Essex Gliding Club is a small, friendly club operating from Ridgewell airfield, close to the Essex / Suffolk border with around 50 active members. Our members enjoy all year round flying, 9 months of which are usually spent at our Ridgewell base. Similar to most grass field sites, we have to vacate our field when it becomes too wet to fly from. We operate from a local airfield with a paved runway through the winter which adds great variety to our flying.
When our airfield is open in the summer months our members fly on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Instruction is offered on every flying day and our voucher flights are usually scheduled on Wednesdays, Fridays and weekends.
Throughout the summer we frequently offer flying weeks where the airfield is operational all week. Our flying weeks offer a superb opportunity for our members to make the most out of summer conditions and maximise the opportunities we have to fly.
While flying is in progress access has to be restricted and safety information to our visitors can be found HERE.
People wishing to have access for other recreational activities than gliding, that do not conflict with gliding operations, cause annoyance to our neighbours or breach our Planning Permission, are very welcome. Please contact us via our form to enquire.
If you would like to use our airfield for recreational purposes i.e. dog walking etc., please contact us first by using the contact form on the website.
Meet Our Instructors
What Is Gliding?
Essex Gliding Club initially operated from North Weald airfield. In 1991, Essex Gliding Club moved from North Weald to our current home, Ridgewell. Since moving from North Weald, we have become a well established organisation in the local community.
Ridgewell airfield has a rich military history, Ridgewell airfield was built during WWll and first used by 90 Squadron of the RAF. Ridgewell was initially used as an auxillary to RAF Stradishall.
In 1943, 90 Squadron were replaced by the American Air-force 381st Bomb Group. The 381st flew B17 bomber aircraft from 3 concrete runways. After the war, until 1957, it was used by the RAF as a munitions storage and disposal area.
Over 1200 servicemen died in operations from this field. To comemorate the lives of those who served at Ridgewell there is a memorial constructed a short walk from the East end of our airfield. A dedicated group of volunteers also run a commemorative museum based nearby called the Ridgewell Airfield Commemorative Museum. You can read more about the history of Ridgewell airfield and the commemorative museum HERE.