View Full Version : RAE Thurleigh - Bedford

Priority 7
11-06-2011, 08:35 AM
Well after my mishap at Cardington I tried to see Thurleigh however I had to be content with a small section that I believe was used by the RAE division of the Airforce.

From our friends at Wikipedia

Thurleigh was one of 28 fields listed for use by the U.S. Eighth Air Force on 4 June 1942, tentatively designated station B-4, and was allocated on 10 August 1942. The RAF had found that the initial construction of Thurleigh was inadequate for the combat weight of B-24 bombers. After the departure of the RAF, Thurleigh's runways were lengthened, increased in thickness, and additional hardstands constructed to Class A standards so it could accommodate a USAAF heavy bomber group.
From 16 September 1943 though 25 June 1945, Thurleigh served as headquarters for the 40th Combat Bombardment Wing of the 1st Bomb Division.

RAE Thurleigh

Starting in 1946, construction work began on the airfield to turn the site into what became known as the Royal Aeronautical Establishment, Bedford. The runway was extended in the post-war period to accommodate the Bristol Brabazon aircraft (which required a very long runway) that ultimately never went into production. One local road was dropped into a cutting so that it would not sit above the level of the runway.
The airfield was decommissioned in February 1994 after a lengthy study determined that flight operations should be centralised at Boscombe Down in Wiltshire. Due to the cost and impracticality of relocating the Advanced Flight Simulator system the site retains some of its development work (under the banner of QinetiQ from mid-2001 onwards). As of early 2007, QinetiQ have sold their remaining stake in the Bedford Airfield site (as well as the nearby 'Wind Tunnel' site) and are planning to relocate the remaining staff to Farnborough in early 2008, finally ending the site's long association with military aviation.
The airfield was closed in 1997 with the RAE having become the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA). DERA consolidated its experimental flying operations at Boscombe Down, moving aircraft from Farnborough as well as Bedford.


If I have the location wrong please feel free to correct me...again Nelly, TStranger, Mimi and Skeleton Key had me in toe (Pardon the attempt at humour) and thanks for putting up with the whimpers guys and gals.

















11-06-2011, 09:53 AM
is that an aircraft refuelling trailer in one of your pics? looks a good mooch.

Priority 7
11-06-2011, 10:40 AM
I believe it sir yes but I am no expert sorry :)