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Manchester's Air & Space Gallery

Cutaway HunterDave Eade & Roger Cook report: Being a fundamental part of Manchester's Museum of Science and Industry, a visit to the Air and Space Gallery is worthwhile. Located in a renovated Market Building within the museum complex, pride of place goes to a pristine WR960, Shackleton AEW2, resplendent in the colours of 8 Squadron with which she served. All the exhibits are meant to illustrate the connection of Manchester with aircraft production, or examples of engineering innovation. Major examples of strides into the "new-beyond" are shown in the English Electric P1A (WG763) and Avro 707A WZ736 (built nearby at Woodford). Sycamore and Belvedere helicopters represent the efforts of Bristol Helicopters and a Hunter F1 (WT619) is shown stripped of outer skin, showing how monocoque construction is employed in aircraft production.

Tightly packed halls of the museumThe collection is completed with a Spitfire FR14E (MT847), a collection of civil biplanes and a replica of a Bullseye Autoplane. Many pieces of memorabilia, a collection of aircraft engines, wind tunnel models and rocketry complete the exhibition. Although outside this remit, a day could easily be passed at this museum in They do squeeze 'em in!total, dealing as it does with railway, electricity and gas power. Spread over a huge site, building is on going at this time, and the whole area is being transformed from early 19th Century working buildings to early 21st century exhibition and museum centre. Highly recommended.

Airframes seen were: Avro 707A WZ736, Belvedere BC1 XG454, EE P1A WG763, Hunter F1 WT619, Shackleton AEW2 WR960, Spitfire FR14e MT847, Sycamore HR14 XL824 & Yokosuka Ohka 997.

 

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