We are pleased to announce that the next event, Northolt Nightshoot XXXI, will be held on Thursday 3rd October 2024, from 1930 to 2130 hours.

A variety of aircraft and operators have been invited. More details will be posted here in due course.

If you attended the March 2024 event then you will be contacted shortly. If you did not attend that event you will need to apply using the application form.

Photographs from previous events can be found in the gallery.

AeroResource have published an article on Northolt Nightshoot XXX, as well as the history of the events.

RAF Northolt is pleased to welcome back our long-standing photographer community to our 30th night photoshoot. We’re delighted to be able to host fellow aviation enthusiasts for our display of an array of aircraft in a setting not normally accessible to the general public. RAF Northolt is also grateful for the ongoing interest and support which enables us to continue the restoration and preservation not only of buildings which played a key part in the RAF and Battle of Britain’s story, but of our own local history and heritage.

Jonathan T W Hough ADC MA BSc RAF
Station Commander RAF Northolt & Regional Commander South East Stations

RAF Northolt's Night Photoshoots started in January 2009 as a way to help fund raise for the restoration of Building 27 at RAF Northolt. This building was scheduled for demolition in 2007 as part of the modernisation of RAF Northolt under Project MODEL. This project was aimed at sweeping away the majority of the pre-war buildings at Northolt and replacing them with modern amenities for the 21st Century.

Building 27 was built in 1928/9 and became RAF Northolt's Sector Operations Building, part of the Dowding system of Air Defence. Between 1936 and 1939 ACM Hugh Dowding used the building to develop what was to become the world's first Integrated Air Defence System. It closed as an operational operations building on 17th June 1940 due to its vulnerability to air attack (being situated on a fighter airfield which was considered a prime target for Luftwaffe bombers).

Post WW2 it became offices, initially as the marketing department of embryonic British European Airways (BEA) who were based at Northolt between 1946 and 1954. It later served as the station's Education Department and latterly just before its closure in 2007 as Station Accounts and as offices for 32 Squadron.

Fortunately the building was reprieved from demolition and became listed as Grade II by English Heritage. Once its future had been secured it was decided that the Ops Room be restored to as it was in its final form in June 1940. The work to be carried out by volunteer labour and the restoration materials paid for by donations. No public funding was to be used in its restoration, hence the need for the Night Photoshoots. Since the first Nightshoot back in 2009 over £200,000 has been raised for the project and still the work continues....! The criteria we are working to are to have the best possible standard of workmanship and to make the building as historically accurate as we can make it. We hope to set new standards in RAF historic building restoration.

Phillip Dawe
Building 27 Restoration Team Manager


Ops room as of 2020 (Crown copyright 2020)
Ops room as of 2019 (Crown copyright 2019)
Ops room as of 2019 (Crown copyright 2019)
Ops room as of 2019 (Crown copyright 2019)
Ops room as of 2007, before restoration (Crown copyright 2007)
Ops room as of 2007, before restoration (Crown copyright 2007)

The Northolt Nightshoots website is hosted and maintained by Nick Challoner, with web design by Paul Osborne.