Haldon Aerodrome Lat/Long N50.34.38/W03.31.54 ... 770ft AMSL
Landing area 2,700 ft x 1,140ft...RUNWAYS:Grass/heather.
Runways in 1946: 00/18 900 x 145 yds. 05/23 695 x 150yds. 14/32 500 x 150 yds.
According to Flight 4th Oct 1928..."A landing circle was marked out and also the name " Haldon " in 16-ft. letters. The good landing area was also being marked out by means of a broken line of white flints—sections 3 ft. wide by 7 ft. long with a space of 10 ft. between each section." A corrugated iron shed capable of housing two aircraft was built.
The first arrival was his own Avian III aircraft ,G-EBXO which arrived in May 1928. In June the new airfield opened for business and by the end of 1928 was thriving , with many pupils learning to fly , including Whitney Straight- later to become founder of the Straight corporation which ran a number of aerodromes and small airlines in the pre-World war 2 period.
The aerodrome was officially opened on 21 Sept 1929 with a Flying Meeting that was to become an annual event.The festivities were not without drama .
Mr A Rowson , flying his Cierva C.17-III autogiro,G-AAGL was caught by a gust of wind and made a "heavy landing" . The aircraft was written off although Mr Rowson survived intact.
Commercial services commenced on 12th April 1933 with The Great Western Railway service between Cardiff, Haldon (for Torbay) and Plymouth using Westland Wessex of Imperial Airways.
In November 1933 Provincial Airways commenced services , followed by Railway Air services in May 1934, however a poor weather record (being high on the moors)meant that services eventually left for the new Exeter airport in 1937.
Air days continued and a fair amount of general aviation business kept the field busy throughout the prewar years. In the summer of 1937 the Devon Gliding Club arrived which added to the activities.In 1938 the Straight Corporation(Whitney Straight) took over the running of Haldon and this remained the situation until WW2 commenced.
With the start of WWII the aerodrome was requisitioned by the Air Ministry and enlarged to take in some of the Golf Club property adjoining to the south .The Research Development Flight, engaged in developing balloon cable cutters and airfield rocket defences,arrived to make use of the facilities. . In August 1941, it became HMS Heron II,as a satellite station of RNAS Yeovilton, and was used as a base for target towing for air-to-air and surface firing practice over Lyme Bay.In addition an ATC Gliding School moved in.
After the end of the war the Navy left , followed in June 1946 by the Gliding School .
The map below shows the airfield as it was prior to the departure on the Navy.
Although some attempts were made to revive civil flying at the aerodrome they were unsuccessful and the site eventually reverted to open heath-land and the links of the Teignmouth Golf Club.Today little remains except for a few scraps of concrete amongst the bushes.
Below is a photo of a monument erected in 1998 at Haldon by the Teignmouth Museum and Historical Society.The position of the monument is marked by a red"+" on the picture at the top of this page.
Beneath the monument picture is a view across part of the airfield in November 2008.
|1940||Det 2,Research Dev Flt.||1941||.||.|
|Aug 44(?)||84 Gliding School ,ATC.||June 1946(?)||Dagling Primary(PD658),Cadet Mk1(TS305),Cadet Mk2(VM648)||Moved to Exeter.|
1928 Lease on 80 acres of heathlland at Haldon Moor obtained by Bill Parkhouse. 6th May 1928 First aircraft arrives...G-EBXO AVian III owned by Parkhouse. June 1928 Airfield useable, small hangar erected and a petrol pump installed 21 Sep 29 Official opening and Flying Meeting 21 Sep 1929 First Haldon Air Rallye(sic).Attended by Sir Sefton Brancker piloted by Mr. T. D. Bruce, in G-ADCA, 21 Jun 1930 Haldon Meeting(Rally) 5 Sept 1931 Haldon Meeting(Rally 27 June 1932 The Prince of Wales arrived at Haldon from Sunningdale from where he went by road to Brixham to christen the Torbay motor lifeboat "George Shee". 15 Aug 1932 Sir Alan Cobham's National Aviation Day display(annually thereafter) 1933 Services commenced by Air Despatch routing from Croydon and Portsmouth to Haldon and Plymouth 1933 Westcountry Air Services used a DH Dragon and Fox Moths until 1934 linking with Croydon, Southampton and Haldon 12 Apr 33 Commercial services commenced on 12th April 1933 with The Great Western Railway service between Cardiff, Haldon (for Torbay) and Plymouth using Westland Wessex of Imperial Airways. Nov 1933 Provincial Airways commence services 7 May 1934 Railway Air Services commence operations Roborough Aerodrome Plymouth, Haldon Aerodrome, Cardiff Airport, Castle Bromwich Aerodrome and Speke Aerodrome. Aircraft used was G-ACPX DH Dragon. 1937 Airlines depart to Exeter Airport. 24 July 1937 Devon Air Race Plymouth-Haldon -Exeter- Plymouth, Air displays at all three airports. 1937(summer) Devon Gliding club take up residence. 1938 Control of the Airport passes to the Straight Corporation. Sept 1939 WW2 conmmences - Civilain flying ceases. WW2 Aerodrome passes to RAF control 18 Aug 1941 Aerodrome passes to FAA as RNAS HMS Heron II. 1941 First landing by a Seafire piloted by Gordon Taylor. May 1943 Reduced to Care & Maintenance 17 Feb 1946 Aerodrome abandoned by FAA. June 1946 Last user (84 Gliding School) departs to Exeter. 1998 Memorial placed adjacent to Aerodrome by Teignmouth Museum and Historical Society