Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment

Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment

The Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment (A&AEE) was a research facility for British military aviation from 1918 to 1992.


In 1917, the Experimental Aircraft Flight of the Central Flying School was transferred from Upavon, Wiltshire to a site on the heathland at Martlesham and, on 16 January 1917, Martlesham Heath Airfield was officially opened, as an experimental airfield. The unit was renamed the Aeroplane Experimental Unit, Royal Flying Corps. After the end of World War I the site continued to be used and was, once again, renamed as the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment of the Royal Air Force.

At the outbreak of the Second World War, the A&AEE was removed to a site at Boscombe Down, Wiltshire, owing to the proximity of Martlesham Heath to the East Coast and its vulnerability to enemy attack.

Then the airfield was known as "RAF Boscombe Down". [ [ UCL Adastral Park Postgraduate Research Campus - Site History ] ]

The A&AEE has witnessed many significant developments in the British aviation industry, including trials of many aircraft flown by the British armed forces since the Second World War, such as the first flights of the English Electric P 1, forerunner of the Lightning, and the BAC TSR.2. The site was shared with the School of Aviation Medicine.

In 1992 the A&AEE was renamed the Aircraft and Armament Evaluation Establishment when experimental work moved to the Defence Research Agency. Responsibility for the site passed from the MoD Procurement Executive to the Defence Test and Evaluation Organisation (DTEO) in 1993, and subsequently to the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA) in 1995. In 2001 DERA was split into two parts, one being the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) which remains part of the civil service and the other part going to form part of the company known as QinetiQ to which the staff at Boscombe Down now belong having lost their civil service status.


ee also

*Telecommunications Research Establishment
*Royal Radar Establishment
*Seaplane Experimental Station
*Central Fighter Establishment

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