Museum Of Flight, East Fortune, Scotland
The Museum of Flight at East Fortune (a historic former RAF airfield) is situated 20 miles east of Edinburgh city centre and it is home to the largest collection of airframes north of the border.
Many thanks to Alec Brown for his assistance in compiling this feature and supplying the photographs.
RAF East Fortune began life as a
fighter and airship base during the First World War. In 1919 the British airship R34 made the first ever return flight across the Atlantic and the first east-west crossing by air, flying from East Fortune to New York.
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 base for de Havilland Mosquito aircraft.
At the end of WWII the base ceased to be used by the RAF and in 1976 the Scottish Museum of Flight was opened on the site.
The entrance fee is good value given the number of airframes on show and the historic WW2 buildings on the site, many of which have small exhibitions within them.
The main entrance comprises a shop carrying the usual souvenirs, models and books and refreshments are available at reasonable prices.
The following is a brief description of what you can see:
Hangar 1 is home to some unique military airframes including a Supermarine Spitfire LFXVIe with distinctive bubble canopy, Messerschmitt Me163B Komet rocket powered fighter and McDonnell Douglas F4S Phantom. This hangar is neutrally lit and photographers can get close enough to use flash if needed.
Hangar 2 has interesting civil exhibits but lighting gives a distinct colour cast necessitating post correction for reasonable results. Again, photographers are able to get close enough to use flash for the majority of the airframes.
Hangar 3 houses restoration projects.
Hangar 4 is purpose built to house the only example of Concorde in Scotland. Small exhibits around the building chart the development of supersonic flight, but the building is home to a magnificent example of aeronautical engineering, which visitors can board. This building is well lit to the naked eye, but visitors keen to take photographs will need to use a tripod, as flash will just not illuminate this large building.
A small exhibition building not seen at other museums, is the parachute store. This gives explanations about the maintenance and packing of parachutes, essential to the safety of aircrew.
Only a small number of airframes are kept outside and this due to their sheer size, these include a Vulcan, Comet and BAC 111.
Overall, this is a well developed museum with some interesting and unique exhibits. It's well worth a visit if you are holidaying in Scotland or live close by.
The airframes are listed below:
|Air & Space 18A G-BVWK
Armstrong Whitworth Meteor NF14 G-ARCX
Avro Anson C19 VM360
Avro Vulcan B2 XM597
BAC 111 G-AVMO
Bae Concorde G-BOAA
Bae Harrier GR1 XV277
BAe Jetstream 31 G-BBBV
BAe Jetstream 31 G-JSSD
BAe Nimrod MR2 XV241
Beech D18S G-ASUG
Blackburn Buccaneer S2B XT288
Boeing 707 G-APFJ
Bristol Beaufighter TFX RD220
Bristol Bolingbroke IVT 9940
Britten Norman BN2 Islander G-BELF
de Havilland Comet 4C G-BDIX
de Havilland Dove 6 G-ANOV
de Havilland Dragon VH-SNB
de Havilland Puss Moth VH-UQB
|de Havilland Sea Venom WW145
de Havilland Tiger Moth G-AOEL
Druine D31 Turbulent G-AVPC
English Electric Canberra B5 VX185
English Electric Lightning F2A XN776
Fly Buy Ikarus C-42 FB80 G-SJEN
GAL 42 Cygnet II G-AGBN
Hawker Sea Hawk F2 WF259
Hunting Percival Provost T1 WV493
Letov S103 613677
McDonnell Douglas F4S Phantom 155848
Messerschmitt Me163B Komet 191659
Miles M18 Mk2 G-AHKY
Morane Saulnier MS505 Criquet G-BIRW
Panavia Tornado F3 ZE934
Saro Skeeter AOP12 XL762
Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer G-BBVF
Sepecat Jaguar GR1A XZ119
Supermarine Spitfire XVI TE462
Vickers Viscount 701 G-AMOG
Westland Whirlwind XG594
The Museum is situated just north of the A1 between Edinburgh and Dunbar.
Click here for a google map.
Address: East Fortune Airfield, East Lothian, EH39 5LF, Scotland
Open: From Sat 1 Nov-Tue 31 March 09, National Museum of Flight is open each weekend from 10:00 - 16:00
Admission: Adult: £8.50; Concessions: £6.50; Children under 12 and NMS Members are FREE, Concorde Boarding passes are now included in the prices.
Tel: 0131 247 4238