Military Wiki
RAF Henlow

Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg

File:RAF Henlow station crest.jpg
Airport type Military
Owner/Operator Royal Air Force
Location Henlow, Shefford, Bedfordshire
Elevation AMSL 148 ft / 45 m
Coordinates 52°00′56″N 000°18′12″W / 52.01556°N 0.30333°W / 52.01556; -0.30333Coordinates: 52°00′56″N 000°18′12″W / 52.01556°N 0.30333°W / 52.01556; -0.30333

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Direction Length Surface
ft m
02/20 3,868 1,179 Grass
09L/27R 2,333 711 Grass
09R/27L 3,442 1,049 Grass
13/31 19,514 948 Grass
Henlow Radio - 121.100 (Mhz)

RAF Henlow is a Royal Air Force station in Bedfordshire, England, equidistant from Bedford, Luton and Stevenage. It houses the RAF Centre of Aviation Medicine, the Joint Arms Control Implementation Group, the RAF Signals Museum and 616 Volunteer Gliding Squadron.


Henlow was chosen as a military aircraft repair depot in 1917 and was built by MacAlpine during 1917 and 1918. 4 Belfast Hangars were built and are now listed buildings. An additional hangar was added to the inventory in the 1930s and this too is now listed. Originally a repair depot for aircraft from the Western Front, the Station officially opened on 18 May 1918 when Lt Col Robert Francis Stapleton-Cotton arrived with a party of 40 airmen from Farnborough. The parachute testing unit moved The Officers Engineering School moved there in 1927. During the Second World War Henlow was used to assemble Hawker Hurricanes which had been shipped from Canada as skeletons in shipping containers and to fit all of the parts. It was also used as a repair base. Hurricane fighters were dismantled there to be shipped to Malta as well. After the war, Henlow became the RAF Signals Engineering Establishment, but was reduced to a Radio Engineering Unit in 1980.

A major RAF technical training college was also formed at Henlow after the Second World War and this was amalgamated with RAF College Cranwell in 1965. The RAF Officer Cadet Training Unit then moved in, but this also moved to Cranwell in 1980. In 1983, the Land Registry took over part of the site.

Henlow Camp, a civilian settlement, has grown up around RAF Henlow since the station's establishment.


Today, RAF Henlow houses the Joint Arms Control Implementation Group (JACIG), all 3 of the RAF'S Police Wings (including the Tactical Provost Squadron), the RAF Centre for Aviation Medicine (RAF CAM), DE&S, 616 Volunteer Gliding Squadron which operates Vigilant T1 motor gliders and number 1 Military Intelligence Brigade HQ. A civilian flying school also operates from the site.

Administratively, RAF Henlow was part of a combined base, RAF Brampton Wyton Henlow but this has been disbanded with RAF Brampton being closed and RAF Wyton renamed RAF Wyton HQ.[1]


Henlow facilities include a Medical and Dental Centre, Officers' Mess, WOs' and Sgts' Mess, Junior Ranks Club - 'Whittles', Junior Ranks Mess and Coffee Shop - 'Crystals', Welfare housing - 'Whittle's Inn', Gymnasium, Swimming pool, bowling alley, an 8 runway grass airfield and a 9 hole golf course open to the public.


RAF Henlow is also home to 2482 (Henlow) Sqn Air Training Corps.

Operational units

  • RAF Centre of Aviation Medicine
    • Joint Arms Control Implementation Group
    • No 3 Tactical Police Wg and various elements of the RAF Police's specialist capabilities
    • 3 (RAuxAF) Sqn, RAF Police Reserve Squadron
    • No 1 Military Intelligence Brigade HQ
    • Defence Cultural Specialist Unit
    • Air Defence and Air Traffic Systems Delivery Team (DE&S)
    • Logistics Network Enabled Capability Team (DE&S)
    • Tucano and Hawk Integrated Project Team (DE&S)
    • Information Systems Support Team (Joint Force Command)

RAF Signals Museum

The RAF Signals Museum is focused on the development of electronic communications by the RAF since World War I. Exhibits include radio and electronic equipment and memorabilia, a typical RAF Y Station from World War II, and the training of Aircraft Apprentices and boy entrants for Signals and Communications trades.

The museum is open on Tuesdays and by appointment. Due to the museum's location in a working air base, all visitors must present a photo ID for entry.


  1. "RAF Wyton". Royal Air Force. Retrieved 9 May 2012. 

External links

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