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Lincolnshire Aviation & History

The History of Lincolnshire Aviation

Much is known about the role played by Lincolnshire’s aviation during World War II, including the famous Dambuster’s Raid made by Guy Gibson and his 617 Squadron from RAF Scampton.

What is less well known is that, by the end of World War II, Lincoln had become a world leader in aircraft production.

Lincolnshire in World War II

During World War II, Lincolnshire became known as “Bomber County” due to the fact that it was home to a large number of airfields – 49, to be exact, which was more than any other county in England.

The average distance between these airfields was 7.5 miles, with bomber stations typically taking up approximately 700 acres. The county was at the forefront of the allied air offensive and was home to 1 Group and 5 Group of the Bomber Command of the Royal Air Force.

The Lincolnshire-based bombers contributed heavily to many crucial attacks in the war against Germany, including;

  • The Battle of the Barges (August 1940)
  • The Augsburg Raid (April 17, 1942)
  • Operation Robinson (October 17, 1942)
  • Operation Millennium (May 30, 1942)
  • The Dams Raid ‘Dambusters’ (May 16, 1943)
  • The Battle of the Ruhr (1943-1944)
  • The Numerburg Raid (March 30, 1944)
  • The Battle of Berlin (1944-1945)
  • The Bochum Raid (November 4, 1944)

Aside from these undertakings of the Bomber Command, Lincolnshire was witness to the action of day and night fighters, anti-shipping strike and transport, as well as flying trainings.

Modern-Day Aviation

Today, Lincolnshire is the location of the Royal Air Force Central Flying School and the Royal Air Force Acrobatic Team, “The Red Arrows”.

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, the RAF’s tribute to the aviators of World War II, is also held in the county and operates a Lancaster, five Spitfires, two Hurricanes, two Chipmunks and a Dakota. The Lincolnshire County Council and Royal Air Force partnership facilitates the viewing of these historic aircraft at their base at RAF Coningsby.

In addition to this, there are various aviation museums and heritage centres throughout the county of Lincolnshire which showcase restored airfield buildings, control towers and operations rooms, among others.

For more information on this, please visit our Lincolnshire modern aviation page.

Below is a list of Lincolnshire aviation museums, visitor centres and heritage centres.

Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Visitors Centre (BBMF) 


RAF BBMF Visitor’s Centre
Dogdyke Road
Coningsby, LN4 4SY
Telephone: 01522 782040

Cranwell Aviation Heritage Centre 


North Rauceby
Near Cranwell
Sleaford, NG34 8QR
Telephone: 01529 488490

Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre 


East Kirkby Airfield
East Kirkby, near Spilsby
PE23 4DE
Telephone: 01790 763207

Metheringham Airfield Visitors Centre 


Westmoor Farm, Martin Moor

Telephone: 01526 378270

RAF Waddington Viewing Enclosure 


The Sentry Post
Sleaford Road (A-15)
Waddington LN5 9EG
Telephone: 01522 720271

RAF Wickenby Memorial Museum 


Wickenby Airfield
Near Langworth, Lincoln
Telephone: 01673 885000

Thorpe Camp Visitor Centre 


Woodhall Spa Road
Tattershall Thorpe
Telephone: 01526 342249

Newark Air Museum 


The Airfield
Winthorpe, Newark
NG24 2NY
Telephone: 01636 707170

Scampton Historical Museum 


RAF Scampton
Lincoln, Lincolnshire
Telephone: 01522 730376

RAF Digby 


Sector Operations Room Museum
Scopwick, Lincolnshire
Telephone: 01526 327296

Grantham Museum 


St. Peter’s Hill
Grantham, Lincolnshire
Telephone: 01476 568783

International Bomber Command Centre 


Canwick Avenue
Telephone: 01522 514755


RAF Lincolnshire 100th Anniversary

2018 marked the 100th anniversary of the RAF and a whole host of celebrations took place across Lincolnshire to mark the momentous occasion. For more information, visit our information page.