History of Hawarden Airport

The aircraft factory at Broughton was established early in the Second World War as a shadow factory for Vickers-Armstrongs Limited. The factory produced 5,540 Vickers Wellingtons and 235 Avro Lancasters. Including PA474 which is now part of the RAF’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and one of only two Lancaster aircraft remaining in airworthy condition out of the 7,377 that were built.

Post-war the factory was used by Vickers to build 28,000 aluminum prefab bungalows.

On 1 September 1939 The RAF’s No. 48 Maintenance Unit was formed at Hawarden and until 1 July 1957 stored, maintained and scrapped military aircraft, including the Handley Page Halifax, Wellingtons, Horsa gliders and De Havilland Mosquitoes.

Between 5 November 1940 and 30 November 1945 No. 3 Ferry Pilots Pool/Ferry Pool, Air Transport Auxiliary, was based at Hawarden. Its pilots ferried thousands of military aircraft from the factories and maintenance facilities at Hawarden and elsewhere to and from RAF and Naval squadrons throughout the UK.

On 1 July 1948 The De Havilland Aircraft Company took over the Vickers factory and over the years built the following aircraft types at Hawarden:

De Havilland Mosquito, De Havilland Hornet, De Havilland Sea Hornet, De Havilland Vampire, De Havilland Venom and Sea Venom, De Havilland Dove and Devon, De Havilland Comet, De Havilland Canada Chipmunk, De Havilland Canada Beaver , De Havilland Sea Vixen, De Havilland Heron and two aircraft that became the prototypes for the Hawker Siddeley Nimrod.

The company became part of Hawker Siddeley Aviation in the 1960s and the production of the Hawker Siddeley HS125 business jet (designed by De Havilland as the DH.125), which became the main aircraft type produced by the factory for nearly forty years.

Production was moved to the United States in 1996 when the 125 business was sold to the Raytheon Corporation.

Today maintenance of  the HS125 is provided on site by Aerocare.

In 1977 the majority of the Broughton factory became part of British Aerospace operations  and is now owned and operated by Airbus UK. being the center of wing production for all models of Airbus commercial aircraft, including the A380 and A350.

The majority of which are flown to Toulouse in France for final assembly, transported by the unusual looking Beluga A300 ST aircraft.

The airport land includes a football ground named The Airfield, home of Cymru Alliance side Airbus UK Broughton F.C, which has movable floodlights able to be lowered due to its proximately to the runway.