Lincolnshire Aviation & History

The History of Lincolnshire Aviation

Whilst much is known about the role played by the airfields of Lincolnshire during World War II, including the famous Dambuster’s Raid made by Guy Gibson and his 617 Squadron from RAF Scampton, what is less well known is that by the end of World War I, Lincoln had become a world leader in aircraft production.

Lincolnshire in the World War II

During World War II, Lincolnshire became known as “Bomber County” due to the fact that it was home to a large number of airfields – 49 airfields to be exact, which is more than any other county in England. The average distance between these airfields was 7.5 miles, with bomber stations typically taking up approximately 700 acres. The county was in the forefront of the allied air offensive and was home to 1 Group and 5 Group of the Bomber Command of the Royal Air Force.

The Lincolnshire-based bombers contributed heavily to many crucial attacks in the war against Germany including The Battle of the Barges (August 1940); The Augsburg Raid (April 17, 1942); Operation Robinson (October 17, 1942); Operation Millennium (May 30, 1942); The Dams Raid ‘Dambusters’ (May 16, 1943); The Battle of the Ruhr (1943-1944); The Numerburg Raid (March 30, 1944); The Battle of Berlin (1944-1945); and The Bochum Raid (November 4, 1944).

Aside from these undertakings of the Bomber Command, Lincolnshire was witness to the action of day and night fighters, anti-shipping strike and transport, as well as flying trainings.

Modern-Day Aviation

Today, Lincolnshire is the location of the Royal Air Force Central Flying School and the Royal Air Force Acrobatic Team “The Red Arrows”. The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, the RAF’s tribute to the aviators of World War II, is also held in the county and operates a Lancaster, five Spitfires, two Hurricanes, two Chipmunks and a Dakota. The Lincolnshire County Council and Royal Air Force partnership facilitates the viewing of these historic aircraft at their base at RAF Coningsby.

In addition to this, there are various aviation museums and heritage centres throughout the county of Lincolnshire that showcases restored airfield buildings, control towers and operations rooms, among others.

For more information on this, please visit our Lincolnshire modern aviation page.

Below is a list of Lincolnshire aviation museums, visitor centres and heritage centres.

Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Visitors Centre (BBMF)RAF BBMF Visitor’s Centre
Dogdyke Road
Coningsby, LN4 4SY
Telephone: 01522 782040
Website: www.raf.mod.uk/bbmf
Cranwell Aviation Heritage CentreNorth Rauceby
Near Cranwell
Sleaford, Lincolnshire
NG34 8QR
Telephone: 01529 488490
Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage CentreEast Kirkby Airfield
East Kirkby, near Spilsby
Lincolnshire
PE23 4DE
Telephone: 01790 763207
Website: www.lincsaviation.co.uk
Metheringham Airfield Visitors CentreWestmoor Farm, Martin Moor
Metheringham, Lincoln
LN4 3BQ
Telephone: 01526 378270
Website: www.metheringhamairfield.com
RAF Waddington Viewing EnclosureThe Sentry Post
Sleaford Road (A-15)
Waddington LN5 9EG
Telephone: 01522 720271
Website: www.raf.mod.uk/rafwaddington
RAF Wickenby Memorial MuseumWickenby Airfield
Near Langworth, Lincoln
LN3 5AX
Telephone: 01673 885000
Website: www.rafwmm.flyer.co.uk
Thorpe Camp Visitor CentreWoodhall Spa Road
Tattershall Thorpe
LN4 4PE
Telephone: 01526 342249
Website: www.thorpecamp.org.uk
Newark Air MuseumThe Airfield
Winthorpe, Newark
NG24 2NY
Telephone: 01636 707170
Website: www.newarkairmuseum.org
Scampton Historical MuseumRAF Scampton
Lincoln, Lincolnshire
LN1 2ST
Telephone: 01522 730376
Website: www.raf.mod.uk/rafscampton
RAF DigbySector Operations Room Museum
Scopwick, Lincolnshire
LN4 3LH
Telephone: 01526 327296
Grantham MuseumSt. Peter’s Hill
Grantham, Lincolnshire
NG3 1PY
Telephone: 01476 568783