Errol Airfield

(RAF Errol)

Located on the northern shore of the Firth of Tay, Errol Airfield lies 1½ miles (2.5 km) northeast of Errol and 9 miles (14.5 km) west southwest of Dundee on the flat lands of the Carse of Gowrie. Commissioned on the 1st August 1942 as RAF Errol, this was a training base until its closure in 1948. No. 9 Advanced Flying Unit (AFU) was based here providing fighter aircraft training using single-engined monoplanes, although Soviet pilots were trained here 1943-44 on transport aircraft. It later became a maintenance base. The distincive A-pattern of runways (three runways intersecting at 60-degree angles) can still be seen from the air, although only part of one remains in use for skydiving flights. Most of the hangars have been removed but many of the original RAF buildings survive, including the once-derelict control tower which has been restored to form a private home. Much of the rest of the site is used as an industrial estate with activities including vehicle and plant auctions, a regular car-boot sale (said to be Scotland's largest) and Dundee Satellite Station, Scotland's original satellite ground station, which moved here from the University of Dundee in 2019. Next to the vehicle auction site is a Royal Navy Fairey Gannet (XG882) which was built in 1956, withdrawn from service in 1976, restored here in 1982 but has subsequently been abandoned. The airfield was once the race-track for Perth and District Motor Club. It also provided a base for the Tayreed Company which, between 1974 and 2005, supplied thatch for roofing from nearby reed beds on the Tay Estuary.

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