North Weald airfield: Centenary celebrates 'pivotal' RAF station
An airfield which played a "pivotal" role in World War Two is commemorating its centenary.
North Weald in Essex was established in 1916 as a base for fighter planes to combat airship raids over London.
Fighter planes, mainly Hurricanes, flew from the site during the Battle of Britain in 1940.
The RAF left the base, just off the M11 near Epping, in 1964 and it is currently used by businesses and small aircraft.
Pilots from Norway, USA, New Zealand, Czechoslovakia and Poland also flew RAF planes from North Weald during the 1939-45 conflict.
Arthur Moreton, airfield historian and chairman of the North Weald Royal Air Force Association, said: "It was involved in the defence of London in WW1, but it really came to public prominence during the Battle of Britain when it played a pivotal role as an RAF Fighter Sector Station with Hawker Hurricanes defending the eastern approaches to the capital.
"Spitfires arrived later in the war and its role continued during the Cold War, but the growth of civilian flights around London's major airports meant it was too restrictive for the RAF to continue using it.
"Today it's a thriving airfield for private flying, restoration of historic military aircraft and the museum."
North Weald, which is owned by Epping Forest District Council, hosts its Centenary Air Fete on Sunday.
Ash Bailey, event manager for EM Aviation Services, said: "This is our big event of the centenary year and we're most excited about the return of three Norwegian veterans who flew from here for the RAF during World War Two.
"The weather's looking good and we're confident it's going to be a fitting celebration."