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RAF Rufforth

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Airport type  Military
In use  1942-1974
06/24  5,946
Phone  +44 7595 219309
Owner  Ministry of Defence
Operator  Royal Air Force
Elevation AMSL  52 ft / 16 m
Elevation  16 m
Year built  1941
RAF Rufforth
Location  Rufforth, North Yorkshire
Address  Wetherby Rd, York YO23 3QN, UK
Similar  The Gyrocopter Experience, PPL Training, Tockwith Motor Sports Ce, York Gliding Centre, Knavesmi Butchers

Royal Air Force Station Rufforth or RAF Rufforth is a former Royal Air Force station located near Rufforth in North Yorkshire, England.



RAF Rufforth was built by John Laing & Son Ltd for the Royal Air Force in 1941 (completed 1942), it is located on the south side of the village.

The airfield had one B1 and two T2 hangars and 36 aircraft hard standings and there was accommodation for 1,531 males and 251 females of all ranks.


  • No. 158 Squadron RAF November 1942 - February 1943
  • No. 1663 Heavy Conversion Unit (HCU) 7 Group Training Command 1943 - 1945
  • Aircraft losses

    A total of 18 aircraft flying from RAF Rufforth were lost in accidents including one at Bishop Wilton Wold.

    Post war

    RAF Rufforth was home to 642 Gliding School for several years whilst being part of No. 60 Maintenance Unit RAF, the RAF left in 1974 and the Ministry of Defence (MOD) sold the site in 1981.

    Currently (2014) the site is split into two parts. Rufforth East is an arable farm owned by the Becketts, a local farming family. Microlights and autogiros operate off the east end of runway 05/23 and a north-south link taxiway. The gyrocopter school operated by Phil Harwood has a showroom with a small museum attached to it, which is open to the public and admission is free. Rufforth West is owned by The York Gliding Centre, a Community Action Sports Club, which operates a small fleet of single and two seat gliders off runway 17/35 and the west end of runway 05/23. Pilots visiting Rufforth West, must ring the club for prior permission to land and must not overfly Rufforth East or Rufforth village to the north of the airfield. The centre section of runway 05/23 was dug up, and the land returned to agricultural use. Runway 11/29 is disused and is occasionally used by a local motorcycle safety training company for safety courses.

    Airline TV series

    The ITV fictional drama series "Airline" was partially filmed at the airfield in 1982.

    Airline was a period drama series set at the end of the Second World War. Its main character is Jack Ruskin (played by Roy Marsden) who as a demobbed RAF transport pilot tries to set up his own airline using a DC3/C-47.

    The series also starred Polly Hemingway as Jennie, Richard Heffer as Peter Witney, Sean Scanlan as Mc Evoy and Terence Rigby as Ernie Cade.

    The series ran for 9 Episodes.


    RAF Rufforth Wikipedia