After the War
A number of aircraft were based at Old Sarum including Avro Ansons, de Havilland Dominies and DH Chipmunks. The 622 Air Cadet's Gliding Squadron was also based here.
In 1956 the City of Salisbury gave the honour of Freedom of the City to Old Sarum. Later in 1962 the City conferred yet another honour on the airfield and allowed the incorporation of part of the City's Coat of Arms into the station badge.
Many types of aircraft have operated from Old Sarum. Some very surprising examples are the C130 Hurcules and even the Harrier.
In 1971 the RAF ceased operations at Old Sarum but Army and Civilian aviation continued until 1979 when the Army moved away, bringing to an end the long military role of the airfield.
The MOD finally decided to sell the airfield to a private owner in 1982 on a 999 year lease and, following a now established tradition, the Edgley Aircraft company began its development and test flying of the Optica light observation aircraft destined for the police air observation market. After financial problems and a change or two of owners Blanefield Investments (the current owners) took over. The Optica is now being developed in Australia.
There are many aviation related businesses runing from Old Sarum. The infrastructure, ATS (air traffic service), fire rescue and restaurant are managed by the owners. The tradition of flying and flying training continues to this day and there are even a number of aircraft, which were built locally back in the Second World War, still flying from Old Sarum. Memorials have been erected and dedicated to the people who were based, trained and fought in the great and subsequent wars.
In 2007 Salisbury Council designated the airfield a conservation area. Many of the old buildings and the very early hangars remain and are still in use. The feeling when you arrive on the airfield makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up as you step back in time to a era long past.
Last Updated (Tuesday, 08 December 2009 14:08)