The collections Wildcat is a rare example of an aircraft that crashed during WW2, only to be recovered relatively complete many years later. Prior to it's recovery, Ulster Aviation Society members had been visiting other wartime crash sites throughout Northern Ireland, recording and photographing the sites and in some cases, with the relevant permission, recovering parts and artefacts.
These activities formed the foundation for the collection as it is today. The Rolls Royce Merlin engine on display in the hangar was recovered in the early 1980's from a peat bog near Cushendun.
The Hawker Hurricane (R4079) it came from crashed in 1940. The aircraft was based at Aldergrove with 245 Squadron.
Although the aircraft dominate the hangar, there are many smaller items in the collection, in all shapes and sizes. Some of these are on display either amongst the aircraft , or in one of the rooms at the side of the hangar. Smaller displayed items may occaisionally be rotated, but many remain in storage until such times as we have the space, means and conditions to properly display them.
The collection currently has a number of interesting aircraft engines on display, including the Astazou and Continental used on the prototype Short Skyvan and a rare Single Mamba from a Short Seamew. Others include a De Havilland Gypsy queen, Rolls Royce Gnome and Rolls Royce Avon Jet engine. The last being the largest in the collection.
Rockets & Missiles
The Stilletto target drone is currently the only rocket powered and supersonic item on display. The design is a Beech AQM-37A that was built under license by Shorts Missiles. We also have a Seacat missile launcher on loan from the IWM which joined us in 2010.
A number of models are held in the collection. These range from large wind tunnel models, either of complete aircraft or parts of a design. An architectural model of the International airport building . Airshow display models built for trade stands through to Radio controlled models, and scale plastic examples.
In addition to the library books, a selection of other printed material is also held in the Collection. This includes items as diverse as manuals, maps, letters, documents and airline ephemera to name just a few. A large collection of magazines, some dating from the 1930's, is currently in storage.
Aviation and air forces have used a wide range of clothing and uniforms to fulfill many roles as diverse as ceremonial duties to extremes such as firefighting.
Unfortunately due to their fragile nature and lack of suitable display facillities the majority of uniforms and related equipment in the collection are currently in storage.