Concorde's return to Bristol
Aerospace & Engineering
Bristol has one of the largest clusters of aerospace and firms in Europe based just outside the central city area and of the 15 world leading aerospace companies, 14 have bases in the Bristol and Bath area.
The origins of the British aerospace industry are firmly rooted in Bristol when in 1910, George White, Chairman of the Bristol Tramways Company, saw Wilbur Wright flying in Paris. He founded the Bristol Aeroplane Company with the aim to manufacture aircraft on a major scale and it became one of the first and most important British aviation companies, producing, amongst others, the Bristol Boxkite and the Blenheim as well as much of the preliminary work which led to Concorde. In summer 2017, Aerospace Bristol will open and celebrate this incredible story, with Concorde at its heart.
In the 1950s, operations were split into Bristol Aircraft and Bristol Aero Engines. With Bristol Aircraft merged with several major British companies to form the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC), which went onto become British Aerospace and Bristol Aero Engines merged with others, eventually purchased by Rolls Royce. Both Airbus and Rolls Royce still have bases in the north of the city.
This expertise now extends to further outstanding centres of excellence including Bristol Robotics Laboratory, Bristol & Bath Science Park and the National Composites Centre, the latter leading in collaborative aeronautical research.
Bristol’s engineering heritage is also evident in the legacy of Brunel, particularly in the Clifton Suspension Bridge and the restored ss Great Britain - the Concorde of its day.
Brunel's ss Great Britain now has a number of conference and meeting rooms with the first class dining saloon offers one of the most impressive gala dinner venues anywhere in the UK.