RAF Kenley 1946 -Present

The end of the war in 1945 saw the transition of the RAF from propeller driven to jet driven aircraft gather momentum. For Kenley it signalled the end of its role as a fighter airfield, as the runways were not long enough to accommodate the jet fighters coming into service.

As a result, the station was placed in care and maintenance and finally closed in 1974, leaving 615 Volunteer Gliding School to represent the RAF.

In October 1978, the last remaining 1917 hangar was destroyed by fire, along with the gliders and ground equipment of 615 Squadron. In 1980, using a Bessonneaux portable hanger, training was able to resume. The hangar is the same type as the first hangar erected in 1917 – so a circle was drawn and has subsequently been adopted by the Surrey Hills Gliding Club ever since.

 

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