AIR. A POPULAR AIRPORT IN KEAT
SOME DETAILS OF THE WELL ARRANGED CLUB AND FLYING SCHOOL.. AT MAIDSTONE
Cij REAT Britain is notoriously slow in providing facilities for new activities, and the provision of well-equipped aerodromes is one of the cases in point. The progress achieved at Hanworth, Heston, and Brooklands has at last opened the eyes of the public and the business men to the demand, and the programme of development planned by Maidstone Air Port Ltd., in conjunction with Land, Air and Water Services, should provide Kent with flying facilities as advanced as those enjoyed by the metropolis.
The aerodrome is situated at West Mailing, 29 miles from London on the Maidstone road, the best method of reaching it being to turn off at Rootes Service Station just after Wrotham. Maidstone is six miles further on. We arrived there on a Sunday afternoon and found a representative collection of machines, the most striking of them being a blue Klemm (Salmson) belonging to Mrs. Green, who is a member of the Maidstone Aero Club. Capt.
‘Duncan Davis had flown over from Brooklands on a Comper Swift, and M. Van der Loewe, a visitor from Holland well known in this . country was using a Puss Moth. The landing ground is an unobstructed field 100 acres in extent, almost square in shape. The subsoil is Kentish ragstone, a porous substance, and no trouble is experienced with pools of surface
water even after heavy rain. The hangars and the clubhouse lie on the north side, right on the Wrotham road. The first is occupied by Club and Airport machines, but the second is almost completed, its accommodation being already much in demand. The clubhouse is a
single-storey building, comfortably furnished and contains the great essentials, a lounge, food at all times, and a bar. It is already a popular resort at week-ends and dances are held on Sundays. The Maidstone Aero Club, whose headquarters it is, has a membership
of 192. A Flying School is run by the Airport authorities, with an instructor permanently in attendance. Two Moths and a Desoutter are used for instructional purposes, and a Tiger Moth is on order. This will be used for night-flying instruction, for which purpose the aerodrome will be flood-lit. There are, of course, the usual facilities for joy rides, fuelling, and servicing of machines. Important development schemes have been planned for the riear future. The Airport Company already possesses a Public U,se License, which allows the aerodrome to be used for commercial flying. Customs clearance will be arranged, and as Maidstone is on the direct
line to Ostend, English visitors will prefer to take off from there rather than from Lympne. It is likely too that the Maidstone Municipal Airport would be established at West Mailing rather than in a place as yet unprovided with facilities, in which case, a further 100 acres will be taken in. Plans have been prepared for a large and handsome club-house in the modern style, with swimming pool and the usual accommodation one expects in an up-to-date country club. This, together with a large service station is to be built at the south side, the present Clubhouse to be then used as a Public Restaurant.
The Club subscription is 3 guineas, with five guineas entrance fee, but new members are admitted for the remainder of the year by a single payment of 11 guineas. This strikes us as a good idea, for October and November have a surprising number of still sunny days quite as suitable for flying as the more favoured ones of summer.
A bus leaves Baker Street Garage ot 2.15 each Saturday and Sunday, so the clubiis easily accessible even for those without cars.