturity of technology', how much of that is a lack of people who can be creative?

Ok so thanks to BigJobs for managing to stay awake and drive, not so many thanks for being such a noisy get while we had our couple of hours of 'sleep' if you could call it that. So first light saw us out and about on the perimeter, we did maybe 5 minutes before being spotted by security, as much as we're an attractive couple we look a bit more explorey than early morning dog walker types, loosely translated we looked like a pair of Northern fuckwits who just had two hours sleep in a car and were now trying to circumvent a fence at first light. A few quick detours and some specialised Gurkha evasion manouveres and we were in. The bits of that I've missed out involved lots of mud, lots of running, quite a bit of blood from a sliced finger and then a significant amount of hiding but it all worked out just fine, we were in... slightly mucky, but in all the same. The next few hours involved most of the same, climbing, running, hiding and getting progressively filthier till it was time to make our comedic exit the same way we came in, they don't call us Northern Monkeys for nothing you know. Back to the car and a stupidly traffic infested motorway journey back North ended with BigJobs off to buy new clothes before heading off out on the razzle and myself back to Liverpool and then straight off to Manchester.... I'm sick of the sight of tarmac now.

Anyway.... Pyestock.... It's big, it's dirty and I want one.















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