Biggin Hill centenary celebrations
A unique gathering of people and aircraft attended the February launch of the ‘Biggin 100’ programme of special events to celebrate the centenary of Biggin Hill Airport.
The War Office first established a military camp on the Biggin Hill, Kent site on 13 February 1917, which subsequently become legendary as a WWII RAF fighter base, then latterly a GA and business aviation airport, once home to the annual Biggin Hill Air Fair. Biggin 100 will culminate in a two-day Festival of Flight on 19-20 August and opening to the public of the heritage areas of the airfield during Battle of Britain Week in September.
At the launch three centenarians took to the air to fly over Biggin. Ray Roberts from Margate, who flew Spitfires with the RAF and Air Transport Auxiliary during WWII, went up in a two-seat Spitfire flown by Peter Kynsey, whilst local resident Lily Osborne — a former Bletchley Park Signals Intelligence Officer — and Trudi Baxter flew in a Learjet 75 provided by Biggin-based charter operator Zenith Aviation. Will Curtis, London-biggin Hill’s MD commented, “Biggin 100 will enable us to showcase our continuing commitment… to inspire young people to pursue exciting and worthwhile aerospace careers in the future.”
Zenith Aviation Managing Director Stuart Mulholland noted, “it is a privilege to be able to support this event with one of our Learjet 75s. Marking the centenary with a special flight carrying some esteemed guests is the perfect way to celebrate the extraordinary heritage of the airport.”
Zenith Aviation’s Learjet 75 in formation with a two-seat Spitfire of the Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar