Santander Air Force Trainers

The Seve Ballasteros-Santander Airport has, for several years, featured a couple of ex-Spanish Air Force training aircraft as gate guardians.

They are both looking a little bedraggled these days but there is full access to walk around and appreciate them.

Santander’s first airfield was north of the current location, close to the suburb of La Albericia. The S-20 motorway runs past the original field, which has now been occupied by the University, retail parks and residential zones. La Albericia was closed in 1953 in favour of a brand-new airport built on the edge of the marshlands at Parayas. The low-level of the new site has occasionally brought flooding problems but, today, the upgraded airport provides an efficient facility close to the town it serves. It was renamed ‘Seve Ballesteros Airport’ in 2015.

North American Texan C6-165 Santander Spanish Air Force
The North American Texan (Harvard in RAF service) was flown by the Spanish Air Force in training and counter-insurgency roles. C6-165, pictured on the plinth at Santander, is looking slightly worse for wear. Photo taken July 2023.
C6-165 Texan Harvard Spanish Air Force Santander 2023
The Texan was designated the C6 in Spanish Air Force use - C standing for Cazabombardero or fighter bomber. This function was employed during Counter Insurgency missions in Spanish Sahara and Ifni during the 1960s.
C6-165 North American Texan Santander
C6-165 was one of the Spanish Air Force Texans retained for display and museum use when the type was retired in the early 1980s. Along with the Texan, fleets of historic propeller-driven aircraft such as the C-47 Dakota and Ju-52 Trimotor were released onto World markets. Several ex-Spanish Air Force C6's fly today throughout the World.
C6-165 Spanish Air Force Texan Escuadron 421
Escuadron 421 was one of the last Spanish Air Force units to fly the C6 Texan.
C6-165 Santander
C6-165 Texan Santander
Spanish Air Force Texan C6-165, once of Escuadron 421, seen as the gate guardian at Santander Seve Ballesteros Airport in July 2023.

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