RAF Mousehold Heath

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RAF Mousehold Heath
Mousehold Aerodrome
Air Force Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg
Near Norwich, Norfolk in England
Beardmore Inflexible Norwich.png
Beardmore Inflexible aircraft at the Norwich Air Display, Mousehold Aerodrome, May 1929
RAF Mousehold Heath is located in Norfolk
RAF Mousehold Heath
RAF Mousehold Heath
Shown within Norfolk
Coordinates52°38′36″N 001°20′02″E / 52.64333°N 1.33389°E / 52.64333; 1.33389Coordinates: 52°38′36″N 001°20′02″E / 52.64333°N 1.33389°E / 52.64333; 1.33389
TypeRoyal Air Force station
Site information
OwnerAir Ministry
OperatorRoyal Air Force
Site history
Built1916 (1916)
In use1916-1933 (1933)
Airfield information
Elevation39 metres (128 ft) AMSL
Direction Length and surface
00/00  Grass

The area of Norwich between the Salhouse and Plumstead roads (outside of the outer ring road) was originally the Cavalry Training Ground and then became the Royal Flying Corps Mousehold Heath aerodrome where Boulton Paul, among other manufacturers, passed over the aircraft they made for service. It was sometimes known as Norwich aerodrome by the Royal Flying Corps before it became Royal Air Force Station Mousehold Heath in April 1918.

After the First World War, Boulton and Paul continued to use the site. The Norwich & Norfolk Aero Club was formed at the airfield in 1927 which then became the first Norwich Airport in 1933. The airfield fell into disuse during the Second World War and has now mostly been redeveloped for housing.


The following squadrons and units were posted here at some point:

Unit Dates Aircraft Notes
No. 18 Squadron RFC August to November 1915 Vickers FB 5 Operated the Bristol Scout, Martinsyde S.1 and Farman Shorthorn for training before moving to France in November 1915 with the Vickers FB 5.[1]
No. 37 Squadron RFC 15 April 1916 to 16 April 1916 Formed at Norwich from elements of 9 RS before moving on the next day to Orfordness.[1]
No. 85 Squadron RFC August to November 1917 Various [1]
No. 117 Squadron RAF July 1918 - November 1918 Airco DH.9 Operated various aircraft for training before gaining the DH.9s in October 1918.[1]
No 40 Elementary & Reserve Training School August to September 1939 Miles Magister Operated by Air Contractors Limited and also used the Hawker Audax and Hawker Hind.[2]
No 3 (Training) Group Navigation School July to November 1919 Airco DH.9 [3]
  • No. 3 Aircraft Acceptance Park was formed at the aerodrome on 22 March 1917 originally as the Norwich Aircraft Acceptance Park later designated the No. 3 (Norwich) Aircraft Acceptance Park and on 26 July 1919 became the Norwich Storage Park. The park accepted aircraft into service from local manufacturers Boulton Paul, Mann Egerton, Portholme and Ransome Simms & Jeffries.[4]
  • No. 3 Group headquarters was located at Mousehold Heath between July and November 1919.[5]

Current use[edit]

Several original buildings remain in industrial use, including hangars and other buildings on the Salhouse Industrial Estate. Part of the flying field survives as the playing field for the Open Academy, formerly Heartsease High School.[6]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b c d Jefford 1988, p. 168
  2. ^ Sturtivant 2007, p. 106
  3. ^ Sturtivant 2007, p. 160
  4. ^ Sturtivant 2007, p. 39
  5. ^ Sturtivant 2007, p. 149
  6. ^ Mousehold Heath Archived 9 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]


  • Jefford, C.G. (1988). RAF Squadrons. Airlife Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1-85310-053-6.
  • Sturtivant, Ray (2007). RAF Flying Training and Support Units since 1912. Air-Britain. ISBN 0-85130-365-X.