Eighty years of aviation history are being celebrated at the region’s biggest airport.
And to mark the milestone, two Belgian Airforce F-16 fighter planes took to the skies as part of a fly-past at Leeds Bradford International Airport (LBA) yesterday.
But the aircraft spectacle was not the only activity heralding the airport’s past.
A 24-hour exhibition of photographs was launched in the Landside Food Village on the first floor of the main terminal building. It will run until December 31.
Local aviation historian Ken Cothliff, who recently finished writing his first book, Yeadon Above the Rest, is behind the project.
The former owner of Air Supply in Yeadon spent the last five years piecing together the airport’s past. His book uncovers the human interest stories from the day Yeadon Aerodrome was opened in 1931 right up until the current day.
Ken, who was invited to be involved with the anniversary, said about his book: “I talk a lot about the early days, a lot about the times during World War II, when the airport was manufacturing Lancaster Bombers.
“It isn’t just about the history though. There’re many personal stories in there too, like the pilot who opened the cockpit window to get a face full of ash as the previous pilot had been using the sill as an ashtray.”
Yeadon Aerodrome began operating in October 1931 offering club flying and training flights on 60 acres of grassland along the Bradford-Harrogate Road. Flying was mainly in Cirrus and Gypsy Moth aircraft, and later Puss and Leopard Moth for training and charters.
By 1935 the airport had been extended by 35 acres and schedule air services were launched to Newcastle and Edinburgh with North Eastern Airways.
At the outbreak of World War II, all civil flying ceased and the runways were used for test flights for the thousands of aircraft built adjacent to the airport, including Ansons and Lancasters.
LBA was finally born in 1987, and got the go ahead for 24-hour flights in 1994.
Order Yeadon Above the Rest at www.airsupply.co.uk or Croft Publications on 01423 322558.