Situated along side the A303, just north of Winchester, Popham Airfield is home to the Spitfire Flying Club.
In the early 1970’s the land alongside the A303 was purchased by Jim Espin, a member of the Hampshire Strut of the Popular Flying Association. With the aid of fellow members of the Strut, the land was cleared, levelled, seeded and transformed into an airstrip. The original strip is now the 26/08 runway of the present airfield. In 1978, the airfield was purchased by Charles Church, an avid collector of Spitfires. A second runway was added and the airfield was expanded to include additional hangers.
Today, Popham Airfield welcomes over 10,000 visitors annually and is famous for hosting many events over the year, including the Microlight trade fair in May, the annual Motorcycle Mega Meet, Classic Car Show and Vintage Aircraft Fly-in in August and the New Year’s Day Fly-in.
It is also home to the world’s only “Ikarus C42 As” flight training simulator. This allows the Popham-based flight school, AirBourne Aviation (www.flyMAC.co.uk), to offer flight training to its students no matter the weather conditions. This makes AirBourne Aviation the UK’s ONLY all-weather flight school.
Popham Airfield has been painstakingly recreated by Burning Blue Design’s modellers and coders undertaking multiple on-site visits and flights. We have worked in collaboration with AirBourne Aviation to ensure the highest levels of accuracy.
- Over 110 custom 3D objects have been created exclusively for Popham airfield, each with full Physical Based Rendering (PBR) allowing for extremely realistic textures.
- Thousands of carefully placed stock assets, every cone, car, sign and fence has been placed in it’s correct location ensuring an atmosphere of a working airfield.
- High resolution colour corrected ground textures taken from Bing maps and manipulated for consistency and realism which far surpasses the quality of the stock Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 ground texture.
- Working custom Signal Square, which accurately shows the most suitable runway for the wind conditions.
- Dynamic smoke effects, signs and car park, which change realistically depending on the time of day.
- New control tower built in 2020.
- Numerous custom aircraft have been added around Popham to enhance the realism and better reflect actual aircraft found at the airfield:
- Ikarus C42 (AirBourne Aviation school aircraft: G-CCYR and G-CDVI)
- Spitfire F Mk.Ia
- Yakovlev Yak-52 (G-YAKI and G-YAKX – both real aircraft based at Popham)
- Yakovlev Yak-12
- De Havilland Chipmunk
- Correct AI pattern procedures and accurate taxiway and runway placement have been incorporated into the airfield.
- Key navigational landmarks in the surrounding area have been included:
- White Arrow – used by pilots to line up on the offset approach to 26
- Water Tower
- Grain Silos at Micheldever
- Polytunnels – marking the downwind leg of the 08-26 circuit
- BP and Esso fuel stations
- Starbucks (A303 North and South)
- Popham MX Track
- Test Valley Golf Course
- In honour of the car and motorcycle events hosted at Popham, the car park includes:
- 1946 Vespa scooter
- 1955 Volkswagen Transporter ‘T1’
- 1963 Austin Mini
- 1970 Porsche 911
- 1990 Mazda MX-5 ‘Mk1’
- 2017 Yamaha YZF-R3