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Lossiemouth Royal Air Force Base Spotting Guide
Royal Air Force Lossiemouth or more commonly RAF Lossiemouth (IATA: LMO, ICAO: EGQS) is a military airfield located on the western edge of the town of Lossiemouth in Moray, north east Scotland. The airfield opened in 1939 and was operated by the RAF predominately as part of Bomber Command until 1946 when it was handed over to the Fleet Air Arm (FAA) and became known as RNAS Lossiemouth (HMS Fulmar). The FAA used Lossiemouth as a training station until it was handed back to the RAF in September 1972, after which it has operated largely as fast-jet base
Lossiemouth is one of the largest and busiest fast-jet stations in the Royal Air Force and known for its close proximity to flight training areas in Scotland and it’s favourable local flying conditions. It is now the only operational RAF station in Scotland and is one of two main operating bases for the Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4 in the UK. It is home to three front-line units which operate the Typhoon, each of which contribute to the Quick Reaction Alert (Interceptor) North capability which provides protection to UK airspace 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
- 1 Squadron – Typhoon FGR.4
- II (AC) Squadron – Typhoon FGR.4
- 6 Squadron – Typhoon FGR.4
- IX (B) Squadron – Typhoon FGR.4 (Tranche 1 only)
- 120 Squadron – Poseidon MRA.1
- 201 Squadron – Poseidon MRA.1
As this is Scotland’s only RAF base now please bear in mind that due to government cuts it is very quiet. Exercise Joint Warrior has become more spread out and thus RAF Lossiemouth is less of a ‘hotspot’, Exercise Cobra Warrior sees the highest concentration of sorties annually. Coningsby, however, is usually the hub of activity for CW. Recently, Mondays (all day) and Friday afternoons are painfully quiet usually. Goes without saying, as well, the Air Force doesn’t do weekends.
Written by Peter Adams. Last Update April 2022.
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| (18 votes, average: 3.56 out of 5)
|05/23||2.756m (9.042 ft)|
|10/28||1.851m (6.073 ft)|
|Ladder||Not required for spots 1 and 3. At spot 2 a new, very high fence hast been installed and a ladder is needed here.|
|Car/Public Transport||Car is advisable for runway 05 end spots 2 and 3 or from spot 1 its a 4 mile walk roughly 1 hour…|
|Restrooms||None directly at the spots.|
|Drinks/Food||In Lossiemouth village its self there’s a few shops you can buy but nothing close to the spots.|
|Hotels||In Lossiemouth or Elgin B B can be found also there’s a camp site at the 23 end Lossiemouth Beach.|
|Season||Middle two weeks of April and again in October when the exercise is on. Otherwise, during summer.|
|05/23||Used in both directions.|
|10/28||Used very rarely.|
|Spot #1 – The Golf Cource|
|WHERE||Park your car at the corner of road B9135 and B9040 in the small gravel car park, a bit north of the base entrance. From there follow it on foot for 5 minutes. Then there’s a small road (path) on your left follow that and the spot can be seen in the gause bushes and golf course.|
|WHAT||Runway 23 landings during morning and afternoon.|
|TIME||Taxiing to runway from sunrise to 1000. Landing depend in which side do you want to take pictures. On the left side approx 1000 to sunset.|
|MISC.||There’s nothing close to this spot so take what you need also if you stand under the ILS Lights up at the fence you will be moved due to the danger of jet-blast.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||18-300mm depending on motive.|
|Spot #2 – Old SAR Hangar|
|WHERE||From the base follow the road along then turn right into Drainie Rd and take this. Follow it along until you reach some hangars and see some houses. The spot is in a field after the houses on your right hand side.
Update October 2021: A new, very high fence has been installed at this part of the airfield and a 5 step ladder is mandatory.
|WHAT||Helicopters parked up taxing departing also Typhoons landing and taxing.|
|TIME||After 1100 am until 1530 hrs.|
|MISC.||There’s nothing close to this spot so take what you need.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||24-200 depending on motive longer 300 if you want 23 departure shots.|
|Spot #3 – Runway 05 end|
|WHERE||From spot 2 follow the road up to the end you can see the end of RWY 05. There is a huge field and some hills where you can stand. Find your preferred position.|
|WHAT||Runway 05 departures line ups landing shots.|
|TIME||From 1000 until sunset depending on what side.|
|MISC.||There’s nothing close to this spot so take what you need also if you have a car then there’s limited parking up this end and it ends up being busy with cars.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||24-200 depending on motive.|