First and last visit to Hucknall

Posted by

A VFR daytrip to Hucknall Aerodrome, near Nottingham, from Kemble. It’s claim to fame is that the site (still owned by Rolls Royce) hosted the first demonstration of a vertical take-off aeroplane. The land has been sold for house building. I flew outbound in a PA28 from Bristol Aero Club, sharing the flight with another club member Phil who flew the return leg. He also took lots of great photos.

The airfield has now closed, and this was the final day to fly in. The flying club strip was only open at weekends, and the weather the next day and all the following weekend wasn’t suitable for VFR. Regrettably, the closing fly-in and celebrations had to be cancelled. Most of the resident aircraft have been dispersed to other homes at nearby fields. The Merlin Flying Club has relocated to Tatenhill. A few shared aircraft groups will be disbanded and planes sold.

The weather was very good for February and the flight itself was fairly unremarkable, routing to the east of Coventry with a transit directly overhead of East Midlands airport. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.

Kemble Tower
Kemble tower and AV8 from the runway during take-off roll
Kemble Airport from the north west
Kemble Airport from the north west
Cotswold town
A cotswold town

 

Cement Works east of Coventry
Cement Works east of Coventry
Directly overhead East Midlands Airport
Directly overhead East Midlands Airport
East Midlands runway 27
East Midlands runway 27
Power station to the east of East Midlands Airport
Power station to the east of East Midlands Airport
Huge canal boat marina
Huge canal boat marina
Wide ranging views near Hucknall
Wide ranging views near Hucknall
Traffic already in the pattern as we arrive overhead
Traffic already in the pattern as we arrive overhead
Neat rows of houses nearby Hucknall
Neat rows of houses to the south east of Hucknall Aerodrome
Another aircraft on final as we descend deadside
Another aircraft in the circuit as we descend deadside
Left base leg, grass runway is middle left of picture
Left base leg, grass runway is middle left of picture bordered by yellow patch on the left.
Final
Final – runway is the green strip bordered by yellow triangle on the left
BASJ has a 180HP engine and a reasonable set of avionics
BASJ has a 180HP engine and a reasonable set of avionics – round dials and GNS430
Hucknall tower and fire truck
Hucknall tower, fire truck and grass mower
Good turnout of visitors prior to airfield closure
Good turnout of visitors prior to airfield closure
Clubhouse
Clubhouse, with a welcoming (free) cup to tea or coffee

Time today: 1:20
Total PIC: 269:00
Total Time: 401:55

One comment

  1. Hello and thank you for publishing your wonderful aerial adventure. As a lifelong Hucknallite the closure of the airfield was a terrific blow to our historical heritage, employment and kudos. The merlin engine was developed in Hucknall, so important for the war effort, and the early work on what would become the jump jet also took place here.The only pub in Britain called the Flying Bedstead has also been demolished to make way for a coo-op.One other odd historical fact mentioned in the film “The One that got Away” is that the German POW pilot of the title almost stole a spitfire from Hucknall airfield. When I was young RR used a VC10 as a flying test bed. Every now and then it would do circuits round Hucknall with a different engine bolted onto it looking very odd. The HSE would be having a fit if they could have seen that. Sometimes RR would put on an air display. My dad worked there so it was free for us. Little Nelly came one year but the best by far was the Vulcan! Wow, what a massively thunderous noise as it skimmed along the runway and lifted it’s nose to climb. The noise was overpowering and the vibrations shook your innards. Great memories. What a sad day for Hucknall though. The local council were delighted. They’d had so many noise complaints from nimbys they were glad to plough it up for housing. If you ever came back you really wouldn’t recognise it, there’s not much left. Well, I’d better go. Cheerio, Ian.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *