Yeovilton Air Day 2016

the 2016 airshow at RNAS Yeovilton

Celebrating Naval Aviation



‘Naval Aviation - Past, Present & Future’ was the main theme at the RNAS Yeovilton Air Day in 2016. Illustrating these eras, the airshow focused on three Fleet Air Arm milestones.

  • Past: the 75th anniversary of the pursuit and sinking of the German Battleship Bismark, in which the Swordfish played a significant role.
  • Present: the final flight of the Lynx. Lynx helicopters will leave service in March 2017 and will be making their last airshow appearance at Air Day.
  • Future: anticipating the return of the Royal Navy's strike capability and further helicopter assault platform with the carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth and the aircraft who may operate from her.

Air displays

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Apache HDT Attack Helicopter Display Team. Apache (solo in 2016) (British Army)
Apache AH1Apache AH1 (Commando Assault Demo - British Army)
Wildcat AH1 x2 Wildcat AH1 x 2 (Commando Assault Demo) (TBC)
Wildcat_RN Wildcat HM2 x 2 (Maritime Role Demo)
Black Cats Black Cats Helicopter Display Team (RN)
Royal Navy Merlin6 Merlins in Commando Assault demo
RNAS Lynx HMA8 Lynx HMA8 x 2 (RNAF) Last ever maritime Lynx role demo
Red Arrows Red Arrows (RAF)
Eurofighter Typhoon Typhoon (RAF)
BBMF Hurricane and Spitfire Spitfire & Hurricane (BBMF)
Fairey Swordfish Mk1 W5856 RNHF Fairey Swordfish Mk 1 (RNHF)
Gazelle Squadron Gazelles AH1 & HT2 (RN 705NAS & AAC Desert Storm colours) + 2 HT3 static
Westland Wasp Westland Wasp HAS1 (Terry Martin)
Seafire LF3 Seafire Mk III
MiG-15UTI MiG-15UTI (Norwegian AF Historic Flight)
Richard GoodwinRichard Goodwin. Pitts S-2S
Royal Jordanian FalconsRoyal Jordanian Falcons
OV-10 Bronco Bronco OV-10B (Demo Team)
Hawk T1 Hawk T1 (pair) Commando Assault demo
Dassault Rafale Dassault Rafale M x 2 (French Navy)
Sea Vixen FAW2 G-CVIX XP924 Sea Vixen
Sally BB-17G 'Sally B'
Goodyear FG-1D Corsair G-FG1D: The Fighter CollectionCorsair FG-1D (The Fighter Collection)
T6-kennet North American AT-6D Texan (Kennet Aviation)
Bücker Bü131 Bucker Bu 131 Jungmann
Raiders Royal Navy Raiders
Short SC7 Skyvan Skyvan (supporting the RN Raiders)
Team OrlikTeam Orlik (Polish National Team)
Static aircraft
Royal Navy Merlin Merlin HM2 (Royal Navy)
Sea King ASaC7 Sea King ASaC7
RNAS Lynx HMA8 Lynx HMA8 (Royal Navy)
King Air B200 Beechcraft King Air Avenger T1 (Royal Navy)
Eurofighter Typhoon Typhoon FGR4
Hawk T1 Hawk T1 (Royal Navy)
Textron AirLand Scorpion Textron AirLand Scorpion
Gazelle Squadron Gazelles: 2x HT3 (plus AH1 & HT2 flying)
Sea Harrier Sea Harrier FA2 x 2 (Royal Navy)
F-4K Phantom F-4K Phantom FG1 (Royal Navy)
F-16. F-16 (Belgian Air Component)
Dutch  F-16Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16 x2
Dassault Falcon 20E Dassault Falcon 20E (Belgian Air Force)
NH90NHIndustires NH90 (Royal Netherlands Navy)
Richard GoodwinRichard Goodwin. Pitts S-2S
Yak-52Yak-52 (G-YAKX)
Yak-52Yak-52 (G-IUII)
C-17A Globemaster III (USAF)
Falcon 10MER (French Navy)
C-295M (Polish Air Force)
Boeing E-3A Sentry E-3A Sentry (NATO)
Wildcat_RN Wildcat HM2 (Royal Navy)
Wildcat AH1 x2 Wildcat AH1 (Commando Assault Demo) (TBC)
Royal Navy Merlin Merlin iHC3 (Royal Navy)
Fairey Swordfish LS362 Swordfish LS326 (RN Historic Flight)
Sea Fury Sea Fury FB11 (RN Historic Flight)
Squirrel HT1 (Royal Navy)
TucanoTucano T1 (RAF)
King AirKing Air T1 (RAF)
Sea King HC4 Sea King HC4 (ZA298) (Fleet Air Arm Museum)
Sea King Has5 Sea King HAS5 (XZ574) (Fleet Air Arm Museum)
Auster AOP9 (G-BURR / WZ706)
A109E Power (QinetiQ)
Tornado IDS (German Air Force)
C-160D Transall (German Air Force)
M-28B1R Bryza (Polish air Force)
Avro C19 Anson Avro 19 (BAE Systems)

There were over 5 hours of flying displays and an extensive static display featured historic naval aircraft and their modern day counterparts.

Yeovilton Air Day is famous for it role demonstrations. This year they included the last ever Lynx HMA8 formation flypast and maritime role demo; Yeovilton-based Commando Helicopter Force and Aviation Reconnaissance Force demonstrating their capabilities.

The Air Day's Commando Assault demonstration is the famous Air Day finale involving helicopters galore and plenty of pyrotechnics. This year, for the first time, it featured the new Merlin iHC3 troop transport helicopters.

Past naval aircraft in the flying display included the Royal Navy Historic Flight’s Swordfish biplane torpedo bomber in its 820 NAS Bismarck attack scheme, the Seafire and Corsair WW2 fighters, both in British Pacific Fleet schemes, and the world’s only flying Sea Vixen fleet air defence fighter of the 1960s.

Further UK and foreign military participants included three national teams: as well as the Red Arrows, the Royal Jordanian Falcons and, for the first time, the Polish Orlik Aerobatic Team.

Historic naval aircraft in the static display included the Sea Fury – one of the fastest piston-engine fighters ever built, the Phantom 1970s fleet air defence fighter and two Sea Harriers.

Also amongst the static displays was a line-up of huge overseas military aircraft including an E-3A Sentry, C-17 Globemaster and C-160D Transall, most opened up to the general public.

Elsewhere on the ground were displays in the arena and hangars, including the HMS Heron Field Gun Competition and performances from The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines and the Yeovilton Military Wives Choir and HMS Heron’s Volunteer Band. A vehicle exhibition included an array of ex-military vehicles, classic cars and high-performance supercars to view and even sit in.

Star Wars and Superhero characters roamed around the showground, interacting with our younger visitors.  For the more adventurous there were simulators, pleasure flights, fairground rides including a 90ft sky swing and the usual trade stalls.

RNAS Yeovilton

Before WWll much of the land on which RNAS Yeovilton stands was owned by the Church of England. The admiralty Air Division commandeered it in 1939 and the first runway was operational in 1941. During the war the station was home for an increasing number of naval air squadrons and afterwards became one of the main demobilization centres for the Royal Navy.

RNAS Yeovilton, also known as HMS Heron, is now one of two principal naval air bases in the UK, the other being RNAS Culdrose. Over 100 aircraft are based here, belonging to front-line squadrons and training units including all Fleet Air Arm Lynx and the Commando Helicopter Force.

Yeovilton also houses the vintage aircraft of the RN Historic Flight and the Fleet Air Arm Museum.