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RAF Aldergrove

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Aldergrove_crest.jpg
Aldergrove Crest
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C-17_Aldergrove.jpg
USAF C-17 operating from Aldergrove in support of U.S. Presidential visit, 2003. Credit Ulster Aviation Society

RAF Aldergrove is Royal Air Force station situated 18 miles north-west of Belfast. It adjoins Belfast International Airport, sometimes referred to simply as Aldergrove which is the name of the surrounding area. The station shares the Aldergrove runways but has its own separate facilities and helipad.

RAF Aldergrove first opened in 1918 but was not designated as an operational RAF station until 1925. Aldergrove’s location made it an important station during the Second World War of RAF Coastal Command in the Battle of the Atlantic. From the base long range reconnaissance aircraft were able to patrol the Eastern Atlantic for U-Boats.

Aldergrove was designated as a dispersal airfield for the RAF's V bomber force in the 1950s and was included in a reduced list of 26 airfields in 1962. In 1968 a maintenance unit (No.23 MU) for the F-4 Phantom in RAF service was established at Aldergrove, with 116 aircraft passing through on their way to front line service.

No. 72 Squadron operated Puma and Wessex helicopters from Aldergrove from 1991 until its disbandment in 2002.

Aldergrove is now home to a mixed force of helicopters, which operate across the province in support of the British Army and Police Service of Northern Ireland.

Aircraft

Notable military aircraft which have visited Aldergrove

See also

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