Military Wiki
RAF Carnaby
Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg
IATA: none – ICAO: none
Airport type Military
Owner Air Ministry
Operator Royal Air Force
Location Carnaby
Built 1943
In use 1944-1945
Elevation AMSL 10 m / 33 ft
Coordinates 54°03′39″N 000°15′42″W / 54.06083°N 0.26167°W / 54.06083; -0.26167Coordinates: 54°03′39″N 000°15′42″W / 54.06083°N 0.26167°W / 54.06083; -0.26167

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Direction Length Surface
m ft
09/27 2,700 8,858 Concrete

RAF Carnaby was an Royal Air Force emergency landing strip that enabled crippled bombers a safe place to land near the English coast during the Second World War. It was situated 2.0 miles (3.2 km) southwest of Bridlington, East Riding of Yorkshire.


RAF Carnaby opened in March 1944. Unlike most RAF airfields there was a single runway, five times the width of a standard runway and 9,000 ft (2,700 m) long, lying approximately east-west to enable bombers crossing the coast an easier landing.[1] Two other similar functioning airfields were either constructed or further developed along the east coast of England, at Manston and Woodbridge, all three providing an emergency option for wartime bomber crews.[1] All three airfields were developed to the same pattern, Woodbridge being the first to open in November 1943. The similar runway at Manston was brought into operation in April 1944.[citation needed]

Along with RAF Manston and RAF Woodbridge, Carnaby was developed as an east coast emergency landing ground for bomber crews. These airfields were intended for use by returning bombers suffering from low-fuel and/or suspected damage to their pneumatic (wheel Brake) and/or hydraulic (Control surface) systems. All three airfields were equipped with a single runway, 9,000 ft (2,700 m) long and 750 ft (230 m) wide. There was a further clear area of 1,500 ft (460 m) at each end of the runway. At each of the three airfields, the runway was divided into three 250 ft (76 m) lanes. The northern and central lanes were allocated by flying control, while the southern lane was the emergency lane on which any aircraft could land without first making contact with the airfield.[citation needed] Over 1,400 bombers made an emergency landing at Carnaby up until the end of the war.[1]

Fog Investigation and Dispersal Operation

Carnaby was one of fifteen airfields operating the fog dispersal system known as Fog Investigation and Dispersal Operation (FIDO). The system consisted of two rows of burning petrol one on each side of the runway, the heat from this fire raised the air temperature above the runways, cutting a hole in the fog and provided crews with a brightly lit strip indicating the position of the runway.[1]

RAF Carnaby was a Thor missile base from 1959 to 1963 controlled by No. 150 Squadron RAF.[2]

Post-RAF history

RAF Carnaby was for many years used for the storage of new Nissan cars. Today it has been developed beyond recognition into Carnaby Industrial Estate although with aerial photography you can still make out the outline of the former airfield.[2]


External links

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