AIRBASE is housed in 35,000sq ft hangar at historic Coventry Airport and forms the home for more than 30 aeroplanes operated by Air Atlantique Ltd.

Coventry 2010

Coventry 2010

AIRBASE is far from your typical aeroplane ‘museum’ – this is a working museum, where aeroplanes are maintained and prepared for flight. AIRBASE visitors can see, hear and even smell these historic aircraft as they reach for the skies. Meet the crew and photograph the aircraft in action.

Among the gems on show is the world’s only airworthy Gloster Meteor Night Fighter. This aircraft was built at Coventry Airport in 1952 and flies on in memory of those who strived to make jet technology a reality.

Flying alongside the Meteor are de Havilland Vampire and Venom jet fighters, Jet Provost trainers and the mighty Canberra jet bomber. Canberra WK163, on show at AIRBASE, is actually a world record breaker! On August 28, 1957 Mike Randrup, with Walter Shirley acting as flight observer, flew WK163 to 70,310ft – in doing so acquiring the world altitude record for Great Britain.

Rubbing shoulders with these historically important jets is a collection of classic transport, airliner, training and liaison types ranging from the 1930s Dragon Rapide biplanes through the Douglas Dakota to the evocative Avro Anson and iconic Chipmunk.

Air Atlantique has long been associated with the Dakota and three examples still operate from Coventry and can usually be seen in and around the AIRBASE centre. The Dakota is famous for its role in both the D-Day landings and the Berlin Airlift – in fact one of Classic Flight’s ‘Daks’ is a Berlin Airlift veteran.

Robert Hodgson