Martin Whitfield MSP has visited an East Lothian-based aviation heritage group for an update on its work, including a unique Sopwith 1 ½ Strutter construction project.

Mr Whitfield first visited the Aviation Preservation Society of Scotland (APSS), a charity committed to preserving aviation history for future generations, in 2018 shortly after it had moved to its current base at Congalton Gardens near North Berwick.

Five years on from that visit, the group has now completed work on the construction of the First World War biplane, which it began some 24 years ago. The Strutter is the only operational plane of its kind in the world, making it a unique piece of aviation history.

The APSS is now awaiting regulatory approval for the Strutter to make its first flight, which it is hoped will be granted in the near future. In the meantime, the group is working on other projects, including the creation of a Spitfire cockpit simulator.

Commenting after his visit, Martin Whitfield MP said:

“The work of the APSS really captured my imagination when I first visited them in 2018 and I’ve followed their progress ever since. The group’s commitment to bringing our aviation history to life for future generations is inspirational and has enormous historical and educational value.

“I was delighted to catch up with the group again at Congalton and see the completed Strutter ready to fly at its temporary home in Kirknewton. The construction project is a remarkable undertaking, which has caught the attention of aviation enthusiasts across the world.

“The completed plane is a real testament to the dedication, skill and sheer hard work of those who have contributed to the project over the last 24 years. It is a hugely impressive achievement and I look forward to having an opportunity to see the Strutter in flight the next time I visit.”

Find out more about the Strutter construction project and the rest of the APSS’s work at