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|Near Shawbury, Shropshire in England|
Shown within Shropshire
|Type||Royal Air Force station|
|Owner||Ministry of Defence|
|Operator||Royal Flying Corps
Royal Air Force
1918-1920 & 1938–present
|Built||1916, rebuilt in 1937|
|In use||1917–1920, 1938–Present|
|Group Captain Luck|
|Elevation||76 metres (249 ft) AMSL|
The First World War
The station at Shawbury was first used for military flying training in 1917 by the Royal Flying Corps, No. 29 (Training) Wing formed on 1 September 1917 with three squadrons, 10, 29 and 67. Several different types of aircraft were operated which caused difficulties with training and maintenance. Two of the squadrons combined to form 9 Training Depot Station on 1 March 1918, the other moving away to Gloucestershire. Training continued on a more organised basis until the end of the war.
The airfield closed in May 1920 when strength of the RAF was drastically reduced. The hangars and other buildings were demolished and the land was returned to agricultural use.
The Second World War
In February 1938 it was reactivated as a training establishment firstly used by No. 11 Service Flying Training School and an Aircraft Storage Unit (ASU) which was operated by No. 27 Maintenance Unit RAF. The airfield also had Relief Landing Grounds at RAF Bridleway Gate and RAF Bratton with additional satellite landing grounds at RAF Hinstock, RAF Hodnet and RAF Weston Park. It primarily prepared pilots for operational squadrons, with the main aircraft being the Airspeed Oxford. In 1944 it became the home of the Central Navigation School, primarily concerned with improving the standard of air navigation in bombers.
No. 27 Maintenance Unit continued its aircraft storage and scrapping work at Shawbury until disbandment in July 1972.
In the 1980s Shawbury provided 'pre-employment training' courses for R.A.F. groundcrew being posted from fixed-wing to rotary-wing squadrons.
In April 1997 the station started providing training for helicopter pilots for all three of the UK's armed services, being home to the Defence Helicopter Flying School. Currently the Squirrel HT1 (Eurocopter AS350BB) helicopter operated by 660 Squadron AAC and 705 Naval Air Squadron and the Griffin HT1 (Bell 412 EP) helicopter operated by No. 60 Squadron RAF is used by the School and is maintained by the contractor, FB Heliservices Ltd,(now known as Cobham plc) who also provide 40% of the flying instructors. It is also home to the Air Traffic Control School and the RAF Aircraft Storage flight.
The station's new physical recreation training centre, named the Jubilee Hall Sports and Fitness Centre to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II, was opened by Prince Michael of Kent on 24 April 2012.
- Defence Helicopter Flying School
- Central Air Traffic Control School
- Francis, P. 20th Century Military Archaeology Issue 1: Airfield Defence. ARP & AiX-ARG Archive Limited. ISBN 978-0-9521847-0-6.
- Smith, David. J. (1981). Action Stations, 3 :Military Airfields of Wales and the North-West. Patrick Stephens Limited. ISBN 0-85059-485-5.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to RAF Shawbury.|
- Station home page
- The Assault Glider Trust
- Defence Helicopter Flying School (DHFS)
- Airport information for EGOS at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006.