Former RAF Upper Heyford, Cherwell, Oxfordshire

    SubTitle

    A reassessment of the flying field Conservation Area
    Former RAF Upper Heyford, Cherwell, Oxfordshire large image 1
        Paperback / softback

        Publication Date

        1 Nov 2017
        10728138
        10728138

        Main Summary

          RAF Upper Heyford was founded during the First World War and after a short period of abandonment was re-established during the 1920s under Trenchard’s scheme to provide permanent bases for the RAF. It was the exemplary airfield and the only one completed to the original design standards. During the Second World War the most significant change to the appearance of the airfield was the laying of concrete runways in a characteristic ‘A’ plan configuration. In the late 1940s the airfield was identified as one of a number that might accommodate United States bombers with the capability of attacking Eastern Europe with atomic weapons. To fulfil this role the airfield was extensively reconstructed, with a longer runway, more extensive aircraft parking areas, new bombs stores, specialist maintenance hangars, and an increase in domestic accommodation. During the 1960s its aircraft fulfilled a reconnaissance function regaining its nuclear deterrent role 1970. During the 1970s the airfield was again transformed through NATO’s airfield survival measures programme leading to the construction of numerous hardened structures. With the end of the Cold War the USAF departed in 1993. Today, its flying field is an increasingly rare example of an unaltered Cold War fast jet airbase.

          Additional Information

          Series

          Research Reports

          Author

          Wayne D. Cocroft

          Author Information

          Wayne D. Cocroft is an Historic Places Investigation Team Manager at Historic England.

          Publishing Status

          Active

          Size

          296mm

          Number of Illustrations

          23

          Number of Pages

          48

          ISBN

          9781848025103

          Contents

            INTRODUCTION
            Previous Research
            CONTEXTUAL RESEARCH
            Early History
            The 1950s – Strategic Air Command building for Mutually Assured Destruction
            The1970s – Flexible Response and the F111 era
            Airfield Survivability Measures
            The hardened landscape
            THE AIRFIELD AND ITS BUILDINGS
            The 1950s - Strategic Air Command and Mutually Assured Destruction
            Northern bomb stores
            Significance
            Southern bomb stores
            Significance
            The airfield in the F111 era
            Weather shelters – Quick Reaction Victor Alert
            Significance
            293 Simulator
            The hardened landscape
            Hardened Aircraft Shelters
            Significance
            Bulk fuel installations – POL Petroleum, Oil and Lubricating
            Significance
            Avionics building 299
            Significance
            Wing and squadron headquarters
            Significance
            Engine test cells and hush houses
            Significance
            ANALYSIS
            Pre-1945
            The Cold War
            The early 1950s – Strategic Air Command and the era of Mutually Assured Destruction
            The 1970s and 1980s – the era of Flexible Response
            F-111 deployment
            Visual character
            CONCLUSIONS
            SOURCES
            The National Archives
            Secondary
            APPENDIX 1
            Correlation between USAF aircraft deployed at Upper Heyford and the types of nuclear
            weapons they were cleared to carry.
            APPENDIX 2
            USAF Igloo bomb stores
            APPENDIX 3
            Board in building 126 Wing Headquarters detailing munitions allocated to the F-111s
            in the early 1990s
            APPENDIX 4
            Principal Airfields in England assigned

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