History comes to light at Sywell Aerodrome
26th September 2008
Work on the all-weather runway at Sywell Aerodrome has been progressing well over the past few months and recent ground workings have uncovered an important artefact showing Sywell's role in a key event in the Cold War 60 years ago.
Digging revealed a complete three-bladed propeller, buried for many years, which has been identified as coming from a Douglas C-47 Dakota aeroplane. The Dakota was a transport aircraft used by the RAF and US Army Air Force during the second world war. In 1948, the Russians blockaded the city of Berlin, the only way to supply the city being by air. The Dakota was the backbone of this operation and many Dakotas were overhauled by Brooklands Aviation at Sywell during that time. This propeller was clearly replaced and dumped in a trench which has just been uncovered.
The propeller is in excellent condition, still retaining its paint and markings. Richard Watts of the Sywell Aviation Museum noted "We are amazed that this archaeology was on the airfield, literally yards from the Museum and it has remained hidden for all this time. It will be cleaned and conserved to commemorate Sywell's contribution to the Berlin Airlift - a turning point in the Cold War".
Sywell Aviation Museum remains open until the 28th September at weekends between 10.30-16.30hrs, it reopens at Easter 2009. So yes, this weekend is your last chance to visit in 2008!