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Encyclopedia > RAF Aldergrove
Aldergrove Crest
USAF C-17 operating from Aldergrove in support of U.S. Presidential visit, 2003. Credit Ulster Aviation Society

RAF Aldergrove is Royal Air Force station situated 18 miles north-west of Belfast. It adjoins Belfast International Airport, sometimes referred to simply as Aldergrove which is the name of the surrounding area. The station shares the Aldergrove runways but has its own separate facilities and helipad.

RAF Aldergrove first opened in 1918 but was not designated as an operational RAF station until 1925. Aldergrove’s location made it an important station during the Second World War of RAF Coastal Command in the Battle of the Atlantic. From the base long range reconnaissance aircraft were able to patrol the Eastern Atlantic for U-Boats.

Aldergrove was designated as a dispersal airfield for the RAF's V bomber force in the 1950s and was included in a reduced list of 26 airfields in 1962. In 1968 a maintenance unit (No.23 MU) for the F-4 Phantom in RAF service was established at Aldergrove, with 116 aircraft passing through on their way to front line service.

No. 72 Squadron operated Puma and Wessex helicopters from Aldergrove from 1991 until its disbandment in 2002.

Aldergrove is now home to a mixed force of helicopters, which operate across the province in support of the British Army and Police Service of Northern Ireland.


Notable military aircraft which have visited Aldergrove

  • USAF aircraft operating un suuport of U.S. Presidental visits to Northern Ireland.
  • RAF Vickers VC10s and Lockheed Tristars in support of the RAF and Army presence.
  • Various NATO aircraft for Squadron celebration, etc.

See also

  Results from FactBites:
UK Cold War:RAF Bases (3918 words)
RAF Northolt was one of the key airfields in the Defence of London during the Battle of Britain.
RAF Pembrey Sands is a bombing and firing range and is adjacent to the old Pembrey airfield on the south Wales Coast.
RAF Saxa Vord in the Shetland Islands has had an association with the Royal Air force since 1957 when it became a Radar Station, today it is a Control and Reporting Post as part of the United kingdom Air surveillance and Control system giving warning of any aircraft approaching from the North.
Belfast International Airport - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (607 words)
It is also known as Aldergrove, after the village of that name lying immediately to the west of the airport.
With the end of the war, Aldergrove remained open for Royal Air Force aircraft and for the fledgling civil traffic to and from Northern Ireland.
The route was Glasgow to Aldergrove and the flight was operated by Midland and Scottish Air Ferries.
  More results at FactBites »



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