I am a Self Launching Motor Glider Pilot and wanted to visit the airfield by road initially as I was staying locally at the Hotel Endsleigh some 15 drive minutes away.... It's one of those hotels where if you have to ask how much, you probably want to search out any other option (probably in/around Tavistock) because it will be cheaper (but it costs nothing to window shop or in the case of the hotel grounds, visit their gardens for a more modest fee and tea) :
On to the airfield. Dartmoor Gliding Society's website is very helpful - however powered pilots might want to stop reading (or give them a call) as the club is inside the Dartmoor National Park boundary powered aircraft can only be accommodated by prior arrangement.
According to their website :
The club is located 3 nm north of Tavistock at co-ordinates 50 35.531N 004 09.100W grid reference 24780 07915.
A radio watch is maintained on 130.105 on normal flying days.
There is a single grass runway orientated 11 - 29 approx. 1100m long.
Circuits are flown on both sides of the runway.
This is a grass field with Skydemon advising the runways are in fact 10 - 28 but what's ten degrees between friends and glider pilots ?
What Skydemon does not show is the curvature of the airfield which is akin to an inverted dinner plate, i.e. sloping at both ends. Therefore taking off would entail an uphill run of 50-150 + metres (depending on how much field one elects to use).
No problem for gliders on a winch using 100 meters of the central flat part of the airfield but for all other aircraft one to carefully think about.
Grass runways are putting green smooth in some places - mainly in the central flat section, but rutted along the length of the runway in others due to gliders landing on wetter days. There are some hollows which would cause some bouncing on take off - but no different from say Shoreham's airfield surface. The best quality surface (and shortest grass) is to be found on the south side of the runway immediately adjacent to the stoney, gravel track (which is the width of a car). Essentially this is a grass airfield landable anywhere for gliders or those operating out of farm strips.
There isn't much infrastructure, but glider pilots are friendly helpful folk (although none were around midweek in January) so it would be a nice place to visit by air rather than my wintry visit by road.
If they let you fly in, perhaps asking for a trial flight (first ?) in a glider over Dartmoor would seal the deal (and supplement their coffers). This is exactly the sort of grass strip all aviation should be supporting. Lovely part of the world.
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