HMS Deadalus, Lee-on-Solent, History and the Future
By the end of the World War 2 the strength of the Fleet Air Arm possessed 56 air stations all over the world, the most important was the headquarters of HMS Daedalus at Lee on Solent, with its airfield, bordering the Solent opposite the Isle of Wight and a slipway into the sea. She was first established in the First World War in 1917 by the Admiralty, and was subsequently transferred to the RAF in 1918.
On the formation of the Fleet Air Arm under the Admiralty the air station was returned to the Royal Navy on 24 May 1939 as HMS Daedalus and played an important role during the Second World War. Post war she continued to play a significant role, being renamed HMS Ariel on 31 October 1959 to reflect her electrical, radar and ground training emphasis, and in 1962 the joint Service Hovercraft Unit was formed with the aim of testing hovercraft in an operational military environment, and soon after the Air Station revert to the name HMS Daedalus on 5 October 1965. She was finally paid off from the Royal Navy on 29 March 1996.
Supermarine Scimitar F1, (10th August 1963 Air Day) See More
Plan to return aviation to Daedalus Airfield
ISLE of Wight-based Britten-Norman has signed a new two-year lease for the Daedalus Airfield in Lee-on-the-Solent in a bid to put the Gosport peninsula back on the aviation map.
The new lease from the South East England Development Agency (Seeda) will allow the continued operation of the airfield which had been under the management of the Hampshire Police Air Support Unit.
Fly BN Ltd, Britten-Norman’s airfield management subsidiary, will have full responsibility for day-to-day operations at Daedalus Airfield.
Pete Dalby, the company’s airfield manager, said: “We pride ourselves on offering a safe, friendly and welcoming service to both regular airfield operators and any new visitors that we can attract.
“Our aim is to put the Gosport peninsula back on the aviation map as a place that welcomes visitors to this important heritage area.”
Britten-Norman already has a manufacturing and aircraft maintenance base at the site. The lease also includes agreements between Seeda and the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA).