Come fly with me, Gloucester and its aviation past

Estimated read time 3 min read

Gloucester is a city that has many historical links including a strong past dating back to Roman times as well as links to the development of engines used in aviation. Locals are well aware of the historical significance of some areas of the city such as the Abbeymead and Coopers Edge districts. A place that displays the history of aviation in the city is the popular Jet Age Museum located on the Cheltenham Road near to the Staverton Airfield. This museum is located just a short drive from Park Homes Gloucester park

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The museum first opened in 2013 and set about to portray the Gloucestershire Aviation Collections artefacts and tell the story of aviation in Gloucester.  The group was originally formed in 1986 by aviation enthusiasts who wanted to ensure that the aviation history of the area was not lost in the depths of time. They are a registered charity with over 500 members. Their collection includes aircraft and artefacts linked to the development of aviation in the area. In order to find a permanent location the group set about years of fundraising activities and by the beginning of 2013 they had raised a staggering £300,000 which enabled them to set about the first stages of building a permanent home for the museum and the collection. The collection is displayed, cared for and the museum run solely by volunteers of which there are around 170 that give their time to enable people to view some of their magnificent items. The museum opens on weekends and some Wednesdays during school holidays and regularly receives hundreds of visitors. One of the patrons of the museum is Ian Whittle the son of Sir Frank Whittle who designed the jet engine in this region. A replica of the original Gloster E28-39 which was powered by Sir Frank’s invention is displayed at the Jet Age Museum. The original plane is so significant historically that it is looked after by the Science Museum in London.

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There are a number of other Gloster planes on display including the first fighter jet – the Meteor as well as the Gamecock which was a biplane fighter and the Javelin which was used during the Cold War and is known as an all weather fighter. You can experience what it would have been like to sit in the cockpit of some of the planes during your visit to the museum. This should be on the to do list of anyone who lives in the area.

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