Cranfield University is a British postgraduate and research-based public university specialising in science, engineering, technology and management. It contains two campuses: the main campus is at Cranfield, Bedfordshire, and the second is at the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom at Shrivenham, southwest Oxfordshire. The main campus is unique in the United Kingdom and Europe for having a semi-operational airport (Cranfield Airport) on campus. Cranfield University owns and operates the airport. The airport facilities are used by Cranfield University’s own aircraft in the course of aerospace teaching and research.
Cranfield was founded as the College of Aeronautics in 1946. Through the 1950s and 1960s, the development of many aspects of aircraft research and design led to considerable growth and diversification into other areas such as manufacturing and management. In 1967, the Cranfield School of Management was founded. In 1969, the College of Aeronautics became The Cranfield Institute of Technology incorporated by Royal Charter and gained degree awarding powers and became a university in its own right. In 1993, it adopted its current name – Cranfield University.