Wellesbourne Airfield open day
PUBLISHED: 16:59 27 May 2014 | UPDATED: 17:13 27 May 2014
Organisers of the annual Wellesbourne Airfield open day last Sunday hailed the day as a resounding success with thousands of visitors arriving throughout the day.
Frankie Spray, who helped organise the day, said hundreds of people saw the banner-towing aircraft that was orbiting Stratford upon Avon and surrounding villages during the morning.
The airfield, which was recently threatened by a speculative development proposal, has had a reprieve as Stratford District Council does not consider it a viable option for major development in their structure plan and have also commented that the airfield’s future should be protected.
The airfield, built on farm land in 1941, was a base for Wellington bombers that performed over a thousand bomber raids on Germany. Ninety six aircraft were lost during the war in operational and training accidents, resulting in the loss of 315 lives. The airfield was also bombed many times.
Wellesbourne Airfield trained over nine thousand airman during the Second World War and continues to be considered an important centre for training, with five flying schools offering a mix of fixed wing, helicopter and commercial training. It is also home to a café, museum and one of only two working Vulcan bombers remaining. The airfield attracts thousands of visitors each year from home, as well as visiting pilots from overseas, and employs over 150 people.
Mike Roberts, Managing Director of the Take Flight Aviation club, said: “This year’s open day has been our most successful event ever and goes to show the local support and interest in the airfield.
“It’s great to see so many young people coming into aviation from all walks of life and events like these are great to promote the growing trend in private aviation.” The club hosted live music from local band ‘Completed Covered’ and traded trial lessons during the open day.
The next event planned for the airfield is the Wings and Wheels day on Father’s Day, June 15, organised by the XM655 maintenance and preservation society which sees a display of vintage cars and two high speed taxi demonstrations from the Vulcan Bomber plus other visiting aircraft. Subject to serviceability, a Dakota from the Battle of Britain flight will also be performing a fly by and in past years the flying Vulcan has also visited.
For more information, visit: www.wellesbourneairfield.com