The Jet Age Museum is home to a unique collection of historic aircraft and artefacts charting the history of Gloucestershire's rich aviation heritage.
Its purpose is to preserve the county's aviation history, record the stories of those involved and inspire future generations through education.
In it's 10,000 sq ft purpose-built home at the aptly named Meteor Business Park, Gloucestershire Airport, standing proudly behind a pair of original Gloster Aircraft Company factory gates, rescued where the nearby aircraft factory was closed down, the museum is the only place in the world that examples of the three Gloster Aircraft Company jets can be seen together.
The mighty Gloster Javelin, delta-winged fighter resides alongside five different marks of the famous Gloster Meteor, the first jet aircraft to enter RAF service, and a full size replica of the Gloster E28/39, the experimental aircraft, powered by Sir Frank Whittle's revolutionary jet engine.
Whittle's jet-powered aircraft was constructed amidst great secrecy here in Gloucestershire and first took to the skies during taxiing trials at Brockworth airfield on 8th April 1941, heralding the birth of the Jet Age and transforming the face of aviation as we know it. Original 'top secret' documentation and an original spare wheel from the aircraft are amongst the museum's exhibits.
The collection also includes other Gloster-built aircraft, including a stunningly restored 1920s Gloster Gamecock biplane, a Hawker Hurricane replica - Gloster built almost 3,000 of these famous Battle of Britain fighters for their parent company Hawker, employing more than 10,500 people at the height of production during the wartime years.
Gloucestershire remains at the cutting edge of the aerospace industry and the museum's collection of artefacts and ephemera traces the history of famous names such as Dowty, Rotol and Smiths Industries, who's instruments, landing gear, systems and undercarriage can be found on the very earliest to the most modern aircraft. This includes the cockpit section of the famous Avro Vulcan bomber, which is open for visitors to experience the conditions that RAF crews flew in during the Cold War years and on the famous 'Black Buck' missions to bomb the Falkland Islands airport runway during the 1982 conflict.
There are a number of engines on display, including a Rolls Royce Merlin recovered from a wartime Hawker Hurricane crash site and a Bristol Mercury engine recovered from a Gloster Gladiator crash site on a Norwegian fjord. This aircraft is under long term restoration with the museum, together with a Hawker Typhoon cockpit.
Commemorating the role that Gloucestershire companies and airfields made to the liberation of Europe, the museum is also building a replica cockpit section of a Horsa assault glider, which can be seen under construction.
For the younger visitors, the museum's 'Biggles' play plane is a highly popular attraction. With a shop and cafeteria, visitors can enjoy an all-round family experience.
The museum is an all-volunteer charity.
Admission to the Jet Age Museum is free
Children & Infants
- Facilities for children - For the younger visitors, the museum's 'Biggles' play plane is a highly popular attraction.
- Tea / Coffee Shop
Parking & Transport
- Parking (free)
|Opening Hours (1 Jan 2023 - 31 Dec 2023)|
|Monday - Friday||Closed*|
|Saturday - Sunday||10:00||- 16:00*|
The Jet Age Museum is at the Meteor Business Park on the Cheltenham Road East (B4063) near Staverton. Access to the museum is not available through the main entrance to Gloucestershire Airport. Please use the junction for the Meteor Business Park at Cotswold Motor Caravans on Cheltenham Road East (opposite Messier-Dowty).
Public Transport Directions
The Jet Age Museum is located very close to one of the main bus routes which link Gloucester and Cheltenham. The 94 service operated by Stagecoach West can be picked up from Market Parade in Gloucester or the Promenade in Cheltenham. Ask the driver for single/return to Messier Dowty's or The Meteor Business Park.