Did you know that the average life expectancy for a WW1 pilot was 11 days after finishing training? Or that the earliest planes were made from bamboo? Or that in WW2 Fry’s chocolate factory in Keynsham was a shadow factory for making planes? Neither did I until this weekend.
On Saturday 9th March, a group of us spent the afternoon visiting Bristol Aerospace at Filton. The afternoon started with a guided tour of the museum taking us from the very early days of aviation history in the city to present day. We learnt about George White, who inspired by the Wright brothers, went from building trams to the very first aeroplanes, and about his son Stanley, who went on to build up the Bristol’s aeroplane industry during the Second World War. Seeing those first planes where the pilot sat on the outside made us very glad things have moved on since then! We saw some of the planes that made Bristol famous a hundred years ago, learnt about life in the factory and found out about how the war years affected Filton. The tour then took us through the decades of flight history since then, until we reached the magnificent and iconic concorde. After the tour finished, we had a chance to look around at our leisure, take a break for refreshments in the café and peruse the gifts in the shop. If you are interested in planes, a definite must (and the cakes in the café are highly recommended too)!