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Thread: Pyestock Air House 2007

  1. #1
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    Default Pyestock Air House 2007


    I'm currently finishing off my Pyestock website with tours of the final main buildings. The most recently completed is the Air House.

    Note that that I explored the site in 2006 and 2007. It has unfortunately changed; but, then again, I expected it to be fully demolished by now.

    So here's some choice shots taken of the Air House in relatively better days.


    Air House (621)

    Built: 1961
    Decommissioned: 2002

    The Air House was an integral part of the site's expansion to cater for the new breed of supersonic jet engines. It was clear that the new Cell 3 (constructed in 1961) would require more high pressure air or more suction capability than the Plant House could provide and so the Air House was constructed. It performed one function: to generate right atmospheric conditions to fly a supersonic jet engine on the ground.

    The building was one of the most eye-catching structures erected at Pyestock. Its steel frame was mostly covered in glass and the eastern side was dominated by eight enormous atmospheric exhaust silencer stacks (one for each of the compressor/exhauster sets installed inside). Its size was also emphasised by the massive array of pressure mains and suction mains that snaked away on either side of the building, thus providing clear views of the structure in the cramped north-western corner of the Pyestock site.

    Internally the building was dominated by its turbine hall in which eight GEC centrifugal compressor/exhauster sets were mounted in two-storey concrete plinths. These were connected to the air network in the floors below whilst a large loading bay and gantry crane to the south of the turbine hall allowed heavy machinery to be installed or removed. A control room overlooked the turbine hall whilst a single corridor, running the entire length of the building, provided access to all the individual air filter rooms.


    Each compressor/exhauster could supply high pressure air to the inlet of engines to simulate high forward speed at low altitude. They could also extract the engine exhaust gases and lower the cell pressure so producing the required altitude conditions. The outputs of one compressor/exhauster set could be fed into the inputs of another, leading to extremely high pressures, or a large amount of suction, as required.


    They were built up of a steam turbine at one end, two low-pressure 3:1 compressors, one high-pressure 3:1 compressor and an electric motor at the other end. Therefore each machine could produce 3:1 to 9:1 pressure ratios depending on how the three compressors were run. The 8000 horse-power steam turbine was originally used to start and accelerate the machine to constant running speed of 3000 rev/min, at which point the 36,500 horse-power electric motor was synchronised with the C.E.B. grid frequency and then the electric motor could be switched in.


    The building changed little over its working life. At some point, the compressor/exhauster sets were modified so they could be electronically started with variable frequency power source this relieved the dependency on the Battle Test House for the necessary steam. This modification also probably prompted the modification of the control room, where each of the large control consoles for the compressor/exhausters was replaced by a much smaller semi-circular control panel in the centre of the room.


    The Air House was one of the most iconic and photographed buildings on site. Both the elegant eastern flank with its sky-blue towers or the red-and-white compressor/exhauster sets in the turbine hall became synonymous with Pyestock. Official publications all reproduced these familiar views. But its fate was entwined with Cell 3 and Cell 4; and as these testing chambers fell into disuse then the power-hungry Air House was also obsoleted. It closed in 2002.


    Some choice shots and some not so obvious pictures of the Air House.


    The eastern side of the Air House seen from the high pressure mains by Cell 3.


    Detail of the eastern flank and atmosphere exhaust stacks of the Air House.


    Trolley rail along the eastern side of the Air House looking north.


    North-south ground-floor walkway looking north.


    View east through the air inlet and Sub Atmospheric Mains towards the ground-floor of the turbine hall.


    View west from the first floor looking up at the Air House control room.


    Narrow walkway south by the eastern flank of the Air House on the first floor.


    The loading bay, looking south-west, from the first floor.


    The crane and loading bay as seen going up the gantry stairs. Looking west.


    Walkway west along the top of the gantry.


    View north-east across the turbine hall.


    Gantry operator's control booth below the gantry. Looking north across the turbine hall.


    Whole length of the control room looking north.


    Access corridor running behind the control panels and meters. Looking north.


    The meter and fuse corridor behind the control panels. Looking north.


    Crawl underneath the Air House control room. Looking south.


    Air House corridor looking south. The turbine hall is on the left and the air filter rooms on the right.


    Air filter room looking west.




    Roof of the air filters and corridor looking north.


    The tops of the atmosphere exhaust stacks looking east across the turbine hall roof.

    Still more pictures and a detailed walk-through can be found on my website.

    All the best,
    Simon

  2. Thanks given by: a_little_feisty, bonecollector, flyboys90, imyimyimy, krela, lost, Lucky Pants, mookster, night crawler, perjury saint, sYnc_below
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  4. #2
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    This place really is something else!!
    Very good report that...
    YOU AINT SEEN ME... RIGHT!!

  5. #3
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    That was rather special, thanks for sharing
    May the shadow of Murphy never darken your door."
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  6. #4
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    Now that, my friend, can't be topped!...... Period. :notworthy:
    :::::: Growing old disgracefully ::::::

  7. Thanks given by: Simon
  8. #5
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    Probably some of the best photographs I have seen of Pye!

    Cheers for posting them up :)
    Urbex Photography | Exploring The Hidden Past
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  9. Thanks given by: Simon
  10. #6
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    The size of this place always amazes me,I wonder what the total cost of building this complex was!
    Really good photos thanks for sharing.

  11. #7
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    Really great to see that Simon! Cheers :)
    Aversos Compono Animos

  12. #8
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    Wouldn't t have visited Pyestock three times without your website!

  13. Thanks given by: Simon
  14. #9
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    So clean and lush! Shame its changed...

  15. #10
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    Crackin stuff thanks :).
    Looking beyond the pictures. :p


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