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Daedalus 100

 

   

Daedalus, in Greek mythology he was a skilled craftsman and artist, Father of Icarus, they lived in Crete until Daedalus upset King Minos and had to flee using waxed wings. Icarus died en-route but Daedalus survived to reach Sicily where he built a temple in honour of Apollo.

 
 

The air station was first established in 1917 as HM Naval Seaplane Training School and transferred to the RAF in 1918. When the Fleet Air Arm was established in 1937 it was then transferred to the navy and named HMS Daedalus. There have been many moves to close the airbase, but thanks to many people’s tenacity, it is now going to remain, even if a little smaller.

 

The event was named Daedalus100 to celebrate 100 years of the airfield at Lee-on-Solent and took place over the two days of 16th-17th September. Day one was a glorious day with sunshine all day and very little wind, alas, day two was overcast and breezy. The event took the form of static aircraft displays, many of which flew in to the delight of the early birds. There was a mixture of light aircraft and helicopters, all of which were parked to allow you to get close for some nice photos. Also on site was a varied mixture of stalls, with plenty of things to keep the children entertained.

 
 

The Airfield is now owned by Fareham Borough Council, and has been renamed Solent Airport, with many businesses taking advantage of the location and opportunities associated with this site. Information with regard to what is proposed for the future can be seen at: - http://www.fareham.gov.uk/PDF/business/daedalus/vision.pdf

 
 

We interviewed Trevor Cartwright from Fareham Borough Council who explained that it took 20 planning meetings to get to the day itself, and was regarded as a success with all allocated tickets sold out. More importantly and looking to the future, the council is looking to hold more regular events at Daedalus (now known as Solent Airport).  

 

Daedalus used to hold annual air displays in the past, which were certainly popular amongst the local community, and as an ex Fleet Air Arm base I would think there would be support from Yeovilton if they could get them up and running again. Unfortunately with all the costs and red tape required to hold an airshow this seems unlikely, but for the moment there are plans to hold an event for the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day landings in 2019, where Daedalus was home to several squadrons of Swordfish and Avengers which flew 435 sorties in support of the invasion forces on D-Day alone.

The event whilst not being planned as an airshow per se, it is expected to feature a series of flypasts – we are thinking Spitfires, Hurricanes, Dakota’s and hopefully the Swordfish. Nothing is certain yet, but do keep an eye on Airscene News as we’ll update you as soon as we know more.

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