No Money Mondays: Manston Airport by Vortex_SD

July 8, 2024

It’s time for another edition of No Money Mondays here at Threshold! This week, we’re headed to the very southeastern tip of England near the famed White Cliffs of Dover, to check out the amazing work of Vortex_SD, and their rendition of Manston International Airport for Microsoft Flight Simulator!

Manston Airport started out life as most airfields in the south of England, as an Royal Air Force Base. In World War 1, it served as a training base for the new Handley Page Type O Bomber, the largest aircraft built in the UK up to that point. During World War 2, Manston served as an important forward base for RAF squadrons during the Battle of Britain, served as the departure airfield for the test of the Dambuster bouncing bomb, and hosted the first unit operating the Gloster Meteor, the first allied jet aircraft. In the 1950’s, Manston was transferred over to the United States Air Force as a base for Strategic Air Command fighters. The US withdrew from Manston in 1960, becoming a joint civil and RAF airport. After that, Manston Airport went through a change in ownership and several name changes, being known as Kent International Airport and even London Manston Airport for a brief period. After a decline in operations to the airport, it officially closed on May 15th, 2014. Manston Airport’s runway was originally built with three “lanes” making it unusually wide even for runways at larger airports such as Heathrow. Between the closure and today, Manston served as a lorry parking lot in case transportation links to Europe, such as the port of Dover and Channel tunnel, were interrupted. The airport is now planned to reopen in 2025 after an investment of £500 million into the airport in 2022.

Even though the airport is closed today, you are still able to fly to Manston in MSFS! The in-sim rendition of Manston is representative of the airport near the time of its closing in 2014. It boasts many features, including:

  • Detailed, custom-made 3D models,
  • Realistic night lighting,
  • Moving people and animals,
  • And some hidden Easter Eggs!

You can add Manston to your virtual aviation world by downloading it at!

Be sure to stay tuned to Threshold for more high quality flight simulation news and reviews, and every week for No Money Mondays, showcasing the community’s best creations for over half a decade!

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