Gosport Aviation Society
The Gosport Aviation Society was in existence for nearly 30 years in which we supported the local authorities with various displays and information regarding aviation in this part of Hampshire (Gosport, Fareham, Lee–on-the Solent and even as far as Calshot).
It was established following discussions with the Captain of HMS Daedalus David Newberry RN and Charles Lihou our first Chairman. One of the main aims being to preserve the aviation history and artefacts of Daeadalus and the area with the intention to have a permanent museum/heritage centre with which to display them.
One of the original committee members Graham Cooper was the curator of a small museum at Fleetlands and along with ourselves we were supported with aircraft from both the FAAM (Sea Vixen) and from the RAFM (Dragonfly and Sycamore). The Sea Vixen was kept at Fleetlands and the two helicopters were in a hangar at nearby HMS Sultan where members began restoring the Dragonfly. The restoration of the Dragonfly was eventually completed at HMS Osprey Portland helicopter base to be used as part of the base closing down ceremonies and is now on display at the FAAM; and the other two aircraft were returned to their respective owners.
We did have a small museum set up at Priddys Hard before the building was condemned and the building we were then due to occupy was not made available (and eventually demolished) so we unfortunately did not have a permanent display area. After using various storage facilities we now have a good storage area and small display area within the Hovercraft Museum at Solent Airfield (previously HMS Daedalus).
The Lee Flying Association was established by a group of aviation enthusiasts with a remit to keep the airfield at Daedalus operational and with the support local of councillors have achieved that aim. The organisations success in the venture, have now focused their efforts in progressing a heritage centre at the airfield – thus having a common aim as the Society.
A suggestion was put forward to the committee by a member of both GAS and the LFA that it may be a good idea for both groups to get together on a common front to preserve the heritage of the area, encompassing the Gosport Peninsular, Lee-on-the-Solent and Fareham areas, continuing the research and preservation of artefacts as we have always done and supporting both boroughs with aviation displays. The ultimate aim is to have a heritage centre at the airfield allowing the general public access to the aviation history of the area.
Following discussions by the two groups it has been decided by the members of both The Gosport Aviation Society and The Lee Flying Association that this is the best way forward with a new aviation group progressing the whole ethos of aviation history, the future aviation of the area and Solent Airfield be formed in 2021 with a new name that encompasses the whole region, “The Daedalus Aviation and Heritage Group”.
Membership is welcome to all who are interested in aviation especially in the region.