Desford flying sites - UK Airfield Guide

Eventually having 5,000 + listed!

Probably becoming the most extensive British airfield guide online...?

portfolio1 portfolio2 portfolio3 portfolio4

Heading 1

This is an example of the content for a specific image in the Nivo slider. Provide a short description of the image here....

Heading 2

This is an example of the content for a specific image in the Nivo slider. Provide a short description of the image here....

Heading 3

This is an example of the content for a specific image in the Nivo slider. Provide a short description of the image here....

Heading 4

This is an example of the content for a specific image in the Nivo slider. Provide a short description of the image here....

small portfolio1 small portfolio2 small portfolio3 small portfolio4
themed object
A Guide to the history of British Flying Sites within the United Kingdom
get in touch

Desford flying sites


Note: This map only shows the position of Desford town within the UK.


DESFORD: Private airstrip
 

Operated by: Roger Clark (famous rally driver)

Location: Close to Alder Hall

Period of operation: 1980s only?
 

NOTES: Roger Clark used to fly his Cessna 182 from here.


 

 

DESFORD: Military RFC WW1 landing ground later civil aerodrome soon operated mainly for military training flying contracts and later manufacturing. From 1929 the Municipal aerodrome for Leicester. BRAUNSTONE was the Municipal airport.

(Originally RFC PECKLETON).

An aerial view
An aerial view

Note: This picture was obtained from Google Earth ©


The outline of the WW2 airfield can be clearly seen here, and is now pretty much fully occupied by an industrial/trading estate.





 

Military users: WW1: RFC 38 (Home Defence) Sqdn
 

WW2: RAF       51 Group

7 EFTS (Tiger Moths)
 

Post 1945: RAF No 1969 AOP Flight (1949 to 1953)

No.5 BFTS (1952 to 1953)

 

Airline user: Pre 1940: Provincial Airways (briefly in 1935)

Aero club: Pre 1940: Leicestershire Aero Club who also managed the site from 1929 to 1935

Air taxi: Pre 1940: Leicestershire Aero Club using a DH.60 Moth G-AAUH ‘Foxhound’

Charter: Post 1945: Reid & Sigrist (launched in 1947 but not successful)
 

Flying school: Pre 1940 & WW2: Reid and Sigrist Civil Flying School operating RAF CFTS and later No.7 ERFTS contract (1935 to 1939)

No.7 EFTS (1939 to 1947).

No 3 CANS (1938 to 1939)     Later 3 AONS (1939 only)          

No.7 RFS (1947 to 1953)
 

Gliding school: M44 Gliding School (ATC) 1948 to 1950
 

Maintenance: No.9 MU (Dispersal), Reid & Sigrist CRO
 

Manufacturing: WW2: Components, final assembly and flight testing of Vickers Armstrong Spitfires
 

Pleasure flights: Post 1945: Reid & Sigrist

 

Location: 6nm WSW of Leicester

Period of operation: WW1: 1916 to 1918      Civil: 1929 to 1953

Military: 1935 to 1953

 

Runways: WW2: NE/SW   1097   grass          E/W   823   grass

 

NOTES: DESFORD was previously the RFC PECKLETON landing ground, established on J.H. Cart’s farm in mid-1916, little used as a night landing ground by RFC 38 (Home Defense) Squadron, downgraded for day use in 1917 and vacated by 1918.


A CIVIL START
Formally opened as Desford Aerodrome in September 1929 by the Leicestershire Aero Club which was formed on 30th November 1928 and I believe that they had only one DH.60 Gypsy Moth G-AAIF initially?

In 1929/1930 an air-taxi service was started first with a DH.60 Moth and soon after with a DH.80A Puss Moth charging sixpence a mile.

On the 18th June 1932 a LAC DH.60 Moth took part, on the request of the Police to help make an air search for factory burglars. The attempt was successful and an arrest was made, this being probably the very first use of an aircraft for police search duties in the UK?


FLYING CIRCUS VENUES

Venue for Alan Cobham’s initial 1929 Municipal Aerodrome Campaign Tour?

Venue (14th July 1932) for Alan Cobham’s National Aviation Day UK Display Tour

Venue (20th September) for Alan Cobham’s 1934 Tour.



A NEW ERA
1935: The Leicestershire Aero Club ‘decamped’ to BRAUNSTONE in March but on December 13th Reid & Sigrist opened their military contract Civil Flying Training School.

THE EFTS PERIOD
EFTS stands for Elementary Flying Training School and in 1939 Tiger Moths seemed to be the main training aircraft, 120 of which were based here. On a good flying day up to ninety possibly even a hundred were in the air many operating fairly close to the airfield! Today this would be viewed as a ‘nightmare’ scenario.

POST WW2
It seems that in 1953 both Avro Anson and Percival Prentice types were based here before the aerodrome closed.

1999, 10th June. The Red Arrows displayed together with the BBMF Spitfire Mk.11 P7350 to help celebrate the 100,000th UK Caterpillar product built on this site.



 

DESFORD HALL: Helipad
 

Operated by: Next Retail Ltd

Location: Near Desford of course but where?

 

 

We'd love to hear from you, so please scroll down to leave a comment!

 


 

Leave a comment ...


Name
 
Email:
 
Message:
 

 
Copyright (c) UK Airfield Guide

                                                

slide up button