Isle of Wight Airport

Back to Main List
E-Mail me!
The picture below ( with thanks to Lawrence Hole) shows Monarch G-AFLW at Sandown on the occasion of a Vintage fly-in in May 1985.

Sandown airport has existed in 3 separate locations.The first airfield(also known as SHANKLIN)"A" on the map above was at Apse Manor Farm(50 38 01N/01 12 22W).This grass field was used from 1929 until 1934,principally by the Isle of Wight Aero Club and also by Wight Aviation Ltd(Later became PSIOWA- Portsmouth Southsea and Isle of Wight Aviation Ltd) who arrived from Maylands Aerodrome ,Romford on 1st May 1930.A hangar still remains on the site ,in use as a barn.

See the SHANKLIN page for more details.

During 1934,the landing ground was briefly located about a mile NE between Ninham and Landguard Manor("B" on map 50 38 12N/01 11 30W).This was a very short lived location as the following year the new (current )airfield opened about a mile further NE at Lea Farm("C" on map).The picture below shows an aircraft of Shanklin Flying Services at Landguard in the 30s.


GASV(till 1960),EGHN.Lat/Long 50 39 13N/01 10 83W .Grid ref SZ 578841 .60 feet ASL.

RUNWAYS :Grass 05/23 884x40 m.(also disused 15/33 grass and 18/36 grass)


Lea Farm Airport(as it was then known)opened at Easter 1935 and became the focus for airline services to the Island.The first operator was Spartan Airlines,using a Spartan Cruiser.They started operations on 25/5/35.Spartan were joined by Railway Air Services on the 25th June( see Timetable below) ,and later by by Portsmouth,Southsea And Isle of Wight Aviation and Channel Air Ferries.In addition the Isle of Wight Aero Club re-opened in 1936.
The photo below was taken on the occasion of the first PSIOWA service between Sandown- Portsmouth on 4 July 1938. Uncertain which end the picture was taken. The photo was kindly provided by Clare Ash whose father James Bayes ( far right in the photo ) was a journolist for the Portsmouth Evening News.

Sandown and Shanklin Flying Services was formed in early 1935 with the objective of buying Shankilin Flying Services business(icluding 2 aircraft) and operating from Sandown.

When WW2 started all IoW airfields, with the exception of Somerton, were closed and the landing areas obstructed.The airfield re-opened after the war as the Isle of Wight Airport,and services resumed,operated by various(often short-lived) airlines.From the 1st June 1963 services were operated by Derby Airways (Dc-3 & Heron).Later renamed British Midland they continued until 1968.In addition ,substantial numbers of light aircraft made use of the field,particularly during the summer months.However ,by the early 70s business was declining,and eventually the field closed.

In 1976 the site was sold and the new owners re-opened the airfield later that year.In the past,three grass runways had been in use,but the 15/33 and 18/36 runways were closed as the land was no longer available .The airfield has operated since then as a general aviation field and continues to be popular with visitors to the Isle of Wight.However there are no longer any scheduled services .

There are/were five resident businesses of interest,NDN Aircraft(Founded in 1976 by Desmond Norman- previously of Britten Norman)The NDN-1 Firecracker first flew in May 1977, but did not enter production . In 1983 a turbine version made its first flight, three were built. . In 1981 the tandem-seated NDN-6 Fieldmaster was built and flown as a crop-sprayer, in addition oil-pollution clearance and firefighting versions, (the Firemaster) , were designed. In the meantime NDN Aircraft had changed its name to Norman Aeroplane Company and 6 Fieldmasters were built as NAC-6s. Finally in 1984 the NAC-1 Freelance was built, based on the BN-3 Nymph .

Ownership of the Fieldmaster design passed eventually to the EPA Aircraft Co Ltd.Plans for licence production of the Fieldmaster by the Turkish Aeronautical Association (Türk Hava Kurumu, (THK) as the"Taysu" were abandoned in 1999 after 4 aircraft were completed . .

Richard Noble(World Land Speed Record Holder)produced 30+ ARV Super 2 kits in the hangar originally built for Spartan Airlines.(Now the Museum site).

The third is the Island Aeroplane Company Museum,which has approximately twenty aircraft on display(Open daily). Another aircraft manufacturer is Solar Microlights, which builds small, single-person microlights.

Lastly -Airframe Assemblies -formed in 1985,- which produces spare parts for vintage aircraft - specializing mainly in Spitfire and Hurricane parts.At the end of May 2007 they were involved in the overhaul of several Spitfires..

Wight Airlines apparently OPERATEDservices to London and Guernsey (May 2007) using PA31 and Islander aircraft.

In 2010 the airport was threatened with closure. However eventually the situation with regard to the lease etc . was sorted out and Sandown continues to operate as an unlicenced field.Here is a link to the airfield's page...Sandown

sandown air shot
Sandown from the air.The gap in the trees where the abandoned 18/36 runway was can be clearly seen at the centre of the picture.
	The Island Aeroplane Collection:Sandown Airport.		
	D-EAZO		Bu.131
	D-EFTE		Bleriot XI Replica
	D-EFTG		Klemm KL.35D
	D-EFTK		Cessna 195
	D-EFTN		Fokker DR.1 Replica
	D-EFTY		MS.505
	D-EGWP		M.1D Sokol
	D-EJKA		Stampe SV.4A
	D-FABE		NA Harvard
	G-AAHW		Klemm L.25
	G-AGYY		PT.21
	G-AKPF	"V1075"	Magister
	G-ANIX	"T6390"	DH.82A
	HB-SPG		Mignet HM.19C
	SP-CHD		PZL 101
			HM.14 Flying Flea

Back to Main List