I had just been in England visiting family last summer and had been able to visit the wonderful Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome. Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome is a now privately owned airport near the village of as the name says, Bruntingthorpe, just outside of central Leicester.
This private aerodrome had first been made in 1942 named RAF (Royal Air Force) Bruntingthorpe for use in the war. During pre and post war, this base had been used by both the RAF and USAF (United States Air Force) throughout it’s career as a military owned base.
When the base was first opened in 1942, it had been used as a training location for No. 29 Operational Training Unit RAF, training pilots how to fly the Vickers Wellington. During the last few months of the war, it had been used as a test site for the Gloster Meteor which was the first ever allied jet belonging to the RAF.
Top: Vickers Wellington, Bottom: Gloster Meteor
On the 13th of November 1953, RAF Bruntingthrope was handed over to the USAF to be unused for nearly a decade. Once the USAF had planned to do a massive reconstruction of the base in 1955, they had planned to transform the airfield into a Strategic Air Command bomber base where the new Boeing B-47 Stratojet (medium range nuclear bomber) would be put into use. In 1959, the B-47 had been put into use for a short amount of time until being sent back to the United States. In September 1959, the mission was changed to support RB-66 Destoryer Reconnaissance aircraft of the 19th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron. By 1966, the RB-66s of the 19th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron were moved to Toul-Rosières Air Base, where RAF Bruntingthorpe would no longer be in use. In September 1966, the USAF would turn over control to the British Ministry of Defence where it would then end the military use of the facility.
Top: Boeing B-47, Bottom: RB-66
Today, the aerodrome is home of the last flying Avro Vulcan (which had just stopped flying recently). The aerodrome is now used for showing off many unique jet engine aircraft that still have the ability to taxi with two of the most popular being their two English Electric Lightings.
I hope I was able to teach everyone some stuff about the aerodrome and some of its history!