NGTE Jet Engine testing facility


NGTE Pyestock was one of my exploration targets for the last few years, living so close to it, I could almost hear it constantly calling out – or maybe that was just the Broadmoor siren. A Saturday in April, I finally cracked this one alongside 2 others who were going there for a second time.

This place was something else entirely, I had done a few laps of the perimeter before but once you are actually there, its very disorientating. I realised  quite quickly how unprepared I was on previous attempted visits, if any of those had actually been successful I would have found myself dizzy and lost by the time I got to the first building.

Luckily my companions knew where they were going so within a matter of minutes, we were inside the airhouse.

The size of just this hall by itself, on 2 levels with turbines and vacuum pipes winding their way across the great expanse. This was probably the size of the main hall at ECVB by itself. A good hour was spent here on both levels as well as climbing up to the higher levels. I had seen pictures from the centre of the gantry but there was no way that I was climbing out there and had to make do with a few higher  shots from the higher staircases.
Cell 3 was the next stop, deep inside this building runs a tunnel which was used to mount some of the jet engines, a hole in the top of the tunnel leads down to a long passage. On one end, there is a complex metal ring surrounding what looks like an exhaust port and on the other, industrial looking doors which were installed for the movie “Sahara” turn out to actually be a lot lighter than they look. Beyond these doors is another passage which then opens out to a massive circular  formation of pipes and dampeners . Standing in this opening feels like being in a science fiction movie, it just needs flickering red lamps and maybe some incoming beeps on a radar screen.

My final stop was Cell 4, I had seen alot of photos from in here an it’s easy to see why. On entry to the massive hall – the first thing you see is a huge exhaust port connected to a bulbous cylinder, this is connected to several space ship type compartments and the follows to the rear middle of the hall where it splits off into 2 pipes which then wind themselves around and out of the hall. In actual fact these ran the other way in terms of airflow. Just the sheer size of this place would have kept explorers happy for a good few hours.

This hall was used in some scenes from Sahara which I watched a few days after the explore, it was then when some of the signs and manufacturer decals made sense!

It’s quite a strange feeling being somewhere that you have seen so much in photos, probably like visiting somewhere like New York that you have seen on movies or the harry potter sets. It was too tempting not to take these tourist shots but this was only my first time here, I could return to get some more unusual photos!

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