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Farnborough Air Sciences Trust

An open-air museum that no kid could resist.

If you have a childhood fantasy in you of flying a fighter jet then this is the place for you. The fact is all children love places like these; or at least the idea of flying in at break neck speeds, and at this museum they bring you closer to that experience than any other including the London Science Museum which is curiously non-interactive in things relating to aviation. The Farnborough Air Sciences Trust (FAST) museum is a trust of old and sometimes rusting aircrafts that have all long-since retired. They have everything from commercial jet cockpits, Harrier fighter planes, to Tiger Helicopters all for you to get up close and personal to, an experience that unleashes the imagination even for middle aged men.

As you pull up to this place you realise that the area clearly has close kinship to aviation as Farnborough airfield is located right next door and given the rapidity of planes landing -all private and owned by the super-rich; touchdown you know this is an area for the movers and shakers. At the gate is a Lighting fighter jet (the Jet that the RAF replaced with the Tornado) but as you make your way into the open museum you are greeted by plane after plane after helicopter, some you can get in, some you're not allowed to even touch but what makes this venue special is that the trust employs retired pilots and aviation scientists who will happily sit next you in the cockpit and explain what the many many buttons actually do. It's not all just plane cockpits either, they have a flight simulator of the very first British plane ever made, the "Cody" a plane with a top speed of about 75 miles an hour but for the 5 minutes you are piloting it you can't quite come to terms with how tricky it is keeping it level as you try to stop it veering all over the place.

As well as this there are the more usual cabinet rooms full of devises, models, uniforms, engines and gadgets from aviational past all to testify to how long the flying history of man now is.
It's not a close place to visit at 67 miles from Grays town centre but it would still be a lot closer than Southend beach on a hot day once you take the traffic into account. As the summer holidays go on it should be on every mums list as a free and diverting place to take the children for the day.

Postcode: GU14 6TF
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