Since opening in 1930, a wide variety of aircraft have been based at City Airport /Barton Aerodrome.
To pilots and aviation enthusiasts / photographers all aircraft are interesting. Below you will see some photographs and details of some of the more interesting ones that have been based over the years, including some that are currently based. We will amend this page on a regular basis so new aircraft are added.
The Spartan Arrow is a British built aircraft from the 1930s. It is a two seat open cockpit biplane. In total 15 were built. G-ABWP was based at Barton for a number of years during the 1980s. In 1986 there was a Fly-in at Barton held by Air Britain and it was not a good day for flying but G-ABWP did make a short flight and afterwards parked with the visiting aircraft, as a result it won a prize for the shortest flight to arrive. G-ABWP is still active and lives “down south”.
Auster Aircraft Ltd was formed in 1946 in Leicester and G-AJEE was built the same year, so is one of the oldest aircraft based at Barton. The Auster aircraft used a metal frame that was covered by fabric. It is a taildragger design with a high wing and can carry up to 4 people.
Luscombe Aircraft was an American company formed in 1933. G-AJKB is an 1946 example, so same age the Auster detailed above. The condition of this aircraft is superb, it looks as good as it did when it came off the production line 74 years ago. This is also a high wing taildragger, but with two seats.
The humble Cessna 172 holds the world record for the longest production run for any aircraft. The first one being flown in 1955 and to date over 45,000 examples have been built. The aircraft is still in Production and in 2019 Cessna delivered 126 new machines. G-AWVA is owned by a group of pilots, including our Chairman Peter Smith and is affectionately known as “Victor Alpha”. This aircraft was built in France by Reims Aviation and in 2018 had it’s 50th Birthday.
The De Havilland Chipmunk was developed in Canada and first flown in 1946. It was used for pilot training by the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Royal Air Force in the UK, as well as some other Air Forces. After their service with the military many were “de-mobbed” to use by private pilots.
G-BCSL was based at Barton and operated by a group of pilots. It was used for training aerobatics as well as tailwheel conversions. This air-to-air shot was taken from a Cessna 152 with the door removed.
The name Jodel was formed by start of the surnames of their founders, namely Edouard Joly & Jean Delemontez. The company was formed in France and built a range of wooden aircraft that were unusual in having “bent” wings. Their aircraft were taildragger designs and was also built under licence by various other French companies. Their aircraft are popular for touring but the wooden and fabric construction means that they have to be kept under cover as much as possible. G-BEZZ is a 1954 example and is a two seater.
The Bucker Jungmann is a German designed Bi-plane dating back to the 1930s. It was the primary training aircraft for Luftwaffe pilots in World War Two. It was also used for aerobatics. G-CHII is an 1957 example that was built in Spain, under licence, by CASA. It is a tailwheel design with a open tandem cockpit.
Vans is an American company that leads the world with Aircraft that are provided in a kit format for building at home. To date over 10,000 examples have been built and flown worldwide. There are thousands more currently being built. They are all metal aircraft and available in various layouts (two or four seats, tri-cycle undercarriage or tailwheel, side by side or tandem seating). It is therefore no surprise that a number of these are based at Barton and G-CIFL shown above is a tailwheel version with side-by-side seating for two people. Other examples based at Barton include G-CCIR, G-DVMI and G-RKID and you can photographs of these on our Based Aircraft Page.
The MS.317 was a French built aircraft based on the MS.315 which first flew in 1932 and was used for pilot training. It has a parasol wing design and the pilots sit in an open cockpit. This example was built in 1952 and subsequently fitted with a 220HP Continental radial engine, it was this that makes it a MS.317 version. This aircraft flew in the colours of the French Navy. In 2019 G-MOSA was sold to France.