Follow Heathrow Airport’s journey from grass field to aero metropolis

It’s easy to take Heathrow Airport for granted, thinking, perhaps, that it’s always been a spawling, hugely busy, labyrinthine beast of a place. But back in 1930, then known as the Great West Aerodrome, it opened as just a small grass airfield.

The Airport’s growth since is the subject of an exhibition at the University of West London’s Ealing campus. And it’s far from being a dry story, with plenty of glamour as well as technical innovation and expansion.


Heathrow: The Journey,’ features a wealth of never-before-seen items. They include a mix of media including motion-detection audio, memorable photos of Beatle-mania, Princess Diana and other famous passengers, including movie star and glamour queen Sophia Loren.

There are travel brochures from the golden age of air travel, airline pennants and postcards, historic images and videos of the first supersonic Concorde aircraft, maps and technical drawings.

Heathrow’s Chief Executive John Holland-Kaye said, “Heathrow has witnessed major historical events, and hosted many remarkable people throughout its long history.

“We are proud to be Britain’s front door and hope the students, aviation enthusiasts and local people that see this exhibition can feel the same.”

Heathrow Exhibition

Admission to the exhibition is free. It is open daily to students, staff and the public from 10am to 5pm, including weekends and holiday periods.

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