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Published: 17 Jul 2019

THE ANNUAL Yeovilton Air Day opened its doors this morning to over 35,000 people, wowing visitors with 26 displays, over five hours of flying and culminating in a spectacular assault display by the Commando Helicopter Force (CHF). 

A nostalgic display of the Westland Wessex helicopter opened the show at Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton which proceeded to showcase both historic aviation assets and world-class, modern-day military aircraft from all over the world. 

Commodore Nick Tindal ADC, Commanding Officer of RNAS Yeovilton said:

Today we welcomed 35,000 people to RNAS Yeovilton for a fantastic display of maritime aviation in Somerset.

The annual show is a fantastic opportunity for the Royal Navy and Royal Marines to showcase its airborne capability, as well as welcoming our international counterparts for a weekend of collaboration.”

This years’ show made history with three significant aviation milestones taking centre stage. The Royal Navy and Royal Air Force’s newest fighter jet, the F35-B Lightening II, was the celebrity of the show, with visitors delighted by a fast-jet display of agility. 

The Royal Navy’s Commando Helicopter Assault Force (CHF) provided the traditional, spectacular finale, featuring the Merlin Mk4, ‘Commando Merlin’, for the first time. The elite Royal Marine and Royal Navy frontline assets were also joined by the Air Display’s first ever non-aircraft flying display as Gravity Industries JetMan took to the skies. 

International allies, the Spanish Navy Harriers also made their first display team appearance at the Royal Navy International Air Day, with many spectators offering the beloved aircraft a round of applause.

The next generation of Royal Navy engineers were encouraged, inspired and amused in the ‘STEM’ (Science Technology Engineering Maths) by ‘Titan the Robot’ unbelievable technological displays. Children and young people also interacted with real-life Royal Navy engineers and pilots, sharing skills and learning about their careers. 

Following the success and positive feedback from last year, the Wildcat Training Centre was open once again to the public, offering young people the opportunity to learn about careers in Royal Navy helicopter aviation and how we train our next generation Fleet Air Arm Pilots.

Lieutenant Chris Rebbeck, Pilot with the Royal Navy Black Cats, said:

 It’s great that the Black Cats are back at Air Day. Today’s demonstration of our Wildcat skills signifies a real step-change from the Lynx and we now enjoy an agility, speed and reach central in our operational capability when deployed globally in support of our ships and subs.

I hope everyone enjoyed the day as much as myself and my Royal Navy counterparts have.”

 What a fantastic day we had! The date for RN Air Day 2020 will be confirmed soon, so keep an eye on our social media channels for an announcement.


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