RAF Rufforth

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RAF Rufforth
Air Force Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg
1663 HCU.jpg
Handley Page Halifax V of 1663 HCU
Airport type Military
Owner Ministry of Defence
Operator Royal Air Force
Location Rufforth, North Yorkshire
Built 1941
In use 1942-1974
Elevation AMSL 52 ft / 16 m
Coordinates 53°56′54″N 001°11′04″W / 53.94833°N 1.18444°W / 53.94833; -1.18444Coordinates: 53°56′54″N 001°11′04″W / 53.94833°N 1.18444°W / 53.94833; -1.18444
RAF Rufforth is located in North Yorkshire
RAF Rufforth
RAF Rufforth
Location in North Yorkshire
Direction Length Surface
ft m
06/24 5,946 1,812 Concrete
11/29 4,050 1,234 Concrete
18/36 4,200 1,280 Concrete

Royal Air Force Station Rufforth or RAF Rufforth is a former Royal Air Force station located near Rufforth in North Yorkshire, England.


RAF Rufforth was built by John Laing & Son Ltd for the Royal Air Force in 1941 (completed 1942), it is located on the south side of the village.[1]

The airfield had one B1 and two T2 hangars and 36 aircraft hard standings and there was accommodation for 1,531 males and 251 females of all ranks.[2]



Aircraft losses[edit]

A total of 18 aircraft flying from RAF Rufforth were lost in accidents including one at Bishop Wilton Wold.[4][5]

Post war[edit]

A glider on the north end of the runway at Rufforth in 1982

RAF Rufforth was home to 642 Gliding School for several years whilst being part of No. 60 Maintenance Unit RAF, the RAF left in 1974 and the Ministry of Defence (MOD) sold the site in 1981.

Currently (2014) the site is split into two parts. Rufforth East is an arable farm owned by the Becketts, a local farming family. Microlights and autogiros operate off the east end of runway 05/23 and a north-south link taxiway. The gyrocopter school operated by Phil Harwood has a showroom with a small museum attached to it, which is open to the public and admission is free. Rufforth West is owned by The York Gliding Centre, a Community Action Sports Club, which operates a small fleet of single and two seat gliders off runway 17/35 and the west end of runway 05/23. Pilots visiting Rufforth West, must ring the club for prior permission to land and must not overfly Rufforth East or Rufforth village to the north of the airfield. The centre section of runway 05/23 was dug up, and the land returned to agricultural use. Runway 11/29 is disused and is occasionally used by a local motorcycle safety training company for safety courses.

Airline TV series[edit]

The ITV fictional drama series "Airline" was partially filmed at the airfield in 1982.[6][7]

Airline was a period drama series set at the end of the Second World War. Its main character is Jack Ruskin (played by Roy Marsden) who as a demobbed RAF transport pilot tries to set up his own airline using a DC3/C-47.

The series also starred Polly Hemingway as Jennie, Richard Heffer as Peter Witney, Sean Scanlan as Mc Evoy and Terence Rigby as Ernie Cade.

The series ran for 9 Episodes.

A DC3 (C47) used in filming during 1982

See also[edit]


External links[edit]