Aerodrome Way, TW5

Place Name

This was the original tree-lined driveway that led to the former Heston Aerodrome which was officially operational between July 1929 and February 29, 1948 with some minor use to October 1948. Heston Air Park was conceived by fellow pilots and aircraft co-owners Nigel Norman and Alan Muntz in 1928. By the 1930s it was regularly used by private pilots who had taken up the new sport of flying and as a starting point for those attempting new endurance records. Indeed to promote Heston as a major centre of private flying, air displays, public demonstrations of new aircraft types, and air races, were put on. By the mid-1930s it was being used for commercial charter flights and it was here in 1936 that several of the companies, Spartan Air Lines, United Airways Ltd and Hillman’s Airways, merged to form British Airways Ltd, which began offering scheduled services out of Heston. The firm later moved to Gatwick Airport, then to Croydon Airport, before returning to Heston in May 1938, remaining until April 1940. It was also used as a centre for aircraft manufacture with several firms using the facilities. Before the Second World War Heston was considered as the location for one of four airports that would serve London. The whole scheme was later scrapped partly on the grounds of its closeness to London which would make regular flights too difficult. Some of what used to be Heston Aerodrome is now used for housing and industrial estates and the M4 motorway with its large service areas cuts across the aerodrome east–west.

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