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After an original idea by Paul Freeman.
First published 7 Nov 2010. This collection of airfields is © 2010 - 2018 RonaldV
hu

Tököl

24-09-2013

31-10-2017

893

47°20'43"N 018°58'52"E

runway: 14/32 - 2500x60m - concrete
runway: 14/32 - 1100x50m - grass

Budapest Tököl (ICAO: LHTL) was a military airfield on the south side of Budapest.
I could not yet find much on the airfields history. Dunai Repülőgépgyár (Danubian Aerospace) was located at the airfield during World War II, producing  Messerschmitt Bf 210s and a Bf 109s here for Luftwaffe and Hungarian Air Force use). From 1943 an Hungarian unit was stationed at Tököl Airport, tasked with the defense of Budapest's airspace. On 13 April 1944, the airport and the factory were heavily bombed by USAF, dropping around 200 tons and they continued to attack the facility and the airfield throughout the summer. In November 1944 the airfield was captured by the Red Army, but they did not really use it until the end of the war.

In 1949 it received a 2500m runway. In 1951 the Hungarians received the -then new- MiG-15 and Yak-18 and stationed them at Tököl. During the short lived Hungarian revolution in the fall of 1956, Soviet forces seized the Hungarian aircraft stationed here. Hungarian forces were not allowed to return to Tököl until 1968.
Hungarian VIP planes were stationed here with two An-24s and two Il-14s. The Dunai Repülőgépgyár (Danubian Aerospace, the airplane overhaul factory) for the Hungarian Air Force was also located here.


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A Soviet Air Force MiG-21UM at the airfield, ca. 1983 (from:www.strizhi.ru, via Panoramio)

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A Soviet Aeroflot Tu-104 'Тёкёль' (Tekel) taxies in at Tököl, presumably in the early 1980s (from:www.strizhi.ru, via Panoramio)


This is a 1992 video of the An-24V, which served from Tököl as a VIP plane for the government.

After the Cold War, the final Soviet Air Force squadron (201) left in April 1991, leaving the airfield to the Hungarian armed forces. The Hungarian Air Force continued to use the airfield for several years. 
Today, the airfield is largely deserted. The main hangar is used mostly by civilians. 


41 minute promotional video of Danubian Aerospace, shot at Tököl around 2000.

The main hangar of Danubian Aerospace was demolished and a Tesco was erected here. Altough the Danubian Aerospace company still exists, it cannot function as an overhaul center because of the missing main hangar. Although it cannot be seen, the runway cannot be used over its full length, as  nearby local people have been complaining from the 1990's that the airfields traffic disturbes them. Therefore the runway was officialy shortened to 1000 meters or so, and therefore it cannot be used by larger aircraft. In the early years of 2000, a plan existed to use the airfield for cheap international travel, but every local council rejected the idea. 
The airport has appeared in some high profile movies. Director/producer Steven Spielberg used Tököl to represent Fürstenfeldbruck in his film Munich (mostly shot in Hungary). Additionally, Tony Scott used part of the airport as a Chinese prison(!) in Spy Game.

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Tököl airfield, photographed in 2008 (source)

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Danubian Aerospace, photographed in 2009 by Urbán József


A lot of this information on Tököl airfield was found on Russian websites that made unauthorised use of original research by Karesz (Karoly) Vándor. Karesz has published on several airfields, one of his books (Soviet Air Force in Hungary and Austria) was even published in English. Karesz was kind enough to allow me the continued use of his research on this site. Click on the images below to go to his publisher and museum website for more information.
 cover.indd.jpgBook 1 cimlap.jpgBook 2