• Neil's Great Scottish Tour For X-Plane 11 Vol. 2

    To the north of the airfield is the town the airfield was named after--Wigtown. The layout is still clearly visible below.

    Neil Birch Scottish Tour Chapter 2

    Many interesting aircraft flew from this field including the formidable Hawker Typhoon below...

    Neil Birch Scottish Tour Chapter 2 - Hawker Typhoon

    Okay, now you can just enjoy yourself for a while as you pass over the delightful Dumfriesshire scenery. The river making its way to the sea is the River Bladnoch emanating from Loch Maberry in the parish of Kirkcowan to the north. The river then passes through the Bladnoch Distillery which was established in 1817 and is still making fine single malt scotch whisky. Below is an old photo of the distillery from around the 1960's with my favorite classic car behind, a Morris 1000.

    Neil Birch Scottish Tour Chapter 2 - Bladnoch Distillery

    Our next waypoints are a few small lochs.

    On our right you should be able to make out Barlockhart Moor Wind-farm, while ahead lies Luce Bay, and way off in the distance to our left is the Mull of Galloway. Our next waypoint is the small village of Glen Luce.

    I have placed a couple of tractors with flashing lights on our airfield to help you, but just be careful you don't mistake West Freugh for Castle Kennedy, as they are very close to each other and it's very easily done.

    Neil Birch Scottish Tour Chapter 2

    If you are flying the Cri-Cri, I would recommend landing on 08 because to land on 26 you drop down over a hill and it's not very easy to slow down.

    The runway is only open between the two white lines shown on the image below...

    Neil Birch Scottish Tour Chapter 2

    Safely down.

    Neil Birch Scottish Tour Chapter 2

    Take a trip around the airfield to see if you can spot the flight simulator marquee showing X-Plane!

    X-Plane 11 Display:

    Neil Birch Scottish Tour Chapter 2

    RAF Castle Kennedy

    There has actually been an airfield at this location since 1913 when five biplanes from the newly formed RFC landed here. During WWI the airfield was used intermittently for transferring mail to Ireland as this is the shortest route over. At the outbreak of WWII there was a desperate need for training facilities and so RAF Castle Kennedy was ideal, as it was far enough away from the action. The airfield was used mainly to train gunners into how to handle the turrets in the bombers, and after six months training were transferred to an active station.

    In 1942 the gunnery school moved to North Wales and were replaced by a torpedo training unit. It was then later passed back to a gunnery school and this carried on until the end of the war. The airfield was then taken over by 57 Maintenance Unit and was used as storage for scrap aircraft.

    The airfield closed in 1946 but opened up again briefly when British Airways Silver City offered a service flying vehicles over to Ireland using the Bristol Superfreighter. This has happy memories for me as I remember making the Airfix kit when I was young.

    Bristol Superfreighter:

    Neil Birch Scottish Tour Chapter 2

    The airfield is very close to RAF West Freugh and must have been mistaken many a time.

    Neil Birch
    Read Volume 1


    2 Comments
    1. AlyMac's Avatar
      AlyMac -
      Thanks for this Nels - its great fun. Spent a lot of time around here in my YAK 52 back in the day :-) So many places i didnt know.
    1. stuart_d_buchanan's Avatar
      stuart_d_buchanan -
      I've had the pleasure of flying into Castle Kennedy twice IRL. The first time it was completely deserted. So much so that solo in my flexwing microlight I ended up taking off from the taxiway into the wind rather than dealing with a significant crosswind. Ground roll was about 30m .

      The second time was during a fly-in. I don't recall the X-plane booth, but it was nevertheless a great day out, with a hot lunch included with the landing fee which (IIRC) was collected by the laird. It's a wonderful corner of Scotland.

      Thanks very much for bringing back such happy memories.

      -Stuart
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