While still in the planning stages, the Scottish National Museum of Flight in East Lothian, Scotland is preparing an application for a facilities upgrade for funding through the United Kingdom’s Heritage Lottery fund. Housed at former RAF East Fortune, a former Royal Air Force station, the museum already boasts an impressive collection of aircraft, including rare warbirds like the Messerschmitt Me 163 and Bristol Bolingbroke and notable civil aviation craft like the Vickers Viscount and Concorde.
East Fortune’s use as an flying station pre-dates the creation of the RAF; East Fortune was established as a fighter and airship airfield in 1915 and was the base from which the British airship R34 made the first transatlantic round trip, flying from East Fortune to Long Island, New York and back in 1919. During World War II, the RAF conducted flight training there as well as basing a squadron of de Havilland Mosquitos at the site.
While the RAF ceased operations at East Fortune in the 1960s, they left behind an airfield that was one of the best-preserved wartime airfields in the UK. As a result of this, the entire site was scheduled as a landmark including the hangars, control tower and storage buildings. The museum’s collection has grown over the years into one of the most important in the UK, and covers all aspects of aviation. The proposal being prepared would see significant upgrades to the exhibits within the the museum’s modern structures, the civil aviation hangar and restoration hangar, which is open to the public to allow visitors the view the refurbishment of historic aircraft.