Abandoned RAF Airfield Is Home to a Bunch of Rare Dassault Mystere Fighter-Bombers

While field and barn finds usually revolve around old cars, from time to time we stumble upon similar discoveries involving aircraft. You probably remember the B-17 Flying Fortress that's been hiding in a barn in Illinois for decades, waiting to be restored. Well, if you're here to get your vintage aircraft fix, YouTube's "The Bearded Explorer" just took a trip to the middle of nowhere, the U.K. to shows us a bunch of Dassault, Lockheed, and Sukhoi fighters resting on a field.
1950s aircraft on abandoned RAF airfield in the U.K. 7 photos
Photo: The Bearded Explorer/YouTube
1950s aircraft on abandoned RAF airfield in the U.K.1950s aircraft on abandoned RAF airfield in the U.K.1950s aircraft on abandoned RAF airfield in the U.K.1950s aircraft on abandoned RAF airfield in the U.K.1950s aircraft on abandoned RAF airfield in the U.K.1950s aircraft on abandoned RAF airfield in the U.K.
But this isn't your regular field find. While the place looks abandoned, it's still owned by the Kingdom's Ministry of Defense. Getting there is actually risky. Not to mention that you have to navigate through a lot of uneven, wet, and muddy terrain and a thick forest (without GPS reception) to find the military base's abandoned airfield. But once you're there, you can get up close and personal with a few rare fighters from the 1950s.

The former airfield looks like a junkyard now, but it's the resting place of several Dassault Mystere planes. Also known as the MD.452, the Mystere IIC is a fighter-bomber built by Dassault Aviation from 1951 to 1957. Unlike other planes developed by Dassault, the Mystere had no foreign buyers, with the entire fleet operated by the French Air Force.

Dassault put together only 150 production units, all fitted with SNECMA Atar 101D axial-flow turbojet powerplants capable of 6,600 pounds (29.4 kN) of thrust. The Mystere had a top speed of 600 mph (1,060 kph) a range of 550 miles (885 km), and a service ceiling of 50,030 feet (15.2 km).

On top of the 150 units delivered to the French government, Dassault also built around 20 prototypes, many of them powered by Rolls-Royce jet engines.

Although fitted with a DEFA cannon, the Mystere was never used in combat. When the much better Mystere IVA became operational, the IIC was relegated to training duties and eventually retired in 1963.

Quite a few of them were flown to the United Kingdom for what must have been training duty, but it seems the French never bothered to get them back. So now they're resting in this abandoned field alongside other aircraft from the era. Check out the video below and you'll also see a Sukhoi Su-22, a few Lockheed T-33s, and even a Mi-24 Hind helicopter.

Yes, it's a bit sad that they were left here exposed to the elements, but at least the area is still somewhat accessible and they can be documented before they rot away beyond recognition.

If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram X (Twitter)
About the author: Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea profile photo

Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories