AVIATION HISTORY IN THE MUSEUM OF CORNISH LIFE
RNAS Culdrose has worked with the Museum of Cornish Life in Helston to unveil an exhibition of aviation history across the air station’s lifetime, including an impressive full size tail section of a Sea King HAS 1 helicopter.
In recognition of the occasion, locals were invited to a presentation on RNAS Culdrose, both past and present, delivered by Commander Jason Phillips OBE Royal Navy, the current Commander of the station. Following this, Commander Phillips cut the ribbon to the new exhibit, officially opening the display to the public, and spent time talking with the attendees, many of whom had served at RNAS Culdrose in the past.
During his presentation, Commander Phillips covered the history of RNAS Culdrose, from its construction and opening in 1947 as a Naval Fighting School, through being awarded the Freedom of the Borough of Helston in 1958, and the many different roles up to the present day. The station is now firmly focussed on being the home of Carrier Aviation, training and delivering the resources needed to support the new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers.
Reflecting on his visit, Commander Phillips commented: “It is with great delight that I officially open the RNAS Culdrose display at the Museum of Cornish Life today. Having been stationed here for the majority of my career, it is an honour to continue building relations within the local community, and to show off the diverse history of RNAS Culdrose”.
Among the exhibits is a full sized tail section from a Sea King HAS 1, originally from 706 Sqn (a previous helicopter training squadron at RNAS Culdrose) and last used in 1986, which was a tight squeeze getting into the museum! Also on display are a nose wheel from a Merlin, a Rolls Royce Gnome engine, Sea King tail rotor gearbox, and historical uniforms to name but a few. The exhibition itself is expected to be in place until at least Spring 19.
RNAS Culdrose has always held close links with the local town of Helston, and is always keen to strengthen these ties which date back to the station opening in 1947. The Museum of Cornish Life is free to enter, and contains an impressive array of historical exhibits which are certainly worth a visit.