GB2NWA Airfields on the Air 6/7 April 2024

By | 18 April 2024

Richard G4DDP’s report.

For 2024, LEFARS put on Airfields on the Air using GB2NWA from the vicinity of North Weald Airfield in Essex. Unlike 2023 when we operated GB2STA from Stapleford Tawney Airfield in the most miserable rain sodden quagmire, this year we were blessed by the weather Gods and experienced a sunny, warm but very gusty weekend.

We put on a number of stations operating on 40m, 20m, 17m, 15m, 12m and 2m.

40m consisted of a ½ wave dipole at 8m on a Clark pump up mast with a IC7300 running 100w SSB and FT8. 20, 17 and 12m were using a ground mounted ¼ wave vertical with a Icom IC-7300. 15m used the 40m dipole on its third harmonic with IC-7300. 2m used an X300 colinear at 8m fed by an IC-7000 running FM. Conditions on 40m were reasonably good but busy especially with a SP Polish contest on most of the weekend.

The 40, 15 and 2m stations were located in a radio caravan owned by four members of the LEFARS portable group powered by a Honda EU2000i generator whilst the 20, 17 and 12m stations were powered by V2L system on a Hyundai Ioniq5 and a 1kw Ecoflow battery system.

Selim M0XTA operated with Ellis’s IC-7100 using a 6.5m whip on car and worked VK2CPC on 15m and TC3WRD on 10m both on SSB. He couldn’t do any more operating as the high wind threatened to bend his telescopic whip.

Across the band a total of 195 stations were worked, the majority on 40m SSB with breakdown below

40m                 148
20m                 13
17m                 1
15m                 19
12m                 1
2m                   13

Airfields worked were:

RAF Twinwood Farm, Bedford – Main use was a night fighter base but also where Glen Miller flew out of in December 1944 and never seen again.
RAF Western Zoyland, Somerset
RAF Binbrook, Lincolnshire
RAF Willingale / Chipping Ongar, Essex
RAF Henlow, Bedfordshire
RAF Hornchurch, London

On the maps below,  all US and Canada contacts were on 15m using third harmonic of 40m dipole, red is UK and EU on 40m & 2m, orange is Dave M0TAZ 20m SP contacts, Japan and China also 15m (turquiose), Portugal is 12m (pink) with M0TAZ and Spain 17m  also with M0TAZ

Richard G4DDP operating the 40m station. The snack/operator food was provided by Ion M0JLI !

John G8DZH’s notes

Setting up for the GB2NWA AOTA weekend started on Friday afternoon (5th April) with David M0VID and John G8DZH moving the radio caravan (owned by some members of the LEFARS portable group) to its location at the corner of the plot. The 40m dipole and 2m X-300 colinear were setup on Saturday morning.

On Saturday morning Richard G4DDP was onsite by 8.30am.  Soon after a problem with the generator not starting was found; a visit back to the store by John G8DZH to get the spare generator and also top up the petrol can.  Of course, on my return, I found the generator was working 🙁  By lunchtime the 40m and 2m stations were setup. Only a few 2m stations were worked, mostly local or club members.

High winds over the weekend did cause a few problems but the main antenna masts were well guyed and stayed up.

It was good to see those members, and visitors, who found us and dropped in to say hello over the weekend. There were twelve dinners at the meal on Saturday evening.

Operators:  Richard G4DDP   John G8DZH    Selim M0XTA    Dave M0TAZ    George M1GEO
Members:   John G0VEH    John M0JGR   Chris G8OCV  Cliff 2E0RCW   Kerry 2E0IJZ   Ion M0JLI (and son) Richard 2E0XRS (with Kylie)  David M0VID (with Pam)   Brian M0OAB   John G8NUP   John G1DJI  Peter G0IAP
Visitors:   G6NAX from Ongar.

Packing up started at 15:40 on Sunday afternoon and we were clear one hour later. Our thanks to Andy at the Rainbow & Dove for letting us activate GB2NWA and putting up with us over the weekend.


One end of the 40m dipole. The 2m X-300 was atop the Clark mast on the mobile shack at about 8m agl.

The M1GEO 1/2 wave vertical, well guyed and helped by the saturated grass.

(L to R) Peter G0IAP and George M1GEO

A 3kW EcoFlow provided fresh coffee and operating power.

Dave M0TAZ operated from the back of his vehicle (hiding behind the coffee machine). Equipment cases make useful seats…

(L to R): Ion M0JLI David M0VID John G8NUP John M0JGR and Chris G8OCV.

(L to R): Ellis 2E0EWM and Selim M0XTA.

Meals were handily available at the adjacent pub. Here Dave M0TAZ contemplates a light lunchtime repast.

(L to R): Chairman Richard G4DDP and Treasurer John G1DJI.

Brian M0OAB brought along his own mobile all-terrain catering wagon.

There were twelve diners on Saturday evening, a few shown here……

…. and a few more.

Ion M0JLI and son.


John G8DZH

[Photo credits: John G8DZH and George M1GEO]