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Pyestock - N.G.T.E
( Fleet, Hampshire )
Pyestock, the former National Gas Turbine Establishment.
Gas turbine research community.
Construction began in 1949.
V bomber, Harrier and Tornado and concorde engines were all rigorously tested on site.
Part 1 - taken 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.
Like many companies at this time, the newly merged venture was nationalised, and the search for a suitable site for turbine development began. Pyestock, a former golf course in a secluded wooded spot between Farnborough and Fleet was chosen, as the activities at the NGTE would be top secret and (one presumes) the surrounding woodland would dampen the phenomenal noise. Construction began in 1949, but the site was not as we know it. Instead of the massive test cells there today, testing was done on a much smaller scale in test "cubicles" inside buildings like the Plant House. When the possibility of supersonic jets arose, the site underwent a massive expansion to the north west, with the massive Air House and several huge test cells being built circa 1961.
For over 50 years Pyestock was at the forefront of gas turbine development and was almost certainly the largest site of its kind in the world. V bomber, Harrier and Tornado engines were all rigorously tested on site, the power of the air house allowed Concorde's engines to be tested at 2,000 mph, every single gas turbine installed in the Royal Navy were checked here, captured Soviet engines were discretely examined - and all this on terra firma, without a single plane taking off.
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.
Part 2 - taken from www.ngte.com
Pyestock, the former National Gas Turbine Establishment, located in Farnborough, UK. Conceived in the build up to World War Two, and realised in the post-war paranoia of the opening virtual salvos of the cold war, Pyestock was one of a number of top-secret sites which would bolster the UK’s standing during the austere 1950s; and become a vital component of the White Heat of Technology in the twitchy 1960s.
It was arguably the world's leading research facility into the research and design of gas turbines (or jet engines). "V" bomber, Harrier and Tornado engines were designed and refined in its custom test facilities; the air plant and custom cells could fly a Concorde engine at Mach 2 from the safety of the ground; all the gas turbines used by the Navy were put through harsh, enduring sea-worthiness tests; and the hush-hush top-secret captured Soviet engines were discretely tested for performance and reverse engineered.
By the turn of the new millennium, the world had changed. The theory behind the technology was well understood and tests could be simulated on computer rather than physically run in power-hungry, resource-sapping testing cells. Personnel gradually moved to new facilities and Pyestock slowly emptied and eventually stood down.
Documentation about the site was scant. Photographs were largely forbidden during its lifetime. Due to its secrecy, it often merited no more than a footnote in the historic record, as only a tiny amount of information was forthcoming. And finally the physical structures themselves were threatened with demolition as new uses for this rusting, polluted, decaying monolith to 1950s technology stood empty, unused and forgotten.
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