For the uninitiated, Aberporth is on the West Coast of Wales on Cardigan Bay, in the UK, between Cardigan and Aberystwyth on the A487.
It can be “googled” five miles north of Cardigan
From it’s establishment in 1940, RAF Aberporth was the Support Station for all UK Armed Service Technicians who worked on Trials & Analysis of air defence weapons undergoing development at the nearby Royal Aircraft Establishment.
(Now MOD Aberporth)
Click the “Welcome Booklet” button for a snapshot of life as it was
on the RAF Station in 1973.
The sign above was one of two that stood at the entrance to the Camp until 1984.
It is now mounted inside 1429 Cardigan & Aberporth ATC Squadron Head Quarters.
It all started with World War Two.
From 1940 to 1984, this small RAF station was home to hundreds of RAF, Royal Navy and Army personnel on postings involved in weapons trials, from war time heavy guns to modern sophisticated missiles. The camp provided the accommodation and services needed to support the technical personnel who worked at the nearby Royal Aircraft Establishment missile range or on Royal Navy ships on trials in Cardigan Bay.
RAF Aberporth, along with the RAE, were once the largest employer in West Wales. Between them in the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s, the two sites employed up to 1,000 people . Much of the work was technical and highly skilled, in what was primarily a rural economy.
80% of that employment has now gone. Apart from the personnel still employed at the now named MOD Aberporth, and with little manufacturing, the local economy now depends on tourism more than ever before in the past seventy years. Even the RAE Apprenticeship scheme has gone.
The RAF camp was built in 1940 during World War 2, when quite a number of Spitfires and Hurricans were based here. A MORE COMPREHENSIVE STORY CAN BE FOUND ON OTHER PAGES.
The camp eventually closed down in 1984, and was demolished in 2004 to make way for a UAV centre of excellence. A common sound overhead in the Ceredigion skies now is the Watchkeeper Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. Locals call it a flying lawn mower because of the drone of it’s motor.
In December 2007 the first five million pound contract was signed for the testing of “Unmanned Aerial Vehicles” (or Drones) at Aberporth.
At 2015 there are still empty buildings awaiting occupants.
To save regular visitors trawling through pages to find any updates, they will be listed here as they are installed. ALL pages are being replaced and updated this autumn.
September 4th 2015
History of 1429 ATC Sqdn, and The ATC Air Display pages.
Much more to add yet of course.
Among the many pages on the site, you will find:
Station Head Quarters
<< Wherever you see this symbol on this site, it means you << can “Click” the image to enlarge it or to get more information.
In 2015-2016 it is hoped to continue with a comprehensive list of updates. Including:
* Continuing the History of the Royal Aircraft Establishment Aberporth and how firing trial results were analysed in the Bloodhound era.
* The RAE Range site from the air. Past and present. (Aerial photo’s and Google)
* The Swiss Air Force trials at Aberporth.
* Telemetry as used in Bloodhound Mk2. (In progress)
* How a trial was carried out. With a vintage sound recording.
* The Jindivik target drones and today’s replacements.
* The ATC at RAF Aberporth, and the amazing Air-Shows they organised with the Red Arrows and other spectacular displays, in the 1980’s. AND much much more besides.
* New visitors are advised that updating the site is done in my “spare time” after running a business, usually at night, so progress may seem deadly slow at times.
If YOU have anything you think I might add to the site please get in touch. Mike
LATEST NEWS BMPG Open Day September 12th 2015
The BMPG are having an Open Day at RAF Cosford on September 12th 2015, starting at 10AM. Interested in coming along? If you are please contact Peter Harry (below) and he will be in touch with further details.
The Open day is an opportunity to see the progress being made on the restoration of BMPG's Bloodhound MK2 LCP and Type 86 radar. The main achievement to date being the restoration of the Bloodhound simulator. BMPG's LCP is a MK2A Ser. No. 1022 which means the LCP went through the upgrade program in the late 1980's. The upgrade installed the more powerful Argus 700 which not only digitised the displays for the Engagement Controller and Technical Supervisor but also incorporated the simulator in to the operational LCP.
The restored simulator uses all the original LCP systems and RAF software. Our Type 86 radar hasn't been forgotten and work progresses on its external preservation.
Features of the Open Day will include:
➡ The opportunity to run simulator exercises in the LCP using the original RAF software (Tame Tech. Sup. provided
➡ View some original RAF films featuring Bloodhound MKII
➡ Meet others who served on Bloodhound MKII in the RAF or were involved in its design
➡ Make it a double and visit the RAF Museum at Cosford as well
Email Peter Harry, on: firstname.lastname@example.org to register by September 3rd 2015.
You NEED to register with Peter so RAF Cosford security passes can be issued.
Please do NOT just turn up on the day as you will not be able to gain access.