AVIATION AT HAMBLE
Updated 31st July 2022

College of Air Training crest

·         Map of Hamble area showing aviation sites

·         Notes about the map

·         The numbered aviation sites

·         Chronological history of aviation at Hamble

·         Photographs

·         Military Units formerly based at Hamble

·         Accidents involving Hamble aircraft

·         The College of Air Training

·         College of Air Training aircraft

·         Hamble Aerodrome - 2005, 20+ years on

·         Endnotes and Links

Other pages by Derek Haselden

·         Naming and buying stars - what you should know

·         Lapidary - the craft of shaping and polishing stones


MAP OF THE HAMBLE AREA SHOWING AVIATION SITES

The map below shows the Hamble area and sites of aviation interest are indicated by the white numbers on blue discs.  The map is based on 1 kilometre squares and covers an area of 5 x 5 kilometres centred on Ordnance Survey Great Britain grid reference SU 480070.  (Click on the map to see this at full size, use your browser's 'Back' button to return to this page.)

 

Hamble aviation sites


NOTES ABOUT THE MAP

The numbered aviation sites are shown thus:

 

1.      Hamble (North) airfield.

2.      Site of British Marine Aircraft.  The site has undergone many changes and companies:

Folland, Hawker Siddeley, British Aerospace, Smiths Aerospace, General Electric Aviation, and now Hamble Aerostructures.

3.      Hamble South airfield.

4.      Armstrong Whitworth Factory.

5.      No.1 (Southern) Marine Acceptance Depot.

6.      Approximate location of 'Browns' aerodrome.

7.      Fairey Aviation, approximate location.

 

Aviation sites are shown by numbered discs, white numeral on a blue background.  Principal roads are shown in red (A-roads), orange (B-roads) and brown (other roads).  The curved black line at top is part of the railway branch line that runs from St. Denys (Southampton) to Fareham.  Hamble and Netley railway stations are indicated by red discs.  For the sake of posterity the siding/goods line from Hamble Station to the British Petroleum storage depot is shown as well.  The goods line is partly intact (though heavily overgrown) but the points connecting the goods line to the branch line were removed in 1999.  It is doubtful that the goods line and sidings will ever be used again.  When the railway line was built in the first few years of the 20th century the line from St. Denys originally terminated at Netley.  A goods line was provided to what was then an new Admiralty depot on the site of the BP storage depot.  (There was another line that led to the then Royal Victoria Military Hospital.)  Later, the branch line was extended to Fareham, doubled (it was originally single track), the Admiralty line was retained.  Those familiar with Hamble aerodrome might remember that the airfield had the oddity of two railway level crossings bisecting taxiways!  There was also a level crossing on Hamble lane.

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THE NUMBERED AVIATION SITES

1.  Hamble (North) Aerodrome:  The green area shows the approximate extent of the airfield perimeter and the light green strip the approximate alignment of the main runway used.  Although there was room to deviate from that alignment there were permanent markings at either end of the strip: '36' (North); '18' (South).  Another runway alignment often used was 02/20, at other times in the past other alignments ad hoc.  The parking areas and two hangars are shown as well.  The training school, administration buildings and student accommodation were primarily sited to the west of the rail siding/goods line where it runs north-south before crossing the main road (Hamble Lane) south of the airfield.  The whole area including the hangars, concrete aprons and school have now been covered by new housing and the new roads are all named with some connection to aviation at Hamble.  These include: Tutor Close, Astral Gardens, Baron Road, Barton Drive, College Close, Aquila Way, Pegasus Close, Spitfire Way, Cirrus Gardens, Admirals Way and Captain Close.

 

Airfields are assigned a four-letter ICAO code, sometimes referred to as a 'Pundit Code', Hamble (North) was coded 'EGHM', the WWII pundit code was 'HA'.  The following information would probably be a summary of information contained in NOTAM (NOtice To AirMen) type publications...

 

HAMBLE  'EGHM':  Lat:  50° 51' 33" North.  Long: 01° 19' 36" West.  OSGB Grid Reference SU 477077.  80ft AMSL.  Ident 'HA'.  4 miles S/E of Southampton. 

RUNWAYS:  Grass.  North - 18/36, 940 x 46 Metres (3084ft x 150ft).  Also available - 02/20.  In addition the entire manoeuvring area may be used" (Pooleys Guide 1972).

LIGHTING:  Runway (portable paraffin 'Gooseneck' flares). Threshold (portable VASI).  Taxiway (portable red, white lights).

 

2.  Site of British Marine Aircraft, (1935 - Grid ref SU 469072) - later Folland, Hawker Siddeley, British Aerospace (BAe), Smiths Aerospace, General Electric Aviation, and now Hamble Aerostructures.  This is now the sole surviving site of aviation activity at Hamble.  This site is quite extensive and is accessed by Kings Avenue.

 

3.  Hamble South airfield - (AVRO 1916).  This site is now taken up by the area to the north-west and south of Ensign Way.

 

4.  Armstrong Whitworth Factory.  This site is now taken up by the area covered by the works in Ensign Way and Mitchell Point.

 

5.  No.1 (southern) Marine Acceptance Depot (1917 - Grid ref SU 478061). The British Petroleum storage depot off Copse Lane marks this site.  The rail siding originally served the Admiralty who were based in this area until after World War One.

 

Inline images 16.  Approximate location of 'Browns' aerodrome.  So far as I am aware no trace whatsoever remains of the airfield. 

 

In the photo at left, the airfield is at the bottom right outlined by the square box. 

 

The airfield that would become Hamble, north, and subsequently Hamble was a series of fields bounded by Satchel Lane to the north and east, and Hamble lane to the west and south.  Also visible is the railway line that spurred off from the St. Denys to Fareham branch line leading to the former Admiralty works near Hamble point.

 

Photo sent to me by Keith Willsher.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


7.  Luke and Co, then Fairey Aviation (1915) approximate location.  This is to be found at Hamble Point at the end of School Lane.  Until recently at least one of the hangars remained in use for marine works.

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A CHRONOLOGICAL HISTORY OF AVIATION AT HAMBLE

1912:  The first use of Hamble for aviation purposes was when a "Waterplane" to be used in a promotional tour sponsored by the Daily Mail newspaper, was housed in a shed built for that purpose at Hamble Point.  Luke and Co., in partnership with Hamble River Engineering began building the HL-1 seaplane at Hamble Point. The aircraft, exhibited at Olympia in 1914, was never completed.

 

1913:  The Admiralty established "Browns" aerodrome at Hamble Point (location indicated in the photo above).

 

1914:  The Admiralty requisitioned Luke and Co's premises at Hamble Point.

 

1915:  Luke and Co's premises passed to Fairey Aviation.  Fairey's assembled large numbers of seaplanes here over the next 3 decades.  After WWII Fairey's work changed to boat production.

 

1916:  A.V. Roe purchased land for Hamble (South) Airfield and also built a factory at the south-eastern end of the site.  Here Avro developed many different aircraft types over the next 15 years.  A name that crops up at this stage is a certain Roy Chadwick who, along with the rest of his design team, later went on to develop the Avro Lancaster bomber.

 

1917:  The Admiralty built No.1 (southern) Marine Acceptance Depot, intended to deal with seaplanes, but the war finished before the facility was used.  It was demolished in 1919 and the site was later used by an oil company.  Production started on the Avro 504 which continued until 1919.

 

1919:  Joining the workforce at A.V. Roe (at Southampton, later at Hamble) was Herbert John Louis Hinkler A.F.C., D.S.M.  'Bert' Hinkler was part of the design team that developed many aircraft at Hamble, the pioneer Australian aviator later went on to set many records including the first solo flight from England to Australia in 1928 in an Avro Avian.

 

1921-1926:  Bert Hinkler became Chief Test Pilot for A.V. Roe at Hamble.

 

1924:  Avro acquired land for the new north airfield at Hamble.  This airfield became the main site for flying as aircraft size increased and the south airfield was eventually closed in 1933.

 

1925:  Juan de la Cierva arrived to begin a 5 year association with Avro, developing his autogiros.

 

1926:  The new (North) Airfield at Hamble was opened.  This became home to several establishments:  Avro, Fairey Aviation, Vickers/Supermarine, Simmonds aircraft, and the Hampshire Aeroplane Club.

 

1927:  The Hampshire Air Pageant was held on Sunday 15th May making use of both the North and South airfields.

 

1928:  Simmonds Aircraft started assembling Simmonds Spartan aircraft in a rented hangar.  The operation was moved to Somerton on the Isle of Wight in the early 1930's after the company suffered financial difficulties.

 

1929:  Avro sold their aviation interests at Hamble to J.D. Siddeley of Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft.

 

1931:  The Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft Reserve School moved to Hamble and Air Service Training (AST) was formed by J.D.Siddeley to provide aviation training for both civil and military pilots.  The school opened in April and aircraft there consisted of an Avro 504, de Havilland 9J's, Armstrong Whitworth Siskin and Atlas trainers, and Avro Tutors.

 

1932:  Amy Johnson joined a flying course at AST.  She is of course famous for making the first female solo flight from England to Australia in 1930 as well as flights to Tokyo and South Africa (among others).  She died in a plane crash near London in 1941.  It should be noted that Amy Johnson was not the first female student at Hamble, that honour fell to a Mrs. Bruce in October 1931.  Mrs Bruce also set several flying records:  Flying a Blackburn Bluebird she was the first woman to complete a solo circumnavigation of the world, the first to fly from England to Japan, and the first to fly the Yellow Sea.  Hampshire Aeroplane Club left for Eastleigh.

 

1933:  Air Service Training was joined with Number 3 Elementary and Reserve Flying Training School (E&RFTS).  By this time AST's fleet had grown to 26 aircraft.  Hamble (South) airfield was closed.

 

1934:  Armstrong Whitworth took over the Avro works at Hamble South and started building the AW27 Ensign airliner.

 

1935:  AST's fleet had by this time grown to 35 aircraft.

 

1936:  British Marine Aircraft opened a factory (complete with slipway) at the northern end of Hamble South.  The intention was licence production of the Sikorsky S42A flying boat.  This was not proceeded with and on 24th December 1937 the company was renamed Folland Aircraft.  Folland's later in the 1950's and 1960's built the Folland Gnat training jet here.  The company later became part of Hawker Siddeley, and ultimately part of British Aerospace (BAe).  Although by the latter part of the last century there was no longer an airfield at Hamble, BAe continued to use the premises there for the production of major assemblies for Harrier and Hawk jets.

 

1937:  AST started using the old Avro slipway for Flying Boat operations.  Folland Aircraft Ltd. began aircraft assembly at Hamble making parts for Bristol Blenheim and Beaufort bombers. Folland later took on sub-contract work making parts for de Havilland Mosquito's and Vickers Wellington's.  The Royal Air Force Reserve which had some aircraft at Hamble became Number 3 ERFTS. At this point AST had 37 aircraft and No. 3 ERFTS had 14.

 

1938:  The Armstrong Whitworth Ensign, built at Hamble, first flew. Production ceased in 1941 after a run of just 14 aircraft.

 

1939:  With the outbreak of war in September 1939 No. 3 E&RFTS became No. 3 EFTS for training military pilots.  Single-engine aircraft became part of No. 3 EFTS and multi-engined aircraft types became part of Number 11 Air Observers Navigation School (AONS) and Number 1 Supplementary Wireless School.  The first of many Spitfire's were repaired at AST.

 

1939-1945:  The main activity during World War II was the repair and overhaul of Spitfires by AST (a total of 2575 over that period).  Owing to Hamble's proximity to the Supermarine works at Eastleigh and Woolston parts were transported to Hamble for assembly and ferry flights.  These ferry flights were carried out by No. 3 Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA), many of whom were women.  During the War years other aircraft up to B-17 Flying Fortress size were handled.  Other aircraft types repaired at Hamble included Handley Page Hampden's, Avro Lancaster's and York's, de Havilland Mosquito's and North American P-51 Mustang's.

 

1940:  The Armstrong Whitworth Albemarle twin-engine bomber built at Hamble flew for the first time on 20th March.  Hamble was attacked by a lone Luftwaffe Heinkel 111 on 12th July which dropped 4 bombs.  The training schools promptly moved elsewhere and Hamble was confined to the assembly of aircraft only.  Despite the schools moving elsewhere due to the above raid a detachment of Blackburn Skua's from H.M.S. Raven at Eastleigh remained.  Hamble airfield was again attacked by the Luftwaffe on 23rd November.

 

1941:  Hamble airfield was raided again by the Luftwaffe on 9th January.  Anti-aircraft (AA) guns were installed around Hamble on 5th April.  Some of the gun emplacements and a gun can still be seen adjacent to the car park at Hamble Point.  A section of 780 Squadron, Fleet Air Arm (FAA) arrived on 5th November.

 

1942:  The first of many Spitfire to Seafire (navalised version of the Spitfire) conversions made its first flight from Hamble on 23rd March.  780 Squadron FAA left Hamble on 30th August.  The first B-17 (Boeing) Flying Fortress arrived for modification.

 

1943:  A Junkers 88 strafed the airfield and hit a hangar on 9th February.  A man working in a hangar received fatal injuries, the only person killed by enemy action at Hamble.  The airfield AA gunners were withdrawn on the 13th October.

 

1945:  No. 3 ATA left Hamble.  The airfield was later full of Spitfire's to be scrapped.

 

1946:  AST restarted flight training operations offering courses to foreign as well as British students.  The first post-war training flight took place on the 1st August.  Southampton University Air Squadron (SUAS) arrived, using Chipmunks and later, (Scottish Aviation) Bulldogs.

 

1947:  AST started providing maintenance facilities for Aquila Airways Hythe and Solent flying boats.  This continued until the demise of Aquila Airways in 1958.

 

1950:  AST's fleet then consisted of 26 aircraft.  In addition, the Royal Navy had 5, the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve 14, and the SUAS had 22 aircraft based at Hamble.

 

1952:  The first of 3 Douglas Dakota's (DC-3) arrived for use as training aircraft.

 

1958:  No. 2 AEF arrived and stayed until 1978.

 

1959:  Folland Aircraft Ltd., was absorbed into Hawker Siddeley (later British Aerospace), at the time they were making the jet powered Midge and Gnat trainers.  A replica of the Gnat can still be seen outside the entrance to the British Aerospace works on the corner of Hamble Lane.  Production at the old Avro works ceased and the factory units became part of the Petter organisation.

 

1960:  AST closed its operation at Hamble and moved to Perth.  The College of Air Training was formed and brought nearly 60 aircraft to Hamble for training purposes.

 

1961:  The first of 11 Piper Apache's arrive for use at the College.

 

1967:  The first tranche of 39 Piper Cherokee's arrive for use at the College.

 

1968:  The first of 12 Beechcraft Baron's arrive at Hamble for use at the College.

 

1979:  Southampton University Air Squadron withdrew from Hamble and transferred to Hurn, Bournemouth.

 

1982:  June: British Airways announced plans to withdraw funding from Hamble and the College of Air Training.  The former college is taken over by 'Specialist Flight Training'.

 

1983:  The Antique Aircraft Company was formed in May by Ron Souch.

 

1984:  The Receiver was called in on 16th February and the College's aircraft and equipment were auctioned off.  The land was later sold to a developer.

 

1985:  After the closure of the College of Air Training, the only two users of note left at Hamble were Antique Aircraft, a vintage aircraft restoration company run by Ron Souch, and Carill Aviation who later moved to Eastleigh (Southampton airport).  In late 1985 these companies moved out and the airfield was effectively closed in December of that year.  There were some very occasional light aircraft movements over the following few months into 1986.

 

1986:  The last aircraft to fly out of Hamble, a Piper Cub, is piloted by Ron Souch on 6th April.  Hamble airfield closed for good.

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PHOTOGRAPHS OF SOME OF THE AIRCRAFT CONNECTED WITH HAMBLE

Avro 504

Avro 504

This plane was built in some numbers at Hamble, production of ending in 1919.  Training versions of the Avro 504 started being built in 1916 and overall production of the various types lasted 10 years.  It was the Royal Flying Corps' first basic trainer.  The Avro 504 was one of the most popular training aircraft of the WWI era and over the 10 year production run some 10,000 were built.  It was initially used as a light bomber and ground attack aircraft before being used as a trainer and some 504's were still in use at the outbreak of WWII.
Photo: Dave Fagan.

 

Avro Avian

 

Avro (model 581) Avian

This picture shows Bert Hinkler next to the Avro Avian (G-EBOV) which he flew on his record breaking flight from England to Australia in 1928.
Photo: Courtesy of the Hinkler House Memorial Museum.

 

AW27

 

Armstrong Whitworth Ensign (AW27)

The largest aircraft built at Hamble.  Twelve of these were built at Hamble for Imperial Airways, some to be used on Empire mail routes, some for the European sector.  The Ensign first flew on 24th January 1938.  They were powered by four 850hp Armstrong Siddeley Tiger engines and could carry 40 passengers on shorter routes, 27 on the Empire routes. Cruising speed was about 170mph, range 800 miles.  The planes were dogged by problems and were later fitted with Wright Cyclone engines during WWII.
Photo: Dave Fagan.

 

Fairey IIID

 

Fairey IIID

"Lusitania", used by the Portuguese Navy for a Trans-Atlantic flight from the Cape Verde Islands to the San Pedro Rocks (off the Brazilian coast) April 1922.  The Fairey III series had a production run that covered several different versions which were used by the R.A.F., Fleet Air Arm, and other overseas air forces.  It entered R.A.F. service in 1927 and was used as a light bomber and utility aircraft.
Photo: Dave Fagan.

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MILITARY UNITS FORMERLY BASED AT HAMBLE

As you may have already gathered from the 'History' section of this page Hamble was host to several military aviation units over the years, these units are detailed below.

 

·         Nș 3 ERFTS (Elementary and Reserve Flying Training School).  April 1933 to September 1939.  Became Nș 3 EFTS in September 1939, moved to Watchfield, Swindon in July 1940.
Equipped with: Armstrong Whitworth Atlas, de Havilland Tiger Moth, Hawker Audax, Hawker Hart, Hawker Hind, Fairey Battle, Miles Magister, Avro Anson, Percival Verga Gull.

 

·         Nș 1 SSWT (Supplementary School of Wireless Training).  September 1939 to July 1940.  (Disbanded.)
Equipped with: Short Scion.

 

·         Nș 11 AONS (Air Observers Navigation School).  20th November 1939 to July 1940.  (Moved to Watchfield.)
Equipped with: Avro Anson.

 

·         Nș 3(a) FPP (Ferry Pilots Pool).  15th February 1940 to November 1940.

 

·         Nș 1 SFPP (Supplementary Ferry Pilots Pool).  November 1940 to September 1941.
Equipped with: Airspeed Envoy, Foster Wickner Warferry.

 

·         Nș 15 FPP (Ferry Pilots Pool).  September 1941 to September 1945. (Disbanded.)
Equipped with: Avro Anson, Foster Wickner Warferry, Fairchild Argus.

 

·         780 Squadron, detachment from Lee-On-Solent.  November 1941 to June 1942.
Equipped with: Percival Proctor, Avro Anson, Blackburn Shark. (No fixed resident aircraft at Hamble.)

 

·         Nș 1 NASS (Naval Air Signal School).  November 1949 to November 1953. (Disbanded.)
Equipped with: Avro Anson.

 

·         Nș 1 BANS (Basic Air Navigation School).  January 1951 to June 1953. (Disbanded.)
Equipped with: Avro Anson.

 

·         Nș 14 RFS (Reserve Flying School).  August 1948 to August 1953. (Disbanded.)
Equipped with: de Havilland Tiger Moth, Airspeed Oxford, North American Harvard, Avro Anson, de Havilland Chipmunk.

 

·         Nș 2 AEF (Air Experience Flight).  June 1958 to June 1978. (Moved to Hurn.)
Equipped with: de Havilland Chipmunk.

 

·         SUAS (Southampton University Air Squadron).  March 1947 to June 1978. (Moved to Hurn.)
Equipped with: de Havilland Tiger Moth, Airspeed Oxford, de Havilland Chipmunk, Scottish Aviation Bulldog.

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ACCIDENTS INVOLVING HAMBLE AIRCRAFT

As with every kind of vehicle there will be accidents - no method of transport is completely safe!  In this respect Hamble has had its fair share of accidents and below is a list of mishaps at Hamble or Hamble's aircraft that have come to my attention.  I am indebted to Dave Fagan and Tony Sedgewick who provided me with much of the information for this section.

 

DATE     TYPE               REG.   COMMENT

30/04/19  Avro 534              -       Crashed on 1st flight.

29/08/19  Avro 539a             G-EALG  Damaged in accident.

 

13/01/20  Avro 534              G-EACQ  Damaged in accident, rebuilt as G-AUCQ.

25/05/21  Bristol Fighter       G-EAWZ  Damaged in accident.

15/07/21  Avro 534b             G-EAXM  Written off after accident.

19/06/26  Cierva C6C            J8068   Crashed.

 

26/03/30  Spartan               G-AAME  Damaged in accident.

27/03/30  Spartan               G-AAFR  Written off after accident.

08/06/31  A.W. Siskin III       G-ABHT  Crashed, Sarisbury Green, Hampshire.

17/04/32  Avro Cadet I          G-ACCM  Crashed, Purfleet, Essex.

18/07/32  Avro Avian IVM        G-ABKA  Caught fire at Heston.

04/06/34  Avro Cadet I          G-ACRY  Crashed into The Solent.

21/07/34  D.H. 53               G-EBQP  Crashed.

12/08/34  D.H. 84 Dragon        G-ACJM  Crashed landing Hamble.

??/10/34  AIRCO DH9J            G-AARS  Crashed near Hamble.

10/09/34  Avro Cadet I          G-ACUH  Crashed, Southampton.

06/02/36  Avro Cadet II         G-ADTM  Crashed, West End, Southampton.

25/08/37  Hawker Hart           K6532   Collided with Swordfish (L2740) at Gosport.

??/12/37  Short Calcutta        G-ABVH  Damaged beyond repair during a gale.

24/01/38  Miles Magister        L8901   Crashed, Calshot.

25/01/38  Miles Magister        L6895   Crashed, Hamble.

16/03/38  Hawker Hart           K4415   Collided with Avro Cadet G-ACCN (on the ground?).

16/03/38  Miles Magister        L6906   Crashed, Southampton Water.

07/05/38  Miles Magister        L5972   Crashed, Hamble.

13/06/38  Miles Magister        L6894   Crashed, Bursledon.

02/08/38  Hawker Audax          K7413   Crashed, Lymington.

07/12/38  Avro Cadet II         G-ADTZ  Crashed, Ansty.

24/01/39  Hawker Hind           K5526   Crashed, Hamble.

15/06/39  Hawker Audax          K7406   Wrecked during taxiing accident at Hamble.

08/08/39  Avro Cadet II         G-ADTO  Crashed, Leicester.

17/12/39  Avro Cadet            G-ADTU  Damaged in accident.

 

28/03/40  Avro Cadet            G-ADTG  Damaged in ground accident.

??/04/40  Avro Cadet            G-ADTK  Damaged in accident.

08/06/40  Avro Cadet            G-AEIR  Crashed, Southampton Water.

10/07/40  Avro Cadet            G-ACNE  Written off after ground collision with Blackburn Shark.

10/08/40  Spitfire Mk.I         R6979   Damaged in landing accident.

16/09/40  Spitfire Mk.I         R6922   Damaged in landing accident.

28/12/40  Handley Page Hampden  ??      Crashed after take-off.

12/12/42  Fairchild Argus       EV774   Crashed, Hamble.

08/02/44  D.H. 82A Tiger Moth   DE929   Overturned on takeoff.

08/09/44  Spitfire Mk.IX        NH491   Damaged in landing accident.

22/12/44  Avro Anson I          N9573   Crashed.

26/11/47  D.H. 82A Tiger Moth   G-AHVZ  Crashed, Hamble.

06/01/49  Avro Anson I          MG564   Crashed, near Hamble.

23/01/49  D.H. 82A Tiger Moth   T7465   Crashed, Yarmouth, Isle of Wight.

 

26/03/50  D.H. 82A Tiger Moth   T6173   Crashed, South End.

19/04/51  Avro Anson T21        VV899   Crashed, into sea near Brixham.

12/03/52  Avro Anson T21        VV910   Crashed, Fawley.

22/03/53  D.H. Chipmunk 21      G-AMUD  Crashed, Porchfield, Isle of Wight.

28/11/54  D.H. Vampire FB5      VZ177   Collided with WE836 and pilot thrown out of aircraft near Hamble.

03/10/55  Hiller U12B           G-AOFK  Crashed, Hamble.

22/10/56  D.H. Chipmunk 21      G-AMUE  Crashed, Middle Wallop.

11/10/58  D.H. Chipmunk T10     WG353   Damaged beyond repair during landing at Hamble.

 

12/07/60  D.H. Chipmunk T10     WP895   Damaged beyond repair during landing accident.

29/03/66  D.H. Chipmunk 22      G-ARME  Crashed at Sandown, Isle of Wight.

07/12/66  D.H. Chipmunk T10     WZ864   Collided with G-ATEA, crashed near Hamble.

07/12/66  D.H. Chipmunk 22      G-ATEA  (Was WG464) Collided with WZ864, crashed near Hamble.

10/01/67  Piper Apache 160      G-ASDH  Crashed at Netley Hospital.

 

27/02/70  Piper Cherokee        G-AVBD  Destroyed in mid-air collision, Bursledon. Pilot killed.

27/02/70  Piper Cherokee        G-AVBI  Destroyed in mid-air collision, Bursledon. Pilot killed.

??/??/71  Piper Cherokee        G-AVNS  Damaged during mid-air collision, IoW, Crew unhurt.

??/??/71  Piper Cherokee        ?-????  Damaged during mid-air collision, IoW, Crew unhurt.

09/12/71  Beechcraft Baron      G-AWAG  Damaged in landing accident, Hurn, Crew unhurt, rebuilt.

??/??/??  Beechcraft Baron      G-AWAF  Damaged in landing accident, rebuilt.

??/??/??  Beechcraft Baron      G-AWAO  Damaged in landing accident, rebuilt.

 

30/04/81  Piper Cherokee        G-AVBJ  Destroyed in mid-air collision, Warsash. Pilot killed.

30/04/81  Piper Cherokee        G-AXZC  Destroyed in mid-air collision, Warsash. Pilot killed.

24/02/84  Beechcraft Baron      G-AWAE  Damaged in landing accident, rebuilt.

 

PA-28 'G-AVNS'

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Piper Cherokee 'G-AVNS', as seen in the main hangar at Hamble, Spring 1971.  Note the damage to the vertical stabiliser.  This was caused by the propeller of another Hamble Cherokee mid-air somewhere over the Isle of Wight!  I can only say that the crews of the two aircraft (all landed safely and unhurt) must have used up a life in the process.  (Click on the photo to see the full size version.  Use the 'Back' button on your browser to return to this page.)
Photo: Dave Summers.

Beech Baron 'G-AWAG'

Beechcraft Baron 'G-AWAG'.  It is often said that a crash is an uncontrolled landing and a landing is a controlled crash.  In the case of this incident, it was a controlled landing - but with the wheels up!  What had actually happened was that during an approach to Cherbourg the wheels failed to lower, both electrical and manual back-up systems had malfunctioned.  The plane was then flown to Hurn (Bournemouth), both engines shut down at 200 feet, starter motors used to 'kick' the propeller blades horizontal and then glide in for a slide down the runway.  I expect that this tale would be better told by those who where there, all the same it does strike me as a fine bit of airmanship.  (Click on the photo to see the full size version.  Use the 'Back' button on your browser to return to this page.)
Photo: Dave Summers.

The above list details some of the incidents that I'm aware of but there are doubtless others that elude this list.  During the time that I was actually working at the College there were a few incidents involving Hamble and its aircraft.  One of the above listed accidents involving Beechcraft Baron's was where the nose wheel undercarriage collapsed on landing.  On at least 2 occasions Baron's landed at Hamble - with the undercarriage retracted!  On another occasion a Cherokee was damaged on the ground when it struck a tree and pinioned around into a perimeter fence.  Fortunately, the incidents cited in this paragraph involved little or no injury.

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THE COLLEGE OF AIR TRAINING

College of Air Training crest

 

The College was formed in 1960 to meet a growing need for civilian pilots prompted by the explosion of jet travel.  Although my knowledge of the College at this time is scant, AST (who were already at Hamble) provided training for civil and military pilots.  The then flag carriers for the United Kingdom, British European Airways (BEA) and the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) needed their own school to train pilots and the College of Air Training was formed as a result when AST moved out of Hamble and established a flying school in Perth, Scotland.  When BEA and BOAC later merged to form British Airways (BA) in 1974 that trend continued.  Up to that time BA was state owned but the then incoming Conservative government announced their plans to privatise BA in 1979.  A comprehensive account of the College of Air Training itself has been written by former Hamble student and later British Airways pilot Captain Stuart Logan.  'The CAT and the Hamsters' is available from Bookworld Wholesale (ISBN 9780953868919).

 

Up to that time the College was funded by BA but when privatisation loomed in the early 80's the future of the College suddenly seemed uncertain.  British Airways had hoped to keep the College going, after all, it would continue to need pilots, and indeed it was forecast at the time that there would be a pilot shortage in just a few years.  But aside from the drive to privatisation, and a then downturn in the need for aircrew, the College was deemed to be surplus to requirements.  The inevitable cuts ensued.  I was one of the victims of that movement toward private ownership and BA was finally fully privatised in 1987.  Another training school, Specialist Flight Training, was set up in the College's place but this folded under financial pressure and when funding ran out sometime in 1984 the College closed for good although the airfield remained in use.

 

Having been made redundant in the first staff cuts in 1982 I all but lost contact with the College itself and those I worked with.  During the time that I worked at Hamble my main tasks were the maintenance and repair of instrument and electrical systems although at various stages I did a little of every trade possible.

 

 

College, main hangar in 1981

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At left is a photo taken in 1981 of the main hangar and some of the aircraft parked outside.  The control tower can be seen in the background.  Note the vehicles visible next to the hangar; a dark green Mini Moke (used for towing aircraft), the red fire tender (and blue ambulance just visible behind it).  Aircraft visible in the photograph are; at left Piper Cherokee 'G-AYAV'; on the right are Beechcraft Baron's 'G-AWAF', 'G-AWAL', and one other Baron, registration unknown.  Photo: Derek Haselden

College, main hangar, date unknown

At left is a photo (date uncertain) of the main hangar with aircraft parked outside.  Beechcraft Baron 'G-AWAL' is in the foreground.  Photo: Don Eaves.

On the whole, the College was very self contained.  All its aircraft were maintained and repaired by its own staff (of whom I was one) and all the planes could be accommodated overnight in the two hangars.  The airfield had its own fire crew, marshallers, control tower, and maintenance staff among many other ancilliary workers.  The school itself covered a large area and included simulator rooms, a library, meteorology, engines, airframes and navigation classrooms.  Students were housed in several accommodation blocks - village within the village of Hamble.

 

The airfield itself was a large grassed area and could offer over 3000 feet of runway in the roughly North/South directions and a little under 3000 feet in most other directions apart from east/west.  The whole grassed area was available for aircraft movements and concrete aprons offered hard standings for all the aircraft in use.  An unusual aspect of the apron was that two taxiways crossed the railway line (you can see this on the map) and must have made Hamble's aircraft movements peculiar in that planes had to be on the lookout for trains!

 

Being a grass strip there were few permanent features but one temporary feature of the airfield is worth describing here.  Flying operations frequently carried on into the late evening so a form of portable airfield lighting was needed.  The runway itself was marked by two rows of flares which consisted of a few dozen long-spouted metal watering cans.  The can was filled with paraffin and the spout had a wick which when lit would burn for about 6-8 hours.  Thus Hamble really did have a flare path!  And quite effective it was too - on several occasions I went on flights to and from Hamble in the evening and the flares could be seen from several miles away, as effective as some airfield electric lighting.

 

Another advantage of this lighting was that it tended to floodlight the runway and not just mark it, and the heat from the flares was often enough to help disperse fog and mist.  (This effect was not unlike that WWII runway lighting aid FIDO - a contrivance of almost staggering waste which involved rows of petrol fed pipes and burners lit during foggy conditions.)  The simple graphic below will give you a rough idea of how it would have appeared to an approaching aircraft...

Hamble's flarepath

The extents of the runway were marked with red lights (far end) and green lights (landing/take-off end) which could only be seen from one direction thus ensuring that the take-off/landing direction in use couldn't be too easily confused.  At the landing threshold end of the runway a set of 4 portable Visual Approach Slope Indicator (VASI) lights were placed either side of the runway, two each side.  This provided pilots with a visual landing aid.  Basically: All reds = too low; All whites = too high; white and red both sides = correct landing approach glideslope.  Finally, the allotted taxiway was marked with small red and white lights.  All of these lighting fixtures were portable and had to be put out before the start of night flying.  One of my jobs at Hamble was charging and maintaining the batteries that powered these lights.

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COLLEGE OF AIR TRAINING AIRCRAFT

The College used three types of aircraft for its training during the time that I worked there, 4 types in total over the College's history.  All were piston-engined and could cater for a variety of training needs - from basic flying, right the way up to multi-engined flight under Instrument Flying Rules.

 

Piper Apache

Early in the College's history Piper Apache aircraft were used but these were replaced by the Beechcraft Baron's in the late 60's.

 

Piper Apache PA-23 160.

First flown: 1958.

Seats: 6; 2 front, 2 middle, 2 rear.

Engine: Two 250 hp Lycoming IO-520, air cooled.

Length:   31 ft, 2 in   Empty weight:   3321 lb   Max speed:  215 mph

Wingspan: 37 ft, 2 in   Max T/O weight: 5200 lb   Range:     1320 nm

Height:   10 ft, 4 in   Thrust:          500 hp

 

The Apache's used by the College bore the following registrations:

G-ARJR, G-ARJS, G-ARJT, G-ARJU, G-ARJV, G-ARJW, G-ARJX, G-ASDG, G-ASDH, G-ASDI, G-ATOA.  (11)

 

HISTORY

G-ARJR  came to Hamble April 1961, sold 1968.

G-ARJS  came to Hamble April 1961, sold 1968.

G-ARJT  came to Hamble April 1961, sold 1968.

G-ARJU  came to Hamble April 1961, sold 1968.

G-ARJV  came to Hamble April 1961, sold 1968.

G-ARJW  came to Hamble April 1961, sold 1968.

G-ARJX  came to Hamble April 1961, sold 1968.

G-ASDG  came to Hamble January 1963, sold June 1969.

G-ASDH  came to Hamble January 1963, crashed near Netley Hospital 10th January 1967.

G-ASDI  came to Hamble January 1963, sold June 1969.

G-ATOA  came to Hamble March 1966, sold August 1968.

 

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de Havilland Chipmunk
The simplest plane used by the College of Air Training whilst I worked there was the de Havilland Chipmunk.  This was a two-seat (tandem) low wing monoplane, fully aerobatic.  It was powered by a Gypsy Major series 4-cylinder in-line inverted engine rated at about 140hp.  Most of the flying surfaces were fabric covered.  It had fixed undercarriage and was in most respects a very basic aircraft.  It was however a very robust plane and its ruggedness and simplicity meant that despite a design rooted in the 1940's many examples of this plane are still in use today.  The College's Chipmunks had a distinctive colour scheme of silver with a thin blue/red/white stripe along the fuselage.  The wings, tail and tips bore fluorescent orange stripes.

 

de Havilland Chipmunk

First flown: 1946

Seats: 2, one in front of the other.

Engine: 4-cyl inverted 140hp Gypsy Major series, air cooled.

Length:   25 ft, 5 in   Empty weight:   1158 lb   Max speed: 139 mph

Wingspan: 34 ft, 4 in   Max T/O weight: 1930 lb   Range:     780 nm

Height:    7 ft         Thrust:          140 hp

 

The Chipmunk's used by the College bore the following registrations:

G-AMUC, G-AMUF, G-AMUG, G-AMUH

G-AOUN, G-AOUO, G-AOUP, G-AOZJ, G-AOJY, G-AOZV

G-ARMB, G-ARMC, G-ARMD, G-ARME, G-ARMF, G-ARMG

G-ATDE, G-ATDF, G-ATDP, G-ATDX, G-ATDY, G-ATEA, G-ATEB, G-ATHC, G-ATHD, G-ATJI, G-ATJJ, G-ATJK.  (28)

 

HISTORY

Reg.    Prev. ID.  Type

G-AMUC  -          DH Chipmunk 21  came to Hamble October 1952, sold 1967.

G-AMUF  -          DH Chipmunk 21  came to Hamble November 1952, sold 1967.

G-AMUG  -          DH Chipmunk 21  came to Hamble November 1952, sold 1967.

G-AMUH  -          DH Chipmunk 21  came to Hamble November 1952, sold 1967.

 

G-AOUN  -          -

G-AOUO  WB730      DH Chipmunk 22  came to Hamble October 1956, sold 1967.

G-AOUP  WB731      DH Chipmunk 22  came to Hamble October 1956, sold 1967.

G-AOZJ  WD319      DH Chipmunk 22  came to Hamble October 1957, sold 1967.

G-AOJY  WB631      DH Chipmunk 22  came to Hamble December 1957, sold 1967.

G-AOZV  WD290      DH Chipmunk 22  came to Hamble December 1957, sold 1967.

 

G-ARMB  WB660      DH Chipmunk 22  came to Hamble September 1961, sold 1984.

G-ARMC  WB703      DH Chipmunk 22  came to Hamble September 1961, sold ?

G-ARMD  WB297      DH Chipmunk 22  came to Hamble September 1961, sold 1984?

G-ARME  WD381      DH Chipmunk 22  came to Hamble September 1961, crashed Sandown, Isle of Wight 29/03/66.

G-ARMF  WD322      DH Chipmunk 22  came to Hamble September 1961, sold 1984?

G-ARMG  WK558      DH Chipmunk 22  came to Hamble September 1961, sold May 1984.

 

G-ATDE  WB733      DH Chipmunk 22  came to Hamble June 1965, stored, returned to RAF December 1967.

G-ATDF  WP850      DH Chipmunk 22  came to Hamble June 1965, stored, returned to RAF December 1967.

G-ATDP  WG477      DH Chipmunk 22  came to Hamble June 1965, stored, returned to RAF December 1967.

G-ATDX  WG463      DH Chipmunk 22  came to Hamble June 1965, stored, returned to RAF December 1967.

G-ATDY  WG418      DH Chipmunk 22  came to Hamble June 1965, stored, returned to RAF December 1967.

 

G-ATEA  WG464      DH Chipmunk 22  came to Hamble August 1965, stored, returned to RAF December 1967.

G-ATEB  WZ866      DH Chipmunk 22  came to Hamble August 1965, stored, returned to RAF December 1967.

G-ATHC  WP969      DH Chipmunk 22  came to Hamble August 1965, stored, returned to RAF December 1967.

G-ATHD  WP971      DH Chipmunk 22  came to Hamble August 1965, stored, returned to RAF December 1967.

G-ATJI  WP863      DH Chipmunk 22  came to Hamble August 1965, stored, returned to RAF December 1967.

G-ATJJ  WP921      DH Chipmunk 22  came to Hamble August 1965, stored, returned to RAF December 1967.

G-ATJK  WP927      DH Chipmunk 22  came to Hamble August 1965, stored, returned to RAF December 1967.

 

Only two of these were kept in flying condition during the time that I was at the College, the others were stored for spares.  The registrations of those that were at Hamble while I was there were: G-ARMB, G-ARMD, G-ARMF, G-ARMG.

 

DH Chipmunk 22 'G-ARMG'At left is one of the College's Chipmunks, 'G-ARMG', formerly 'WK558', previous user unknown.  This aircraft first came to Hamble in September 1961 and was subsequently sold by the College in May 1984.  Note the 'trolley' in front of the plane, within the trolley was a bank of batteries to help get the engine started.

Photo: Rod Brown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DH Chipmunk T10 'WD346'At left is de Havilland Chipmunk T10 'WD346' as used by Southampton University Air Squadron.  It first came to Hamble in January 1951 and was sold in March 1975.

Photo: Rod Brown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DH Chipmunk T10 'WP800'Another Chipmunk that was at Hamble, 'WP800', from 1953 until March 1975.  It too was used by Southampton University Air Squadron.

Photo: Rod Brown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DH ChipmunkYet another picture of a Chipmunk at Hamble, this time undergoing maintenance in the main hangar, plane registration unknown.  Also visible is Piper Cherokee 'G-AVNM'.

 

And who are the people pictured?  I'm told the fellow in white overalls is Geoff Mann.  But, at this point there is some difference of opinion as to who the others are...  There is a claim that the chap in blue overalls looking into the tool boxes next to the engine is Alan Norgate.  Another claim is that it is Sandy Sadler.  And, the man in dark blue overalls in the plane is not sure whether it is he, Mick Lavery. 

 

(Click on the picture to view a larger version of this photograph, use the 'Back' button on your browser to return to this page.  The full size version of this photo may be accessed by using the following link... Large photo.)

Photo: Don Eaves.

 

 

 

DH ChipmunkA view of two Chipmunks parked outside the main hangar, 'G-AMUF' and 'G-AMUG'.  Perhaps the Cherokee is treating them to a flypast?

 

(Click on the picture to view a larger version of this photograph, use the 'Back' button on your browser to return to this page.  The full size version of this photo may be accessed by using the following link... Large photo.)

Photo: Don Eaves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DH Chipmunk 'G-AMUF'Ex-Hamble Chipmunk 'G-AMUF' as seen at Redhill recently.  (Click on the picture to view a larger version of this photograph, use the 'Back' button on your browser to return to this page.)

Photo: Derek Squires.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DH Chipmunk 22 'G-ARMG'Another shot of former Hamble D.H. Chipmunk, 'G-ARMG', formerly 'WK558', recently restored and seen here in an air-to-air photo.  In good flying condition and based in Warwickshire.

 

(Click on the picture to view a larger version of this photograph, use the 'Back' button on your browser to return to this page.)

Photo: John Richards.

 

 

 

 

 

hamble035.jpgA recent addition to this archive, Hamble Chipmunk 'G-AOUN'.  Not sure of the location although it could be Hamble.  Date unknown although probably in the 1960's.

Photo: sent to me, photographer unknown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Piper Cherokee
The main basic trainer aircraft used was the Piper Cherokee.  This was powered by a single Lycoming O-360, flat 4-cylinder engine that was rated at about 180hp.  The plane was a four-seater and was somewhat more luxurious in its layout than the Chipmunk.

 

Piper Cherokee

First flown: 1960

Seats: 4, 2 front, 2 back.

Engine: Lycoming 0-360-A3A 180 hp flat-4 cylinder, air cooled.

Length:   23 ft, 9 in   Empty weight:   1416 lb   Max speed: 147 mph

Wingspan: 35 ft         Max T/O weight: 2550 lb   Range:     630 nm

Height:    7 ft, 3 in   Payload:         200 lb   Thrust:    180 hp

 

There were a total of 39 Cherokee's used by the College which bore the following registrations:

 

PA-28-180D

G-AVAX, G-AVAY, G-AVAZ, G-AVBA, G-AVBB, G-AVBC, G-AVBD, G-AVBE, G-AVBG, G-AVBH, G-AVBI, G-AVBJ

G-AVNM, G-AVNN, G-AVNO, G-AVNP, G-AVNR, G-AVNS, G-AVNT, G-AVNU, G-AVNV, G-AVNW

 

PA-28-180E

G-AXZC, G-AXZD, G-AXZE, G-AXZF

G-AYAA, G-AYAB, G-AYAP, G-AYAR, G-AYAS, G-AYAT, G-AYAU, G-AYAV, G-AYAW, G-AYBK, G-AYBT, G-AYEE, G-AYEF.

 

HISTORY

PA-28-180D

REG.    CON No.  Purchased        Sold      Notes

G-AVAX  28-3798  Hamble Feb 1967  May 1984  Withdrawn from use 11/11/2013.

G-AVAY  28-3793  Hamble Feb 1967  Jul 1984  Taken to U.S.  Status unknown.

G-AVAZ  28-3794  Hamble Feb 1967  1983      Re-registered as G-OIBO.

G-AVBA  28-3795  Hamble Feb 1967  ?         Permanently withdrawn from use 21/12/1983.

G-AVBB  28-3796  Hamble Mar 1967  Jul 1984  Taken to U.S.  Re-registered as N54590.

 

G-AVBC  28-3797  Hamble Mar 1967  Jul 1984  Taken to Kansas, U.S.  Scrapped.

G-AVBD  28-3799  Hamble Mar 1967  -         Destroyed in mid-air collision with G-AVBI, Bursledon, 27/02/1970.

G-AVBE  28-3800  Hamble Mar 1967  Jul 1984  Taken to U.S.  Re-registered as N5460N.

G-AVBG  28-3801  Hamble Mar 1967  May 1983  Currently based an Enstone (EGTN).

G-AVBH  28-3802  Hamble Mar 1967  Jul 1983  -

 

G-AVBI  28-3803  Hamble Mar 1967  -         Destroyed in mid-air collision with G-AVBD, Bursledon, 27/02/1970.

G-AVBJ  28-3806  Hamble Mar 1967  -         Destroyed in mid-air collision with G-AXZC, Warsash, 30/04/1981.

G-AVNM  28-4033  Hamble Jul 1967  1983      Re-registered as G-SOOT.  Now based at Jersey?

G-AVNN  28-4049  Hamble Aug 1967  May 1984  -

G-AVNO  28-4105  Hamble Aug 1967  1984      Currently at Southend (EGMC).

 

G-AVNP  28-4113  Hamble Aug 1967  1983      Written off at Nayland, Colchester 28/04/2011.

G-AVNR  28-4121  Hamble Aug 1967  May 1984  Re-registered as G-ITUG.  Withdrawn 01/03/2011.

G-AVNS  28-4129  Hamble Aug 1967  May 1984  Currently at Bournemouth (EGHH).

G-AVNT  28-4145  Hamble Aug 1967  Jul 1984  Taken to Kansas, U.S.  Scrapped 11/07/1983.

G-AVNU  28-4153  Hamble Aug 1967  1982      Currently at Lydd (EGMD).

 

G-AVNV  28-4206  Hamble Aug 1967  Jul 1984  Taken to Kansas, U.S.  Scrapped 11/07/1983.

G-AVNW  28-4210  Hamble Aug 1967  1984      Currently at Popham (EGHP).

 

PA-28-180E

REG.    CON No.  Purchased        Sold      Notes

G-AXZC  28-5700  Hamble Mar 1970  -         Destroyed in mid-air collision with G-AVBJ, Warsash, 30/04/1981.

G-AXZD  28-5609  Hamble Mar 1970  May 1984  Currently based in Hertfordshire.

G-AXZE  28-5676  Hamble Mar 1970  Jul 1984  Went to United States.

G-AXZF  28-5688  Hamble Mar 1970  Jan 1983  Went to Carill Aviation, Southampton (EGHI).  Re-registered as G-OAYJ.  Destroyed May 2018.

G-AYAA  28-5799  Hamble Mar 1970  Jan 1983  Re-registered as G-LFSG.

 

G-AYAB  28-5804  Hamble Mar 1970  Jan 1983  -

G-AYAP  28-5794  Hamble May 1970  Jan 1983  Re-registered as G-GALA, then G-OTTK.  Currently at Southend (EGMC).

G-AYAR  28-5797  Hamble May 1970  Jun 1984  Currently at Southend (EGMC).

G-AYAS  28-5800  Hamble May 1970  May 1984  Re-registered as G-GRUB.  Permanently withdrawn from use 10/01/1991.

G-AYAT  28-5801  Hamble May 1970  Nov 1983  Currently at Seething (EGSJ).

 

G-AYAU  28-5802  Hamble Jun 1970  Nov 1983  Re-registered as G-ONET.  Currently at Gloucester (EGBJ).

G-AYAV  28-5803  Hamble Jun 1970  May 1984  Re-registered as G-DTLR, then G-SROY.  Currently at Norwich (EGSH).

G-AYAW  28-5805  Hamble Jun 1970  May 1984  Currently at White Waltham (EGLM).

G-AYBK  28-5806  Hamble Jun 1970  Jul 1984  Re-registered as G-TEMP.

G-AYBT  28-5809  Hamble Jul 1970  Jul 1984  Taken to U.S.  Status unknown.

 

G-AYEE  28-5813  Hamble Jul 1970  May 1984  Re-registered as G-JMIA, currently at Kidlington (EGTK).

G-AYEF  28-5815  Hamble Jul 1970  May 1983  Currently at Barton (EGBC).

 

The above list was made with the help of Dave Rowe and Ian Haskell (Hamble Cherokee's, Facebook group).

 

Piper Cherokee

A head-on view of College Piper Cherokee 'G-AVAY' parked outside the main hangar.  (Click on the picture to view a larger version of this photograph, use the 'Back' button on your browser to return to this page.)
Photo: Derek Haselden

Piper Cherokee

Another view of the same aircraft (previous picture) seen from the front and side.  (Click on the picture to view a larger version of this photograph, use the 'Back' button on your browser to return to this page.)
Photo: Derek Haselden

Piper Cherokees

A view of three Piper Cherokees parked on the apron in front of the main hangar; 'G-AVBH', 'G-AYAV', plus one other (registration unknown).  Note the all white livery which was changed to red and white later on.  (Click on the picture to view a larger version of this photograph, use the 'Back' button on your browser to return to this page.  The full size version of this photo may be accessed by using the following link... Large photo.)
Photo: Don Eaves.

Piper Cheroke 'G-AXZD'

A picture of a former Hamble Piper Cherokee 'G-AXZD', now in private hands, still flying, still in good condition.  (Click on the picture to view a larger version of this photograph, use the 'Back' button on your browser to return to this page.)
Photo: Geoff Whitmore.

Piper Cheroke 'G-AXZD' panel

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The instrument/control panel of former Hamble Piper Cherokee 'G-AXZD'.  Those of you who flew Hamble aircraft will notice that the panel is almost unchanged since it's Hamble days.  (Click on the picture to view a larger version of this photograph, use the 'Back' button on your browser to return to this page.)
Photo: Geoff Whitmore.


Beechcraft Baron
The largest aircraft type used by the College of Air Training, of which there were 12, was the Beechcraft Baron model D55.  (The Beechcraft Baron replaced the Piper Apache used by the College during the late 60's.)  The Baron was a 6-seater aircraft (up to 2 pilots and 4 passengers) powered by two Teledyne Continental IO-520 flat 6-cylinder, fuel injected engines rated at 285hp.  The maximum speed of the plane was about 240mph with a range of about 1500 miles.  It had retractable undercarriage, an unpressurised cabin and was fitted with de-icing equipment.

 

Beechcraft Baron B55

First flown: 1960

Seats: 6, 2 front, 2 middle, 2 rear. (College Baron's had the 2 rear seats removed.)

Engines: 2 x Teledyne Continental IO-520, flat-6-cylinder, air cooled, fuel injected.

Length:   29 ft, 10 in   Empty weight:   3570 lb   Max speed:  239 mph

Wingspan: 37 ft, 10 in   Max T/O weight: 5500 lb   Range:     1575 nm

Height:    9 ft,  9 in   Payload:         700 lb   Thrust:     570 hp

 

The Baron's that were used by the College bore the following registrations:

G-AWAD, G-AWAE, G-AWAF, G-AWAG, G-AWAH, G-AWAI, G-AWAJ, G-AWAK, G-AWAL, G-AWAM, G-AWAN, G-AWAO.

 

HISTORY

G-AWAD  came to Hamble March 1968, sold December 1983.  Re-registered as G-MOSS, Jersey.  Later based at Elstree.  Now in Portugal.

G-AWAE  came to Hamble March 1968, sold May 1984.  Re-registered at 9J-MJS, Zambia.

G-AWAF  came to Hamble March 1968, sold July 1984.

G-AWAG  came to Hamble March 1968, sold June 1984.

G-AWAH  came to Hamble March 1968, sold ?

G-AWAI  came to Hamble March 1968, sold August 1982.

G-AWAJ  came to Hamble March 1968, sold June 1984.

G-AWAK  came to Hamble March 1968, sold June 1984.

G-AWAL  came to Hamble March 1968, sold July 1984.

G-AWAM  came to Hamble March 1968, sold July 1984.

G-AWAN  came to Hamble March 1968, sold July 1984.

G-AWAO  came to Hamble March 1968, sold May 1984.

 

Beechcraft Baron

A head-on view of Beechcraft Baron 'G-AWAF'.  (Click on the picture to view a larger version of this photograph, use the 'Back' button on your browser to return to this page.)
Photo: Derek Haselden

Beechcraft Baron

A side-on view of the same aircraft ('G-AWAF').  This plane had recently undergone extensive repair after a wheels-up landing.  (Click on the picture to view a larger version of this photograph, use the 'Back' button on your browser to return to this page.)
Photo: Derek Haselden

Beechcraft Baron

Ex-Hamble Beechcraft Baron 'G-AWAD', now re-registered as 'G-MOSS'.  This picture shows her as seen at Elstree aerodrome, Herts. in 2004.  (This aircraft is now based in Portugal apparently.)  I was lucky enough to fly in this aircraft shortly before this photo was taken - ah, nostalgia isn't what it used to be!  My thanks to the owner, Alberto Camisa, for inviting me to see and fly in 'one of my babies' some 22 years after I'd last seen her.  (Click on the picture to view a larger version of this photograph, use the 'Back' button on your browser to return to this page.)
Photo: Derek Haselden

Beechcraft Baron

Former Hamble Beechcraft Baron 'G-AWAH' as seen at Duxford recently.  (Click on the picture to view a larger version of this photograph, use the 'Back' button on your browser to return to this page.)
Photo: Derek Squires.

Beechcraft Baron

The same aircraft as the photo above but this time as seen during the 70's/80's at Hamble.  (Click on the picture to view a larger version of this photograph, use the 'Back' button on your browser to return to this page.)
Photo: John Russell.

Beechcraft Baron

Ex-Hamble Beechcraft Baron now re-registered as '9J-MJS' (formerly 'G-AWAE').  This aircraft was flown down to Zambia by the current owner, himself a former Hamble student.  (Click on the picture to view a larger version of this photograph, use the 'Back' button on your browser to return to this page.)
Photo: Stephen Leniston.

The plane was equipped with a comprehensive avionics suite and was thus able to fly under Instrument Flying Rules (IFR).  It made routine training flights all over England and occasional trips to the Channel Islands and Dinard in France.  It was a quick plane and I always remember it for its distinctive engine sound and the fuel consumption: At take-off power it was not unusual to see the fuel-flow gauges register up to 24 gallons per hour - per engine!  Fortunately this would drop to about 10 to 15 during the cruise phase of flight.  I did hear that some of these were eventually dismantled after the planes were auctioned off in 1984 and shipped to the United States for reassembly and reused.  Perhaps someone can confirm that?

 

A list detailing the aircraft used by the College, including those taken over from Air Service Training in June 1960 was kindly given to me by Tony Sedgwick.  The list includes: date to Hamble, registration, previous identity, type, and remarks.  Again, like the military residents list I had toyed with the idea of reproducing the entire list on this page but since it covers 3 sides of A4 paper...  If you would like a copy please let me know.

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HAMBLE AERODROME - 20+ YEARS ON

Very little remains of Hamble aerodrome today.  The grassed area is still intact though heavily overgrown and still forms one of the largest, flat, open areas locally.  However, nothing remains of the apron, hangars, school, or other buildings - all swept aside by 'progress'.  One of the many upshots of this webpage has been the amount of feedback I get, some from former employees, students, pilots, and aviators alike.  One such occasion was August 2005 when I was invited to fly over Hamble. The following photos show some of that 'flip'...

 

Popham based PA-22 'G-ARCC'

Popham based PA-22 'G-ARCC' (Piper Caribbean), shared aircraft that was my ride, flown by Mike Vernon, flight kindly arranged by John Grover.  We flew south from Popham and headed towards Bishops Waltham and Fareham.  Once given permission to penetrate part of Southampton air traffic zone we were able to circle over Hamble before flying back to Popham.  (Click on the picture to view a larger version of this photograph, use the 'Back' button on your browser to return to this page.)
Photo: Derek Haselden

Approaching Hamble

Photo taken from about 1500 feet, flying roughly south, looking west.  The River Hamble is visible in the foreground.  The airfield is the large green expanse at centre, Southampton Water is in the distance running left to right with Southampton Waterside area beyond.  (Click on the picture to view a larger version of this photograph, use the 'Back' button on your browser to return to this page.)
Photo: Derek Haselden

Overhead Hamble

The airfield is at centre of the photo, this view looking north, north west.  Hamble village is at bottom left, Southampton is in the distance at top left, River Hamble at bottom right.  (Click on the picture to view a larger version of this photograph, use the 'Back' button on your browser to return to this page.)
Photo: Derek Haselden

Overhead Hamble

Looking down at the site where the hangars, apron, and control tower used to be, now covered with housing.  The dark green line running from centre left to centre top is Hamble Lane.  Bisecting the view running roughly up/down is a pale green/brown line running along the edge of the field and the housing, this is the former goods line that ran to and from the BP Depot.  Those familiar with the area may be able to make out other features.  (Click on the picture to view a larger version of this photograph, use the 'Back' button on your browser to return to this page.)
Photo: Derek Haselden

Approaching Popham

Towards the end of a nostalgic flight, on return to and approaching Popham, shortly before landing.  (Click on the picture to view a larger version of this photograph, use the 'Back' button on your browser to return to this page.)
Photo: Derek Haselden

 

All in all a very enjoyable and nostalgic flight.  I was quite gratified that over 20 years on I was still able to pick out the airfield about 10 miles out approaching from the north.  Many landmarks stood out as visual references almost forgotten over time but suddenly being recalled to guide the way.  I have often said that you've never really flown until you've flown in a light aircraft.  Time and again a light aircraft has provided me with an unforgettable thrill and the flight over Hamble was no exception.

 

Much as I enjoyed that day out I have to say that it was tinged with sadness.  Mike Vernon, the pilot, said that he'd flown over that area many times and would never have known that there was a historic airfield at Hamble.  Indeed, it was only my knowledge of the area that provided clues as to where it was.  As you can see from the above photos there is virtually no sign that Hamble Aerodrome ever existed.  I'm not sure what to feel about flying over the ghost of 'EGHM' - it was both exciting and a letdown.  The march of progress is unrelenting and things do change, sometimes for the better, sometimes not.  What do you think?

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ENDNOTES AND LINKS

I am still amazed at the amount of interest this page has generated.  Since posting this page on the internet in about 2002 I have been contacted by many people who worked or learned to fly at Hamble as well as receiving mail from all over the world.  To visit the site of the former airfield one would hardly guess what was there not so very long ago.  This page will hopefully keep those memories alive for people who have a connection to Hamble's aviation history.  As is the norm with this kind of page there were many useful sources of information who helped me write this webpage...

 

Firstly, my thanks to Dave Fagan who generously allowed me to use text and pictures from his expansive website about Aviation in Hampshire.  Some of the chronological history written on this page comes courtesy of him as do three black and white photo's further up on this page.  Also, he has an extensive list of aircraft accidents that have taken place in Hampshire, some of which appear further up on this page.

 

Thanks go to Tony Sedgwick who kindly allowed me to use text from his webpage about Hamble's Airfields.  Some of the chronological history written on this page comes courtesy of him. That page is part of Hamble Local History Society's website. Tony also provided me with copious references to other aircraft based at Hamble from the interwar year up to the closure of Hamble.

 

More thanks go to Don Eaves of Solent Aviation Society who gave me several useful pointers in my search for information.  Don has also subsequently dug up some further information about aircraft that had connections with Hamble as well as providing me with some pictures of College of Air Training aircraft.  Some of these pictures appear further up this page.

 

I am also indebted to Rod Brown for supplying several pictures of de Havilland Chipmunks used at Hamble.  His extensive website detailing the history and many other things concerning this famous training aircraft can be seen by using the following link.  It is appropriately entitled 'Chipmunk Flyer'!

 

Thanks also to: Dave Summers, John Russell, Derek Squires, Stephen Leniston, Phil Nelson, John Richards, Keith Willsher for providing some photos.  Hamble-Le-Rice Parish Council were very helpful in directing me to sources of information.  Their office in Memorial Hall, High Street, Hamble-Le-Rice has an excellent archive of pictures relating to Hamble aviation and the village itself.

 

Another round of thanks to John Grover and Mike Vernon from Popham Flying Group for arranging and flying me over Hamble in August 2005.

 

The photograph of the Avro Avian (and Bert Hinkler) flown by him on his record breaking flight from England to Australia was kindly supplied by the Hinkler House Memorial Museum, Bundaberg, Australia.

 

For those of you interested in reading more about aviation in Hampshire a book I think worth buying is "Hampshire Airfields in the Second World War" by Robin Brooks (ISBN 1 85306 414 9) published by Countryside Books.  There is a short section about Hamble within.

 

If you like quality photos of aircraft a website you might like to visit is Asian Aviation Photography run by David Riley.  This site features exceptionally high quality portrait prints for sale of a wide variety of aircraft.  Despite the name, Asian Aviation Photography offers pictures of aircraft from all over the world.

 

A comprehensive account of the College of Air Training has been written by former Hamble student and later British Airways pilot Captain Stuart Logan.  'The CAT and the Hamsters' is available from Bookworld Wholesale (ISBN 9780953868919).

 

 

And that's it really.  Thank you, all of you.  I don't imagine for a second that this is a complete history, nor was it intended to be.  If, however, anyone reading this page happens to know of any additional bits and pieces worth adding, or should you see any errors please do let me know, I'll be happy to add/correct them.
Derek Haselden

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