View Full Version : GERMANY - Tempelhof

17-10-2008, 22:51
( I tried to post this topic earlier, previewed , submitted .. but nothing, so if it appears twice please delete one of them.)

I took these photos from a Hercules during circuits and bumps from RAF Gatow in 1972. Poor quality I'm afraid, taken with an old E German made SLR. Anyway, I signed a petition a couple of months ago re Tempelhof and received an email back yesterday. It is going to be redeveloped!! see extract:

Invitation to a Demonstration on October 30th
The mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit is about to celebrate his "success" in closing
Tempelhof down with 800 selected guests on October 30th in the main hall of the
Therefore we invite everybody for a protest event with a "light chain" at the
Airlift Memorial (Platz der Luftbrücke). We want to draw the worlds attention to
this action of shame for Berlin and Germany. We will collect signatures for the
ongoing referendums and publish a list of Mr. Wowereits event sponsors.
Date: Thursday, Oktober,30th 2008, and 31th
Location: Platz der Luftbrücke (Airlift Memorial)
Begin: 6:00 pm
End: 12:00 pm (Midnight)
Initiator: be-4-tempelhof.de action group
please have torches with you
The event is officially registered to the authority.

I changed one of the photos to B/W gives better detail.



And the plane that made it possible, about to go on another flight.


31-10-2008, 14:09
Just saw this on the Beebs web site Tempelhof has been closed, surely one of the most iconic airfields in the world.


31-10-2008, 15:59
A very interesting airport with a huge history has gone

Flew twice from there and even got ones a private visit of the WWII bunker... impressive but of course, didn't have my camera that day !

31-10-2008, 16:03
Sorry Listo, I went straight to the pictures and dint see the meat of your post.

2/10 must pay more attention

Paul Francis
31-10-2008, 18:25
Listopad, your mission over the weekend is to download Paint.net and use it to enhance those pics you have.


15-01-2011, 22:46
Shortly after Templehof closed I was invited to have a private look around. I could hardly refuse. I have a number of photos which may be of interest. Here are a few:

16-01-2011, 10:31
Being a little bit cynical I wonder if it closed because it was built by the NAZIs and the Mayor is trying to show his distaste for that era? Like wise Gatow another NAZI era airfield closed and only Tegel left which is IIRC a post war airfield.

16-01-2011, 20:51
Canberra - I think that the main reason for Templehof`s closure is the fact that the airfield (as distinct from the terminal building) is too small for modern day commercial jet traffic and its location does not lend itself to expansion (a bit like Croydon ! ). No doubt there will be plans in the offing for more profitable development.
I understand that Tegel is shortly to be run down, with International traffic being moved to Schonefeld.
Nevertheless Templehof has a fascinating history notwithstanding its major role in the Berlin Airlift.

20-01-2011, 14:33
I find it odd that a city (and a capital) of the size of Berlin will soon only have one airport.

16-03-2011, 19:07
My understanding re the closure of both Tempelhof and Tegel was that it was related to finance. Berlin city could not afford to build the recently U-bahn link between the main station and the Brandenburg Gate and had to do a deal with the Brandenburg Metropolitan region to raise the cash. The basis of the deal was that Berlin would receive the money in exchange for which they had to close both the airports and transfer the traffic to Berlin Schonenfeld which is not in the city. Hence all the revenue for landing fees etc. would go to Brandenburg and not Berlin. Berlin gained the capital but lost the long term revenue; Brandenburg provided the funding and gained the on going revenue.
A few years back my good lady and I were lucky enough to fly our small plane (AA5B, G-PORK) into both Schonenfeld and Tempelhof airports on separate occasions. Both were very memorable experiences; Schonenfeld because of the runway lighting which pulses almost as if luring you to land; and Tempelhof because of the approach over the blocks of flats and the departure requiring a tight turn to avoid the TV tower.

17-03-2011, 00:03
I have a condensed version of the official reason for closing the airport on my website (http://www.ronaldv.nl/abandoned/airfields/GE/Berlin/index.html#Tempelhof). It all came down to politics (the Berlin Senate wanted it closed because it was in the middle of the city) and a serius lack of interest from the Berlin voters.

29-05-2011, 18:41
I find it odd that a city (and a capital) of the size of Berlin will soon only have one airport.

It makes sense when you remember that Berlin is in Germany, one of those countries where the trains work, are clean and comfortable to use, and work as part of an integrated public transport system.

I had the pleasure of an afternoon walking around the field at Tempelhof last summer, it's been turned into a very pleasant public park and open space for walkers, cyclists, skaters, kite flyers, even RC planes seem to have an area. It's used by a lot of people every weekend, I was quite surprised by how many - I shouldn't have been, Berlin has a strong park culture.

As a frequent flyer to Berlin, Schönefeld makes more sense as it has the best transport connections of any of the Berlin airports.

04-06-2011, 09:59
The Big Lift
Watch from 2.20 :grin:

There is a better scene in the film where they approach right through blocks of flats (must be reciprocal landing) - very interesting film using real US aircrew


04-06-2011, 10:03
Found one of the opp threshold scenes but I am sure there is another head on landing

watch from 2.00


28-01-2012, 13:58
Hi Guys, I thought I'd post a few images taken at Tempelhof a number of years ago now. One of my favourite airports to transit through, I used to visit Berlin quite often and flew into Tempelhof a couple of times. These are scans of prints, so are not the best quality.

Outside the main terminal is this memorial in front of the U-Bahn station Platz der Luftbrucke; lit. "Place of the Air Bridge". The three prongs represent the three routes the Allied aircraft used to fly in and out of Berlin during the Airlift. At the base of the memorial are the names of those who lost their lives on flight ops. That's the terminal in the background.


This one shows the eagle head that was severed from its body at the end of the war, outside the terminal entrance "Central Flughafen". It used to stand on the plinth on the roof between the two flag poles clutching a swastika in its claws in typical Nazi style. Wonder if there's some guy somewhere in Berlin with an enormous bronze swastika in his garage?!


Inside the main entrance of the booking hall. Tempelhof came across as one of the most hassle free airports I've ever flown into; this was before 9/11 though. Can anyone confirm if the aircraft suspended from the ceiling are still there now the place has closed?


Tucked incongrously under a stairwell, and out of general visibility is this token gesture to the frantic activity that took place in Berlin in 1948 -1949. The balding guy to the left is Gail Halvorsen; the original 'Candy Bomber'. I met him in the UK once and showed him these pictures, he smiled and in a relaxed manner, began to tell me about flying in and out of the place. Real neat guy.


On one of my visits, I decided to go for a look round and much to my surprise discovered this in one of the hangars! Halvorsen said he actually flew that airplane into Tempelhof for preservation after the Airlift. I noticed it sitting in what used to be airside in one of the images posted earlier on this thread. It used to sit outside one of the wings of the terminal building alongside a C-47. I found the spot, which, bare of aircraft still had little display plaques describing each aeroplane type. The C-47 was perched on the roof of the Deutches Technik Museum in town at the time.


These next ones, although not at Tempelhof are aviation related nonetheless and might be of interest. This building was the Reichs Luftfahrt Ministerium (RLM) during WW2; Hermann Goering's offices. It has been refurbished and now serves as the Finance Ministry of the unified German government. Note the thin grey line running up the wall behind the Land Rover parked centre. That was where the Berlin Wall butted into the building. From that point, every corridor and door was blocked to stop Osties from using the building as a means of getting out. This view is facing toward the East.


This grand looking building was known during Nazi times as Haus der Flieger, lit. "House of the Flier" and was a casino among other things strictly for Luftwaffe personnel. Note the RLM building in the background. It is located on what used to be known as Prinz Albrecht Strasse and sat right opposite the Hotel Prinz Albrecht, which the Nazis converted into the Reich Sicherheitsdienst, or Reich Security Main Office; the home of the Gestapo and associated thugs, with Reinhard 'The Butcher of Prague' Heydrich at its head. Post war, the remains of the hotel were pulled down and the road was renamed Niedekirchener Strasse after an Ostie who was shot trying to escape. One of the last surviving stretches of the wall in its original sites runs along the opposite side of the road from Haus der Flieger, which is now mayoral offices, I think.


29-07-2013, 20:04
Being honest Im amazed this airfield lasted as long as it did. Once the wall came down Im surprised it wasn't closed immediately. Ive seen film of aircraft landing here during the airlift and Im surprised there weren't a few crashes in to the flats on the approach. One of the runways has the longest displaced threshold Ive ever seen!