The Bedford wind tunnel is elevated to the status of National Heritage Site by Historic England. Some 70 years after construction got started on what was a research facility back then, the leisure complex is now a listed and protected site.
The wind tunnel at Twinwoods, in Milton Ernest on the outskirts of Bedford, is among the 500 historic places that have been added to the National Heritage List for England in 2019.
Even The Times took up on it as it singled out the most unusual newly-protected heritage sites:
The wind tunnel designed to test how pilots might overcome fatal spins is one of the latest structures to become a listed building.
The Vertical Spinning Tunnel, part of a former laboratory complex in Milton Ernest, Bedfordshire, is one of the places given new or enhanced protected status this year by Historic England alongside a Shakespearean playhouse in east London and the location for the Monty Python sketch Mr. Creosote.
The upright steel tunnel, built between 1948 and 1955, was designed so that aeroplane models up to 7ft wide could be positioned above a large fan. The tunnel is still in working order and today is used by people wanting to replicate the sensation of skydiving.
Congratulations to Paul Mayer are in order. It was his vision that closed the circle on the continued purposeful use of the facility. He opened "Bodyflight Bedford" in 2005 and ran it for 13 years. Under new ownership, it is currently operated as "Twinwood Adventures" by his successors.
Paul Mayer will be one of the panelists at Indoor Skydiving 2020 | First Global Summit on 2 and 3 February.