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Airport & Aviation – Manchester in Flight

04/11/2017 11:00 am
04/11/2017 1:15 pm
Airport station barrier
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Manchester Airport, United Kingdom, M90 1QX

It all took off in Manchester in 1910 with one of the world’s first aircraft factories and the city’s been flying high since.

Meet at the Airport Station barrier for our tour of Manchester Airport and the history of flight in the city where the world’s first aircraft manufactory was built.


Only 4 months after the Wright Brothers first achieved powered flight, it all took off here with the meeting of Messrs Rolls and Royce at Manchester’s Midland Hotel in 1904. By 1907, the Roe brothers were manufacturing aircraft here in kit form, to open the world’s first aircraft factory in central Manchester in January 1910. The city has been flying high ever since.

Meet at the Airport Rail Station barrier for our tour of the history of flight in the city, bringing us up to the present day with a guided tour of Manchester airport.

Our tour includes:

An overview of the beginnings of aviation in the region, including the first successful Transatlantic flight by 2 local pilots;

A visit to one of the five Prayer rooms;

We discover Ringway’s significant contribution to World War II and beyond (including modern aircraft safety) at the Memorial garden;

We finish on the roof of the original Terminal building to see the entire Airport from above, as we watch aircraft movements.

This includes the arrival of the lunchtime Emirates Airbus A380 super-jumbo from Dubai (the world’s busiest international airport) – a city that would not exist, were it not for the achievements of a man from Manchester! (which man? We’ll explain on the tour).

After all this, you may wish to continue to the “Aviation Weekend” at Manchester Airport’s Runway Visitor Park.

The Concorde Hangar will be accessible and full of exhibitors for the Aviation Memorabilia Fair held beneath this iconic aircraft – the fastest passenger plane ever created.

Some big names are attending this year’s event including the RAF, BAE Systems, Key Publishing, ARD Models, plus many individuals who are just having a “loft clearance” of their aviation treasures!

Entrance to the Hangar is free – Normal Car Parking charges apply. Concorde Hangar opens 10.00 am until 17.00.


Relevant dates in aviation history (for the July tours only)

22 July 1914 Britain’s first aircraft passenger pleasure flights were launched, though a short-lived service (2 days only), “The Great Yorkshire Show Airline” flew from Leeds to Bradford and back, at half-hourly intervals.

21 July 1919 Anthony Fokker founded his aircraft company at Schiphol, near Amsterdam

22 July 1920 Donald W Douglas and David R Davis formed the Davis Douglas Co. near Santa Monica USA. The company later merged with McDonnell Aircraft to form the McDonnell Douglas Corporation.

29 July 1929 A Ford Trimotor flown by Charles Lindbergh began the first coast-to-coast USA air passenger service through Transcontinental Air Transport

16 July 1930 TWA (Transcontinental & Western Air) is formed with the merger of Transcontinental Air Transport, PAIC and Western Air Express (>>American Airlines)

26 July 1932 The Boeing Model 247, considered to be the first modern passenger airliner, is awarded its patent. It was an all metal, twin-engine, retractable gear, streamlined airliner that could hold ten passengers in air conditioned comfort.

20 July 1934 United Airlines Transport Corporation (UALTC) is formed as United Airports of California.

28 July 1934 Aberdeen Airport (Dyce) was established by Eric Dower, intended to link the northern islands of Scotland with London.

22 July 1943 The first of three modified Lancaster bombers began a transatlantic service in Trans Canada Airlines markings.

31 July 1946 PAL (Philippine Air Lines) became the first Asian airline to cross the Pacific Ocean when a chartered Douglas DC4 ferried 40 American servicemen from Manila to Oakland, California.

16 July 1948 First flight of the Vickers Viscount turboprop airliner.

27 July 1948 The Berlin Airlift began. BEA co-ordinated civil airline’s operations. (The airlift finally finished on 15 Aug 1949).

31 July 1948 President Harry S Truman dedicated New York International Airport (later John F. Kennedy International – JFK) at Idlewild Field.

27 July 1949 The world’s first jet-propelled airliner, the de Havilland Comet, made its maiden test-flight in England.

28 July 1950 The first scheduled passenger service flown by a gas-turbine powered airliner is BEA (British European Airways) Vickers V630 Viscount

22 July 1959 First jet airliner produced in continental Europe, Sud-Aviation Caravelle entered service with Air France

29 July 1959 The first jetway in the USA is installed at San Francisco International Airport, California.

29 July 1963 Tupolev Tu-134 first flight.

20 July 1973 Icelandair started operations after merging of Flugfélag & Loftleidir.

17 July 1980 Cathay Pacific began a Hong Kong-London service.

31 July 1997 first flight of the B737-800, now the most popular short-haul aircraft.

18 July 2002 British European is rebranded as FlyBe.

22 July 2002 The first A340-600 is delivered to Virgin Atlantic.

20 July 2006 Brazilian national carrier Varig, founded in 1927, ceased operations.

22 July 2010 FlyLAL Charters adopts the brand name Small Planet Airlines.

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