Our airfield is owned and operated by the RAF, having been the base of numerous historical units and flights. With some of the few remaining pre-RAF buildings located on airfields, it is of paramount importance to us that we take good care of the airfield and the opportunity it provides us.
Weston-on-the-Green was first acquired for military use in 1916. Aircraft such as Sopwith Camels, Salamanders and Avro 504s operated there until it was closed in 1921.
In 1940 Winston Churchill ordered the formation of 5,000 airborne troops and also a glider regiment to accompany them. Weston-on-the-Green was one of the sites chosen to train glider pilots and by 1942 it was a very busy airfield with up to 80 aerotows a day during the summer using Hotspur gliders towed by Hawker Hectors. Although it was just a satellite airfield for Brize Norton, it received more bombs than any other airfield in Oxfordshire during WW2.
With victory in sight the training of glider pilots decreased and by 1946 control of the airfield was passed to Upper Heyford who subsequently designated it as a dropping zone for parachutists under training. This continued until 1951 when Weston was placed under care and maintenance.
In 1967 Weston was the location for the first modern hot air balloon in the UK, the Bristol Belle. Subsequently, the balloon went on to take part in other famous flights including flying from HMS Ark Royal to deliver mail to Malta.
The airfield is now used by both the RAF and ourselves at Oxford Gliding Club. The RAF can often be seen flying and training personnel on the use of parachutes, and the famous RAF parachute display team have been known to practise at the site.
The airfield is situated in the middle of its own protected airspace, meaning that we have the opportunity to soar up to 8500 feet above the airfield unimpeded. On a day with good visibility, not only can the familiar sights of the city of Oxford be seen, but also London to the south east and the Malvern hills to the west.