Colerne Airfield

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Colerne Airfield
Summary
Airport typeMilitary
OperatorUniversity Air Squadron
LocationColerne
Elevation AMSL593 ft / 181 m
Coordinates51°26′21″N 002°17′11″W / 51.43917°N 2.28639°W / 51.43917; -2.28639Coordinates: 51°26′21″N 002°17′11″W / 51.43917°N 2.28639°W / 51.43917; -2.28639
Map
EGUO is located in Wiltshire
EGUO
EGUO
Location in Wiltshire
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
01/19 1,095 3,593 Asphalt
07/25 1,664 5,459 Asphalt
Airport information for EGUO at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006.

Colerne Airfield (ICAO: EGUO), formerly known as RAF Colerne, is located at Colerne, Wiltshire, England.

History[edit]

By October 1940 RAF Colerne was still partly in the course of construction being a fighter station for the defence of Bristol. At that date the contractors were still building and the ground was a quagmire in many areas. Unfinished barrack blocks were cold and there was very little running water. Troops were taken in Bedford trucks once a week to the luxurious baths in Bath used in peacetime by wealthy invalids. These sunken baths, tiled and entered down steps by brass handrails, were in contrast to conditions at the camp. The 87 squadron was there and a Polish fighter squadron.

Later Defiants came but they were not a success as nightfighters and were superseded by the more suitable Beaufighter.

It was later taken over by the Army.

In 1985 the entire former RAF married quarter housing estate known as The Thickwood Estate was sold to Roger Byron-Collins company the Welbeck Estate Group. All 80 houses were upgraded and civilianised.

Colerne Airfield was the filming location for Top Gear's "Airport Vehicle Race", featured in Series 14 Episode 4.

Present day[edit]

The airfield is a ground station for the Skynet 5 military satellite system that provides battlefield support (e.g. real-time imagery from remote-piloted drones[1] in various theatres of war). It is also in close proximity to the underground Corsham Computer Centre.

The airfield (as RAF Colerne) is a base for the Bristol University Air Squadron (3 AEF), which provides ab-initio pilot training for the RAF.

The site is also the location of Azimghur Barracks, home to 21st Signal Regiment.[2]

Future[edit]

In November 2016 the Ministry of Defence announced that RAF Colerne would close in 2018, and Azimghur Barracks in 2031.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "UK Skynet: Not to be confused with The Terminator". BBC. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  2. ^ "21st Signal Regiment (Air Support) & Air Formation Signals History" (PDF). Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  3. ^ "A Better Defence Estate" (PDF). Ministry of Defence. November 2016. Retrieved 8 November 2016.