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RAF East Fortune
Ensign of the Royal Air Force
East fortune airfield.jpg
RAF-era buildings still stand on the airfield, now the National Museum of Flight
IATA: none – ICAO: none
Airport type Military
Owner Air Ministry
Operator Royal Naval Air Service
Royal Air Force
Location East Fortune, East Lothian
Built 1915 (1915)
In use 1915-1920, 1940-1947 (1947)
Elevation AMSL 0 ft / 0 m
Coordinates 55°59′06″N 002°42′50″W / 55.985°N 2.71389°W / 55.985; -2.71389Coordinates: 55°59′06″N 002°42′50″W / 55.985°N 2.71389°W / 55.985; -2.71389
East Lothian UK location map
Airplane silhouette.svg
RAF East Fortune
Location in East Lothian
Direction Length Surface
ft m
00/00 0,000 0,000 Concrete
00/00 0,000 0,000 Concrete
00/00 0,000 0,000 Concrete

Royal Air Force Station East Fortune or more simply RAF East Fortune is a former Royal Air Force station, just south of the village of East Fortune in East Lothian, Scotland. The motto of the station was "Fortune Favours the Bold".


The foundation of East Fortune as an flying station pre-dates the creation of the RAF; East Fortune was established as a fighter and airship airfield in 1915. In 1919 the British airship R34 made the first the first ever return flight across the Atlantic and the first east-west crossing by air, flying from East Fortune to Mineola, New York. The flight took 108 hours and 12 minutes. During World War II, RAF East Fortune was a flying training establishment, initially for night-fighter operations, changing to training for daylight operations from 1942, and eventually becoming a station for a group of de Havilland Mosquito aircraft. It was also made available as an emergency landing option for bomber aircraft.

Current useEdit

After the war the site ceased to be used by the RAF. During the summer of 1961 Turnhouse Airport was closed for construction work and all civil and air force traffic was diverted through East Fortune. To accommodate this traffic the main runway at East Fortune was extended across the B1347 road and this concrete extension of the East Fortune runway is now used as a runway for microlight aircraft. In 1976 the Scottish Museum of Flight was opened on the site of the former RAF station.

The museum is now called the National Museum of Flight. It occupies the southern part of the old airfield. The northern side is given over to a car-boot sale each Sunday. The western side, across the B1347 is the microlight airfield. This is the only part of the East Fortune airfield that can now handle aircraft, and they can be no larger than a microlight. The east side of the old airfield is now used as a motorcycle racing circuit, and is home to the Melville Motor Club.

Each summer the museum hosts an airshow. It is supposed to be the only airfield-based airshow in the UK where the aeroplanes can't land at the airfield.

See alsoEdit


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