Goodwood Aerodrome


An airfield built on legends

Dreaming of the Skies

Goodwood Aerodrome is steeped is history. Originally a World War II airfield, known as RAF Westhampnett, it was from Goodwood Aerodrome that pilots were trained in Hurricanes and Spitfires.

Battle of Britain Station

Flying began at Goodwood in the 1930s with the nineth Duke of Richmond, a keen amateur engineer and pilot who both designed and built his own aircraft. Consequently, during the Second World War, the Duke was more than willing to allow Goodwood land to be requisitioned. RAF Westhampnett, as it was known, was the airbase for some legendary pilots, including Douglas Bader, Johnnie Johnson and Billy Fiske (the first American pilot killed in action), who flew Hurricanes, Mustangs and Spitfires from this famous Battle of Britain aerodrome.

First Flights for Young Pilots

Flying training began at Goodwood early in 1940 when young pilots were taught operational flying techniques in Hurricanes and Spitfires. It was also from RAF Westhampnett that the first operational sorties by the Fighter Groups of the US 8th Air Force flew in combat with the allies, one of the first sorties being the infamous Dieppe raid.

Douglas Bader's Last Flight

The charismatic Douglas Bader flew his last wartime flight from Westhampnett during which he had to abandon his stricken Spitfire over Northern France. Today a full-size bronze statue stands as a tribute to Bader at Goodwood.

Next Generation

After the War, the Duke realised that the perimeter track around the airfield would make a great racetrack and the Goodwood Motor Circuit was officially opened in September 1948, when it hosted Britain’s very first post-war motor race. Goodwood became the home of British motorsport and the natural successor to Brooklands, which was the very first racetrack in the world but never reopened after suffering extensive damage during the Second World War.

New Flying Aces

Today, we have a thriving Flying School and general aviation business, continuing the passion and traditions initiated by the 9th Duke of Richmond.
Aeroclub at Goodwood 2015 by Nicole Hains

Flying at Goodwood

Subscribe and Enjoy

Hear More from Goodwood

By clicking ‘sign up’ you are accepting the terms of Goodwood’s privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.