HANGMAN'S CORNER: Occassional Landing Ground
Notes: These maps and pictures were kindly provided by Mr Michael T Holder
Location: At the E end of Barton Road, just SSW to SW of Cambridge city centre
Period of operation: Probably between 1923 and 1933?
Landing runs: Without any doubt into wind for both take-offs and landings. The site is unrecognizable today, being a park with mature trees. However, it seems that the runs available were about: NW/SE 285 grass SW/NE 280 grass
Quite long enough to cope with operations with, for example, an Avro 504K.
NOTES: Mike Holder, a great friend of this 'Guide' has also found information on the inter-web from Mike Petty who really is the expert for aviation in Cambridge.
For example: "Barton Road Airfield 1923 10 15. An Avro Biplane was taking two passengers over Cambridge yesterday afternoon and when returning to the licenced aerodrome on Barton Road, the under-carriage fouled the hedge, causing the plane to fall almost vertically on its nose. The pilot was injured, but not the passengers, and the plane was only slightly damaged."
And: "1924 05 13. An aeroplane came to grief whilst alighting a a field on Barton Road, Cambridge, and the pilot and two passengers had a narrow escape from serious injuries. The plane was attached to Edward's Flying Service, which provides flights from a field off the Barton Road. It appears that the pilot was about to land and was manoeuvring for a position suitable for the direction of the strong wind when the engine stopped, and he was forced to land. The aeroplane crashed into a hedge and completely turned over, it's back being broken."
It now appears that this aircraft in 1923 was the Avro 504K G-EABE.
A MAJOR FLYING CIRCUS EVENT
It appears that, on the 18th May 1933, the British Hospitals Air Pageant displayed here.
"Hangman's Corner, Barton Road presented a scene of excitement when the British Hospital's Air Pageant visited Cambridge and all afternoon there was the incessant 'zoom' of aeroplanes 'taking off' and landing. All-in advanced aerobatics provided a thrill; the 'crazy' flying drew many a gasp whilst equally entertaining was the dancing to music by the tiniest machines in the show. Wing-walking and parachute jumping were presented, together with balloon bursting and a chase after a 'kidnapped' bride. One machine which caused amusement was Mr Heath Robinson's conception of a Chinese dragon; the 'flying motor cycle'.
When I asked Mike Holder if he had any idea what the 'flying motor cycle' might be, he immediately tracked this picture down. It was in fact a BAC Drone. Of interest perhaps is that the BAC Drone was renowned to being incredibly noisy - but the pilot seems to have no visible ear protection - although we cannot discount having as much cotton wool as possible stuffed into his ears? But would it work?
We'd love to hear from you, so please scroll down to leave a comment!
Leave a comment ...
Copyright (c) UK Airfield Guide