Guided Tours

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COVID-19 UPDATE

As we enter Tier 4 on Boxing Day, all centrifuge tours have had to be cancelled (again). We will restart COVID-safe centrifuge tours as soon as we are able to do so – and dates will be published below. Please email info@farnboroughcentrifuge.org.uk for more details.

To the south east of Farnborough Airfield lies the Grade II-listed RAF Institute of Aviation Medicine man-carrying centrifuge, almost unchanged from when it was first commissioned in 1955. It played a central role in aviation medicine research during its 64 year life (1955-2019).

With the agreement of the owners, Raintree Developments Ltd, the Farnborough Air Sciences Trust (FAST) can now exclusively offer comprehensive tours of this fascinating facility, not normally open to the general public. This is a rare opportunity to examine a world famous and unique example of 1950s British engineering!

What to expect

Tours are led by a FAST volunteer who was a research scientist and centrifuge subject, with the support of former centrifuge engineers and other FAST volunteers. Visitors will hear firsthand what it was like to work with (and ride on) the centrifuge.

Tours start with a talk about the effects of G on the human body and various ways of G protection, with archive film to illustrate. This is followed by a hands-on tour around the centrifuge itself and the associated machinery (used to run and control it) with knowledgeable guides. The tour ends with a slideshow of the centrifuge construction and a short filmshow of the centrifuge in operation. All visitors will receive a high quality souvenir booklet (included in the price).

Tour pricing

The usual tour pricing is £15 per person (including souvenir booklet) or £25 per couple (including one booklet). Visits by clubs or groups wishing to explore photographic opportunities or other specific interests are welcome (subject to COVID-19 Government guidelines) and we look forward to discussing the requirement so that a tailored programme can be agreed.

Tour dates and how to book

The tours are held by pre-arrangement, run for a little over 2 hours and are normally available on a Tuesday or Thursday morning or afternoon. Other weekdays can be arranged if required.

Dates for 2021 will be added as soon as we are safe to re-open.

Please email info@farnboroughcentrifuge.org.uk for more information and to express an interest.

We look forward to hearing from you and welcoming you to the centrifuge!

Location

Please note that the centrifuge building is located in the middle of a housing estate, a short drive away from the main FAST Museum site. We are keen to minimise any disturbance to the residents, and will send you joining and parking instructions once your booking is confirmed.