|Part of RAF Linton-on-Ouse|
|Near Topcliffe, North Yorkshire in England|
Grob Vigilant T.1 motor glider. The glider is flown by 645 Volunteer Glider Squadron, which is based at Topcliffe.
|Type||Relief Landing Ground|
|Owner||Ministry of Defence|
|Operator||Royal Air Force|
|Controlled by||No. 22 Group (Training)|
|Identifiers||ICAO: EGXZ, WMO: 03275|
|Elevation||28 metres (92 ft) AMSL|
|Source: RAF Topcliffe Defence Aerodrome Manual|
Royal Air Force Topcliffe or RAF Topcliffe (ICAO: EGXZ) is a Royal Air Force station in North Yorkshire, England. It is a satellite station serving in the role of a Relief Landing Ground for Shorts Tucano T1 aircraft of No. 1 Flying Training School based nearby at RAF Linton-on-Ouse. Topcliffe is home to No. 645 Volunteer Gliding Squadron flying the Grob Vigilant T.1 motor glider.
Topcliffe opened in September 1940 as a bomber station in RAF Bomber Command and was home to No. 77 Squadron and No. 102 Squadron, both flying the Armstrong Whitworth Whitley heavy bomber. There was a decoy site at Raskelf. No. 419 Squadron and No. 424 Squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) moved in flying Vickers Wellington bombers and later, the Handley Page Halifax III. On 1 January 1943 the station was transferred to No. 6 Group RCAF and became a training station. The station, along with sub-stations at Wombleton, Dalton and Dishforth were designated as No. 61 (Training) Base in late 1943.
No.1 Air Navigation School was located at Topcliffe between March 1957 & December 1961. The Air Electronics school came in January 1962 and from 1967 became the Air Electronics & Engineers School, flying Vickers Varsity T.1 aircraft.
The Airman Aircrew Initial Training School was located at Topcliffe from January 1967 until February 1970.
In 1974 much of the station was transferred to the British Army and became Alanbrooke Barracks, now home of 4th Regiment Royal Artillery. However, all flying facilities remain intact. The wartime control tower, with modifications, is still used, and the station is referred to as RAF Topcliffe by the RAF.
During the eighties, Topcliffe was home of the Royal Navy Elementary Flying School. In the nineties it was temporarily home to a Shorts Tucano squadron of the RAF Central Flying School. It was the home of the Tucano Air Navigation Squadron, teaching student navigators of both the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy until April 2002 when it moved to RAF Linton-on-Ouse.
No. 635 Volunteer Gliding Squadron operated from Topcliffe from 2009 when it moved from its former home at RAF Samlesbury. The unit disbanded in 2016 as part of the relaunch of air cadet aviation.
Royal Air Force
RAF Topcliffe is a satellite station serving in the role of a Relief Landing Ground for Shorts Tucano T1 aircraft of No. 1 Flying Training School based nearby at RAF Linton-on-Ouse (one of two, the other being Dishforth Airfield). No RAF personnel are based permanently at the airfield and airfield services are provided by personnel assigned to RAF Linton-on-Ouse.
- "RAF Topcliffe Defence Aerodrome Manual (DAM)" (PDF). RAF Linton-on-Ouse. Military Aviation Authority. 27 June 2014. Retrieved 27 August 2017.
- Jefford 1988, p. 00.
- "Airfield History". No. 645 Volunteer Gliding Society. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
- Brazier, Julian (10 March 2016). "Air Cadet Aviation Relaunch:Written statement - HCWS605". UK Parliament. Retrieved 19 November 2017.
- "Gliders Return to 645 VGS at RAF Topcliffe". Royal Air Force Air Cadets. 17 October 2016. Retrieved 19 November 2017.
- "Topcliffe Air Support Unit". Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Retrieved 19 November 2017.
- "HRH The Duke of York KG officially opens our Northern Airbase". Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
- Jefford, C.G, MBE,BA ,RAF (Retd). RAF Squadrons, a Comprehensive Record of the Movement and Equipment of all RAF Squadrons and their Antecedents since 1912. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing, 1988. ISBN 1-84037-141-2.
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