Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields:

Germany, Bavaria kreis: Swabia (Schwaben)

This collection of airfields is © 2010-2012 by RonaldV
(Disclaimer).

 

Augsburg-Haunstetten Added 2 Mar 2011 - Gersthofen-Gablingen (Augsburg AHP) Added 2 Mar 2011

Kaufbeuren Added 17 Jun 2011 - zyx

____________________________________________________

 

Augsburg-Haunstetten

 

48°19'33"N010°54'00"E;

 

Runway: n/a - 1,000x60meters - grass (CLOSED)

Runway: n/a - 650x50meters - grass (CLOSED)

 

Airfield Augsburg-Haunstetten (Flugplatz Augsburg-Haunstetten) was an airfield south of Augsburg in Bavaria, Germany

The airfield was founded in November 1916 as a factory airfield for the 'Bayerische Rumpler-Werke'.

The first Rumpler aircraft (a Rumpler C.1) took off from the airfield on 1 July 1917.

After World War I the airfield handled civilian air traffic, transporting passengers and mail domestically.

The first aircraft arrived in March 1919, marking the beginning of Bavarian civilian air traffic.

Bayerische Flugzeugwerke (Bavarian Aircraft Factories) obtained the old Rumpler plants in July 1926 and began producing Udet U12 aircraft.

Under the supervision of one Willy Messerschmidt the plant produced civilian aircraft until 1934.

After that the production of military aircraft became more and more important, until the company was renamed Messerschmidt.

Because of the Messerschmidt plant the civilian airfield Augsburg was bombed several times by Allied air strikes during World War II.

 

Production of Bf-109 fighters at air field Augsburg-Haunstetten (Bundesarchiv via Wikipedia).

 

Reconnaissance photo of air field Augsburg-Haunstetten taken by a Spitfire from 30,000ft on 8 Aug 1944 (Photo RAF)
notice the presence of an oval shaped sportfield south of the Messerschmidt plant,
it exists in all aerial shots, and remains to this day.

 

Destroyed Messerschmit plant at air field Augsburg-Haunstetten in 1945

 

A US Army service member posing with a captured Bf-109 at air field Augsburg-Haunstetten

 

American forces seized the airfield near the end of World War II, and stayed there until May 1956.

They allowed gliders back on the field in 1952 and motorised flight in 1955.

In the late 1950s negotiations proved the airfield was hindering the expansion of Augsburg.

The Americans took their last 25 aircraft to Gersthofen-Gablingen in the fall of 1963 and returned the airfield to the German government.

Much on the history of the US Army at the airfield can be read at Amerika-in-Augsburg.de

Their 25 year lease of the airfield ended in 1964 and so Augsburg became the rightful owner again.

On 21 July 1968 the last aircraft left the airfield, which was by now known as the "old airfield".

From 1972 onwards a large area of the former airfield was built by the Augsburg University.

Another part of the airfield became a residential area, which is known as the University quarter since 1979.

 

Tower of air field Augsburg-Haunstetten, ca. 1950

 

US Army U-1A Otter at air field Augsburg-Haunstetten, ca. 1950

 

US Army 18th Transport Company UH-34s arriving at air field Augsburg-Haunstetten in the early 1960s

 

US Army Cessna L-19 Bird Dog aircraft at air field Augsburg-Haunstetten

 

aerial view of air field Augsburg-Haunstetten, ca. 1960

 

The Messerschmidt plant remains at Augsburg-Haunstetten to this day, although it is no longer by that name.

When Willy Messerschmidt took over the Rumpler-Werke, he renamed the company to Messerschmidt, and made fame by his line of fighters of World War II.

After the War the company was forbidden (like the rest of Germany) to produce aircraft, so he switched to cars for a while.

Messerschmidt ultimately became part of the Messerschmidt-Bolkow-Blohm (MBB) consortium who amongst others built the MBB Bo-105 helicopter.

MBB also licence produced (parts of) the G-91 fighterbomber and the F-104G Starfighter at the plant.

MBB later became part of DASA (Deutsche Aerospace) which is now part of EADS (the producers of Airbus).

The plant, although upgraded and rebuilt over the years, still exists and is still producing aircraft components.

 

All that remains of air field Augsburg-Haunstetten in june 2006 is in the red ovals.

 

Detailed view of the south side of the former air field Augsburg-Haunstetten

 

A smaller portion of the airfield also still existed on the north side of the former air field

 

The remains of the airfield could still be found in the area for decades.

Parts of platforms and taxiways littered the University and commercial estates.

The last concrete platforms and taxiways were removed in 2008-2009.

 

A small piece of a taxiway that still existed as late as 2008

 

____________________________________________________

 

Gersthofen-Gablingen (Augsburg AHP)

48°27'04"N010°51'45"E

 

Antenna array at airfield Augsburg AHP (Gersthofen-Gablingen)

 

Runway: 09/27 - 2744x46meters/9003x151feet - TARMAC

Airfield Gersthofen-Gablingen (german: Flugplatz Gersthofen-Gablingen, also known as Augsburg AHP, ICAO EDOX (until 1992)) was an airfield north of Augsburg in Bavaria, Germany

Between 1904 and 1918 the airfield was a subordinate unit to the Flying School at Schleissheim (german: Fliegerschule Schleißheim) of the Royal Bavarian Flying Troops.

During World War I it was known as 'Fliegerschule V'.

In order to be able to build aircraft maintenance hangars very fast, the Bavarian Flying Troops developed a design with an iron skeleton.

As a result of this design Gersthofen received one such hangar, which stood until 1980, when it was pulled for military security reasons.

 

During World War II it took the Allied reconnaissance aircraft a very long time to recognise the airfield.

This could happen because it was very well camouflaged with cardboard cows and paint that made the airfield look like a small lake.

The airfield was home to the Pilot Schools A5 and C7, Night Fighter School 1, and an Me163 'Komet' test-unit

Parts of the 'Amerikabomber' (Me 264) were stored here in late 1943 to make room for the production of Me410 at the Messerschmidt plant

According to American soldiers that had been stationed at the site the area is littered with tunnels, sometimes several levels deep.

At least one of them was large enough to house a production facility for rocket fuel.

One access tunnel is known to be on the site of the former airfield, but it is inaccessible because that is a restricted military area.

On 16 March 1944 the airfield was attacked by two Bomber Wings from England flying 100-120 B-17s and B-24s.

On 24 April 1944 a second attack followed bu 120 B-24s.

 

Allied map of Gablingen, ca. 1944

 

Photoreconnaissance proof of a successful airstrike in 1944

 

Between 1945 and 1955 the airfield was designated R-77 and used as Air Base Barracks Gablingen

in 1956 the 188th Airborne Infantry Regiment was stationed at the field, later followed up by the 187th.

The US 7th MEDCOM brought 6 UH-1H Hueys of the 236th MedDet to the field.

Somewhere around 1970 a SIGINT unit came to the base, for which a circular antenna was built: 40 meters high, and 365meters across, known locally as 'the elephant cage'.

The antenna allowed interception of short wave radio communications several thousand miles away.

 

In 1985 some 1800 people worked in the underground classified facilities, under the supervision of the NSA.

The facililty was given up in 1998 and handed over to the Bundeswehr, who alledgedly do not use it.

The German Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) lists it as an operational site however, one that is not to be brought to Berlin.

 

The former airfield is still a restricted military area.

From Google Earth you can still recognise the runway, platforms (now in use as parking lots) and taxitracks though.

At least one hangar still existed in 2000.

 

former Augsburg AHP in 2000 (Google Earth)

 

____________________________________________________

 

Kaufbeuren

 

47°51'44"N010°36'53"E

 

Runway: 02/20 - 2154x30m - Asphalt

 

Kaufbeuren airfield (German: Flugplatz Kaufbeuren, also known as Fliegerhorst Kaufbeuren, Advanced Landing Ground R-70, Kaufbeuren Air Force Base, and Kaufbeuren Air Base, ICAO:EDSK) is an airfield just south of Kaufbeuren, Bavaria, Germany.

The airfield opened in 1935 as a Luftwaffe installation.

The Fliegerhorst was captured by American troops in May 1945 at the end of the war.

They initially used the airfield as an ocupation facility, but 55FG (P-51s) occupied the airfield from July 1945 until April 1946.

As Kaufbeuren AFB the airfield had 60TCW assigned from 1 July 1948.

Shortly after moving in the Wing and its three squadrons began supporting the Berlin Airlift.

The missions began on 26 June 1948, and the C-47s and C-54s of the Wing flew missions from Kaufbeuren and Wiesbaden until the end of the airlift on 26 September 1949

After the Berlin Airlift ended the 60th was moved without personnel and equipment to Wiesbaden.

 

Unfortunately, photos of the airfield while in use have not been located

 

In the early 1950s USAF decided to withdraw all of its flying units to the west bank of the Rhine.

The introduction of jet aircraft meant that the airbases to the east of the Rhine were too close to Eastern Block bombers and fighters, leaving too little time for alarms.

As a result, permanent active flying organisations were no longer assigned to Kaufbeuren, and the airfield became a communications station under the 7230 Air Force Wing

In 1955 the 7330 Flying Training Wing was established to train German pilots for the post-war Luftwaffe.

The facility was handed over to German control in December 1957

THe airfield became an active Luftwaffe airbase, and kept that role until just after the end of the Cold War in September 1991.

Although still property of the Luftwaffe, the airfield is no longer used as a military flying installation.

Instead it is now the home of Luftwaffe Technical School 1.

 

The airfield is not completely inactivated though.

First of al there is an acive civilian flying club at the former air base.

Second, the Technical School occasionally receives aircraft by air.

For instance, the introduction of the new Eurofighter meant that a brand new aircraft was flown into the School to allow training of groundcrews.

But the school also hosts mountain flying training courses for helicopter crews of the Heeresflieger (German Army Aviation branch).

The proximity of the Alps makes Kaufbeuren an ideal training location for helicopters.

As the airfield is still millitary property it is not possible to freely roam the arfield.

 

A map of the airfield will follow shortly

 

____________________________________________________

If you have any information about airfields (listed and unlisted) in Germany, email RonaldV.

Disclaimer

____________________________________________________

Home

________________________________