Not looking a day over, well, 50 anyway, Blackbushe Airport to the west of London is celebrating its 75th birthday and to mark the occasion an anniversary festival is being held at the airfield on the 1st and 2nd July.
Although virtually all airfields of any size have some sort of story to tell, Blackbushe has a particularly rich history and a more important place in the history of post-war civil aviation in the UK than many will realise. In the immediate post-war years it was Blackbushe’s ‘FIDO’ (Fog Investigation and Dispersal Operation) equipment and good weather record that led to it being converted for civilian use in 1947. Through the 1950s Blackbushe regularly played host to aircraft diverting from other London airports when they were ‘fogged out’ and a number of independent airlines were founded at Blackbushe including Eagle, Dan-Air, Silver City, Britavia, and others. When, in 1960, the government of the day decided that the other London airports needed less competition, it was General Aviation, and later the historic aviation collection of the legendary Doug Arnold, that kept the airfield in business. Today, Blackbushe is home to a number of fixed-wing and rotary flying schools, as well as a busy executive jet operation and a large number of privately-owned aircraft.
The weekend events of ‘Blackbushe 75’ will include a flying display program and flypasts, as well as a static display, pleasure flights and trial flying lessons, entertainment and a children’s zone. The event will raise money for home-based flying charity Aerobility, as well as Help for Heroes and the Lt Dougie Dalzell MC Memorial Trust. So, if you’re looking for a good day out and the chance to support some very worthy causes, can we suggest that Blackbushe 75 might be just the ticket.