The Bristol Branch focuses on the history of the aircraft industry in Bristol from the ancestor firms of British and Colonial Aeroplane Company, Brazil Straker and Cosmos, through the Bristol Aeroplane Company, Bristol Aero Engines, and finally to Bristol Siddeley and the merger in 1966 with Rolls-Royce.
The Sir Roy Fedden Heritage Centre houses an unrivalled collection of Bristol-built engines ranging from the Jupiter, the most successful aero engine of the 1920s, through the wartime Bristol Hercules and Centaurus sleeve-valve radials to famous jets such as the Harrier’s Pegasus and Concorde’s mighty Olympus.
The display includes de Havilland and Blackburn engines, firms that merged with Bristol Siddeley before the final consolidation with Rolls-Royce.
The Branch works closely with local community and heritage groups. For example exhibiting at model engineering shows, local festivals, helping develop Lottery-funded websites, and even a television programme about the recovery of Bristol engines from under the sea.
The Bristol Branch has a Workshop Team, which works on restoration tasks. Recent projects include the Bristol Mercury engines for the Bristol Aero Collection’s Bolingbroke, Gem helicopter engines and the deHavilland Ghost.
The Branch has a huge collection of Brochures, Manuals and other material relating to Bristol and de Havilland engines. It also holds the records of the Bristol Aeroplane Company.