Dipper. See below.
History of the Airfield
Henstridge Airfield was a wartime Fleet Air Arm training airfield. Work started on the airfield in 1941, but it was not until April 1943 that it was Commissioned as HMS Dipper. Seafires, Spitfires and Masters operated here until the end of the war.
The airfield became relief landing ground for RNAS Yeovilton, slowly running down until finally passing out of MOD ownership in 1957.
In 1953, Alan Bristow established Air Whaling Limited at the airfield, flying Dragonfly, Hiller and Westland S55 helicopters. In 1955 he set up Bristow helicopters Ltd, also at Henstridge operating four Widgeons in the Gulf on oil exploration. Bristows departed for Redhill in 1958.
The MoD then sold the old airfield in lots but there has hardly been a time since commissioning in 1943 when flying in one form or another has not taken place at the airfield.
Of the original five runways, only one -07/25 - survives. A tarmac runway in good condition 750m long by 26m wide.
The Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance and the Yakovlevs formation display team are based at the airfield.
The Wessex Strut of the PFA, have been holding fly-ins here since the seventies, and the airfield has become their adopted headquarters.
THE PRESENT/THE FUTURE
At present, the airfield operates from serviceable, but somewhat time-worn buildings pending a move - when funds permit - into new purpose built accommodation. Although the present accommodation might be a little rough about the edges, the atmosphere in the clubhouse always attracts favourable comment as a friendly and welcoming venue.
A new build of a number of hangars has recently been completed, offering much sought after covered accommodation for resident aircraft. All vacancies are presently taken, but if you would like to talk about the hangars, outdoor parking or future projects, please telephone Ops - 01963.364231 - to discuss.
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