‘Naval Aviation - Past, Present & Future’ will be the main theme at the RNAS Yeovilton Air Day in 2016. Illustrating these eras, the airshow will focus on three Fleet Air Arm milestones.
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.
There will be over 5 hours of flying displays and an extensive static display will feature historic naval aircraft and their modern day counterparts. There will be role demonstrations including Yeovilton-based Commando Helicopter Force, Lynx Wildcat Maritime Force and Aviation Reconnaissance Force demonstrating their capabilities: enjoy the famous Commando Assault demonstration with plenty of pyrotechnics.
Further UK and foreign military participants will provide fast jet displays, static aircraft, aerobatic display teams and joint flypasts.
On the ground there will be arena displays including the field gun; a funfair and the usual trade stalls.
Flying displays scheduled so far include:
More information including a flying list will be here when details are announced.
RNAS Yeovilton is on the B3151, five miles north of Yeovil and about forty miles south of Bristol. The B3151 is off the A37 from the north and south and from the A303 from the east and west. The nearest motorway is the M5, which most visitors would leave at junction 25 onto the A358 and then the A303.
The post code BA22 8HT can be used for sat nav but, as with all shows, ignore the sat nav in favour of local directions as soon as you see Air Day traffic signs.
Some coach operators offer excursions, normally with inclusive travel and entry tickets. Check the air show's 'how to get there' page for details.
National Express have a direct coach service from Weymouth which will get you to Yeovil in about an hour but it is more difficult to reach the show in time for the start of the show from further afield. Coach and bus services terminate at Yeovil bus station, from where there is a shuttle bus to the show site.
You can book National Express seats online. Click the National Express name to go to their web site.
The nearest stations are Yeovil Penn Mill and Yeovil Junction. From Yeovil Junction there is a direct service to London (about 2.5 hours) and Exeter (about 1 hour). From Yeovil Penn Mill the service goes to Weymouth (about 45 minutes) and Bristol (about 2 hours). There is a (not free) shuttle bus service from both stations to the show site.
The variety of rail tickets and fares can be very confusing. Trainline and Raileasy web sites list all ticket and fare options for the time and day of travel you choose, but they both levy an admin fee. Click either of the blue ticket agency names to go to their web site.
It is best to book as far as possible in advance. This is not only because nearby hotels and guest houses tend get booked up well before the date of an airshow but also because prices can be better when you book early online.
There are plenty of booking agencies. We find that many of the well known ones are better at finding hotels from international or larger UK chains and may suggest hotels in main towns or cities quite a distance from the show site.
If you need plenty of options, we find that, between them, LateRooms and Expedia list a good selection of smaller, as well as bigger, hotels and will find accommodation in villages and small towns as well as the main centres. Expedia also give, and take, Nectar points.
Click either blue agency name for a list of hotels and guest houses near the show. The venue is already built into both links, so when the list comes up you just have to enter your dates.
Trivago will list competitive prices for a range of hotels, but they might not necessarily find them all, because some chains do not subscribe to their service. You may also get a better rate if you book direct with an hotel, especially if you are a member of a loyalty or rewards scheme.
For other hotels, the International Hotels Group have a Holiday Inn and a Holiday Inn Express about 20 miles away at Junction 25 of the M5 and there are two nearby Premier Inn hotels, one in Yeovil itself and one at Yeovil airfield, both about 7 miles from the airshow and another in Glastonbury about 12 miles away. Toprooms may find some B&Bs
The columns in the chart show, from left to right:
likelihood of rain
On the day (unless sold out)
adult (16+) £27, child (5-15) £14
Advance (1 Feb - 27 Jun)
adult £21, child £7, online, phone and post booking fee £3
Earlybird no longer available
Arrivals Day £13 advance only
Car parks 08.00
Flying 11.00 - 16.30
For links to travel and route planning web sites, click the 'Getting there' tab
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