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Also known as: RAF Ripon / RFC Ripon / Ripon Racecourse
County: North Yorkshire
Current Status: Leisure activity
Date: January 1917 - 1920s
Current Use: Disused
Used By: RAF / RFC / Civil
Landing Surface Types: Unpaved
Aircraft Roles: Fighter / General aviation / Trainer

Contrary to what is thought elsewhere, the HQ of No 76 Squadron arrived at Ripon in the early autumn of 1916 but the landing ground itself did not emerge until the beginning of 1917. Royal Aircraft Factory BE2 and BE12 variants fighters of No 76 Squadron then had this more southerly part of the racecourse available to them for Home Defence duties, these aircraft being replaced by Bristol F2bs in 1918 which remained in service after the end of fighting. No 189 (Night) Training Squadron also formed here in December 1917 but moved to Sutton’s Farm the following April.

Eventually No 76 Squadron left Ripon too in March 1919, with the airfield seeing a drawn-out notification and confirmation of relinquishment process over the rest of that year. However, this was not the end of aviation as civil aircraft still used it as a landing ground during the 1920s, as did Sir Alan Cobham for his flying displays in the early 1930s.


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

  • Littlethorpe Parish Council
  • Ripon City Council
  • Ripon Historical Society and Family History Group
  • Ripon Library
  • Ripon Race Company Ltd

Main unit(s) present:

  • No 76 Sqn
  • No 189 (Night) TS
  • British Empire Air Display

Photographs of the plaque at Ripon I, 2017:




A watercolour of Ripon during the First World War. Courtesy of Ripon Races and Ripon Library


A watercolour of Ripon during the First World War. Courtesy of Ripon Races and Ripon Library


A de Havilland Gypsy Moth at Ripon, 1920s. Courtesy of Ripon Races and Ripon Library


An Airspeed AS.4 Ferry used by Sir Alan Cobham’s National Aviation Displays Ltd, 22 June 1932 when the display visited Ripon. Courtesy of Ripon Races and Ripon Library


Avro 504N of Leslie George Anderson, based at Hanworth in Greater London, 1935Courtesy of Ripon Races and Ripon Library


Looking north across the racecourse, 17 February 2008.


Ripon Racecourse, 29 August 2010.


Aerial photograph of Ripon Racecourse, 21 August 2016.


Plan of Ripon I. Courtesy of Ed Andrews

Home Defence Flight Station(s):

Catterick / Copmanthorpe / Helperby

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