Full Sutton is also home to a former air force station, RAF Full Sutton. Opened in 1944, the station operated as a bomber airfield during the Second World War; it would later be used to maintain a number of Thor missiles in readiness as part of the UK deterrent force, before finally closing in April 1963. During 1958 the BRSCC organised four races on the airfields runways and perimeter roads (Full Sutton Circuit). Full Sutton is now used as a general aviation airfield, with its own training facilities for the aspiring pilot.
The place was recorded in the Domesday Book as Sudtone, meaning "south settlement". The prefix, first recorded in the 13th century, means "dirty", from the Old English fūl.