Brooklands Aircraft Factory & Race Track revived ready for relaunch
A major part of a historic site for motoring, aviation and engineering is being brought back to life as part of a revival project to help visitors understand the pivotal role Brooklands played in the field of engineering.
Thanks to over £5 million worth of funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, a project to transform the Bellman Hangar that formerly stood on part of the Brooklands Race Track in Weybridge, Surrey into a learning centre for science, technology and engineering, will open in November. The regeneration project, which cost just over £8 million in total, commenced in February 2016.
Euroclad’s products provided the required like-for-like appearance of the old hangar building and the heritage aesthetic of the new Flight Shed. Brooklands Museum occupies a 32-acre site at the northern end of the Brooklands Race Track. It tells the story of the history of motor racing and aircraft manufacture and development that took place at the site from 1907. The museum also houses Concorde G-BBDG and more recently, the Concorde Simulator which gives visitors the opportunity to learn how to fly from an ex-Concorde pilot.
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The historic Brooklands Race Track, which was opened in 1907, was the world’s first purpose-built motor-racing circuit and sparked the start of organised motor racing in the UK. Over the years, the track evolved into a centre for the development and operation of racing cars, motorcycles and aircraft. The Race Track hosted the first ever British Grand Prix in 1926, but closed in 1939 and did not open again after the end of the Second World War.
The first public demonstration of powered flight in the UK took place at Brooklands Race Track in 1909 and more aircraft were manufactured or assembled and first flew at Brooklands than anywhere else in Europe before British Aerospace closed the factory in the 1980s. As part of the revival project, the Finishing Straight of Brooklands Race Track has been restored to how it looked in 1939 and brought back into use, officially re-opening on 17th June 2017, 110 years after it was first opened. The museum’s active aircraft will be housed in a new “Flight Shed” building and used for demonstrations on the restored Race Track. The shed will also house Brooklands’ internationally significant archives, protected within environmentally controlled, purpose-built storage, and a new workshop.
The site’s Grade II listed Bellman Hangar which was located on the Race Track and used for the assembly of Wellington bombers during the Second World War, has been restored and relocated on an adjacent site and will be presented as an “aircraft factory” - an interactive learning centre where visitors can experience aircraft manufacturing and see how aircraft were designed over the years. Due to the degradation of the original Bellman Hangar sheets, the hangar was clad using a combination of Euroclad’s sinusoidal metal wall and roof profiles in different finishes to replicate the appearance of the old corrugated sheets. The cladding will also provide thermal insulation and protect the buildings from weathering.
A total of 3,314m2 of Euroclad’s galvanised steel sinusoidal profiles were manufactured and supplied, in a combination of uncoated and Colorcoat Prisma finishes, to clad the hangar’s exterior walls and roof. To ensure that the external aesthetics matched the original building, an Oyster colour was used for large areas of the external envelope, with the south side of the building later painted in a camouflage design.
The Flight Shed walls and roof were clad using 955m2 of sinusoidal profiles on the walls and 797m2 on the roof, both in a Grey Aluminium finish. 19/1000 liner panels were used on the inside of the Flight Shed with Euroclad’s Quattro spacer bar system.
Matthew Beard from Roofing, Cladding and Building Ltd, the specialist installers who worked on the project, said: “It was great to work on such a historic site and to help give the buildings a new lease of life. Replicating the aesthetics of the original buildings was key throughout this project. We worked closely with the museum and Historic England to make sure that the restoration reflected this and Euroclad were able to provide the like-for-like industrial feel that the project required which was great.”
Euroclad’s diverse range of steel and aluminium cladding systems are available in a range of colours and options, providing great value products on time and within budget. Founded in 1981, Euroclad has maintained its cutting-edge approach to high performance, cost-effective solutions to remain at the forefront of the industry for over 35 years.
|Installer||Roofing, Cladding and Building Ltd|
|System||Sinusoidal Profile, 19mm Profile|
|Material||Colorcoat Prisma®, Aluminium|
|Colours||Galvanised, Oyster, Bright White Liner|