posted on Jul, 23 2007 @ 10:15 AM
what youare looking at here is actually 3 sites. Qinetiq Hurn, Qinetiq Hurn Barnsfield and Qinetiq Hurn Saddleheath. these names do not appear on the
Qinetiq website for reasons they will not divulge.
I randomly met a chap (the uncle of a friend of my better half!) who used to work there. Qinetiq barnsfield is the one with the runway like
construction and indeed it used to be a runway. it was the unfavourable wind direction runway for both RAF hurn (now the airport) and also RAF sopley
(now an industrial area.) the site is as far as he was aware is no longer used to fly in and out of by conventional planes as the paved area of the
strip is too narrow and the forested areas either side encroach too much. However vtol aircraft and helicopters do visit. it is preferred to park them
there in a secure area rather than fly them into bournemouth airport. (which is one of the most ludicrously insecure comercial airports in the
country) so your source who says he has seen vtol aircraft land there is almost certainly correct.
barnsfield has been tied up with vehicle testing for a long time now and the two round pads at either end of the runway are used to test turning
circles, with the runway being used to test acceleration and braking. the very end section of the runway, past the pad, is set up with rumble strips
for testing vehicle suspension. The site was almost closed down when the christchurch garrison of specialsit vehicle development and the royal
engineers was largely shut and sold off.
the other two sites known as Qinetiq hurn are vehicle workshops and admistrative and theoretical /small labs. my contact was concerned with radio
frequency interference issues but suggested that there were groups looking at avionics and weapons syetms. but he categorically denied that there was
any weapons testing performed there.
(in this pdf you can see the vehicle sat on the pad with the radial grid marked on it)
Qinetiq at hurn are also the local liason with FR aviation at bournemouth airport who perform aircraft conversions mainly civil aircraft to military
tankers, in projects led by Qinetiq boscombe down
Hope this clears up some of your questions..