ABOVE: Henstridge Airfield has been home to civilian operators since 1957
The Wessex Strut of the LAA – who have been organizing a Fly-In as part of Henstridge Airfield’s 80th Anniversary – have confirmed today that the event will no longer be able to go ahead as planned.
Owing to adverse conditions and waterlogged grass, the event initially scheduled for April 22 will now be postponed until a date yet to be announced in June.
Preparatory work to build a five-runway naval airfield on the site started back in August 1941, using 335 acres of farm land. Progress was slow and Henstridge Airfield was finally commissioned during April 1943 as a wartime Fleet Air Arm training airfield and designated HMS Dipper. Spitfires and Masters were the first types to operate from the new airfield, later supplemented by additional Seafires, Typhoons and Sea Hurricanes. At the end of the war, the airfield became a relief landing ground for RNAS Yeovilton.
The site passed out of MOD ownership in 1957 and has been used for a multitude of civilian flying ever since. Until their recent disbandment, it was also home to the Yakovlev display team.
The Wessex Strut of the LAA are based around Henstridge airfield and serve Somerset, Dorset, and parts of Wiltshire; normally meeting on the 3rd Monday of the month. They have been a member club of the LAA since February 2013.