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UPAVON AIRFIELD

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A military airfield that represents a key site in the history of military aviation. It was established as long ago as 1912 and was used in both World Wars. The initial complex comprised temporary wooden huts, aircraft hangars and a hospital. These temporary structures were replaced by permanent ones, including barracks in 1913-1914. A number of these permanent buildings are extant, please see SU 15 SE 121, SU 15 SE 122, SU 15 SE 123, SU 15 SE 124 and SU 15 NE 122. The airfield was the home of the Central Flying School of the Royal Flying Corps. It retained this function through World War One and much of the interwar period with the exception of 1924-1935 when it was a Fleet Air Arm shore station. A further programme of rebuilding was underway by 1935. During World War Two the main function of the airfield was as a Flying Training School (for instructors). By 1944 the grass landing area had been supplemented with Sommerfeld Track steel mesh matting and had a range of hangars including Type A, C, L and Blister designs (the pre-war A and C types are extant). Post-War the airfield developed a transport role, and the Berlin airlift was planned from Upavon. The Royal Air Force station closed in 1993 and the airfield transferred to the army as Upavon Camp, Trenchard Lines. The reinforced grass airfield continues to be maintained and is used by transport aircraft and helicopters. It is thought to be the oldest active airfield in the country.

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