Köln-Bonn: Airport

Cologne, Wahner Heide, RAF Wahn

For historical information only, do not use for navigation or aviation purposes!
Coordinates: N505158 E0070836 (WGS84) Google Maps
Elevation: 300 ft
Location Indicator: DDKB (195x), EDDK (civ), EDNK (mil), ETNK (mil)

Location

Federal State of Nordrhein-Westfalen (North Rhine-Westphalia).
Map with location of Cologne Bonn airport
Germany during the Cold War
Map

General

The airfield in the Wahner Heide southeast of Cologne was established at the end of the 1930s for the German Air Force. After the Second World War the field was used by the British Royal Air Force (RAF) under the name "Wahn". At the end of the 1950s, the RAF left the field and the Cologne-Bonn international airport came into operation. The airport has a military part, which became the base of the Flugbereitschaft (VIP flight) and which is also used today by the German Air Force.

During World War II

Usage

Luftwaffe airfield.

Situation

Map of airfields in the Cologne area in 1944
Wahn airfield in World War II on a US map from 1944 - (McMaster University Library Digital Archive, License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 CC BY-NC 2.5 CA /MULDA/)

Overview

Map of former Luftwaffe airfield Cologne Wahn
Installations of former Luftwaffe airfield Wahn on a US map from 1951 - (AMS M841 GSGS 4414, Courtesy Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University /BYU/)

During the Cold War

Usage

Used by RAF until 1957. Airport and German Airforce base.

In the 1940s

Situation

Situation map of Wahn airfield in 1948
Situation 1948

Overview

Map of RAF Station Wahn 1948
RAF Station Wahn in 1948

Runways

  • 14/32: 1829 m

Radio beacons

  • NDB: 265 "WL"

Radio communication

  • Tower 6440, 106.74, 117.9
  • Homer 106.74, 116.1

1950 - 1957

Usage

Royal Air Force base - Master Aerodrome

Overview

Map with RAF airfield Wahn in 1951
Situation 1951
Wahn RAF station on a map from 1956
Wahn RAF base on a map from 1956 - The approach areas to the runways 07, 25 and 14 are protected by restricted areas. The white "E" in the circle symbolizes the Eureka radio beacon, used by the British at this time. The square around the airport symbol with the "V" underneath shows an VHF direction finder. The black star stands for the coded beacons which is characteristical for British airfields

Lights

Red beacon with ident "WH"
Apparently the letter combination for Wahn has been changed from WL (see above) to WH.

Radio beacons

In addition to a non-directional beacon (NDB), the field is equipped with the navigation aids Eureka (navigation) and BABS (approach), which were common for British airfields at that time.
  • NDB: 294 "WH", Power 100 W
  • Eureka: 213R 223T "WH"
  • BABS: 233R 228T, for landing directions 07, 25, 14, 32

Radar

GCA (Ground Controlled Approach)

Radio communication

Notable is the large number of radio frequencies that have been used.
  • Approach 137.16, 130.32, 117.9, 119.7, 111.42, 116.46, 114.66, 121.5, 131.58, 116.1, 117.18, 112.32, 243.0, 255.7, 257.8
  • Tower 137.16, 130.32, 117.9, 119.7, 111.42, 121.5, 131.58, 116.46, 243.0, 257.8, 255.7, 237.6, 386.9, 267.2, 269.8, 291.7, 317.5, 323.8, 353.8, 362.3
  • GCA 131.58, 130.32, 111.42, 118.1, 137.16, 103.32, 110.7, 100.44, 109.26, 116.46, 119.7, 121.5, 117.9, 131.76, 122.22, 140.58, 108.9, 106.02, 106.2, 108.36, 113.04, 114.84, 116.1, 117.36, 133.74, 148.86, 152.1, 386.9, 360.8, 301.1, 364.7, 237.6, 244.8, 291.7 267.2, 323.8, 327.2, 269.8, 317.5, 362.3, 344.0, 385.4, 243.0, 257.8, 255.7
  • Cathode Ray VHF Direction Finder

1957 - 1959

Usage

Airport of Cologne

Runways

  • 07/25: 2438 m x 46 m
  • 14/32: 1829 m x 50 m

Radio beacons

  • : 109.1 "DLW"
  • : 279.5 "LW", 250°/0.53 NM
  • : 294 "DLW", 250°/3.48 NM

In the 1960s

Overview

Map Cologne-Bonn airport in 1960
Cologne-Bonn airport in 1960 - Although the field is now under German administration, this map still shows the identification beacon with the Morse code "WH" next to the northern taxiway.
Map Cologne-Bonn airport in 1966
Cologne-Bonn airport in 1966 - In the meantime runway 14L/32R was put into operation, already equipped with a centerline lighting. No approach lights are shown anymore for 14R. The "propeller" at the ramp marks the helicopter landing area.

In the 1970s

Situation

Map with Cologne Bonn airport from 1972
Köln-Bonn Airport on a map of the US Department of Defense from 1972 - (ONC E-2 (1972), Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection, University of Texas at Austin /PCL MC/)

Overview

Map Cologne-Bonn airport in 1973
Cologne-Bonn airport in 1973 - In the meantime, the new terminal has been opened, as has a new control tower.

In the 1980s and early 1990s

Overview

Map of Cologne-Bonn airport 1984
Köln-Bonn in 1984
Aerial picture Cologne-Bonn airport in the early 1990s?
Cologne-Bonn airport in the early 1990s?
Aerial picture runway 25
Enlargement: Beginning of runway 25 - This structure is typical for RAF airfields in Germany.
Aerial picture runway 07
Enlargement: The hardstands at the beginning of runway 07 have been converted to larger surfaces.
Aerial picture runway 32L
Enlargement: Hardstands at the beginning of runway 32L - These structures are also typical for RAF airfields in Germany.
Flugbereitschaft Airbus, Jetstar, VFW-614
Enlargement: Airbus, Jetstar and VFW-614 of Flugbereitschaft?
Flugbereitschaft Tu-134
Enlargement: A Tu-134 of Flugbereitschaft?

Runways

Data for the year 1990:
  • 07/25: 2459 m x 45 m Concrete
  • 14L/32R: 3815 m x 60 m Concrete
  • 14R/32L: 1863 m x 45 m Concrete

Today

Overview

Aerial picture 2015/2016
Aerial picture 2015/2016
Transport aircraft
Transport aircraft on the military ramp
German Air Force Airbus, Transall and helicopter
Airbus, Transall and helicopter

Links

Image sources:

Bibliography

  • Ries, Karl; Dierich, Wolfgang: "Fliegerhorste und Einsatzhäfen der Luftwaffe" Motorbuch Verlag Stuttgart, 1993
Do you have historical material (stories, maps, photos) or current photos of Köln-Bonn Airport or of another airfield, to be published on mil-airfields.de? Then I'm glad to hear from you: Contact

Airfields in the vicinity

Follow mil-airfields on Facebook