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  RAF College Cranwell
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> RAF Bases

Interactive map
Full list of locations

Alma Park
Anwick
Bardney
Barkston Heath
Belton Park
Binbrook
Blankney Hall
Blyton
Boston Wyberton Fen
Bottesford
Bracebridge Heath
Braceby
Buckminster
Bucknall
Caistor
Cockthorne
Coleby Grange
Coningsby
Cranwell
Cuxwold
Digby
Donna Nook
Dunholme Lodge
East Halton
East Kirkby
Elsham Wolds
Faldingworth
Fiskerton
Folkingham
Freiston
Fulbeck
Gosberton
Goxhill
Grantham
Greenland Top
Grimsby
Grimsthorpe Park
Harlaxton
Hemswell
Hibaldstow
Holbeach
Humberston
Immingham
Ingham
Ingoldmels
Kelstern
Killingholme
Kirmington
Kirton in Lindsey
Langtoft
Leadenham
Lincoln West Common
Ludford Magna
Manby
Market Deeping
Market Stainton
Mere
Metheringham
Moorby
Morton Hall
New Holland
Nocton Hall
Normanby
North Coates
North Killingholme
North Witham
Norton Disney
Orby
Rauceby
Saltby
Sandtoft
Scampton
Skegness
Skellingthorpe
Skendleby
South Carlton
South Elkington
South Witham
Spilsby
Spitalgate
Stenigot
Strubby
Sturgate
Sutton Bridge
Swinderby
Swinstead
Theddlethorpe
Tydd St Mary
Waddington
Wainfleet
Waltham (Grimsby)
Wellingore
Wickenby
Wigsley
Winterton
Woodhall Spa

Updated: 7 Oct 12

Opened: 1 Apr 1916

became RAF College in 1929

Closed: still an active RAF station

Airfield code :: CE, CP

ICAO Code :: MWXO > EGYD

Airfield call sign ::

Squadrons based here:

Target Marker Force ::

12 SFTS ::

Central Flying School :: 1995 - present

RAFC Cranwell started life as Royal Naval Air Station Daedalus on 1 Apr 1916. It was responsible for training centrally naval officers to fly BE2C, Sopwith Pup, Maurice Farman, F7, airships and observer kite balloons. It was selected as it had plenty of real estate, was close to the proposed east coast Naval Air Station locations and no nearby terrain features to guide enemy aircraft to its location.

Farmland that was part of the Earl of Bristol’s estate was purchased in 1914 by the Admiralty for the purpose of constructing the aerodrome to serve as a centralised training centre for seaplanes, balloons and airships by the RNAS. It was selected for three reasons, room for expansion, close to proposed east coast postings and no outstanding natural features that would guide enemy aircraft to it. The RNAS base was named HMS Daedalus, and was opened on 1st April 1916.

After an aerial survey of the South Lincolnshire coastline, a suitable site for a bombing and gunnery range for the new RNAS Flying School at Cranwell was selected on the mud flats to the south of the village of Freiston.

After the Great War and the creation of the RAF, Cranwell was chosen as the site of the Cadet College and RAF College Cranwell began to train cadets on 5 Feb 1920. This was also the year that the only Royal Air Force Hospital in the county opened at Cranwell, not being joined by RAF Nocton Hall Hospital until 1940.

RAF Cranwell's football team played at a creditable level between the wars. For details on their performance read their separate history page.

A wartime course, ETS Course 174B is pictured in the Cranwell photo section.

The first jet-powered aircraft to fly in the UK took flight from Cranwell on 15 May 1941, designed by Frank Whittle.

Nearby South Rauceby is home to the Cranwell Aviation Heritage Centre. See the memorials page.

The Viking Way long-distance footpath passes to the west of the College at Byard's Leap on High Dyke (Ermine Street).

location of RAFC Cranwell in relation to Lincolnshire - click here for full-size map showing all station locations

RAFC Cranwell

Cranwell photos

Footballing history

RAFC Cranwell memorials

RAFC Cranwell photos

Buy the local map:
click to buy on Amazon.co.uk1:25 000 (detail)
click to buy on Amazon.co.uk1:50 000 (area)

"spotters' guide" to RAFC Cranwell

Cranwell page on UK MILITARY SPOTTING

Aviation Heritage Lincolnshire
(Tourism)

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