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RAF Honiley
Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg
IATA: BHY – ICAO: none
Airport type Military
Owner Air Ministry
Operator Royal Air Force
Location Wroxall, Warwickshire
Built 1940
In use 1941 – 1948
Coordinates 52°21′22″N 001°39′54″W / 52.35611°N 1.665°W / 52.35611; -1.665Coordinates: 52°21′22″N 001°39′54″W / 52.35611°N 1.665°W / 52.35611; -1.665
RAF Honiley is located in Warwickshire
RAF Honiley
Location in Warwickshire
Direction Length Surface
ft m
04/22 5,879 1,792 Tarmac
10/28 0 0 Tarmac
14/32 0 0 Tarmac

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]

Originally called Ramsey, it was renamed RAF Honiley in August 1941, and used by a variety of squadrons defending the Midlands during the Second World War.[1]

Squadrons[edit | edit source]

Other units[edit | edit source]

From April 1957, the station was placed on Care and Maintenance until closure.[14]

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.[14]

Present day[edit | edit source]

After being taken over by LucasVarity for vehicle testing, current residents include Prodrive, Marcos and TRW.[16]

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.[17] 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.[18]

As of 3 August 2006, Prodrive has won the support of the Warwick District Council planning committee for development of The Fulcrum.[19] 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.[16]

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.[20]

It is also the site of the HON (Honiley) VOR-DME navigation aid, which is positioned to the south of the track.[21]

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.[22]

References[edit | edit source]

Citations[edit | edit source]

  1. "A Night-time Emergency Landing". BBC - WW2 People's War. http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/stories/56/a8935356.shtml. Retrieved 2 May 2012. 
  2. Halley 1988, p. 79.
  3. Halley 1988, p. 163.
  4. Halley 1988, p. 169.
  5. Halley 1988, p. 205.
  6. Halley 1988, p. 209.
  7. Halley 1988, p. 285.
  8. Halley 1988, p. 302.
  9. Halley 1988, p. 323.
  10. Halley 1988, p. 325.
  11. Halley 1988, p. 348.
  12. Halley 1988, p. 423.
  13. "605 Squadron". 605 Squadron County of Warwick Squadron. http://www.605squadron.co.uk/Base.htm. Retrieved 8 December 2010. 
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 "RAF Honiley". Control Towers. http://www.controltowers.co.uk/H-K/Honiley.htm. Retrieved 2 May 2012. 
  15. "History of Bramcote Station". Ministry of Defence - British Army. http://www.army.mod.uk/royalsignals/30sigregt/bramcotehistory.htm. Retrieved 8 December 2010. 
  16. 16.0 16.1 Protest against Formula One plans kenilworthweeklynews.co.uk - 24 March 2006
  17. Prodrive plans £200m F1 facility itv-f1.com - 13 March 2006[dead link]
  18. New Formula One plans unveiled BBC News - 1 March 2006
  19. Prodrive development approved kenilworthweeklynews.co.uk - 3 August 2006
  20. "Relocation & Development". Prodrive. http://www.prodrive.com/level2.html?id=78. Retrieved 9 May 2012. 
  21. "UK Aviation NavAids Gallery". Trevor Diamond. http://www.trevord.com/navaid/. Retrieved 9 May 2012. 
  22. "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.

External links[edit | edit source]

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