Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome, in Leicestershire, included a Cold War jet-aircraft museum with about twenty aircraft from that era.
Bruntingthorpe Cold War Jets Collection Map
The museum used to hold two 'Open Days' each year when they demonstrated fast taxi and take-off runs on the 9,843ft asphalt runway.
Bruntingthorpe museum is currently closed.
Bruntingthorpe airfield was constructed in 1942, for heavy bombers during World War II, and was later used extensively by Sir Frank Whittle's Powerjets company for early test and development activity on jet engined aircraft. In 1954 a new airfield was constructed for the US Air Force and used as a strategic heavy nuclear bomber base (code-named 'Big Thunder') until 1962.
The site was once again used by the Royal Air Force in the 1960s before it became privately owned by the Rootes Group, and subsequently Chrysler & Peugeot, and used for high-performance car testing, and vehicle storage.
Today, Bruntingthorpe is owned by C. Walton Ltd who purchased the site in 1983 and have set up a diverse, yet complementary group of businesses including vehicle testing, vehicle storage and refurbishment as well as events and corporate hospitality.
The museum has about twenty aircraft from the Cold War period and holds two 'Open Days' each year when they demonstrate fast taxi and take-off runs on the 9,843ft asphalt runway.
In 1997, an ex-Air France Boeing 747-100 was used by the Federal Aviation Administration of the USA and the Civil Aviation Authority to conduct a test to study the effects of a terrorist planted bomb explosion on board a wide-body aircraft such as had happened over Lockerbie.
Avro Vulcan (XH558), the last flying Vulcan bomber was restored to airworthy condition over a period of eight years and its first post-restoration flight was from Bruntingthorpe on 18 October 2007. The Vulcan left Bruntingthorpe at the beginning of the 2008 flying display season and is now grounded and permanently based at Robin Hood Airport, Doncaster, formerly RAF Finningley 'V Bomber' base.
In March 2013, the last RAF Lockheed TriStars were retired into the aerodrome. GJD Services have been keeping the six aircraft under a storage and maintenance programme. They have been bought by AGD Systems Corp and will be available for use by NATO, the RAF and the USAF. The last VC-10 to fly (ZA147) is currently at Bruntingthorpe but its future is unknown.
Today, Bruntingthorpe is used mainly for vehicle storage and it was reported in June 2020 that the museum had permanently closed.
New developments have since come to fruition throughout 2021, with the hope of reopening the museum on a nearby site but still on the current airfield. As of 2022 this development is progressing well, new hard standing for aircraft has now been built along with new public car parking. The Museum hosted its first public event on the new site in November 2022, marking the first step before reopening fully.
More information can be found here.
Accommodation: postcode - LE17 5QS