Friday, September 12, 2008

RAF Kai Tak

RAF Kai Tak was a Royal Air Force station in Hong Kong. It was opened in 1927 and used for seaplanes. The RAF flight operated a few land based aircraft as well as having spare aircraft for naval units.

History


From 1968 to 1978 it was used by various RAF helicopter units, as well as the Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force and Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Corps Air Unit. The RAF left Kai Tak and moved most other operations to Sek Kong Airfield.

From 1993 onwards the civilian replaced Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force at Kai Tak, thus ending the RAF presence at the airport.

The apron and the old NCO Mess areas were used by the Royal Hong Kong Police Force as the Police Driving School premises for a number of years until re-sited.

Non-Military Users


It was the main airfield in Hong Kong housing other non-military users:

* Far East Flying Training School founded in the 1920s - later changed its name to Far East Flying and Technical School.
* The Hong Kong Flying Club 1927
* Aero Club of Hong Kong 1962.
* offices of various airlines including:
** Cathay Pacific
** Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company
** Hong Kong Polytechnic
** Hong Kong Aviation Club
** Heliservices Limited
** Macau Aerial Transport Company
** British Overseas Airways Corporation

Aircraft


During the 1940s, A6M Zero fighters were based at Kai Tak, as well as United States Air Force and bombers.

A list of aircraft stationed there:



Squadrons


The Japanese were stationed at Kai Tak during World War II and was charge with extending the runway at the base.

*Japan Force Communications Flight Squadron

A list of RAF squadrons at Kai Tak:

*Hong Kong Communication Flight Squadron
*No. 132 Squadron RAF
*No. 209 Squadron RAF
*No. 681 Squadron RAF
*No 200 Staging Post RAF
*No 1331 Wing RAF Regiment
*No. 96 Squadron RAF
*No. 110 Squadron RAF
*No 1430 Flight Squadron RAF
*No. 88 Squadron RAF
*No. 1903 Flight RAF and No. 656 Squadron RAF
*Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force
*No. 28 Squadron RAF
*No. 80 Squadron RAF
*Hong Kong Auxiliary Flight RAF
*Hong Kong Auxiliary Squadron
*Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force Wing
*Hong Kong Fighter Squadron
*No. 81 Squadron RAF
*No. 205 Squadron RAF
*No. 88 Squadron RAF
*No. 60 Squadron RAF
*No. 103 Squadron RAF
*No. 110 Squadron RAF
*No. 45 Squadron RAF



Kai Tak Runway


Kai Tak's first runway was a grass strip and the first tarmac, an east-west runway, was 457 metres long in 1939. A series of extensions were added over the years:

*1940s - 1,371 metres runway added by the
*1956 - 2,194 metres north-south runway added
*1970 - 2,541 metres
*1975 - 3,358 metres
*post 1975 - single paved runway 13/31 - 3390 metres

Facilities



* hanger for aircraft at Choi Hung Road used to store Supermarine Spitfires during WWII.

Timezone


* UTC+8 / Hong Kong Time

38 comments:

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