Book review – Guy Warner, Flying from Malone (Newtownards, NI – Colourpoint Books, 2012)

Flying from Malone is Guy Warner’s history of Belfast’s first airport that operated from 1924-25.

The aerodrome was located in the south of the city off the Malone Road on the site now occupied by the Taughsmonagh housing estate.

The land for the site was purchased by the council in the early 1920s and flights started from the aerodrome in the Spring of 1925.[1][2]

The main purpose was the transportation of mail and newspapers and a small number of passengers. The planes used were mainly single-engine ex-First World War bombers that could carry between two and four passengers. The aerodrome operated services to a number of UK cities including Liverpool, Carlisle and Glasgow.[3]

However, establishing a regular service was challenging as fog and rain often prevented planes from landing, the aerodrome was often waterlogged and flights were suspended over the winter of 1924/5 due to poor weather conditions.[4][5][6] It should be remembered that the flights were not assisted by modern technologies such as radar, GPS and weather forecasting. 

Ultimately, the aerodrome only lasted a year because the government subsidy given to support its operation was withdrawn and without this funding, the aerodrome could not function economically. [7] During its brief life, over 100 flights were made.[8] Nothing remains of the old aerodrome and the site is now a modern housing estate. 

This is a fascinating little pamphlet that uncovers an unknown element of Belfast history.



[1] Guy Warner, Flying from Malone (Newtownards, NI: Colourpoint Books, 2012), pp.20-21.

[2] Ibid., p.24.

[3] Ibid., p.43.

[4] Ibid.,p.41.

[5] Ibid., p.47.

[6] Ibid., p.54.

[7] Ibid., p.58.

[8] Ibid., p.59.