Return to About Halfpenny Green


In 1939 the Air Ministry acquired land to build the aerodrome and construction was complete by early 1941. The name RAF Bobbington was changed on 1 September 1943 to RAF Halfpenny Green, because of some confusion with Bovingdon, Hertfordshire. Operations commenced in May 1941 with No.3 Air Observers’ Navigation School flying Blackburn Bothas. The Botha had been designed to drop torpedoes but was relegated to training due to being under-powered and having some unpleasant flying characteristics. Of 473 Bothas used by the RAF for training, 169 crashed, two from Halfpenny Green crashing on successive days in June 1941. Avro Ansons soon replaced the Botha and sixty six were on strength when the school disbanded in 1945.  No. 1545 Beam Approach Training Flight operating Airspeed Oxfords flew approaches in appalling weather. On 13th December 1944 a BATF Oxford swung on take-off. running into five parked Ansons. The visibility was reported as “ten to fifteen yards“. No one was hurt. Flying ceased after WWII.

Flying resumed in May 1952 with No.2 Air Signallers School flying Avro Ansons, the unit disbanding in September 1953. A ground-based equipment sub-unit of No.25 Maintenance Unit occupied much of the aerodrome from 1 March 1946 until 15 November 1956 after which the aerodrome was placed under Care & Maintenance.

Permission to operate civil aircraft was given by the Air Ministry and in 1961 the Halfpenny Green Flying Club began operations. In 1967 the planning for a permanent aerodrome at Halfpenny Green was approved.

Parachuting was a major activity at Halfpenny Green in the 1960s and ’70s and airships were a common site in the 1980s. Today it is a thriving base for general aviation being home  to four fixed wing flying schools, one helicopter school, a microlight school plus privately owned aircraft – nearly eighty aircraft in all.

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