FAST Museum houses historic aviation collection

I’ve got a touch behind in articles here. Last week we visited the FAST Museum in Farnborough – properly known as the Farnborough Air Sciences Trust Museum. There were two aspects to our visit, with the Camberley and District Probus Club, in the morning to the FAST Museum, and an afternoon visit to the historic Wind Tunnels.

Firstly about our museum visit. I’ll write about the wind tunnel visit later. If you haven’t visited the FAST Museum, you’re missing a treat. The museum is packed full of historic aviation material, be it photographs, aircraft engines, space rockets satellites, flight simulators, and historic military and civil aircraft, all available with accompanying knowledgeable museum volunteers.

The museum is open on Saturdays, Sundays and bank holiday Mondays from 10.0am till 4.0pm, with entry being free. I’m ashamed to admit not having previously visited the museum, though having frequently passed by it on the A325. Funny isn’t it, it’s the attractions nearest to you that don’t get visited.

The old-looking white building housing the Museum is historic itself. Known as Trenchard House, named in commemoration of Lord Trenchard’s work in the creation of the RAF. FAST say about the building that it,

…. is the earliest building on the historic Farnborough aviation site. It was built in 1907 by the Royal Engineers to be the headquarters of their Balloon School and it is one of the oldest aviation related buildings in the country.

The FAST Museum volunteers created the Cody Pavillion, containing a full-sized replica of the British Army’s Aeroplane No1A, alongside a gallery of photographs about Samuel F Cody’s colourful life, all marking his achievement in the first successful powered aeroplane flight in the UK.  Here are a few photos of our visit,

3 thoughts on “FAST Museum houses historic aviation collection

  1. The FAST museum is a little gem, which we too discovered only recently. It has an enthusiast feel about it. I believe it is staffed by volunteers, and they are extremely knowledgeable and happy to respond to questions about the exhibits. If you enjoyed FAST, you’ll also likely enjoy the Amberley industrial heritage museum near Arundel in West Sussex A little further afield, Beamish museum in County Durham is a must see. We’re planning on visiting the RAF museum in Cosford Shropshire next month, which should be a real treat.


  2. Will, if you can, get yourself on a FAST museum wind tunnel tour and prepare to be amazed. Agree that Amberley is excellent, where the lime kilns are a highlight, plus of course the little train. In the past I lived close to Cosford, and still have family living near by. It’s a modern facility, which makes for an enjoyable visit. The interesting range of planes and rockets are all under cover, including a V bomber. Restaurant facilities also good. Not been to Beamish, will add to list of visits to do. Can also recommend the Black Country museum.


  3. Thanks for the information Tim, I wasn’t aware of the wind tunnel tour, and I’ll add the Black Country museum to my itinerary next month.


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