‘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.
|Attack Helicopter Display Team. Apache (solo in 2016) (British Army)|
|Apache AH1 (Commando Assault Demo - British Army)|
|Wildcat AH1 x 2 (Commando Assault Demo) (TBC)|
|Wildcat HM2 x 2 (Maritime Role Demo)|
|Black Cats Helicopter Display Team (RN)|
|6 Merlins in Commando Assault demo|
|Lynx HMA8 x 2 (RNAF) Last ever maritime Lynx role demo|
|Red Arrows (RAF)|
|Spitfire & Hurricane (BBMF)|
|Fairey Swordfish Mk 1 (RNHF)|
|Gazelles AH1 & HT2 (RN 705NAS & AAC Desert Storm colours) + 2 HT3 static|
|Westland Wasp HAS1 (Terry Martin)|
|Seafire Mk III|
|MiG-15UTI (Norwegian AF Historic Flight)||Richard Goodwin. Pitts S-2S|
|Royal Jordanian Falcons|
|Bronco OV-10B (Demo Team)|
|Hawk T1 (pair) Commando Assault demo|
|Dassault Rafale M x 2 (French Navy)|
|B-17G 'Sally B'|
|Corsair FG-1D (The Fighter Collection)|
|North American AT-6D Texan (Kennet Aviation)|
|Bucker Bu 131 Jungmann|
|Royal Navy Raiders|
|Skyvan (supporting the RN Raiders)|
|Team Orlik (Polish National Team)||Static aircraft|
|Merlin HM2 (Royal Navy)|
|Sea King ASaC7|
|Lynx HMA8 (Royal Navy)|
|Beechcraft King Air Avenger T1 (Royal Navy)|
|Hawk T1 (Royal Navy)|
|Textron AirLand Scorpion|
|Gazelles: 2x HT3 (plus AH1 & HT2 flying)|
|Sea Harrier FA2 x 2 (Royal Navy)|
|F-4K Phantom FG1 (Royal Navy)|
|F-16 (Belgian Air Component)|
|Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16 x2|
|Dassault Falcon 20E (Belgian Air Force)|
|NHIndustires NH90 (Royal Netherlands Navy)|
|Richard Goodwin. Pitts S-2S|
|C-17A Globemaster III (USAF)|
|Falcon 10MER (French Navy)|
|C-295M (Polish Air Force)|
|E-3A Sentry (NATO)|
|Wildcat HM2 (Royal Navy)|
|Wildcat AH1 (Commando Assault Demo) (TBC)|
|Merlin iHC3 (Royal Navy)|
|Swordfish LS326 (RN Historic Flight)|
|Sea Fury FB11 (RN Historic Flight)|
|Squirrel HT1 (Royal Navy)|
|Tucano T1 (RAF)|
|King Air T1 (RAF)|
|Sea King HC4 (ZA298) (Fleet Air Arm Museum)|
|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 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.
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.
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