This turned out to be a good day out with @SpiderMonkey and Exxperious. This is a big site, by far the largest RAF base I've explored in terms of area covered, so we spent the whole day looking around it.
History of RAF Bentwaters
RAF Bentwaters is a former Royal Air Force station in Suffolk, named after Bentwater Cottages, two small houses that stood on the site of the main runway prior to its construction. Construction of the base began in 1942 for use by RAF Bomber Command and opened for operational use in April 1944. In December that year it was transferred to No. 11 Group, RAF Fighter Command. The runways were constructed in the typical RAF layout of one main runway diagonally intersected by two secondary runways, forming a triangle.
The base was used by the RAF during the Second World War, and then used by the United States Air Force from 1951 until 1993, primarily for efforts during the Cold War. Bentwaters was to play a key role in the defence of Western Europe during the Cold War when large numbers of USAF aircraft were assigned as part of the air arm of NATO.
Bentwaters was handed back to the UK Ministry of Defence in 1993 and was subsequently closed. Now known as Bentwaters Parks, the site is used as a business park and filming location. Owners are constantly developing the filming and production facilities available at the site. Movies and TV programmes filmed there include Derren Brown's Apocalypse, movies The Numbers Station and Fast & Furious 6, along with some Top Gear stunts, amongst others.
In 2007 the Bentwaters Cold War Museum opened, including tours of the fully restored “War Operations Room” and “Battle Cabin”.
Aerial view of the site after becoming Bentwaters Parks
Star Wars Building
The so-called “Star Wars Building” is surrounded by concrete blast walls and contains some interesting spaces including a medical room.
The Star Wars Building
Concrete blast walls
Entrance of the Star Wars Building
Built during the Cold War to securely store nuclear and conventional weapons, the bomb store was heavily fortified with three layers of fencing, razor wire, a swing-arm vehicle barrier, two gates, pressure pads, armoured guard house, guard tower and overhead cables to keep helicopters out.
We didn’t get passed the gate!
Entrance to the Bomb Stores
Armoured Guard House
One of the storage facilities with overhead cables
One of the store buildings had a couple of old fire engines parked up behind it....
Planes and Helicopters
There are all sorts of jet aeroplanes and helicopters parked up around the site, in varying states of decay and dismantlement.
Exxperious modelling his entry into "Miss Fighter Jet 2018"
The K-9 building contains spacious dog kennels.
Kennels inside the K-9 Building
The site has a lot of hardened aircraft shelters, or hangers, spread out across a vast area. Several are in use by private companies, and others are empty. A common feature of the hangers is the huge sliding doors that form the entire hanger's frontage – these slide to the side on rails to open up fully allowing access for aeroplanes.
One of the many hangers
Typical interior of the hangers
Original sliding door controls
The framework sits on rails and supports the huge doors, allowing them to slide fully open
527th Aggressor Squadron Hardened Aircraft Shelter
Deputy Commander Operations
This building had been out of use for quite some time and is suffering a lot of decay. The moisture and condensation cause constant rainfall inside the building, which was ideal for plant growth.
Deputy Commander Operations building
Runway, Control Tower and Maintenance Vehicles
We didn’t make it over to the control tower, which is situated within the live business park area of the site. The runway still has some of the maintenance and de-icing vehicles parked up.
The Control Tower pictured in 1972
The Control Tower today (poor quality due to crazy crop, as we didn't go over there!)
North/South runway with the control tower in the distance
The Hush House
Originally built as a jet engine testing facility with an exhaust tunnel, the Hush House was a soundproofed hangar where fighter
Exterior of the exhaust tunnel
Interior of the Hush House
The exhaust tunnel
Hush House control booth and viewing window
Thanks for looking!
Of course I got a selfie!
One I did on my own. Was in that neighbourhood on a non urbex occasion. Was travelling light with only the camera and my tripod. Parked the car some distance away and walked over there.
Once inside it was surprisingly quit busy there (I thing 8 persons) in a closed shop). One of the persons was carting a baby. It looked like a family day out to me. Went upstairs and waited to come down when the people were gone. Strange to see so much stuff still in the shelf's.
IMG_3003-Edit by Bart Hamradio, on Flickr
IMG_2977-Edit by Bart Hamradio, on Flickr
IMG_2958-Edit by Bart Hamradio, on Flickr
IMG_2990-HDR-Edit by Bart Hamradio, on Flickr
IMG_2998-Edit by Bart Hamradio, on Flickr
IMG_2981-Edit by Bart Hamradio, on Flickr
IMG_2961-Edit by Bart Hamradio, on Flickr
IMG_2960-Edit by Bart Hamradio, on Flickr
I saw a couple of pics of this epic little turbine hall online, so from google maps, previous euro visits and general research I had a good idea of where it could be, also having a bit of a thing for the Belgian industry at the moment I had to have it!
So while over there recently we went and checked the 2 buildings I had narrowed it down to - number 2 being the jackpot Soon enough we found our way in and were greeted by an extra bit of steelworkings as well as said turboners.
Thanks to Obs for the joint effort in tracking it down and sustaining a foot injury in the process, worth it though haha I loved this place
No major control room porn, and I do love a control room, but it had two larger panels and other smaller ones dotted about.
And the dirty steelworks bit -