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Also known as: RAF Smoogro / RAF Smoogroo / RNAS Smoogro / RNAS Smoogroo / Smoogroo
County: Orkney
Current Status: Open land
Date: 1917 - 1923
Current Use: Disused
Used By: RAF / RNAS
Landing Surface Types: Unpaved
Prominent People: Edwin Dunning

Despite having a relatively quiet and short lifetime as an airfield, Smoogro played an important role in the history of naval aviation. Trials involving the UK’s first aircraft carrier, HMS Furious, were carried out with aircraft that flew from Smoogro. The trials aimed to prove that it would be possible to land on a ship. On 2 August 1917 Squadron Commander E. H. Dunning carried out the first successful carrier landing with his Sopwith Pup. Sadly he died five days later, in a crash during another carrier landing attempt.

The airfield consisted of a grass runway with very little amenities. Three hangars provided cover for aircraft at the site. These consisted of Sopwith Camels, Pups and Strutters. Aircraft were often lifted from the sea at the pier after purposely ditching. The pier is one of the few tangible remains of Smoogro airfield.


The following organisations are either based at, use and/or have at least potentially significant connections with the airfield (as at 01/07/2013):

  • Orphir Community Council

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