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Farnborough Airfield

One of the earliest airfields in Britain, home to the Royal Aircraft Establishment
Red Wheel Site:
Transport Mode(s):
IQ Business Park, Farnborough, Hants GU14 7JP 
GU14 7JP
Visitor Centre:

About Farnborough Airfield

The site which became RAE Farnborough was first used by the Army Balloon Factory, having moved from nearby Aldershot in 1905. Britain's first Military airship was designed and built at Farnborough in 1907. Samuel Cody, a civilian Kite Instructor with the Balloon Factory, made his famous first powered flight there on 16 October 1908.

As the emphasis moved from balloons to aeroplanes,the Balloon Factory became the Army Aircraft Factory in April 1911. The Royal Flying Corps was set up in 1912 and with it, the first Squadron, No 1 Sq, was formed. Throughout World War 1 the establishment produced and repaired hundreds of aircraft for the RFC. At the end of WW1,the RFC became the Royal Air Force,and the Royal Aircraft Factory was renamed the Royal Aircraft Establishment. This was the starting point of some seventy years of continuous aircraft research and experimental work which made RAE Farnborough world famous.

From 1948 onwards, the annual(later bi-annual) Society of British Aircraft Companies' Air Show was held at Farnborough. The RAE began a gradual rundown of it's presence at Farnborough in the early 1980s, with a civil enclave opened in 1989; this grew as the RAE presence diminished and is now the main source of aircraft movements. The site now mainly comprises the IQ Business Park, but the runway remains operational, managed by TAG Aviation . It remains the home of the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) and QinetiQ, and also houses the Farnborough Air Sciences Trust (FAST) Aircraft Museum.

By road: On A325

By rail: Farnborough Station is a five minute taxi ride away

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National Transport Trust, Old Bank House, 26 Station Approach, Hinchley Wood, Esher, Surrey KT10 0SR