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Report - R.A.F Museum,Manston,kent September,08

Discussion in 'Military Sites' started by north star, Sep 3, 2008.

  1. north star

    north star 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    RAF MANSTON - The history of the airfield from 1916 to the present day.
    Its use by the RAF
    Its use by civil airlines from the 1930's

    Manston started its Aviation days as a Royal Naval Station in 1916, with a base at Westgate Bay for seaplanes. The early airfield was on the area now occupied by the passenger terminal.
    By 1917 Manston airfield had grown to include four underground hangars, its own railway line to Birchington, a power station to generate electricity, barracks for 3,000 men and even an indoor swimming pool.
    After WW1, training of airmen in airframe maintenance and engine repairs was taught in the School of Technical Training.
    1940 and WW2 brought the Battle of Britain. Barnes Wallis arrived in 1943 to test his bouncing bomb at nearby Reculver, before the Dam busters carried out their famous raid.
    Roland Beaumont arrived with the Typhoon which came to be the most successful ground attack aircraft in WW2.
    The first jet fighters arrived at Manston, to attack the flying bombs (1944's version of the cruise missile).
    The longest and widest runway in Southern England was built to allow badly damaged aircraft returning from Europe a safe haven, with the Fido fog dispersal system to allow landings in any weather.
    In 1950 the Americans arrived and stayed for eight years.
    In 1960 Manston returned to the RAF as a major diversionary airfield for aircraft in trouble. The fire school was formed to train RAF firemen in everything from aircraft fires to rescuing car crash victims.
    Civil aviation companies arrived and took 700,000 people on their first foreign holidays in one year.
    In the mid 1960's the first air-sea-rescue helicopters arrived, and rescued many more holidaymakers than airmen.
    The air experience squadron arrived with their Chipmunk aircraft to give many an air cadet their first flight.
    1969: The RAF helicopters left and a civilian company took over.
    1974: The RAF air sea rescue helicopters returned. At the same time two of the prototype bouncing bombs were recovered from the beach at Reculver. The team who achieved the first man-powered flight across the English Channel carried out trials here. The next year another team did it using solar power.
    1980, and after a 40 year wait, new houses were built for married and single personnel.
    In January 1982, 25 civil airlines were diverted to Manston.
    1981: Ash radar station was rebuilt, and with the expansion of the Fire Training School, Manston was going through one of its busy periods.
    1982 saw many aid flights to Africa and other war torn parts of the world.
    1988: Manston held its first air show since the 1950's.
    1996: It was decided that RAF Ash should be closed down, due to the end of the cold war.
    1999: The closure of RAF Manston was announced, so after 80 years the RAF were leaving. The civil part of the airport was to continue, and offers for the remainder were sought.
    Manston closed on the 31 March 1999, and is now a civilian airport called London Manston.

    Bit of history about the place for you....:thumb

    Driving past this place a few times and only just realising what it was i deceided to pack my dora bag and explore.
    Going single handed i parked the motor not to far away in case the worst happened i had an easy get away.
    Withthis place being surrounded by airfields it was well lit up allowing me to take some decent pics.

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    This thing looked like it had just turned up sat there in the middle of the yard on a trailer.

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    Looks serious R,A,F bomb disposal

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    Bet thats comfy to drive look at the low profile solids on it :cool::cool:

    Arriving at this place i circled it more than twice to makesure there was nobody about otherwise i wouldnt of entered.
    Before leaving i couldnt help but noticing that now there was lights on inside with my balls getting bigger and my courage erupting i walked towards the big doors with the perfect blag and gave them a knock and to my suprise the big hanger door slid open and there stood a bearded man:eek::eek:
    Out i came with my blag that while being in the area for a few days doing my uni assignment on night photography and being fascinated with your collection of wartime memorabilia wolud it be possible for me to take a few pics "be my guest and when done come take some inside if you like" off i went to take a few more outside with a little more time and care.
    I then returned to the big door to become face to face with the guy he said "1 thing young fellow, if iam in your way just say and i will move".:thumb
    He was dusting off all the planes for an event this coming weekend doing it at nights due to his everyday working hours.

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    Think i found a squater but didnt say anything :D:D

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    Then this guy found me so off i went with big smiles...:D:D
     
    #1 north star, Sep 3, 2008
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2008

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