united kingdom Manston

Ramsgate, Kent, England

United Kingdom

Satellite and aerial maps of Kent International / Manston with nearby locations

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4.7038EGM60 QEQM Hospital, England
13.3268EGHB Maypole, England
22.0062UK29 Thanet OWF, Offshore UK
22.5307UK12 Kentish Flats OWF, Offshore UK
23.2180 Dover CG, England
25.6183GBDVR Dover WD, England

1916 to 2014

51° 20' 31.92'' N - 1° 20' 46.00'' E
2.5nm W of Ramsgate, Kent
Elevation: 178 feet

History of this Location

Opened in 1916 for anti-Zeppelin and trials use, it became the main centre preparing RNAS aircraft for service in Flanders and France during WWI. Excavations were begun in 1918 for underground hangars (given its close proximity to continental Europe) but the work was never completed. The airfield was heavily and regularly damaged during summer 1940 and it was only in Jan 1941 that sustained operations from based squadrons could continue.
Work began in 1943 to enlarge the main runway to assist damaged aircraft returning from Europe, which was completed in 1944. After WWII, Manston was a joint RAF and civilan airfield, the RAF using the ICAO code EGUM. After a period of use by the USAF, manston re-opened in Mar 1959 and its 61m wide main runway made it first choice as a Master Diversion Airfield for the RAF.
Whilst civilian flying continued, regular RAF operations scaled down to Search and Rescue missions from 22 Squadron D Flight, which arrived in the early 1960s. Local protests broke out when the Flight left in 1969, to such an extent that the Government agreed to replace SAR cover and Bristows ran a SAR contract between Jun 1971 and Sep 1974 with a silver and orange Whirlwind. 72 Squadron D Flight returned officially in Oct 1974 but had perfomed a rescue 2 days earlier, while training with its Wessex.
In 1982, Manston was reclassified as a Military Emergency Diversion Airfield and between Apr 1984 and Mar 1985, further improvements were carried out including re-surfacing the main runway and taxi-ways. A further proposed expansion was cut short by the collapse of the Berlin Wall and its military use went into decline, 202 Squadron F Flight left for Wattisham in Jul 1994, and it culminated in the closure of RAF Manston on 31 Mar 1999.
London Manston Airport plc now runs Kent International Airport with many cargo and some passengar flights using the airfield. Helicopter and fixed wing charters are available as well as an air training operation.
preserved/instructional/dump aircraft on field.
Whirlwind XK968 : XN380 fake c/s H-19 (2001-2011) : Wessex XS482 (1996-untill now) : Chinook ZA676
all for Fire Service Central Training Establishment FSCTE, Gazelle XW870 (2008-2011) : Wessex XR503 (2008) : XV720 (2008) : XV725 (2008-2011)
As a result of the UKSRR SAR service main contract award from Apr 2015, Bristow has been enhancing SAR facilities due to start from here on 1 Jul 2015.
The airport closed in May 2014 and plans have been proposed to turn the site into a business and residential park. Counter-proposals for re-development of the airfield as a freight / cargo hub are being developed and as of June 2015, the future is uncertain. Manston was one of the sites selected for the UKSRR SAR contract and Bristow has been forced to move its new operation to Lydd.

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List of units at Kent International / Manston

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YearsRotary Wing Aircraft Unitbold : Current Model
normal: Unit no longer at this base
1988/94202 SquadronSea King 1978/15
1976/8822 SquadronWessex 1974/97
Whirlwind 1955/81
1974/7672 SquadronWessex 1964/02
1961/6922 SquadronWhirlwind 1955/81
1952/58US 66th RQSS-55 H-19 1952/58


21-dec-1822-dec-18Operation Buckthorn

List of aircraft and events at Kent International / Manston

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By Date | By Serial

1968-jul G I AirframeArmy Air CorpsSkeeter 7XL735
1969 Royal Air ForceSycamore 4XJ916
1971-jun HM CoastguardWhirlwind HAR.3G-AYTK
1971-jun HM CoastguardWhirlwind HAR.3G-AYNP
1976-aug G I AirframeArmy Air CorpsSkeeter 7XL735
1976-aug G I AirframeRoyal Air ForceWhirlwind HAR.10XP340
1977-feb G I AirframeRoyal Air ForceWhirlwind HAR.10XP357
1978-sep G I AirframeArmy Air CorpsScout AH.1XV125
1996 Royal Air ForceCH-47C ChinookZA676
1998-jun ExhibitMinistry of Defence (MoD)Wessex HU.5XS482
2001-aug G I AirframeMinistry of Defence (MoD)Wessex HC.2XR503
2001-oct ExhibitFleet Air ArmWhirlwind HAS.7XN380
2001-nov-29 G I AirframeRoyal Air ForceSA341D Gazelle HT.3XW870
2004-jun-18 Wessex HU.5XS482 / A-D
2005-jun-18 Wessex HU.5XS482 / A-D
2006-apr ExhibitRoyal Air ForceWhirlwind HAR.2XJ727
2008 Royal Air ForceWessex HC.2XV725
2008 Royal Air ForceWessex HC.2XR503
2009-aug-26 BE Force AĆ©rienne BelgeSea King Mk.48RS02
2011-jul-21 Wessex HU.5XS482
2013-jun-03 412EPZJ705
2013-jul-08 429G-RIDB
2013-jul-08 A109BAH20
2013-aug-16 AW159 Wildcat HMA2ZZ396
2013-oct-03 MD902 ExplorerG-SUSX
2014-mar-20 CV-22B Osprey11-0060
2015-oct Army Air CorpsLynx AH1XZ216
2015-oct Army Air CorpsLynx AH1XZ607
2016-may-31 AW139G-CIJW
2016-sep-03 AW139G-CIJW
2018-dec-21 LaunchedFleet Air ArmAW159 Wildcat HMA2ZZ379
2018-dec-21 LaunchedFleet Air ArmAW159 Wildcat HMA2ZZ529
2018-dec-21 LaunchedFleet Air ArmMerlin HC.3ZJ132
2018-dec-21 LaunchedFleet Air ArmMerlin HC.3ZJ135

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