Welcome… to the Southend Airport Aviation Database!
Celebrating 55 Years of Classic Aviation at SEN from 1947 to 2002
Having been a key RAF station for almost 6 long years of war, Southend Airport was finally reopened to civil aviation in 1947. Many a fledgling airline would emerge and even thrive off of the detritus of this conflict and indeed, SEN would eventually become synonymous with a good number of airlines that would later go on to become household names during the ‘Golden Age of British Aviation’.
After all, whether you live in Southend or not, those who had (or still have) some connection with the airport would no doubt freely admit that it was a rather special place. Quite naturally, many an aviation enthusiast also seems to retain a soft spot for our airport, that has over the decades offered up a never ending, eclectic mix of piston engined aircraft, turboprop airliners and classic jets that at one time either made Southend their home, frequented the airport on multiple occasions as visitors or even ended their flying days there.
While a small number of good websites already exist that tell the history of SEN in detail (see the ‘Links’ page) the scope of this particular website will be to focus more on the aircraft, the airlines and the people that made this airport so special during its halcyon years from 1947 through to 2002 when finally, the last of the classics had more or less disappeared forever and the airport slowly started its transition into little more than another Fort Knoxesque staging point for generic jet airliners that in my humble opinion, all more or less look and sound the same.
Therefore, my utmost desire is for this website to stand as a testament to the pilots, engineers, ground crew, airport staff, enthusiasts and of course, the machines, companies and aircraft which made SEN such a wonderful environment and in doing so hope that it will become not only a major resource for those who miss the historical SEN of yesteryear, but also an educational tool for a new generation of budding, aviation enthusiasts. Sufficed to say, rather than allowing them all to simply vanish into obscurity, my intention is for all of the above to be both remembered and cherished here within this ‘virtual museum’.
Quite naturally, here at SAAD we would also love to hear any stories, anecdotes and/or recollections you may have about the SEN airlines, aircraft, companies and its unique individuals by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org – If you have at least one picture to accompany your aeronautical musings then all the better. Please also keep in mind that any comments with regards to errors, omissions or corrections will always be gratefully received. It also goes without saying that if you have any suggestions for new pages, topics or indeed any pictures, brochures or other aircraft or airline related paraphernalia that you think would be of interest, then please do not hesitate to contact us on the email address above.
Nick (SAAD Admin)
Background picture – © Richard Goring
Banner picture – © Richard Vandervord
Without the kind help of many photographers who have contributed numerous pictures to this project, this site would simply have not been possible. However, with the Flickr app no longer working, you can now instead find some links to their collections on the Credits page.
Also as a further addition, below I'll be highlighting Robin J. Pinnock's marvellous Southend videos which will be changed on a monthly basis.
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