RNAS Inskip (HMS Nightjar)

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RNAS Inskip
Stanley Farm and Inskip radio masts - geograph.org.uk - 93880.jpg

RNAS Inskip or as it was otherwise known HMS Nightjar is a former Fleet Air Arm airfield near the village of Inskip, Lancashire, England at 53°49′39″N 2°49′46″W / 53.827433°N 2.829537°W / 53.827433; -2.829537 (RNAS Inskip).

The site today is still owned by the Royal Navy and is now home to DCSA Inskip, a tri-service communication centre. Most of the communications that happen there are low frequency radio communications to submarines. The current station has four 600 feet high aerials and several other smaller aerials.

Back in the 1980s there were Marconi 50 kW transmitters operating in the VLF (Very Low Frequency) band, transmitting Morse to ships close to the UK.

For long distance work, the shortwave bands were used, again transmitting Morse to ships mostly based on Marconi transmitters, typically 10 kW or less. The same information would be transmitted on different frequencies and it was the ship's responsibility to find the right frequency to monitor. This was because of the different propagation characteristics of the various frequencies used.

The site has been used in the past to store natural, purified uranium ore (known as yellowcake) as part of the UK's reserve of such material.


The following units were here at some point:[1]

Sea Cadet Training Centre (SCTC) Inskip, a national training centre to the Sea Cadet Corps, was situated on the same site until its closure on 31 Jan 2010, bringing to an end 68 years of uniformed presence in Inskip.[citation needed]

Current use[edit]

In January 2012, the former SCTC Inskip reopened as the Inskip Cadet Centre and is now the new home of Cumbria & Lancashire Wing, Air Training Corps. Appropriately the Wing Headquarters Offices are situated in what was the old Watch Tower (Control Tower) when RNAS Inskip was a flying station.

The runway was demolished in the 1970s. The concrete from it was used to build the M55 motorway, from which the aerials can be clearly seen. Today only the smaller taxiways exist as proof of the airfield's former existence.