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Cold War airfields C.1970

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Cold War airfields C.1970

Old 8th Apr 2020, 11:09
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The late XV105,

Why? The airfield at Stornoway was Stornoway airport, nothing to do with the RAF. In later Cold War years there were plans to build a HAS complex there for 11 Group, but it came to nothing.
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Old 8th Apr 2020, 11:18
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Originally Posted by pr00ne View Post
The late XV105,

Why? The airfield at Stornoway was Stornoway airport, nothing to do with the RAF. In later Cold War years there were plans to build a HAS complex there for 11 Group, but it came to nothing.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_Stornoway

"During the height of the Cold War years Stornoway Airport was home to 112 S.U., an RAF Signals Unit"

And the airfield at RAF Aldergrove was Belfast Airport!

In fairness both Stornoway and Benbecula were regular C130 runs from Lyneham during the 70's.
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Old 8th Apr 2020, 11:23
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Originally Posted by pr00ne View Post
The late XV105,

Why? The airfield at Stornoway was Stornoway airport, nothing to do with the RAF. In later Cold War years there were plans to build a HAS complex there for 11 Group, but it came to nothing.
But there were regular deployments of aircraft there (mainly Buccaneers) from the early '80s until the late '90s and the RAF did pay 40m for some upgrades to the airfield such as a hangar and a runway extension in anticipation of it being used by Tornados, but strictly speaking, all this happened after the '70s.
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Old 8th Apr 2020, 11:23
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I used to transit Stornoway in the early eighties with a S76A servicing a drillship in the Atlantic. The offshore alternate was Vaga, in the Faeroe Islands
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Old 8th Apr 2020, 11:30
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Originally Posted by Phileas Fogg View Post

In fairness both Stornoway and Benbecula were regular C130 runs from Lyneham during the 70's.
Plus the BAC 1-11 XX919 from Farnborough visited Benbecula on 14 Apr 1977; I know because I was on it!
The RAF mobile CRP radar was still in situ just north of the end of the runway but I wouldn't call it an RAF airfield even thought the RAF had a small section of the Army Officer's Mess bar to themselves (sampled that too).
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Old 8th Apr 2020, 11:54
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Originally Posted by chevvron View Post
Plus the BAC 1-11 XX919 from Farnborough visited Benbecula on 14 Apr 1977; I know because I was on it!
The RAF mobile CRP radar was still in situ just north of the end of the runway but I wouldn't call it an RAF airfield even thought the RAF had a small section of the Army Officer's Mess bar to themselves (sampled that too).
And was it Stornoway that HRH Big Ears or was it his Pop who did a 'naughty' whilst piloting a HS748 variant of Andover?
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Old 8th Apr 2020, 12:20
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Prince Charles' runway excursion was at Islay in a 146.
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Old 8th Apr 2020, 17:26
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Originally Posted by pr00ne View Post
The late XV105,

Why? The airfield at Stornoway was Stornoway airport, nothing to do with the RAF. In later Cold War years there were plans to build a HAS complex there for 11 Group, but it came to nothing.
As others have pointed out, during the cold war it was very much an RAF airfield. Only later was it sold for civvy duties. My father was OC 112 SU during part of the time in question, and I lived there.
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Old 8th Apr 2020, 17:47
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The late XV105,

I know we are sort of splitting hairs here, but Stornoway AIRPORT was opened as a civilian airport in 1937 and 112 SU only moved there in 1960. I know all about 112 SU as I was an occasional 'user' and when 112 SU were there the airport was owned, operated and managed by Highlands and Island Airports and their predecessors and successors as a civilian airfield. It was, I grant you, a forward operating base but that didn't mean it was an RAF airfield. 112 SU were in an enclave.
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Old 8th Apr 2020, 18:13
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Originally Posted by Phileas Fogg View Post
And was it Stornoway that HRH Big Ears or was it his Pop who did a 'naughty' whilst piloting a HS748 variant of Andover?
Further to Treadigraph's correct answer, Prince Charles's presumed "naughty" in Stornoway was going into the former Crown Hotel at the age of 14 in 1963 and innocently ordering a cherry brandy, before being grassed up by freelance journalist who just happened to be there at the time, vide https://magazine.trueroyalty.tv/2019...king-underage/

Originally Posted by pr00ne View Post
The late XV105,

I know we are sort of splitting hairs here, but Stornoway AIRPORT was opened as a civilian airport in 1937 and 112 SU only moved there in 1960. I know all about 112 SU as I was an occasional 'user' and when 112 SU were there the airport was owned, operated and managed by Highlands and Island Airports and their predecessors and successors as a civilian airfield. It was, I grant you, a forward operating base but that didn't mean it was an RAF airfield. 112 SU were in an enclave.
A perfect word to describe an English-speaking RAF unit in a seafaring Gaelic community!

Jack
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Old 11th Apr 2020, 10:35
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Templeton, Pembrokeshire runways were occasionally in use up until the late 70's. This was largely used as a satellite of Brawdy during exercises. Also I seem to remember the odd Hercules and occasionally by army choppers paying a visit often at night (SAS?). Runways are still marked on the OS maps.
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Old 11th Apr 2020, 13:19
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Army Air Corp Beavers (Flight 132) were based at RAF Old Sarum until September 1970 just qualifying OS as a Cold War Airfield??.
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Old 11th Apr 2020, 13:26
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But Old Sarum was grass
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Old 13th Apr 2020, 00:26
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Originally Posted by Hangar_9 View Post
Dear PPRuNe population,

I'd like some help compiling a list:

My interest is that of RAF / RN / AAC / USAF airfields (or any military), in the UK that were active and still open until circa. 1970.

I'd like to create a comprehensive list of all airfields with a concrete or asphalt runway that were in use in any way at all. It could be a training field (i.e Oakington) through to front line (Leuchars). The emphasis is on a physical in-use hard runway at this location. ATC units / Runway Caravans etc. Based units not required. This is a research project about airfields themselves not the operating units. Imagine you could make an approach, land on a perfectly useable runway.

My work so far:

bold denotes still active as a Military airfield in 2020

Aberporth
Abingdon
Acklington
Aldergrove
Alconbury
Ballkelly
Barkston heath*
Bassingbourn
Bentwaters
Benson*
Binbrook
Boscombe Down*
Bovingdon
Brawdy
Brough
Brize Norton*
Bruntingthorpe
Burtonwood
Chalgrove*
Chivenor*

Church Fenton
Colerne
Conningsby*
Coltishall
Cosford*
Cottesmore
Cranfield
Cranwell*
Culdrose*
Debden
Dishforth*
Driffield*
Dunsfold
Elvington
Fairford
Filton
Finningley
Ford
Gaydon
Greenham Common
Honnington
Hullavington
Keevil
Kemble
Kinloss*
Kirk Newton*
Lakenheath*
Lee on Solent
Leconfield
Leeming*
Leuchars*
Lindholme
Linton on Ouse*
Little Rissington
Lossiemouth*
Llanbedr
Lyneham
Machrihanish
Manby
Manston
Marham*
Merryfield*
Middleton St. George
Mildenhall
Mona*
North Luffenham
Northolt*
Oakington
Odiham*
Ouston
Pershore
Valley*
Scampton*
Sculthorpe*
Shawbury*

St Athan*
St Mawgan*

Stradishall
Strubby
Swinderby
Syerston*
Tarrant Rushton
Ternhill*
Thorney Island
Thurleigh
Topcliffe*
Upper Heyford
Upwood
Warton
Watton
Waterbeach
Waddington*
Wattisham*
West Freugh*

West Raynham
West Malling
Weston Zoyland
Wethersfield
Wittering*
Woodbridge
Woodvale
Wroughton
Wymeswold
Wyton
Yeovilton*

Have i missed any?
Two I flew out of in 1970s: RAF Swanton Morley and RAF White Waltham. Both grassed trainng airfields.
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Old 13th Apr 2020, 00:44
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Originally Posted by Pearly White View Post
Two I flew out of in 1970s: RAF Swanton Morley and RAF White Waltham. Both grassed trainng airfields.
"I'd like to create a comprehensive list of all airfields with a concrete or asphalt runway"
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Old 14th Apr 2020, 10:00
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North Coates perhaps needs to be added to the list. From the late 1950s most of the airfield was home to Bloodhound launchers and radars, but it did have a hard runway which saw occasional use by Argosies in the early 1960s, and there was a Station Flight which had an Anson and a crew on the establishment.
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Old 14th Apr 2020, 20:24
  #117 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
I'm surprised nobody has mentioned this yet:




Some of the location info is a bit iffy, but it's a mine of information nevertheless.
I did on Page 1.
What is particularly interesting is the airfield sketches and the runway extension considerations. In the 1960s we had a Secret Document that contained the same information. The document was declared obsolete in 1967 but we kept it as the OS maps of the time didn't show airfields. I think it was a 700 series SD and I suspect it formed the basis for this book.
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Old 14th Apr 2020, 22:18
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Originally Posted by Pontius Navigator View Post
I did on Page 1
Apologies, yes you did, I didn't make the connection.

My copy is extremely well-thumbed !

I see Amazon has a copy for 25, I think I paid about a fiver for mine.
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Old 14th Apr 2020, 22:27
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Originally Posted by DODGYOLDFART View Post
Templeton, Pembrokeshire runways were occasionally in use up until the late 70's. This was largely used as a satellite of Brawdy during exercises. Also I seem to remember the odd Hercules and occasionally by army choppers paying a visit often at night (SAS?).
Likewise Ouston in Northumberland (now Albemarle Barracks), well into the 80's. My dad and I went spotting there during Exercise Purple Victory in (I think) about 1985 when the allegedly disused airfield was being used by RAF Hercs, Pumas, Chinooks etc. My dad got chatting to one of the local farmers who told us that Hercs came in every now and again, but only at night.
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Old 15th Apr 2020, 10:39
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Jensdad

Ouston was certainly used up (until Acklington closed) for JP training - I did my first solo in a JP there in 1967, and NUAS and an AEF (No 11?) were still flying there in the early '70s. I can also confirm the use during Purple Victory in 1985 when on Chinooks. Of note the exercise was to rescue 'civilians' from a 'war torn country' and Ouston was designated as the FOB so everything was flown in by the Hercs and ourselves. IIRC, the army was by then in full control of the camp, and we - the exercise participants - were forbidden to use it, although for some reason 16 Div (our troops) did, We lived in our normal exercise/ops tents pitched alongside the runway the Hercs were taxying along all day and night. My Canadian co-pilot said it was the coldest he'd ever been - and that included the Arctic survival!

(I now await the usual banter about hotel accommodation!)

Last edited by Shackman; 16th Apr 2020 at 10:33. Reason: strange spelling
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