AMBITIOUS plans to create a new hangar at the Museum of Flight would rescue “critically endangered aircraft”.

The museum, at East Fortune, is home to about 18,000 items and includes the UK’s most significant collection of material associated with commercial passenger aviation.

National Museums Scotland has now lodged a planning application for a new building to be constructed to the south of the site, which would provide a new home for a number of planes.

The project has been named ‘Ready for Take-off’ and would result in an estimated £15 million investment.

A planning statement says: “The National Museum of Flight is home to a remarkable collection of aircraft that played key roles from the pioneering Viscount turboprop to the game-changing Comet and the iconic Concorde.

“The aircraft are of national and international significance and represent a dwindling number that survive.

“Due to their scale and the lack of a building large enough, the Viscount, BAC 1-11 and Comet have been located outdoors for many years.

“This has resulted in significant deterioration, such that there is now an urgent risk of complete loss if they are not brought under cover.”

They would be joined in the new building by the iconic Concorde, which is currently in another hangar.

Early plans for the museum, which attracts more than 80,000 visitors each year, were revealed last year.

Members of the public were given the chance to see the proposals at exhibitions held in Haddington’s John Gray Centre and East Linton Primary School.

Then, a series of display boards highlighted the project and what was proposed.

If approved, the new building would also allow the Vulcan bomber, which is currently outdoors and “at risk”, to be re-located to an existing hangar vacated by Concorde.

The planning statement adds: “The project will also relocate key visitor facilities such as the public entrance, car parking, shop and café from the Scheduled Ancient Monument to the new development.

“This will enable the enhancement of the historic museum site, which is the best preserved Second World War airfield in the UK and a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

"The new hangar will be built on land adjacent to the historic airfield, creating a new entrance, improved orientation and appropriate visitor facilities.

"This will allow us to clear anachronistic structures and car parking to be removed from the historic site, paving the way for the airfield to be reimagined, bringing its historic significance to life for visitors and enhancing their experience.”

The developers hope the new building would improve the visual impact to visitors on arrival.

Visitors can drive for half a mile with little to tell them they are visiting the museum.

Plans state: “Due to its location, the new proposed site provides a central focal point for the development of the new entrance and introduction building, announcing the beginning of the visitor journey to discover the exhibitions within the building and beyond to the wider site.”

Outside the new building, 140 parking spaces would be created, including accessible spaces and electric charging points.