RNAS Yeovilton will be celebrating 40 years since the first flight of the Lynx aircraft at this year’s International Air Day on Saturday 9 July. Designed to meet a world-wide need for a small ship helicopter able to take the battle to the enemy, fight autonomously and survive in the most hostile environment the Westland’s Lynx, XW835, undertook its maiden flight on 21 March 1971. Agile and manoeuvrable, Lynx’s compatibility with the deck of a small ship in severe conditions is unequalled by any other helicopter and over the years the maritime Lynx has proven itself in all theatres of operation at sea and, more recently over land, to the point where it is recognised as the finest small ship helicopter in its class in service today. Lynx is a de facto NATO standard and over 200 naval Lynx helicopters are operational with 11 navies, many of which will feature in an international flypast at Air Day. Also present will be the AW 159 Wildcat, the replacement for the current Lynx which will fly from Frigates and Destroyers of the Royal Navy well into the 21st Century.
An extensive flying and static display will take place to mark this significant anniversary with historic naval aircraft such as the Swordfish, Seafire, Sea Fury, Sea Hawk, and Sea Vixen coming together with their modern counterparts to highlight the role that RNAS Yeovilton Squadrons have played, and continue to play, in operations throughout the decades to the present day.
Air Day will also feature world class military aerobatic teams such as the RAF Red Arrows and the Royal Jordanian Falcons. Undoubtedly, the star of the show for many will be an exceptionally rare display by a Polish Air Force MiG-29. Other fast jet displays include the Belgian Air Force F16 and the UK debut of the French Navy Role Demo comprising of Super Etendards and Rafales representing the cutting edge of modern global fighter technology. Amongst the helicopter displays will be the Royal Navy Black Cats and one of two UK appearances by the dynamic Dutch Air Force Apache Demo Team. Not to be missed, we will be welcoming for the first time Team Viper with their 5- ship formation display of classic Hunter jets. As well as the Royal Navy Historic Flight’s rare aircraft the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s Lancaster bomber will also be in attendance. It is hoped, subject to its own successful fund-raising campaign, that Vulcan XH558 will grace the skies once again at Air Day. There are plenty of light-hearted fun packed displays as well courtesy of O’Brien’s Flying Circus and the GliderFX team. The finale to the event will be the renowned Commando Assault Demonstration with plenty of pyrotechnics!
The Fleet Air Arm Museum will also be open on Air Day with a 25% discount to Air Day ticketholders. It houses the largest collection of Naval aircraft in Europe and it includes 14 aircraft which cannot be seen anywhere else in the World, as well as the Fly Navy 100 exhibition. Visitors can go on-board Concorde or be transported by a simulated helicopter flight to the replica flightdeck of the aircraft carrier HMS ARK ROYAL.
Throughout the day there will be plenty of entertainment on the ground for all the family including side shows, funfair, vintage, classic and military vehicles, service demonstrations, picnic areas, helicopter pleasure flights, simulator rides, trade stands and much more.
Children (3-15 yrs inclusive)
Tickets are available from www.yeoviltonairday.co.uk or our Ticket Line 08445 781 781.