Earls Colne Airfield is a former Royal Air Force (RAF) station located in Earls Colne, Essex, England. The airfield was built in 1942 as part of the RAF's expansion during World War II. It was used primarily as a training base for fighter pilots.
The airfield was initially used by the RAF's No. 11 Group Fighter Command, which was responsible for the defence of London and the southeast of England. Pilots from all over the country were trained at Earls Colne, as well as those from the United States, who were part of the Eagle Squadrons made up of American volunteers. The airfield was also used by the RAF's No. 61 Operational Training Unit, which trained pilots on the Supermarine Spitfire and Hawker Hurricane fighters.
After the war, Earls Colne Airfield was used by the RAF for a short period as a storage and maintenance facility for aircraft. However, with the rapid demobilization of the RAF, the airfield was closed in 1946 and put up for sale. The airfield was then bought by a private company and used for a variety of purposes, including as an industrial estate and as a location for film and television productions. Some of the buildings from the airfield, such as the control tower and hangars, are still standing and are used for various business and industrial purposes.
In recent years, there have been efforts to preserve the history of Earls Colne Airfield and to commemorate the role it played during World War II. A group of volunteers, the Earls Colne Airfield Preservation Society, have been working to document the history of the airfield and to create a lasting memorial to those who served there.
Today, Earls Colne Airfield is home to the Anglian Flight Centre, Anglian War Birds and the Essex and Hertfordshire Air Ambulance.
Earls Colne Airfield has been faithfully recreated by Burning Blue Design undertaking on-site visits to ensure the highest levels of accuracy. It features:
- Over 80 custom 3D objects each with full Physical Based Rendering (PBR) textures.
- Based on 2023 layout with accurate runway, taxiways and custom taxi signs
- Full night lighting with Runways lights and accurate APAPI
- Animated hangar doors which close at night (open manually with Taxi Lights - Parking spot 25)
- Completely custom windsock and dynamic animated flags
- Animated spectators
- Ford Ranger Fire & Rescue truck
- High resolution colour corrected ground textures
Real-life static aircraft seen at Earls Colne:
- Anglian Flight Centre Cessna 172 Skyhawk (G-ECAK)
- Anglian Flight Centre Robin HR200 (G-ECAP)
- AT-6 Harvard IIA
- Essex & Herts Air Ambulance MD Helicopters MD-902 Explorer (G-EHEM)
Enhanced local surroundings including:
- R.A.F. and U.S.A.A.F. War Memorial
- The Essex 18 hole golf course and driving range
- Local industrial estate
- Luxury lodges