Military Wiki
Advertisement
RAF Kai Tak
File:RAF Kai Tak Crest.jpg
IATA: HKG – ICAO: 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

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

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 (HAECO)
    • Hong Kong Polytechnic
    • Hong Kong Aviation Club
    • Heliservices (Hong Kong) Limited
    • Macau Aerial Transport Company
    • British Overseas Airways Corporation

Aircraft

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

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

  • Japan Force Communications Flight Squadron (28 April 1946 – xxx xxxx)
File:Hk1946-kai-tak.jpg

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:

  • Hong Kong Communication Flight Squadron (12 September 1945 – 15 January 1947)
  • No. 132 Squadron RAF (15 September 1945 – 15 April 1946)
  • No. 209 Squadron RAF (17 September 1945 – 28 April 1946)
  • No. 681 Squadron RAF (27 September – 23 December 1945)
  • No 200 Staging Post RAF (October 1945 – June 1946)
  • No 1331 Wing RAF Regiment (xxx xxxx – May 1946)
  • No. 96 Squadron RAF (16 April – 1 June 1946)
  • No. 110 Squadron RAF (1 June 1946 – 15 September 1947)
  • No 1430 (Flying Boat Transport) Flight Squadron RAF (5 August – 1 September 1946)
  • No. 88 Squadron RAF (1 September 1946 – 24 June 1951)
  • No. 1903 Flight RAF and No. 656 Squadron RAF (15 July 1948 – 17 August 1949)
  • Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force (1 May 1949 – 1 April 1993)
  • No. 28 Squadron RAF(11 May 1949 – 1 May 1950; 7 October 1950 – 28 March 1951; 15 August – 5 December 1955; 14 June 1957 – 2 January 1967; 1 March 1968 – 17 May 1978; 1 November 1996 – 4 June 1997)
  • No. 80 Squadron RAF (20 August 1949 – 3 January 1950; 1 February – 7 March 1950; 28 April 1950 – 1 May 1955)
  • Hong Kong Auxiliary Flight RAF (October 1949 – 1 October 1950)
  • Hong Kong Auxiliary Squadron(1 October 1950 – 24 November 1953)
  • Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force Wing (24 November 1953 – xxx 1954)
  • Hong Kong Fighter Squadron (24 November 1953 – xxx 1954

RAF detachments

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 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

  • Hangar for aircraft at Choi Hung Road used to store Supermarine Spitfires.[1]
  • The former Officers' Mess has recently been refurbished as the new Kai Tak campus of Hong Kong Baptist University.[2]

See also

References

Notes

External links

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).
Advertisement