Validation date: 23 03 2011
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50°06'41"N 008°37'03"E

runway: grass flying field

Air field Rebstock (German: Flugplatz Rebstock, or Frankfurt-Rebstock) was an airfield in the city of Frankfurt, Germany.
The airfield was built in 1912, but stems from the Internationale Luftschiffahrt Ausstellung (ILA, or in English: International Aviation Fair) which was held between 10 July until 17 October 1909 on the same terrain in Frankfurt.
For 99 days the german public had a chance to see what aviation was all about at the ILA, where airships and aircraft competed for the crouwds attention.
The airfield was founded close to the terrain of the Frankfurtermesse (in fact: the two terrains are neighbours) where the ILA was held.
Initially the terrain was intended as only an airship port, but it soon became a true 'air'port when 'heavier-than-air' aircraft were allowed too.
After World War I the small airfield rapidly expanded, and from 1924 onwards a planned airline service was set up.

Zeppelin's Airship at ILA Frankfurt, 1909 (

Frankfurt-Rebstock in 1909 (

Emperor Wilhelm greets Zeppelin after landing at the ILA in 1909 (

Rebstock in 1914, airship LZ111 Viktoria Louise (Library of Congress, via Wikipedia)

Civilian air traffic really gained momentum when the Deutschen Luft Hansa AG (forerunner to modern-day Lufthansa) turned the Frankfurt airport into the most important German airfield after Berlin.
Rebstock began to grow fast, and soon it became clear it was reaching the limits of its capacity.
Aircraft were getting larger, requiring longer takeoff runs.
Rebstock did not have room for expansion, so the search for a new airport began.
The National Socialist Party, ruling since 1933, was pressing for the rapid construction of a new airport, incorporating all the technical improvements that were required for propaganda.
The cost, about 14 Milion Reichsmark would not be a problem if the shares of both Frankfurt aviation companies would be transferred to the Reich.
This led to the construction of the new aircraft and airship port Frankfurt Rhein-Main, which opened on 8 July 1936.

Rebstock in 1931, during what appears to be an air show (

Passengers boarding at Rebstock in 1931 (

Overview of Rebstock in 1931, clearly the city of Frankfurt is closing in on the airfield (

Airship "Graf Zeppelin" overflying Redstock during landing in 1931,
an event that still attracked large crowds considering the two rows of cars (

Rebstock in 1935, a year before closing as a civilian airfield (

Rebstock did not close however, instead it was turned over to the Luftwaffe.
As a result it was bombed by Allied bombers during the war.

Airfield Rebstock in 1945 (

After the war the airfield was closed, when all attention went to Rhein-Main.
Aviation activity did not fully stop immediately however, according to C.A. Schneider, who emailed:
Although Rebstock was abandoned at the end of the war, it was still used sporadically by Army helicopters in connection with the headquarters in the IG Farben building.
Even in the late 50s, the site also held airial displays.
I remember going with my father and a neighbor in his light gray Volkswagen Beetle to an exhibition of military equipment at Rebstock.
There, two opposing grandstands were built, and -this is my first memory of aviation at all- paratroopers jumped, of which at least one was blown into high trees (poplars?) in the distance.
I can still imagine red fire trucks and a dark blue Air Force ambulance racing through the alley between the stands to the accident site.
About 20 years ago my father said, as we drove past the buildings of the Institute Fresenius on the south side of Rebstock, that this building is a remnant of the airport (administrative) building.
I am, however, rather skeptical about the truth of that statement.
The east side of the airfield became a parking lot for the Frankfurter Messe, while the west side became a park.
When the Frankfurter Messe finished a new 7 storey parking building (called 'Parkhaus Hauptwache' or 'Parking Main Guard' in english) the terrain became available for city development.

Today the west side is still a park, the east side is considered for urban redevelopment along with the train yard that was south of the former airport until 2003.
Nothing indicates this was once an active airfield.

Site of the former airfield Rebstock in 2003 (Google Earth).

Site of the former airfield Rebstock in 2009 (Google Earth).