National Museum of Flight, East Fortune Airfield, Edinburgh

June 12th, 2011

All photos © Ruud Leeuw


Concorde at Edinburgh
The Concorde G-BOAA is here on an impressive display.

For history details on G-BOAA:

Concorde interior

Below: During april 2004 G-BOAA (airframe dismantled) was taken by road and barge (!) to The National Museum of Scotland at East Fortune where it was rebuilt for public display.

Concorde on transport

The collection of this museum date back to 1909, when the Royal Scottish Museum acquired Percy Pilcher's Hawk glider. This was the first aircraft collected by any museum in the UK.
The same year the museum acquired models of the Wright Model A and Blériot XI. During the early 1920s several aero engines were added to the collection, including a 1910 33hp Wright engine donated by Orville Wright.
In 1968 a Slingsby Gull sailplane was acquired.

In 1971 the museum was given a Supermarine Spitfire XVI by the Ministry of Defence. This could not be displayed in Edinburgh and was stored in a hangar at East Fortune.
The following year a Hawker Sea Hawk, de Havilland Sea Vampire and de Havilland Sea Venom were received from RNAS Lossiemouth.
The growth in the aircraft collection led to the decision to open a Museum of Flight at East Fortune, with the public admitted for the first time on 7 July 1975.
The displays included several aircraft on loan, including de Havilland Dragon Rapide (G-ADAH), BA Swallow (G-AEVZ) and Fairey Delta 2 WG774. In 1979 a temporary exhibition about the R34 airship was mounted, followed by Fighters of the RFC and RAF, 1914 to 1940 the following year. The 1981 temporary exhibition was The Flight of Rudolf Hess 1941.

The museum expanded significantly in 1981 as a result of the sale by auction of much of the Strathallan Collection of aircraft. The museum purchased five aircraft (Bristol Fairchild Bolingbroke, de Havilland Dragon, de Havilland Puss Moth, General Aircraft Cygnet and Percival Provost). Of these, the Cygnet and Provost were the first aircraft to make their final flights to join the museum. That same year, the de Havilland Comet also flew in to the museum, as did the Avro Vulcan in 1984.

Another significant expansion took place with the donation of much of the British Airways Collection of aircraft in 2006. This collection was previously displayed at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford. The museum acquired the BAC 1-11, Vickers Viscount, Boeing 707 forward fuselage and Hawker Siddeley Trident cockpit.




Edinburgh Museum of Flight
Bristol 149 Bolingbroke Mk.4T 9940 (cn 962)
This Bolingbroke is the Canadian built version of the Bristol Blenheim IV.
It is under restoration here at the Museum of Flight.

Edinburgh air museum
Vickers Viscount 701 G-AMOG (c/n 7) was previously on display at RAF Cosford and when BA pulled the plug on this museum, G-AMOG was donated to the National Museums of Scotland for display here at East Fortune.

Edinburgh air museum
Miles M.18 Mk.II G-AHKY
This was the only M.18 Mark II built. Part of a programme to replace the Miles Magister trainer aircraft,
the plane never flew in combat. It did, however, win several air races including the Kings Cup in 1961.

Edinburgh air museum
De Havilland DH-82A Tiger Moth II, G-AOEL (c/n 82537)
First built in 1931, The Tiger Moth was widely used in training. G-AOEL had several civilian owners; the comedian
Dick Emery reputedly gate-crashed a wedding in it! He wore a three-piece suite under his flying overalls!

Edinburgh air museum
The Percival P.56 Provost was a British ab initio trainer for the Royal Air Force in the 1950s, replacing the Percival Prentice. This low-wing, monoplane has seating side-by-side.
After a lengthy service career, the design was adapted for a turbojet.

Edinburgh air museum
Morane-Saulnier MS-505 'Criquet' (Storch), G-BIRW (c/n 695)
A German design from 1936, the Storch (Stork) was famous for its incredibly short take-off. After WW2
France took over production of German types of aircraft. This plane flew with the Armee de l'Air (French
Air Force) in French Indo-China.

Edinburgh air museum
De Havilland DH-80A Puss Moth, VH-UQB (c/n 2051)
This was one of the first monoplanes. The Puss Moth's enclosed cabin made it popular with leisure crew.
In 1932, Glasgow-born Jim Mollison made the first solo east-to-west crossing of the Atlantic in a Puss Moth!
VH-UQB was the first Puss Moth to fly to Australia. It took 4 weeks, 4 days and 4 hours to make the flight...

Edinburgh air museum
Air & Space 18A Autogyro, G-BVWK
This is a jump-start auto gyro built by Air & Space Manufacturing Company, Indiana. Unlike pure autogyros, where
the main rotor is not powered, the engine can be connected to the rotor for shorter take-off before disengaging and
being connected to the pusher propellor for forward flight. This example was previously used in Sweden.

Edinburgh air museum

Edinburgh air museum
Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer Series 3, G-BBVF (c/n 558)
Edinburgh air museum

The Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer was a British STOL transport aircraft built by Scottish Aviation Limited at Prestwick Airport, Scotland, during the 1950s. It was designed with both civil and military operators in mind.
Powered by two Alvis Leonides 531 radial engines, the Twin Pioneer was a high-wing cabin monoplane with a triple fin and rudder assembly and fixed tailwheel undercarriage.
The prototype Twin Pioneer, registered G-ANTP, first flew at Prestwick Airport on 25 June 1955.
One Twin Pioneer served as a STOL training aircraft with the Empire Test Pilot School (ETPS) at RAE Farnborough for many years. In 2009, Air Atlantique of Coventry currently operates it on public flights in civil markings, retaining its ETPS colour scheme.

Edinburgh air museum
British Aerospace BAe-3100 Jetstream 31, G-JSSD (cn 227)
This aircraft was built by Handley Page in 1969 as a Jetstream 1.
In 1980 it was converted by British Aerospace to the prototype Jetstream 31.

Edinburgh air museum
De Havilland DH-104 Dove, G-ANOV (c/n 04445)

Edinburgh air museum
Beech E18S G-ASUG (c/n BA-111)
This classic old Beech 18 was operated by Loganair at Glasgow Airport for many years.

The following was provided by Robert K. 'Bob' Parmerter, an authority on the 'Twin Beech' and author of 'Beech 18; a Civil & Military History' (published by The Staggerwing Museum Foundation -website- in 2004).
"BA-111 E18S
N24R Atlantic Avn Svc Inc, Teterboro, NJ BS 29Nov55.
Cleveland Brothers Equipment Co, Harrisburg, PA BS 1Feb56 as N555CB(1).
Upgraded to E18S-9700 Oct59.
Rereg’d N575C 17Aug62. Atlantic Avn Svc Inc, Philadelphia, PA BS 12Dec62.
Atlantic Avn Corp, South Hackensack, NJ BS 28Dec62.
National Financing Inc (reportedly operated by or for Univac Division of Sperry Rand Corp), Wilmington, DE BS 06Feb63.
Back to Atlantic Avn Corp BS 20May64.
Registration canx 02Jul64.
Ferry tanks installed by Zahn’s Amityville, NY for delivery flight departure 11Jun64, arriving London Gatwick 15Jun64.
Survey Flights Ltd, Coleraine, Northern Ireland BS 15Jun64 & reg’d G-ASUG 03Jul64.
CofA issued 31Jun65. Field Aircraft Services, Stansted installed a nose modified with Perspex (acrylic) panels & survey cameras in the belly between 12Aug64 - Mar65.
Extensive use for survey flights.
Nose & survey gear removed by Scottish Aviation. Loganair Ltd, Glascow, Scotland BS 29May68 & reg’d 12Jul68.
Entered Loganair service 19Mar69, operating daily newspaper delivery flights to Stornoway and Benbecula, and pax service Aberdeen-Stavanger, Norway.
Out of service 12Mar75 due to FAA / CAA requirement for spar X-rays & straps for all Beech 18s & CofA to expire 23Jul75.
Donated Mar76 to National Museum of Flight, East Fortune Arpt, Scotland.
Still displayed there in ’17."

In restoration of G-ASUG another Beech 18 played a part...
Bob Parmeter provided the following history:
"Here’s the later history I’ve compiled for D18S A-850: reg’d (not re-reg’d) N15750 12Nov68 to Aviation Enterprises Inc, Cedarburg, WI.
CofA issued 18Mar69. First flight with US marks 28Mar69 from Badington.
Stephen Quinto/Sagittair, Cookham Dean, UK BS 03Dec69 & reg’d to him 23Jan70.
Moved to Lasham in Jan71 for work but that was stopped in Aug71 (lack of parts). The Aeroplane Collection accepted it.
Dismantled & moved by road from Lasham to Corgath National Scenic Area, Scotland 03Feb77 by the BBC for use in filming the Hartwell story of cannibalism after the crash of a Beech 3N CF-RLD in Canada.
Damage done during the dismantling made restoration not feasible and it was left derelict at the site of the filming. Still there in ‘86.
Museum of Flight, East Fortune, Scotland salvaged parts for their Beech G-ASUG.
US registration revoked 14Nov73."

Here is a july 2000 photo by David Unsworth on showing G-ASUG under a clear blue sky!


Edinburgh air museum
Spartan Cruiser III G-ACYK (c/n 101)
Only the fuselage remains of the Spartan Cruiser, it crashed near Largs in 1938.
The Cruiser III had an aerodynamically refined fuselage, modified windscreen, tail and streamlined undercarriage.
Only 3 were built and initially operated by Spartan Air Lines. This was taken over by British Airways Ltd in 1936.
From 1937 the aircraft continued in service qith Northern and Scottish Airways, flying routes in the Higlands
and Islands, until the outbreak of World War II.

Edinburgh air museum
VH-SNB is the 2nd Australian built Dragon manufactured by de Havilland of Australia Pty Ltd at Bankstown in 1942!
More of its history can be read here:

Edinburgh air museum
Avro Anson C.19, VM360
Edinburgh air museum
Edinburgh air museum


Spitfire at East Fortune
Supermarine 361 Spitfire LF16E, TE462 (c/n CBAF.IX.4596)

Me.163B at East Fortune
The remarkable Messerschmitt Me.163B-1a Komet, 191659 / 15 (c/n 191659)

The Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet, designed by Alexander Lippisch, was a German rocket-powered fighter aircraft. It is the only rocket-powered fighter aircraft ever to have been operational. Its design was revolutionary, and the Me 163 was capable of performance unrivaled at the time. Messerschmitt test pilot Rudy Opitz in 1944 reached 1,123 km/h (698 mph).
Over 300 aircraft were built, however the Komet proved ineffective as a fighter, having been responsible for the destruction of only about nine Allied aircraft (16 air victories for 10 losses, according to other sources).


Edinburgh air museum
History of East Fortune airfield




Edinburgh air museum
Avro 698 Vulcan B2, XM597 (cn PS61)
This Royal Air Force bomber is a Falklands war veteran.

Edinburgh air museum
De Havilland DH-106 Comet 4C, G-BDIX (c/n 06471)
Edinburgh air museum
Edinburgh air museum
Edinburgh air museum
G-BDIX (cn 06471)
Initially it was built for RAF Transport Command, as Comet C.4 XR399.
I have written a page on the Dan-Air airline in my Remember Gallery..



National Museum of Flight, East Fortune Airfield
Aerial view of East Fortune on

See also the photos taken by others at this museum on AIRLINERS.NET



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Created: 14-juli-2011