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RAF Greenham Common - USAF, RAF, Star Wars & Nukes... Sounds Perfect To Fly!

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frisboo

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So I came across "RAF Greenham Common" on on of the drone communities that I am part of. The site is now abandoned (and open to the public) and good to fly and happened to be near where I was staying for work. Turns out really good to fly, maybe not the most adventurous place though, I must say!. It also has a really interesting history of being a joint airforce base (US/UK) and used to house nuclear weapons up until the cold war! Site of many protests and they even filmed one of the Star Wars movies as well as one of the Fast & Furious movies there.

Anyway, here's some of the video from that flight, be sure to drop and like and check the description if you want to learn more on its history 😁

 

Tbolt

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I remember this place being on the news when I was a nipper, always full off protesters outside the gates.
 

night crawler

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I remeber going to a Sprint there with my two mates, One driving his Cooper S the other his racing Mini Se7en. quit estrange going in a US base. Years later the Women's peace camp were cammed opposite. Think they have made a good place now though I do wonder if the Government needed the place if they would not take it back again.
 

BDFoto

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One of the protesters was a lady I met in later life when I was involved in a charity photo shoot at a business premises she owned in West Sussex.

Outside the Greenham Air Base when she was there was a placard with the words "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle". Originally penned by Australian author Irina Dunn, it's also quoted as a line in U2's track Tryin' to Throw Your Arms Around the World -



And at her premises there is a metal sculpture of a fish on a bicycle. I have a photo.

Sorry everyone, as you are all so delicate I will have to keep it from you because it is NSFW.
 
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night crawler

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Sorry I just feel they wasted everyone's time with that, lucky I I wonder how many husbands and partners left them over it. Show us the fish
 

frisboo

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I remeber going to a Sprint there with my two mates, One driving his Cooper S the other his racing Mini Se7en. quit estrange going in a US base. Years later the Women's peace camp were cammed opposite. Think they have made a good place now though I do wonder if the Government needed the place if they would not take it back again.
I think looking at the deterioration on the runway, they probably wouldn't. Plus I think (correct me if I'm wrong) that modern airfields have to have to be deeper as modern planes are heavier?
 

night crawler

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I think looking at the deterioration on the runway, they probably wouldn't. Plus I think (correct me if I'm wrong) that modern airfields have to have to be deeper as modern planes are heavier?
You may be right but that was the longest runway in the UK and used to land huge transport planes on it. Lets hope that do not need to use in in anger again
 

frisboo

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You may be right but that was the longest runway in the UK and used to land huge transport planes on it. Lets hope that do not need to use in in anger again
Maybe! Hopefully never needs to be checked though! Prefer to keep it as it is, a historic piece and a site for filming big movies!
 

JayGeeBSE

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I think looking at the deterioration on the runway, they probably wouldn't. Plus I think (correct me if I'm wrong) that modern airfields have to have to be deeper as modern planes are heavier?
The latest fighters are vertical takeoff and landing if needed. Transport planes need proper runways but I've seen no sign of runways being lengthened - any extra weight probably balanced by more power. In fact the new Airbus transport plane has been tested on grass landing strips.
 

Mearing

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From what I can gather it was thought to be the longest runway in Europe at one time not I would not know?
Thanks, not sure either. We have a very long runway here in Warwickshire at Gaydon an old V bomber base, now a research facility and vehicle test track. It was so inviting that I was really tempted to land there but they apparently got very cross if you did I was told!
 

JayGeeBSE

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From what I can gather it was thought to be the longest runway in Europe at one time not I would not know?
Longest in British Isles is currently Heathrow at 3900m, with some extra each end for emergency use only (several airports use this idea).
Boscombe Down is 3101m.
Elvington (ex USAF) is 3094m.
All claiming 10,000ft (3046m) are Machrihanish (Civil and was USAF), Fairford, Manchester, Gatwick, Stansted, Greenham Common, and Brize Norton.
I thought I'd heard Filton was the longest, with a village demolished to extend it for the Brabazon, but that's only 2467m but 100m wide.
I also thought Mildenhall was particularly long, being used for the USAF's biggest transports, but that's 2810m - probably the longest military one though.
 

night crawler

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Longest in British Isles is currently Heathrow at 3900m, with some extra each end for emergency use only (several airports use this idea).
Boscombe Down is 3101m.
Elvington (ex USAF) is 3094m.
All claiming 10,000ft (3046m) are Machrihanish (Civil and was USAF), Fairford, Manchester, Gatwick, Stansted, Greenham Common, and Brize Norton.
I thought I'd heard Filton was the longest, with a village demolished to extend it for the Brabazon, but that's only 2467m but 100m wide.
I also thought Mildenhall was particularly long, being used for the USAF's biggest transports, but that's 2810m - probably the longest military one though.
I did say was Brize is the one localis to me which takes the huge RAF transport planes, seeing them fly over on approach is like watching slow motion they seem to go so slow that you think they will fall out of the sky. Looking at the OS map Filton is down as disused lot of area going to waste there. It takes up around 3 km squares on the map. Brize takes nearer 4 with Mildenhall taking up around 3.5. Heathrow is 4 squares on the OS map. Not that I'm going to go measuring any of them.
 

Mick S

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In answer to the question of which aircraft used the airbase, it could accept all the largest aircraft the USA used then or later.
I did some work at Greenham during the Cruise Missile period and the Galaxy C5's aircraft regularly landed and took off from there. All the cruise launch and control vehicles and also the missiles were bought in to Greenham in these monsters.
The C5 bought in supplies for all the shops on the base. Also, USA servicemen who bought a car in the States could have it delivered to the airbase aboard one of these, avoiding various taxes.
 

Spudgun1967

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I remember this place being on the news when I was a nipper, always full off protesters outside the gates.
Hi mate, was there as a youngster in 1981 and 83 for the International Air Tattoo before the air display moved to RAF Faiford, sad to see the place in this state, I remember back when the A34 Newbury bypass was built I think they used a lot of hard core from the runway to build the road.
They say it's a small world and back in 2018 I was attending an aircraft jet engine course in Wichita, Kansas when my instructor who was ex USAF told of a story when he was posted at RAF Greenham Common in the early 80's, during the display weekend of 1983 the SR71 Blackbird was on static display and was daubed with white paint by a CND protester, "no problem" said the ground crew chief that will burn off in high speed flight, the following Tuesday morning at around 4am the Blackbird aircrew decided to give the protesters a wake up call and prior to their cruise climb for the tanker flew a circuit and buzzed the campsite with max power and afterburner, I laughed.
 

Spudgun1967

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In answer to the question of which aircraft used the airbase, it could accept all the largest aircraft the USA used then or later.
I did some work at Greenham during the Cruise Missile period and the Galaxy C5's aircraft regularly landed and took off from there. All the cruise launch and control vehicles and also the missiles were bought in to Greenham in these monsters.
The C5 bought in supplies for all the shops on the base. Also, USA servicemen who bought a car in the States could have it delivered to the airbase aboard one of these, avoiding various taxes.
I also heard a rumour that some warheads for the missiles were moved and stored at RAF Bentwaters.
 
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