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Black Isle (Blackstand)

Major
Also known as: Fortrose / No 42 SLG / RAF Black Isle
County: Highland
Current Status: Open land
Date: 22 August 1941 - October 1945
Current Use: Disused
Used By: RAF
Landing Surface Types: Unpaved
Aircraft Roles: Aircraft preparation/storage

Possibly the most unusual of all the Satellite Landing Grounds in Britain for dispersed aircraft storage, Black Isle – also known as Blackstand – lay in the central eastern part of the famous peninsula north of Inverness. No 46 Maintenance Unit at Lossiemouth used the SLG throughout its life after construction work began in June 1941, as did to a less documented degree No 45 MU at Kinloss. Several aircraft arrived for storage but Bristol Beaufighters became particularly prominent.

Black Isle afterwards returned to being a mixture of open land and forestry, yet continues to retain some airfield buildings. A Super Robin hangar transferred from Lossiemouth in 1944 looks down on immediate surroundings from its raised position and can be seen from many miles around. A certain amount of very rare contemporary photographic evidence, especially considering how SLGs were intended to be secret in their general operation, survives as well.

The following organisations are either based at, use and/or have at least potentially significant connections with the airfield (as at 01/09/2011):
  • Forestry Memories Image Library 
  • Fortrose and Rosemarkie Community Council
  • Fortrose Community Library

Main unit(s) present:

  • No 45 MU
  • No 46 MU
DP_211632.jpg

Oblique aerial view of the airfield, looking south-east, 14 May 2015. © Crown Copyright: Historic Environment Scotland, canmore.org.uk

DP_211635.jpg

Oblique aerial view centred on the airfield, looking east-north-east, 14 May 2015. © Crown Copyright: Historic Environment Scotland, canmore.org.uk

DP_211633.jpg

Oblique aerial view of the airfield, looking south-east, 14 May 2015. © Crown Copyright: Historic Environment Scotland, canmore.org.uk

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