History of Hawarden Airfield

Hawarden airfield was established on 1st September 1939 and was one of the main RAF airfields for the UK during the ‘Battle of Britain’.  RAF Hawarden was classed as of the best yet dangerous training grounds for pilots, flying Spitfires and Hurricanes. It also held the RAF’s no 48 maintenance unit and until July 1957 stored, maintained and scrapped military aircraft, including Handley Page Halifax, Vickers Wellingtons, Horsa gliders, Avro Lancasters and DH Mosquitos.

A short concrete runway was built for testing Wellingtons however a further two runways were built in spring 1941. At the end of the war between June and September 1945 more than 1000 aircraft were brought back to Hawarden to be broken up and the RAF then ceased their operation at Hawarden on 31st March 1959.

Hangars were constructed at Hawarden airfield for the many aircraft they stored, some which still remain in operation today. Many of the hangars still have original bomb holes from the fighting aircraft during the war.

The de Havilland Aircraft Company took over the main Vickers Wellington factory/hangar, where they built the Wellingtons and became part of Hawker Siddeley Aviation in the 1960s. The first Hawker Siddeley business jet HS125 was designed and produced by the factory for nearly forty years. It was later sold to Raytheon Corporation but in 2007 they changed their name to Hawker Beechcraft,  who still currently produces the aircraft and have a support facility on the airfield.

Hawarden airfield has stayed true to its past roots and since the 1970s the airfield has built many factories and is now the centre of wing production for all Airbus aircraft currently used today.

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