12-09-2011, 06:28 PM
Hi all, this past weekend was the Heritage open days across the country (to find out more of them google is your friend :ttth ) and the former RAF Upper Heyford opened her doors for the first time since the mid 90's for some public tours on very limited numbers. So I (who kind of help with Heritage anyway) tagged along for a visit to bring you all some coverage of the weekend's events.

First we stopped off in the QRA area....

The QRA was constructed in 1979, and was on high alert between 1981and 1986.The area consists of nine Hardedned Aircraft Shelters) used to house the F111E aircraft . The area is surrounded by a double fence with a running track around the perimeter. Entrance for personnel, vehicles, arms etc. was through the large turnstile gates outside the entry control point (ECP). Aircraft would enter via the gates to the west.




A bit failed Panorama shot of the area, kind of shows you size however thus why it was included!

Next off a quick trip to the engine test cell...

A brief history:
The Engine Test Cell was built so that rebuilt jet engines could be tested and run up to full power, in a safe and controlled environment. The Test Cell itself, was built to withstand a jet engine (under full test load) explosion. As a result it is built of two foot thick reinforced walls, along with 1 foot thick inspection glass windows, along with a self contained Halon fire suppression system.

The walls are also sound proofed so that the noise generated by the engines would not disturb the local communities!

Jet engines were bolted down to a movable trolley which was wheeled into the test Cell through double blast doors, the trolley was then secured in place, in front of an Exhaust Efflux.
Then fuel and engine coolent lines were then attached through connections in the floor.
The Exhaust Efflux was water cooled under pressure to dampen down the engine exhaust heat which was generated by the engines when under full load. This generated massive clouds of steam which exited through the exhaust tunnel which can be seen on the end of the building.





Next onto the Northern Bomb Store, don't think this one really needs a history the clue is in the name :thumb


I have no pictures of the stores themselves as we was inside a minibus and pictures would be crap out of the windows, so here is some awesome heyford wall art to make up for it :thumb


Also managed to sneak off to the RAPCON area for some of their artwork!


Finally we headed to building 126 or The Battle Command Centre as it is widely known...


20th EMS Hangar opposite

And a quickie of the tour in the battle command centre main area, we also had a former 55th guy with us on this tour who was great for stories etc (ill leave you to guess who he is!).



Cheers for looking :smile

12-09-2011, 07:24 PM
Whos the dudes in the camo on the second to last pic? they look very happy to be there!

14-09-2011, 09:51 PM
Mmmm c 1985 I got dragged off by the police for sitting down in one of the entrances to this place during a demo. They'd arrested so many people they'd run out of mini buses to takes us to the school gym they were using as a temporary holding centre so myself and about 20 others were let go. Happy days.