Air & Space Gallery
Dave 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.
The 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 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.