Black­bushe ‘75’

Pilot - - PILOT NOTES -

From RAF Hart­ford Bridge to Heathrow di­ver­sion, to to­day’s light and com­mer­cial op­er­a­tions, Black­bushe cel­e­brates 75 years

2017 marks the 75th An­niver­sary of the open­ing of what is now Black­bushe

Air­port, and will be com­mem­o­rated with an air­show on 1-2 July. The Black­bushe ‘75’ Air­show, in sup­port of Aer­o­bil­ity, Help for Heroes and the Dou­glas Dalzeil Me­mo­rial Trust, will fea­ture fly­ing and ground dis­plays. Among the air­show per­form­ers will be The Blades, Bat­tle of Bri­tain Me­mo­rial Flight, Army His­toric Flight and a Vin­tage Air Rally ‘Clover­leaf’ com­pe­ti­tion.

The Black­bushe site first opened in 1942 as RAF Hart­ford Bridge Flats, and housed RAF and Pol­ish squadrons. Mil­i­tary use ceased in Novem­ber 1946 and three months later it opened as Black­bushe Air­port, sited on both sides of the A30 road, serv­ing air­lines and char­ter op­er­a­tors such as Air­work (which was later to be­come the UK Cessna dealer at the air­field), Bri­tavia, Derby Avi­a­tion, Ea­gle, Fal­con and Orion and pri­vate op­er­a­tors, and as a main­te­nance base. Black­bushe was also a di­ver­sion air­field for Lon­don Air Port (L.A.P., as Heathrow was then known) and base for the US Navy’s Fleet Air Sup­port Squadron 200.

The air­port was closed in 1960, but af­ter lengthy plan­ning bat­tles, re­opened in 1962 un­der the own­er­ship of Air Vice-mar­shal Don ‘Pathfinder’ Ben­nett, and when the Farn­bor­ough Air Show was held an­nu­ally, hosted a wide va­ri­ety of vis­it­ing mil­i­tary and civil­ian air­craft each Septem­ber. It later be­came the base for the late Doug Arnold’s ex­ten­sive war­bird col­lec­tion. In 1978 it was also the host (not with­out

con­tro­versy) to ‘Pic­nic at Black­bushe’, an open-air con­cert which starred Bob Dy­lan and Eric Clap­ton among many other bands, and drew crowds of 200,000. For more in­for­ma­tion on Black­bushe ‘75’ visit: black­

Easter Air­field, sit­u­ated in the Scot­tish High­lands near to the Ross-shire town of Tain, is hold­ing a fly-in, ap­pro­pri­ately, over Easter Bank Hol­i­day week­end 14-17 April. Air­field op­er­a­tor David Munro says he will pick the best two days of the four nearer the time. Camp­ing fa­cil­i­ties will be avail­able and there is ho­tel ac­com­mo­da­tion nearby. For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion visit: east­erair­

Ea­gle Vik­ings lined up at Black­bushe Air­port

Easter Air­field

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