Trafford Park

Validation date: 23 08 2012
Updated on: Never
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53°28'11"N 002°18'53"W

runway: grass flying field

Trafford Park Aerodrome was an airfield 265 kilometers northwest of London.
The airfield was built in 1911 as the first purpose built airfield in the Manchester araa. The first known use of the airfield was on 7 July 1911 when Henry Melly flew a passenger from Waterloo (near Liverpool) to Trafford for lunch with A.V. Roe (founder of the Avro aircraft company). For the occasion, white sheets had been laid out to mark the position of the landing area. The return flight marked the first heavier-than-air flight out of Manchester. At the end of July, the remaining competitors in a 'Round Britain Air Race' reached Trafford Park from Edinburgh via Carlisle to be greeted by a large crowd of spectators.
On 20 June 1914, the aerodrome was the turning point for a Hendon-Birmingham-Manchester and return air race, witnessed by 100,000 people. Later the airfield saw too little use and consequently it closed during 1918. Within only a few years it was built over with an industrial site.


Trafford Park in 1924, only 6 years after the airfield closed. The airfield had been located between the small lake and the words Trafford Park on the map (Wikipedia)
 
The aviation history of Trafford Park did not end with the closure of the airfield however. Trafford Park was largely turned over to the production of war materiel during the Second World War. Aircraft were built there, such as the Avro Manchester and Avro Lancaster heavy bombers, as well as the Rolls-Royce Merlin engines used to power the Spitfire, Hurricane, Mosquito and the Lancaster. By war's end, 34,000 engines had been made by Ford, under licence, by over 17,000 workers employed in a purpose-built factory. The wood-working factory of F. Hills & Sons built over 800 Percival Proctor aircraft for the RAF between 1940 and 1945, which were flight tested at the nearby Barton Aerodrome (todays Manchester City Airport).

The flight of Henry Melly was re-enacted a 100 years later on 7 July 2011 when four light aircraft flew in formation from Liverpool Airport via Waterloo to overhead the Trafford Park airfield site. Today, the area is completely built over with an industrial area. No traces of the former airfield remain.


No photos or maps of the airfield while in use could be located