Peenemünde Airfield

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Peenemünde Airfield
AA5 Traveller at Peenemünde Airfield.jpg
AA5 Traveller at Peenemünde airfield
IATA: PEFICAO: EDCP
Summary
Airport type Public
Operator Usedomer Fluggesellschaft mbH
Location Usedom
Elevation AMSL 7 ft / 2 m
Coordinates 54°09′28″N 013°46′22″E / 54.15778°N 13.77278°E / 54.15778; 13.77278Coordinates: 54°09′28″N 013°46′22″E / 54.15778°N 13.77278°E / 54.15778; 13.77278
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
13T/31T 7,874 2,400 Concrete

Peenemünde Airfield (IATA: PEFICAO: EDCP)[1] is an airfield along the Baltic Sea north of Peenemünde, Germany. Today round trips in light aircraft take place from Peenemünde Airfield. Bus tours are also available, on which one can visit the former shelters of the NVA and the remnants of the V-1 flying bomb facilities. Because of its long runway the airfield Peenemünde is also a location for flight schools.

History[edit]

On April 2, 1936, the Reich Air Ministry paid 750,000 German Reichsmarks to the town of Wolgast[2] for the whole Northern peninsula of Usedom.[3] The airfield began service on 1 April 1938,[citation needed] and on the same date, the Air Ministry officially separated Peenemünde-West from the joint command that included the adjacent Army Research Center Peenemünde.[4]:63

As Werk West, the Luftwaffe Test Site (German: Erprobungsstelle der Luftwaffe)[4]:55 was used for testing experimental aircraft (Erprobungsflugzeug) such as the Heinkel He 176 (flown at Peenemünde on June 20, 1939)[5] and the Messerschmitt Me 163 rocket-powered fighter (code named 'Peenemünde 30' by British intelligence - the '30' referring to the object's measured wingspan in feet).[6] At the northeast edge of the concrete airfield was a launch ramp for testing the V-1 flying bomb and, on which in 1943, RAF officer Constance Babington Smith, working at RAF Medmenham, detected a small winged aircraft ('Peenemünde 20') while viewing an Allied reconnaissance photograph.[7]:44 The airfield was also used for take-off of Heinkel He 111 for initial air-launch testing of V-1s. V-1 launch crew training was at the nearby resort of Zempin, and after the August 1943 Operation Hydra bombing of the area, V-1 flight testing was moved to Brüsterort.[7]:27 Peenemünde West also developed World War II night-navigation and radar systems (Dr. Johannes Plendl).[citation needed] After the 2nd Belorussian Front under General Konstantin Rokossovsky captured the Swinemünde port and Usedom island on May 5, 1945, the airfield became part of the Soviet Zone of Occupation.

Post-war[edit]

Peenemünde Airfield

In 1956, the airfield received a new 2,465 metre-long concrete runway, which is oriented in a northwesterly direction and allows the operation of modern military jet planes. A further landmark is the collection of radio beacons at the northwest end, which were built[when?] on artificial islands in the sea. In 1961, the airfield was transferred to the National People's Army (NVA), which used it until 1989. After 1989, the airfield was used among other things as parking area of former military vehicles of the NVA. From Summer 2010, a high-performance jet trainer aircraft Aero L-39 Albatros of the former National People's Army (NVA) is back on Peenemünde Airfield.[8]

References[edit]

April 1943 photo reconnaissance image of Usedom island, with airfield at upper left
  1. ^ Airport information for EDCP at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006.
  2. ^ Dornberger, Walter (1952: US translation V-2 Viking Press:New York, 1954). V2--Der Schuss ins Weltall. Esslingan: Bechtle Verlag. p. 41. 
  3. ^ Irving, David (1964). The Mare's Nest. London: William Kimber and Co. p. 17. 
  4. ^ a b Neufeld, Michael J. (1995). The Rocket and the Reich: Peenemünde and the Coming of the Ballistic Missile Era. New York: The Free Press. p. 55,63. 
  5. ^ Klee, Ernst; Merk, Otto (1963, English translation 1965). The Birth of the Missile:The Secrets of Peenemünde. Hamburg: Gerhard Stalling Verlag. p. 117. 
  6. ^ Ordway, Frederick I., III.; Sharpe, Mitchell R. The Rocket Team. Apogee Books Space Series 36. p. 117. 
  7. ^ a b Cooksley, Peter G (1979). Flying Bomb. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons. p. 27,44. 
  8. ^ Aero L-39 Albatros on Peenemünde