I’m not going to go into a huge amount of detail here as Simon Cornwell has covered the history in intricate detail as well as photographing a virtual tour on his site: http://www.ngte.co.uk/home.htm visit there for more detailed info.
Briefly the National Gas Turbine Establishment at Pyestock Fleet was built in 1949 beginning with some small test cubicals inside buildings like the plant house and has since been added to over the years resulting in the huge site that stands there today.
For over 50 years Pyestock was at the forefront of gas turbine development. It was probably the largest site of its kind in the world. V bomber, Harrier and Tornado engines were tested on site. The power of the air house allowed Concorde’s engines to be tested in the purpose built Cell 4 at 2,000 mph. Every gas turbine installed in Royal Navy ships was checked here; captured Soviet engines were discreetly examined.
NGTE Pyestock closed down in 2000 and decommissioned to make way for a business park.
Pyestock was used for several scenes in the 2005 film Sahara by Breck Eisner, based on the best-selling book of the same name by Clive Cussler. Internal sections of Cell 3 and Cell 4 were suitably reworked for the film’s supposedly solar powered waste disposal facility.
A massive thanks to Mr Bones for being the tour guide for us on this trip! He was mega tried having been up all night exploring but he proper pulled through for us what a Legend! Visited with Mr Bones and Sam the Mule. Really early start for us given the long 4 hour drive down there in snowy conditions. I’d planned trips here before which always fell through but not this time…
We started with the Airhouse and covered Cells 3 and 4 (the main ones I wanted to see). Made all the better by the fact that the snow was about 3 inch deep when we arrived and about 8 inch deep when we left this trip tops my list to date! These no doing justice to the sheer scale of this place until you’ve seen it for yourself! The cells were great I could have spent all day photographing each of them and we only ended up covering a fraction of the site! Revisit on the cards for sure!
Enjoyed this post? Check out the revisit report from March 2013 here!
And the video from the 2 trips:
If you’ve made it this far… thanks for reading / checking out the pictures. Leave me a comment below or hit the like button to let me know you’ve enjoyed the shots and to encourage me to keep posting more 🙂
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