RAF Kai Tak

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RAF Kai Tak
RAF Kai Tak Crest.jpg
IATA: HKGICAO: VHHH/VHKT
Summary
Airport type Military, Defunct
Operator Royal Air Force
Location Kowloon Bay, Hong Kong
Elevation AMSL 9 m / 28 ft
Coordinates 22°19′43″N 114°11′39″E / 22.32861°N 114.19417°E / 22.32861; 114.19417
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
13/31 3,390 11,122 Asphalt (Closed)

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[edit]

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 Government Flying Service 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[edit]

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

Aircraft[edit]

During the 1940s, Japanese A6M Zero fighters were based at Kai Tak.

A list of aircraft stationed there:

Aircraft Type Number Dates Notes
Gloster Meteor fighter – 1962
de Havilland Vampire fighter – 1962
de Havilland Venom fighter – 1962
Fairey Flycatcher fighter 1927–?
Hawker Horsley fbomber 3 1935–1937
de Havilland Tiger Moth trainer 2 1935–1937
Chance-Vought Corsair (Fleet Air Arm) fighter 1950s
Bristol Beaufighter fighter-bomber 1950s
de Havilland Hornet fighter 1950s
Hawker Hunter fighter 1950s–1960s

Squadrons[edit]

The Japanese were stationed at Kai Tak during World War II and extended the runway at the base.

Circa 1946, Short Sunderland Mk.V flying boats of No. 209 Squadron RAF (visible in the middle left of photo is 'WQ-S', one of the squadron's Sunderland) parked on land and at the seaplane anchorage of Kowloon Bay off Kai Tak. Also visible in the foreground is a Douglas Dakota Mk.I of No. 215 Squadron RAF.
1983, a Westland Wessex HC.2 of No. 28 Squadron RAF, normally based at RAF Shek Kong, taking off from Kai Tak during "SAREX '83" - a search and rescue exercise.

A list of RAF squadrons at Kai Tak:

RAF detachments[edit]

Kai Tak runway[edit]

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 Japanese
  • 1956 - 2,194 metres north-south runway added
  • 1970 - 2,541 metres
  • 1975 - 3,358 metres
  • post 1975 - single asphalt runway 13/31 - 3,390 metres (or 11,122 feet)

Facilities[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes

External links[edit]