Aerial view of Hixon Airfield Industrial Estate

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Description:View from the west looking over Hixon Airfield Industrial Estate towards Hixon village. On the right edge of the image is New Road. One of the runways can be seen in the foreground.

Hixon Airfield Industrial Estate is built on part of a Second World War airbase. The airbase opened in May 1942 for RAF Bomber Command. The Airfield had three concrete runways which were strong enough to take the weight of Wellingtons and Bristol Blenheims. Two of the runways still exist and are on occasion used by the Police for driver training.

At the time of this photograph the runway and other areas were used regularly by the Test Department of Michelin Tyre plc, Stoke on Trent. The differing colours of surface at the end of the runway were in fact very carefully specified road surface textures for tyre braking performance testing. Further, the circular area at the end of the runway was a 'steering pad' for tyre testing during continuous cornering, once again very carefully specified and laid down. The yellow 'boom' arrangement is a water spray system to provide for testing in wet conditions. Both the braking test areas and the steering pad were deluged from an engine driven pump system housed in a small building adjacent to the steering pad.

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Image courtesy of: Mr David Welch

Donor ref:img881 (55/42225)

Source: Miscellaneous Collection

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