RAF Scampton


RAF Scampton

Infobox Airport
name = RAF Scampton
nativename =
nativename-a =
nativename-r =


image-width =
caption =
IATA = SQZ
ICAO = EGXP
type = Military
owner =
operator = Royal Air Force
city-served =
location = Scampton
elevation-f = 202
elevation-m = 62
coordinates = Coord|53|18|28|N|000|33|03|W|type:airport
website =
metric-elev =
metric-rwy =
r1-number = 04/22
r1-length-f = 8,990
r1-length-m = 2,740
r1-surface = Asphalt
stat-year =
stat1-header =
stat1-data =
stat2-header =
stat2-data =
footnotes =

RAF Scampton Airport codes|SQZ|EGXP is a Royal Air Force station situated north of Lincoln in England, near the village of Scampton, on the site of an old World War I landing field.

World War II

The Dambusters, 617 Squadron, were first formed at RAF Scampton. It was from Scampton that Wing Commander Guy Gibson, in Operation Chastise, led the attack on the dams in the Ruhr Valley, for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross. The grave of his dog, run over and killed the day before Operation Chastise, can still be seen.

Postwar

For many years a bomber was gate guardian at Scampton, along with the large bouncing and Grand Slam bombs they had carried, but this first Lancaster was moved to the RAF museum at Hendon. Later, another restored Lancaster, repatriated from a French island in the South Pacific, took its place. This later Lancaster, "Just Jane NX611", is now at the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre at the former RAF East Kirkby.

In the late 1950s, due to rebuilding work, the gate guardian – then a Grand Slam bomb – had to be moved. Efforts to lift it with a crane proved futile, as it was heavier than expected. Upon closer examination, it was discovered to be still filled with live explosives. It was cautiously trucked away and detonated on a test range. It is unclear when or how a live bomb managed to be put on display, but it seems that it was in place for well over a decade. [cite web|last=|first=|url=http://www.gunnies.pac.com.au/gallery/grand_slam.htm |date=|format=html|title=Australian Armourers Association |work=|accessdate=2008-05-16|publisher=]

Scampton is also famous as being the home of the Vulcan Bomber during the Cold War period of the 1950s and 60s. Vulcans were the launch platform for the UK's airborne nuclear deterrent, primarily through the carriage of Blue Steel missiles and WE.177 bombs. It was because of the Vulcans that Scampton got permission to divert an almost 2,000 year old Roman road from its straight north/south track in order to extend the runway. You can still see the eastward bulge in the A15 road due north of Lincoln.

Recent developments

The RAF Central Flying School (CFS) moved to Scampton, and the base was home to Red Arrows aerobatic team. In the mid 1990s, Scampton was mothballed under the Front Line First programme, with the CFS moving to nearby RAF Cranwell. Scampton, however, continued to be used as overflow from RAF Waddington. More recently, the Red Arrows moved back to Scampton to free space at Cranwell, and they are the only permanent users of the airfield.

As part of a reorganisation, Air Combat Service Support units of 2 Group and personnel from RAF Boulmer and elsewhere were planning to move to Scampton, making its future more secure. However due to problems with money (there was none to do up the infrastructure) these units have moved to RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire instead, and Scampton is likely to be disposed of by the end of the decade.

RAF Scampton is now the home of Control and Reporting Centre Scampton, the Mobile Met Unit in addition to RAFAT (Red Arrows). This then provides a heady mix of Fighter Controllers, Reservists and Aircrew. It has administrative control over a satellite site, RAF Kirton-in-Lindsey, 15-miles to the North of the Scampton site. RAF Kirton-in-Lindsey is the home of No.1 Air Control Centre, the main operational unit for Fighter Controllers and Aerospace Systems Operators in the RAF. Operators usually train at the Control and Reporting Centres of Boulmer and Scampton before putting the training into practice at 1ACC or on E3 Sentry Aircraft.

It has been announced that during Peter Jackson's remake of the 1954 film Dambusters a portion of the film making will take place at RAF Scampton.

Reference Source

*Bruce Barrymore Halpenny "Action Stations: Wartime Military Airfields of Lincolnshire and the East Midlands v. 2" (ISBN 978-0850594843)

ee also

*List of RAF stations

References

External links

* [http://www.raf.mod.uk/reds/scampton.html RAF Scampton history]
*WAD|EGXP


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