100 years of aviation history - 1913-2013
Welcome to the official web site of Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre. The Ian McIntosh Memorial Trust wishes to thank Angus Council for the Angus Community Award which funded this website.
Britain’s first operational military airfield was set up in Montrose by the Royal Flying Corps in 1913. The heritage centre's collection of photographs and artefacts tell the story of RFC/RAF Montrose through the words and deeds of the men and women who served here through two world wars, bringing the airfield alive and sparking the enthusiasm and admiration of generations for whom the First and Second Wars exists only in others’ memories.
In this Centenary Year we would be pleased to hear from anyone who has connections with RAF Montrose, whether you served here or have a relative who served here. Get in touch with us on 01674 678222, email email@example.com
“The Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre is a national (and I don’t just mean Scotland) treasure that tells a global story.” Ken Ellis, Editor, Flypast
From the very early days of military aviation in Britain and in both world wars, the air station played a vital role in training pilots for the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Air Force. Many of those who passed through Montrose were ordinary people in extraordinary times from all walks of life and all nationalities.
Just completed is our new Pilot Training project funded mainly by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. It shows the training involved here in 1939 described by Tom Neil, and contains interactive computer copies of the training manual. You can hear Tom describe his experiences at RAF Montrose and a teaching area, flight sim and Link Trainer are all part of the experience.
Many were, or went on to make their mark as famous pilots, such as Major Burke, Flt Lt Richard Hillary, Peter Townsend and Squadron Leader 'Stapme’ Stapleton,
Irish ace Brendan 'Paddy' Finucane, George Beurling and others of 'The Few'.
Also told is the story of Leutnant Sur Zee Hans Eberhardt Tonne, only survivor of the Heinkel HE115 which crashed near Arbroath on 15 August 1940. Lt Tonne spent several years in hospital and was repatriated to Germany in 1943.
The collection has been created through the efforts of the members, past and present whose passionate interest in local and aviation history has preserved the vital contribution made to the defence of this country for the benefit of the townspeople of Montrose and visitors to the town.
Training pilots was a hazardous occupation and many lost their lives and are buried in the cemeteries of Montrose. It is not surprising therefore that it is, possibly, the most haunted place in Britain. There have been many unexplained sightings of apparitions in pilots’ uniforms and phantom planes. One in particular being Irishman
Lt Desmond Arthur, whose untimely death in 1913 is thought to have led to the first sightings of the mysterious Montrose Ghost.
Unique in Scotland is the opportunity for the public to see what a World War One aircraft looked like, with the Centre having a full size replica Sopwith Camel, famous as the aircraft that shot down 'The Red Baron'. Another unique item is a 1941 Hillman RAF Staff Car, one of the few wartime production cars on the road in Britain. Newly arrived is 603 City of Edinburgh Squadron Meteor T7 WF825, and a DH Sea Vampire. There is a display on War Dog Bamse in the 'Home Front' room. The new 'wartime house' gives an idea of what domestic life was like in the war years, and there is a display dedicated to Women in the RAF in the Richard Moss Memorial Collection.
Whatever your interest be it aviation, Britain at war, Radio and Communications, local history or ghosts, Montrose Air Station offers something for everyone and is the ideal venue for a family outing. Parties and Groups welcome, contact the Centre for information.
Download our sitemap and gen PDF here
'Gen' (information) for group visits