|Operator||Royal Air Force|
|In use||1941 – 1948|
Royal Air Force Station Honiley or RAF Honiley is a former Royal Air Force station located in Wroxall, Warwickshire, 7 miles (11 km) southwest of Coventry, England. The station closed in March 1958, and after being used as a motor vehicle test track, it has been subject to planning permission from the Prodrive Formula One team for development of their Fulcrum test and development facility however this has been cancelled.
History[edit | edit source]
Squadrons[edit | edit source]
- No. 32 Squadron RAF joined the airfield on 9 September 1942 flying the Hawker Hurricane IIB/IIC before moving to RAF Baginton on 18 October 1942.
- No. 91 Squadron RAF began flying from the station on 20 April 1943 flying the Supermarine Spitfire XII before moving to RAF Kings Cliffe on 9 May 1943.
- No. 96 Squadron RAF starting flying at the airfield on 20 October 1942 with the Bristol Beaufighter II/VI and the de Havilland Mosquito XII. The squadron left on 4 August 1943 and moved to RAF Tangmere.
- No. 130 Squadron RAF moved to the airfield on 5 July 1943 flying the Spitfire VA/VB/VC before moving to RAF West Malling on 4 August 1943.
- No. 135 Squadron RAF arrived from RAF Baginton on 4 September 1941 flying the Hurricane IIA before embarking for the far east on 10 November 1941 arriving at Zayatkwin.
- No. 219 Squadron RAF moved from RAF Woodvale on 15 March 1944 and stayed until 26 March 1944 flying the de Havilland Mosquito XVII before moving to RAF Colerne.
- No. 234 Squadron RAF moved from RAF Church Stanton on 8 July 1943 and stayed until 5 August 1943 flying the Spitfire VB/VC before moving to RAF West Malling.
- No. 255 Squadron RAF moved from RAF High Ercall between 6 June 1942 flying the Bristol Beaufighter VI before moving to North Africa on 13 November 1942.
- No. 257 Squadron RAF started using the airfield from 7 November 1941 before this the squadron was at RAF Coltishall. The squadron flying both the Hawker Hurricane I/IIA/IIB/IIC and the Spitfire VB until 6 June 1942 when the squadron moved to RAF High Ercall.
- No. 285 Squadron RAF came from RAF Wrexham on 29 October 1942 flying the Airspeed Oxford I/II and the Boulton Paul Defiant I/III before moving to RAF Woodvale on 27 August 1943.
- 605 "County of Warwick" Sqn Royal Auxiliary Air Force came from B.80 Volkel on 10 May 1946 flying the Mosquito NF.30 and de Havilland Vampire F.1/FB.5 until 10 March 1957 when the squadron was disbanded.
Other units[edit | edit source]
- 1456 (Turbinlite) Flt using the Douglas Havoc.
- August 1943 to March 1944 – No. 63 Operational Training Unit RAF instructing Airborne Interception techniques with Bristol Beaufighters and Blenheims. Moved to RAF Cranfield.
- July 1944 to August 1946 – ground units transferred to 26 Signals Group, RAF Bomber Command. Renamed Signals Flying Unit in July 1944, testing new radio equipment. Moved to RAF Watton in August 1946.
- August 1946 to March 1957 – 1833 Sqn Royal Naval Reserve with Sea Vampires then Supermarine Attackers.
From April 1957, the station was placed on Care and Maintenance until closure.
Facilities[edit | edit source]
The airfield had 15 hangars; there were three Bellmans and 12 Blister hangars. There was also a cinema and technical workshops.
Present day[edit | edit source]
In addition to their existing automotive consultancy business, already based at the site since 2001, in March 2006 motor racing company Prodrive announced its intent to build a £200 million, 200-acre (0.8 km2) motorsport facility called The Fulcrum. Prodrive's statement in the planning application for the facility – which could house as many as 1,000 staff – boasted of "a motorsport complex which could eventually house Prodrive's new British Prodrive F1 team", further cementing Managing Director David Richards' intention to return to F1 in 2008.
As of 3 August 2006, Prodrive has won the support of the Warwick District Council planning committee for development of The Fulcrum. The permission covers a highly advanced engineering research and development campus, a conference facility called the Catalyst Centre and new access road, a roundabout, infrastructure, parking and landscaping. The plans still have to be presented and agreed by the British government's Department for Communities and Local Government, and there is local opposition via the Fulcrum Prodrive Action Group (FPAG) to protect the rural nature of the community and the safety of the people that live within it.
However, following rule changes banning so-called 'customer' cars from competing in F1, and legal proceedings undertaken by existing F1 manufacturer teams, Prodrive's F1 plans have been shelved indefinitely. There is no information relating to the effect this may have had on continuing with any part of the site's redevelopment. Prodrive's core motorsport business remains based at their existing Banbury headquarters.
The old administration buildings, previously used by Lucas Automotive have been left by Prodrive in the same state they were when Lucas first vacated the site and have become a popular site for Urban Explorers.
References[edit | edit source]
Citations[edit | edit source]
- "A Night-time Emergency Landing". BBC - WW2 People's War. http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/stories/56/a8935356.shtml. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
- Halley 1988, p. 79.
- Halley 1988, p. 163.
- Halley 1988, p. 169.
- Halley 1988, p. 205.
- Halley 1988, p. 209.
- Halley 1988, p. 285.
- Halley 1988, p. 302.
- Halley 1988, p. 323.
- Halley 1988, p. 325.
- Halley 1988, p. 348.
- Halley 1988, p. 423.
- "605 Squadron". 605 Squadron County of Warwick Squadron. http://www.605squadron.co.uk/Base.htm. Retrieved 8 December 2010.
- "RAF Honiley". Control Towers. http://www.controltowers.co.uk/H-K/Honiley.htm. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
- "History of Bramcote Station". Ministry of Defence - British Army. http://www.army.mod.uk/royalsignals/30sigregt/bramcotehistory.htm. Retrieved 8 December 2010.
- Protest against Formula One plans kenilworthweeklynews.co.uk - 24 March 2006
- Prodrive plans £200m F1 facility itv-f1.com - 13 March 2006[dead link]
- New Formula One plans unveiled BBC News - 1 March 2006
- Prodrive development approved kenilworthweeklynews.co.uk - 3 August 2006
- "Relocation & Development". Prodrive. http://www.prodrive.com/level2.html?id=78. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
- "UK Aviation NavAids Gallery". Trevor Diamond. http://www.trevord.com/navaid/. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
- "Report - RAF Honiley, Warwickshire". 28 Days Later. http://www.28dayslater.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=53034. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
Bibliography[edit | edit source]
- Halley, James J. The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force & Commonwealth, 1981-1988. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd., 1988. ISBN 0-85130-164-9.
[edit | edit source]
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