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Wycombe Air Park, Buckinghamshire

Wycombe Air Park is situated just outside the town of Marlow in Buckinghamshire, next to a village called Booker (it is for this reason that the airfield is often also called Booker Airfield). Marlow is located close to High Wycombe and not too far from Reading.

The airfield is used by many flying clubs as well as for experience days, and Experience Mad offers a variety of helicopter flying experiences as well as a plane flying experience from the location. Wycombe Air Park is set up to host both planes and helicopters, and an Experience Mad day here is sure to be a thrill-seeker’s dream as you have the opportunity to control and pilot a helicopter or a plane above the Buckinghamshire landscape.

Facilities

Wycombe Air Park has a full range of facilities to enhance your experience day including a shop and a restaurant. The airfield is used daily by many hobby pilots and smaller aircraft and as such, the airfield is set up to cater for them. The pilot supplies shop offers a range of goods for pilots, but it is also possible to pick up a snack or a paper. The airfield even operates emergency services and medical examiners are on site to offer extra peace of mind to flyers.

The airfield has its own dedicated restaurant, called The Pad. This is open daily from 09:00, so you can enjoy a fry up before your experience day begins. The restaurant also caters for lunch and dinner and the kitchen remains open until 19:00, so you can take your time before finishing your experience day with a meal. Once the restaurant closes the facility remains open as a bar; The Pad is fully licensed and offers a wide range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. The bar is open until late on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays so that you’re able to relax and enjoy a few drinks, while the restaurant will also put on barbeques depending on the weather. Bar snacks and sharing platters are also available on the menu, so it could be the perfect place for spectators to wait while their family member or friend completes their experience day.

The restaurant and the public toilets are both located next to the airfield’s free car park. Spectators and restaurant customers are more than welcome to use the car park. To find it, simply look for the upward stretching flight control tower - the car park is located at the base of the tower. Spectators are welcome to watch the flight days and some experiences even allow for spectators to become passengers and enjoy the experience alongside their family member or friend. Alternatively, there are many places on site where you will be able to view the experience. If it is wet or windy then the restaurant is the recommended viewing location.

The airfield is situated just off junction 4 of the M40 and very near to the M4 too, so access by road is easy. If you have a sat nav then Wycombe Air Park’s postcode is SL7 3DP. The airfield is only 25 miles from central London and it only takes 25 minutes to get to Heathrow Airport by road from the airfield, so the location could not be handier.

History

Wycombe Air Park was not always a public airfield used for experience days. In fact, the airfield began life as RAF Booker (still affectionately known as Booker by locals and frequent flyers in the area). In 1939 the airfield was commissioned in preparation for the impending war and the high ground to the south of High Wycombe was thought to be the perfect location.

The airfield was basic at first, consisting of just a series of runways, but when the RAF officially unveiled its training school at Booker in 1941, four temporary Bellman hangers were erected to house the 72 Tiger Moth planes that were flown in for budding pilots to train in. While the Bellman hangers were thought to be temporary, they stood for around 50 years before being replaced.

The RAF eventually relinquished its role at Booker in 1963 and in 1965 the airfield was leased from Wycombe Council by Airways Aero Associations (part of British Airways), which currently looks after operations at the airfield. It was also then that the name was changed to the current Wycombe Air Park. Over the next few years the airfield was used by many organisations for flying training and weekends, while the local flying enthusiasts began to frequent the location in their spare time. The reputation of the airfield grew to what it currently is today. It is now home to the Airways Flying Club, a group of plane and flying enthusiasts who operate from the airfield, as well as the location for many plane and helicopter experience days. The facilities at the airfield grew over time to include a shop and a restaurant.

Looking to the future, it seems that the location could become even more popular as sports teams are looking to build a stadium at the location to replace Adams Park. This would see Wycombe Wanderers and London Wasps both relocate to the airfield for their home matches, bringing scores of fans with them.

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