Cambridgeshire Aviation Heritage Trail
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Cambridgeshire
Aviation Heritage Trail

Welcome

There’s much to learn and explore. You can start with the background pages or jump straight to the aviation heritage trail – ten of the best aviation related places in the county to visit. Just follow the links.

During World War Two, approximately four million operational flights were made over Cambridgeshire by bombers in 1944 alone; with a further two million flights involving a huge variety of other aircraft types. Six million flights a year.

Even today, there are thought to be approximately 500,000 flights over the county every year. This total is made up of a huge range of different aircraft types – from commercial helicopters and private propeller-engined aircraft, through military jets such as US Air Force Europe (USAFE) KC135 Tankers and F15 Strike Eagles, to long-range commercial Boeing 777s and Airbus A380s overflying the county on their way to and from the USA.

Wherever you start, exploring Cambridgeshire’s aviation heritage is a fascinating, involving and often very surprising journey.

Short Stirling Mark I and aircrew © IWM TR9

Aircrew in full flying kit walking beneath the nose of Short Stirling Mark I, N3676 ‘S’, of 1651 Heavy Conversion Unit at Waterbeach while the ground crew run up the engines. The photograph was taken in 1942 by Charles E Brown – a superb aviation photographer who made full use of colour film when photographing on the ground or in the air.

Cambridgeshire silhouette

About the County

For anyone who doesn’t know much (or possibly anything) about the English county of Cambridgeshire.

Clock

Heritage Timeline

Dates and places of key aviation-related events in the county’s history.

19 Squadron Spitfire being rearmed © IWM CH1458

One of the most iconic images of the Battle of Britain. A 19 Squadron Spitfire is being re-armed at RAF Fowlmere by Armourer Fred Roberts. The pilot is Sergeant BJ Jennings and the buildings of Manor Farm can be seen in the background. Fowlmere is very near to RAF Duxford – one of the places featured on our Aviation Heritage Trail.

Avro Lancaster Mk II

Avro Lancaster Mk II, 115 Squadron, RAF, Witchford, January 1944

McD F15c Eagle

McD F15c Eagle – 48th Fighter Wing USAFE, above Duxford, March 2016

Magnifiying glass

Aviation Heritage Trail

This is the section containing details of our ten essential places to visit.

Calendar

Events

A handy guide to all the aviation heritage-related events in Cambridgeshire this year.

Supermarine Spitfire Mk 1a

Supermarine Spitfire Mk Ia – 19 Squadron RAF, Fowlmere, September 1940

Airbus A320-200

Airbus A320-200, WizzAir, above Steeple Morden, May 2012

Cambridge Cemetery

Cambridge City Cemetery. There are four Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) plots collectively containing over 1,000 graves of those killed during World Wars One and Two and shortly thereafter. Most of those buried here were members of the Royal Air Force (RAF), Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF).

Further Reading

Further Reading

A list of the most useful and interesting books about Cambridgeshire, its aviation heritage, and aviation matters generally.

Links

Links

Useful links to follow.

Bulldozer at Witchford © IWM CE29

Believed to have been taken on 26 March 1943, this photograph shows a bulldozer spreading bricks from bombed buildings, probably in London’s East End, as hardcore for the runways at RAF Witchford. These bricks are still, to this day, coming to the surface of the surrounding fields, even though the runways themselves have mostly disappeared.

Vickers-Armstrong Super VC10

Vickers-Armstrong Super VC10, BOAC/CUNARD, Duxford, April 1980

Royal Aircraft Factory FE2b

Royal Aircraft Factory FE2b – 75 (HD) Squadron RFC, Little Downham, May 1916

Contact Us

Contact Us

If you need to contact us, follow this link. Unfortunately, we don’t have the time or resources to undertake research on your behalf. If this is what you want, we suggest following one of the relevant links.

Images

Images

The watercolour-style aircraft images are sized 1280p x 720p and can be downloaded and used as wallpaper. All other images on this site are the property of their respective copyright holders and can only be used with their permission.