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Cardington

Major
Also known as: Bedford / RAF Cardington
County: Bedfordshire
Current Status: Aviation / Housing / Industry
Date: 1917 - 1 January 2000; subsequent limited use to present
Current Use: Limited flying
Used By: RAF / Civil
Landing Surface Types: Unpaved
Prominent People: Sir Sefton Brancker / Lord Thomson

The following organisations are either based at, use and/or have at least potentially significant connections with the airfield (as at 01/09/2011):

  • 134 (Bedford) Squadron ATC
  • Cardington Parish Council
  • Eastcotts Parish Council
  • Frontier Estates
  • Hybrid Air Vehicles

Main unit(s) present:

  • No 1 Balloon Repair Depot
  • No 2 Aircraft Storage Unit
  • No 2 RAF Depot
  • No 2 Recruit Receiving Centre
  • No 4 Aviation Candidates Selection Board
  • No 7 Aviation Candidates Selection Board
  • No 9 Aviation Candidates Selection Board
  • No 14 Joint Services Trials Unit
  • No 19 Aviation Candidates Selection Board
  • No 25 MU
  • No 26 MU
  • No 102 'P' Balloon Flight
  • No 102 Personnel Dispersal Centre
  • No 104 'P' Balloon Flight
  • No 172 Personnel Transit Centre
  • No 217 MU
  • No 244 MU
  • No 260 (Balloon) Wing
  • No 912 (Balloon) Sqn
  • No 914 (Balloon) Sqn
  • No 924 (Balloon) Sqn
  • No 931 (Balloon) Sqn
  • No 954 (Balloon) Sqn
  • No 955 (Balloon) Sqn
  • No 956 (Balloon) Sqn
  • No 957 (Balloon) Sqn
  • No 958 (Balloon) Sqn
  • No 959 (Balloon) Sqn
  • No 963 (Balloon) Sqn
  • No 965 (Balloon) Sqn
  • No 967 (Balloon) Sqn
  • No 970 (Balloon) Sqn
  • No 971 (Balloon) Sqn
  • No 972 (Balloon) Sqn
  • No 973 (Balloon) Sqn
  • No 974 (Balloon) Sqn
  • No 975 (Balloon) Sqn
  • No 976 (Balloon) Sqn
  • No 986 (Balloon) Sqn
  • No 990 (Balloon) Sqn
  • No 1440 Flight
  • No 2802 Sqn RAF Regiment
  • Ferry Flight, Cardington
  • Polish Balloon Unit
  • Training Aids Development Flight

Footage of the Mayfly airship at Barrow-in-Furness and a R101 airship at Cardington, 1911 and c. 1930s. Courtesy of HuntleyFilmArchives

The R100 airship completing a successful flight to a mooring post at Cardington, 1929. Courtesy of British Pathé

The R100 Airship at Cardington, 1930. Courtesy of British Pathé

The Graf Zeppelin arrives at Cardington, 1930. Courtesy of British Pathé 

RAF Cardington receiving the Freedom of Bedford, 1959. Courtesy of British Pathé

Aerial footage of Cardington, c. January 2016. Courtesy of Crazy Places

© 2017 ABCT All rights reserved.
Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust is registered in England and Wales. Registered Office: 20-22 Bedford Row, London WC1R 4JS.
Registered Company No. 08940364. Registered Charity No (England and Wales): 1156877. Registered Charity No (Scotland): SC041123