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Old Buckenham Airfield: A Historic Destination for Aviation Enthusiasts in Norfolk, UK

Old Buckenham Airfield

Located in the picturesque county of Norfolk, UK, Old Buckenham Airfield is a cherished landmark that holds great significance for aviation enthusiasts. As a historic airfield, it offers a unique and immersive experience, allowing visitors to delve into the rich aviation history of the region.

Originally built as the wartime home of the USAAF 453rd Bombardment Group, Old Buckenham Airfield has transformed into one of the most vibrant centers of aviation in the UK. With its fascinating past and dynamic present, it serves as a hub for aviation events, flight training, and a range of modern facilities.

Key Takeaways:

  • Old Buckenham Airfield is a historic destination in Norfolk, UK, that appeals to aviation enthusiasts.
  • It was formerly the home of the USAAF 453rd Bombardment Group during World War II.
  • The airfield offers a range of modern facilities, including the UK’s first electric aircraft charging point.
  • Visiting aircraft are welcome, but prior permission is required.
  • Old Buckenham Aero Club provides flight training programs for those interested in obtaining a Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL).

History of Old Buckenham Airfield

The history of Old Buckenham Airfield is intertwined with the legacy of the USAAF 453rd Bombardment Group during World War II. As the home of this distinguished group, the airfield played a crucial role in the war effort. Today, it stands as a testament to the sacrifices made by those who served and as a vibrant center for aviation enthusiasts.

During the war, Old Buckenham Airfield was a bustling hub of activity, with numerous wartime buildings and infrastructure supporting the operations of the 453rd Bombardment Group. The airfield itself has undergone restoration efforts to preserve its historic significance. A notable feature is the Memorial Park, designed in the shape of a B-24 tail, serving as a solemn reminder of the group’s contribution to the war. The dedication to preserving this history is further exemplified by the presence of a museum at the airfield, showcasing artifacts and stories from the 453rd Bombardment Group.

Old Buckenham Airfield’s history as a wartime site is not only showcased through its buildings and museum but also through its continued use as an aviation facility. Today, it serves as a fully operational airfield, welcoming aircraft and hosting events that celebrate the rich aviation heritage of the area.

Historic Buildings and Infrastructure

The restoration efforts at Old Buckenham Airfield have focused on preserving the wartime buildings and infrastructure that once played a vital role in the operations of the USAAF 453rd Bombardment Group. These buildings serve as a physical connection to the past, allowing visitors to step back in time and experience the history firsthand.

Building Function
Hangars Used for aircraft storage and maintenance during the war.
Nissen Huts Provided accommodation for personnel stationed at the airfield.
Control Tower Overlooked the airfield and directed operations during missions.
Runways Used for aircraft takeoff and landing, enabling the mission readiness of the 453rd Bombardment Group.

“The restoration efforts at Old Buckenham Airfield are a testament to the commitment to preserving the history and heritage of aviation. The buildings and infrastructure provide a rare glimpse into the past, allowing us to honor and remember the brave men and women who served during World War II.”

Old Buckenham Airfield stands as a living tribute to the USAAF 453rd Bombardment Group and the important role it played in the war. With its restored buildings and infrastructure, it offers visitors a unique opportunity to step back in time and experience the history of aviation.

Facilities at Old Buckenham Airfield

Old Buckenham Airfield offers a range of modern facilities to cater to the needs of aviation enthusiasts. One of the standout features at the airfield is the UK’s first electric aircraft charging point, which is also powered by solar energy. This innovative facility highlights the airfield’s commitment to sustainable aviation practices. Pilots can conveniently charge their electric aircraft while reducing their carbon footprint.

The airfield is also home to two museums that provide visitors with a unique opportunity to delve into aviation history. One of these museums is dedicated to the USAAF 453rd Bombardment Group, showcasing artifacts and exhibits that preserve the legacy of this important group. The other museum offers a broader perspective on aviation history, with displays and information about various aircraft and historic milestones.

In addition to the electric aircraft charging point and museums, Old Buckenham Airfield is renowned for its Award-Winning Airshow. This annual event attracts aviation enthusiasts from all over the country, featuring thrilling aerobatic displays and showcasing a wide range of historic aircraft. The Airshow provides a unique opportunity to witness the skill and precision of talented pilots as they push the boundaries of aerial maneuvers.

Facilities at Old Buckenham Airfield:

Facility Description
Electric Aircraft Charging Point The UK’s first electric aircraft charging point, powered by solar energy.
Museums Dedicated to the USAAF 453rd Bombardment Group and aviation history.
Award-Winning Airshow An annual event featuring aerobatic displays and historic aircraft.

These facilities make Old Buckenham Airfield a hub for aviation enthusiasts, providing them with unique experiences and opportunities to engage with the rich history and vibrant present of this historic airfield.

Flying into Old Buckenham Airfield

Old Buckenham Airfield warmly welcomes visiting aircraft from the UK, EU, and Channel Islands. As an aviation enthusiast, I understand the excitement of exploring new airfields and experiencing the unique facilities they offer. At Old Buckenham, pilots can expect a seamless experience with the convenience of Prior Permission Required (PPR) arrangements in place.

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The airfield has implemented innovative systems to provide up-to-the-minute information on conditions and available facilities. This ensures that pilots have the most accurate and current data to make informed decisions before landing. Whether it’s checking weather conditions, runway availability, or services provided, pilots can rely on Old Buckenham Airfield to keep them well-informed.

Operating from 0800 to 2000 every day (except Christmas) and subject to weather conditions, Old Buckenham Airfield offers a range of excellent facilities for visiting aircraft. From modern hangars to fuel services, pilots can rest assured that their aircraft will be well taken care of during their visit. Additionally, the airfield’s friendly and professional staff are always on hand to provide assistance and ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for all.

Facilities at Old Buckenham Airfield:

  • Modern hangars for safe aircraft storage
  • Fuel services
  • On-site maintenance and engineering facilities
  • Well-maintained runways and taxiways
  • Comfortable pilot briefing rooms

Old Buckenham Airfield understands the importance of providing exceptional facilities to visiting pilots. The team constantly strives to improve and enhance the experience, making the airfield a preferred destination for aviation enthusiasts throughout the year.

Facilities Contact Information
Hangars Phone: +44 1953 860 806
Fuel Services Email:
Maintenance and Engineering Address: Abbey Road, Old Buckenham, NR17 1PU
Runways and Taxiways Website:
Pilot Briefing Rooms

Next time you plan a flight, consider visiting Old Buckenham Airfield. With its excellent facilities, up-to-the-minute information, and friendly staff, it’s the perfect destination for aviation enthusiasts looking for an unforgettable experience.

Flying Club at Old Buckenham Airfield

If you’re an aviation enthusiast with dreams of taking to the skies, look no further than the Old Buckenham Aero Club. As the longest-standing tenant at Old Buckenham Airfield, the club offers a comprehensive flight training program for individuals who want to learn to fly. Whether you’re starting from scratch or already have some flying experience, the club is dedicated to providing a safe and comprehensive training experience.

At the Old Buckenham Aero Club, you’ll be guided by experienced instructors with extensive flying backgrounds. They will take you through every step of the process, from your very first flight to obtaining your Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL). The training includes both practical flying lessons and theoretical ground school sessions to ensure you have a well-rounded understanding of aviation principles.

The club’s training program adheres to the guidelines set by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and requires a minimum of 45 hours of flying time. You’ll also undergo a series of written exams to test your knowledge and understanding of aviation regulations and procedures. The instructors prioritize safety in every aspect of the training, ensuring that you become a safe and competent pilot.

Joining the Old Buckenham Aero Club not only gives you access to top-notch flight training, but it also allows you to be a part of a vibrant aviation community. You’ll have the opportunity to meet and network with like-minded individuals who share your passion for flying. So why wait? Take the first step towards earning your wings and join the Old Buckenham Aero Club today!

The Benefits of Joining the Old Buckenham Aero Club

  • Comprehensive flight training program
  • Experienced instructors with extensive flying backgrounds
  • Practical flying lessons and theoretical ground school sessions
  • Training adheres to CAA guidelines
  • Minimum of 45 hours of flying time
  • Opportunity to network with fellow aviation enthusiasts


“Joining the Old Buckenham Aero Club was the best decision I’ve made. The instructors are knowledgeable and supportive, and the training program is well-structured. I’m now a licensed pilot, and I owe it all to the club!” – Sarah J.

“The Old Buckenham Aero Club provided me with the necessary skills and knowledge to pursue my dreams of flying. I highly recommend them to anyone who wants to learn to fly in a safe and professional environment.” – James P.

The Liberator Restaurant

The airfield recently opened a new restaurant called The Liberator. It is an exciting addition to Old Buckenham Airfield, offering visitors a unique dining experience. The restaurant boasts a brand new chef, menu, and operator, ensuring that each visit is a fresh and delightful culinary adventure. With its stylish and contemporary design, The Liberator is the perfect setting for aviation enthusiasts and food lovers alike.

What sets The Liberator apart is its collaboration with renowned American interior stylist Signature Hamilton. Hamilton’s expertise in creating captivating spaces is evident in every detail of the restaurant’s design. From the carefully selected color palette to the thoughtfully placed furnishings, The Liberator exudes an atmosphere of elegance and comfort. The interior reflects the fusion of aviation heritage and modernity, providing a truly unforgettable dining experience.

“The Liberator is a testament to the ingenuity and creativity of the team at Old Buckenham Airfield. We wanted to create a space that not only celebrates aviation but also showcases the vibrant and diverse culinary scene that Norfolk has to offer. I’m thrilled to be part of this project and to bring a touch of American design sensibility to the heart of the UK,” says Signature Hamilton, the renowned interior stylist.

The Liberator also provides ample serving space, ensuring that guests can enjoy their meals in comfort. Whether you’re grabbing a quick bite or indulging in a leisurely meal, the restaurant’s spacious layout accommodates a wide range of dining preferences. The attentive and friendly staff complete the dining experience, providing excellent service and ensuring that every guest feels welcomed and well-taken care of.

Restaurant Highlights Details
Chef Newly appointed, bringing a fresh culinary perspective
Interior Stylist Signature Hamilton, renowned American designer
Design Stylish and contemporary, blending aviation heritage with modernity
Serving Space Ample space for comfortable dining experiences
Service Attentive and friendly staff ensuring a memorable visit
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Contact Information for Old Buckenham Airfield

If you have any inquiries or would like to get in touch with Old Buckenham Airfield, we are more than happy to assist you. Here are our contact details:

Address: Abbey Road, Old Buckenham, NR17 1PU

Phone Number: +44 1953 860 806

We understand that sometimes it is more convenient to reach out online. You can also contact us through our website, where you can find more information about the services and facilities we offer.

Feel free to get in touch with us if you have any questions or if there’s anything we can assist you with. We look forward to hearing from you and providing you with the information you need.

Location of Old Buckenham Airfield

Location of Old Buckenham Airfield

Old Buckenham Airfield is located in South Norfolk, approximately 12 nautical miles southwest of Norwich, East Anglia, England. Its precise coordinates are 52°29’51″N latitude and 001°03’07″E longitude.

Being situated in such a picturesque and historically rich region, Old Buckenham Airfield offers aviation enthusiasts a unique setting to indulge in their passion for flying. The tranquil countryside surroundings provide an idyllic backdrop for a variety of aviation activities and events.

Whether you are visiting the airfield for an airshow, training purposes, or simply to enjoy the ambiance of a historic aviation site, the location of Old Buckenham Airfield offers convenient access for local residents and visitors alike.

Runways at Old Buckenham Airfield

Old Buckenham Airfield features multiple runways to accommodate various aircraft operations. Whether you’re a pilot or an aviation enthusiast, understanding the details of the runways can provide valuable insights into the airfield’s capabilities.

Runway Directions and Length

At Old Buckenham Airfield, the main runway is designated as 07/25. It runs approximately 798 meters in length and is made of asphalt, ensuring a smooth and reliable surface for takeoffs and landings. Additionally, there are two grass runways available:

  1. Runway 07L/25R: This grass runway measures about 407 meters long, offering an alternative option for aircraft operations.
  2. Runway 02/20: Another grass runway with a length of approximately 428 meters, providing further versatility for pilots.

These runways, with their varying directions and surfaces, allow Old Buckenham Airfield to accommodate different wind conditions and aircraft requirements, ensuring a safe and efficient flying experience for all.

Runway Direction Length (meters) Surface
Main Runway (07/25) 07 798 Asphalt
Grass Runway (07L/25R) 07L/25R 407 Grass
Grass Runway (02/20) 02/20 428 Grass

Whether you’re taking off or landing at Old Buckenham Airfield, these well-maintained runways provide a solid foundation for your aviation activities.

Old Buckenham Airshow

The annual Old Buckenham Airshow is an eagerly anticipated event that showcases a stunning display of historic aircraft and thrilling aerobatic performances. This popular airshow attracts aviation enthusiasts from all around the country, offering a unique opportunity to witness the beauty and power of these magnificent machines.

The airshow features a diverse range of historic aircraft, including iconic World War II planes such as the Spitfire and Mustang Duo from the Old Flying Machine Company. These meticulously restored aircraft take to the skies, creating a nostalgic atmosphere and providing a glimpse into the rich aviation history of the region.

Visitors to the Old Buckenham Airshow can expect an action-packed day filled with exhilarating aerobatic displays, showcasing the incredible skills and precision of talented pilots. From thrilling loop-the-loops to breathtaking barrel rolls, the airshow never fails to leave spectators in awe of the incredible capabilities of these historic aircraft.

Whether you’re a seasoned aviation enthusiast or simply have a passion for history, the Old Buckenham Airshow is an event not to be missed. With its captivating displays, picturesque location, and vibrant atmosphere, it offers a truly memorable experience for all who attend.

Previous Airshow Highlights

Aircraft Description
Spitfire The iconic British fighter plane known for its role in World War II.
Mustang Duo A pair of P-51 Mustangs performing breathtaking synchronized maneuvers.
Blériot XI A vintage aircraft that recreates the first cross-channel flight.
Extra 330SC A high-performance aerobatic aircraft known for its agility and speed.

Aviation Training at Old Buckenham Airfield

When it comes to aviation training, Old Buckenham Airfield offers a comprehensive program designed to help aspiring pilots obtain their pilot’s license. As a recognized flight training organization authorized by the Civil Aviation Authority, we take pride in providing top-notch training and guidance to our students.

Our instructors have a wealth of flying experience and are dedicated to ensuring that each student receives the highest standard of training. The program includes a minimum of 45 hours of flying time, covering various aspects of aviation, from basic maneuvers to advanced flight techniques.

At Old Buckenham Airfield, we believe in the importance of a solid foundation of knowledge. That’s why we offer a comprehensive ground school where students can learn the theoretical aspects of aviation. From navigation and meteorology to aircraft systems and regulations, our ground school equips students with the knowledge they need to excel in their training.

Training Highlights Benefits
Flight Training Minimum of 45 hours of flying time
Ground School Comprehensive theoretical training
Experienced Instructors Instructors with extensive flying experience
Authorized Organization Authorized by the Civil Aviation Authority

Our training programs are designed to be flexible, accommodating students with different schedules and learning preferences. Whether you’re looking to pursue a career in aviation or simply fulfill your passion for flying, our training programs are tailored to meet your specific needs.

At Old Buckenham Airfield, we are committed to providing a safe and supportive environment for your aviation journey. Our rigorous safety measures, regular maintenance checks, and emphasis on safety during training ensure that our students become safe and competent pilots. Join us at Old Buckenham Airfield and take the first step towards achieving your aviation goals.

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Safety and Support at Old Buckenham Airfield

At Old Buckenham Airfield, safety is of utmost importance. We hold a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) license and adhere to strict safety measures to ensure a secure environment for all. Our commitment to safety extends to every aspect of our operations, from maintenance checks to training programs.

Our aircraft undergo regular maintenance checks to ensure their airworthiness. Our team of experienced technicians and engineers diligently inspect and service each aircraft to maintain their optimal performance and safety standards. We believe that regular maintenance is essential for the continued safety and reliability of our fleet.

“Safety is not just a priority; it is a core value at Old Buckenham Airfield. We have put in place a robust system to ensure that all safety protocols are followed diligently. Our team is trained to identify and address any potential safety risks, ensuring a secure environment for all our visitors and trainees.”

As a CAA-approved flying training organization, we prioritize safety in our flight training programs. Our instructors have extensive flying experience and are dedicated to providing comprehensive and safe training to aspiring pilots. We meticulously follow CAA guidelines and regulations to ensure that our students receive the highest quality training while maintaining the highest safety standards.

Key Safety Measures at Old Buckenham Airfield
Regular aircraft maintenance checks
Adherence to CAA guidelines and regulations
Experienced and qualified instructors
Comprehensive safety protocols

When you choose Old Buckenham Airfield, you can rest assured that your safety is our highest priority. We are committed to creating a safe and supportive environment for all aviation enthusiasts, whether you are learning to fly or simply visiting our historic airfield. Partner with us and experience the thrill of aviation in a secure and trustworthy setting.

Amenities at Old Buckenham Airfield

When learning at Old Buckenham Airfield, students are provided with a range of amenities that enhance their aviation experience. These amenities are designed to support their learning journey and ensure their time at the airfield is both enjoyable and informative.

Free Ground School

One of the key amenities offered at Old Buckenham Airfield is free ground school. Ground school is an essential component of flight training, where students learn the theoretical and technical aspects of aviation. At Old Buckenham Airfield, students have access to comprehensive ground school sessions led by experienced instructors, covering topics such as aerodynamics, navigation, weather, and regulations. This valuable resource allows students to build a strong foundation of knowledge that complements their practical flight training.

Online Learning Tools

Old Buckenham Airfield understands the importance of flexibility and convenience in aviation training. That’s why they provide students with access to online learning tools. These tools enable students to review course materials, practice aviation concepts, and complete assessments at their own pace and convenience. The online learning platform offers a variety of interactive resources, including videos, quizzes, and simulations, allowing students to engage with the content and enhance their learning experience.

Navigational Equipment

Navigation is a critical skill for any pilot. To support students in developing their navigational abilities, Old Buckenham Airfield provides free use of navigational equipment. This includes access to aviation charts, flight computers, and GPS devices. By using these tools during their training, students can become familiar with the equipment and gain proficiency in planning and executing flights. The availability of navigational equipment also allows students to practice real-life scenarios and develop their situational awareness.

Free Landings

As a further benefit, students at Old Buckenham Airfield enjoy the convenience of free landings. This means that student pilots can practice takeoffs and landings at the airfield without incurring additional landing fees. By removing this financial burden, Old Buckenham Airfield encourages students to gain valuable experience in their training aircraft, helping them build confidence and proficiency in their flying skills.

Overall, the amenities offered at Old Buckenham Airfield are designed to create a supportive learning environment for aspiring pilots. With free ground school, online learning tools, access to navigational equipment, and free landings, students have the resources and opportunities they need to excel in their aviation journey.


As an aviation enthusiast, Old Buckenham Airfield is a destination you won’t want to miss. With its rich history as the home of the USAAF 453rd Bombardment Group, this historic airfield holds a special place in the hearts of aviation enthusiasts. But it’s not just about the past—the vibrant present of Old Buckenham Airfield is equally captivating.

One of the highlights of Old Buckenham Airfield is the annual Old Buckenham Airshow, where historic aircraft take to the skies in thrilling aerobatic displays. This event attracts aviation enthusiasts from all over the country, creating a buzzing atmosphere that truly captures the spirit of flight.

Whether you’re interested in learning to fly or exploring aviation history, Old Buckenham Airfield has something for everyone. The airfield offers comprehensive flight training programs and facilities, with knowledgeable instructors who prioritize safety in every aspect. Additionally, the airfield houses two museums dedicated to preserving the history of the 453rd Bombardment Group and aviation as a whole.

So, if you’re looking to immerse yourself in the world of aviation and experience the excitement of aviation events, Old Buckenham Airfield is the place to be. Its historic significance, vibrant present, and commitment to aviation create an atmosphere that will leave any aviation enthusiast in awe.

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