RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day 2017

RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day 2017

RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day 2017

There are a few air shows that go on around the UK in the summer time.  I mainly turn up to RIAT as this is the most popular one however i wanted to give it a miss this year as it just gets too busy nowadays.  One of the reasons for not going was having to fight your way to see some action on the runway.  In fact, someone almost started a fight near me.  This person who was getting a little heated had enough equipment on a trolley to carry space to occupy three people on the line.  I really do not get it, i bet most of the kit that was carried along was not used either.  But still he insisted on hogging the area whilst continuing to give people the dagger eyes in the vicinity.

I did see the funny side though but just thought i would introduce this to the beginning of my visit to RNAS Yeovilton, just call it an ice breaker.

Anyway, going back to RNAS Yeovilton.  I had a really enjoyable time here.  I opted for a grandstand seat which is probably the same price as a regular ticket for RIAT.  There is about five to six hours worth of live displays featuring many planes and helicopters from all eras.  RNAS Yeovilton is home to Royal Navy aircraft including the Army.  As you can imagine, its’s a very busy base.

RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day Shows on the Ground

Along with displays in the air, there were also plenty of displays on the ground to keep spectators entertained whilst waiting for the next display.  A field gun competition was held three times over the course of the day.  A vehicle exhibition with top marque cars were displayed.  Hangars were also used to display some of the more older craft that can no longer fly, including bands and choirs.  Also in another hangar was a technology area for youths to learn how the Navy use their technology in the hope of perhaps recruiting them one day.

The fleet air arm museum was also open to visitors with a 50% discount entrance fee.  I really wanted to visit the museum but time was against me by the time the show was finished.  That is one which needs to be visited at a separate time.

Wessex HU5
A Wessex HU5 on static display in one the hangars at RNAS Yeovilton Air Day. This one, registration XT765 took part in the Falklands Conflict.

Aircraft at RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day 2017

Below is a list of some aircraft that were either on flying or static display.  All the images are in low resolution, the originals have a larger resolution and quality.

Lancaster Bomber PA474
A surprise flight of the Lancaster Bomber at RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day 2017.

Yakovlev Yak-18T

A basic trainer craft of Soviet origin that has four or five seats.

Yakovlev Yak-18T,RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day 2017
Yakovlev Yak-18T.
Yakovlev Yak-18T,RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day 2017
Front view of Yakovlev Yak-18T.

Yakovlev Yak-52

Another Russian trainer plane.

Yakovlev Yak-52,RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day 2017
Yakovlev Yak-52.
Yakovlev Yak-52,RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day 2017
Another view of the Yakovlev Yak-52.

Apache AH1

Currently in use by the Army Air Corp, it is a powerful attack helicopter capable of holding its own.

Apache AH1,RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day 2017
Apache AH1 on static display.
apache ah1,RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day 2017
Another static display of the Apache AH1 showing off its firepower.

M-28B1R Bryza

Used by the Polish Navy, the M-28B1R Bryza is a utility craft first flown in 1969 and is based on the Antonov’s An-28 utility aircraft.

M-28B1R Bryza,RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day 2017
A Polish M-28B1R Bryza.

NH90 NFH

The NH90 NFH is in use by the Royal Netherlands Navy as a multi mission maritime helicopter.  In use since 1995, its various roles include anti submarine & anti surface warfare, search and rescue, surveillance including others.

NH90 NFH,RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day 2017
NH90 NFH on static display.

F-16AM Fighting Falcon

In operation since 1974, the F-16AM Fighting Falcon is still regarded as a major fighting aircraft in the skies today.  These are used by various countries around the world.

F-16AM Fighting Falcon,RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day 2017
F-16AM Fighting Falcon on static display.
F-16AM Fighting Falcon
A Belgian F-16AM Fighting Falcon taking off for its display for the crowds.
F-16AM Fighting Falcon
F-16AM Fighting Falcon during the air display.
F-16AM fighting Falcon
F-16AM fighting Falcon making a landing at RNAS Yeovilton.

Meteor T7

First flown in 1948, the Meteor T7 is based on the Glostor Meteor F4.  It mainly saw extensive use as an RAF trainer but was also used by the Royal Navy.

Meteor T7,RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day 2017
Meteor T7.

Mig-15UTI

Would you believe it, the Mig-15UTI has been in operation for seventy years.  During that time it has been involved in many fields of combat.  The version at RNAS Yeovilton is a Polish License built two seat trainer.  The livery is of ‘Red 18’, the famed personal jet for Yuri Gagarin.

Mig-15UTI,RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day 2017
Static display of Mig-15UTI.
MiG-15UTI
MiG-15UTI up in the air entertaining the crowds.
MiG-15UTI
I was expecting the MiG-15UTI to be very loud when airborne but it was very quiet, almost stealth like.
Mig-15UTI
Mig-15UTI making a landing.
MiG-15UTI
A little more close up to the MiG-15UTI landing.

Wasp HAS1

The Wasp HAS1 was first introduced in 1962.  It has seen active service including heavy involvement in the Falklands war.  The livery of the helicopter below is from one of these attacking forces in the conflict.

Wasp HAS1,RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day 2017
Wasp HAS1.

Swordfish

The swordfish is a biplane torpedo bomber first flown in 1934.  It was heavily involved during World War Two, helping to sink the Bismark and attack Taranto Harbour.  The image below displays a Swordfish 1.

Swordfish 1,RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day 2017
Swordfish 1.

Wildcat HM2

The Wildcat HM2 is a latest generation attack helicopter introduced in 2009.  Its role is a multi mission maritime helicopter.

Wildcat HM2,RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day 2017
Wildcat HM2 on static display.

Merlin HC3

The Merlin HC3 is a transport helicopter that as been in use since 1987.

Merlin HC3,RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day 2017
Merlin HC3.

Hawk T1

Mainly used for training roles, the Hawk T1 has been in service since 1974.

Hawk T1,RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day 2017
Hawk T1.

Sea Vixen

The Sea Vixen made an appearance after its crash at the same location a few weeks previous.  It needs a lot of work to get it airborne again.  I hope it will be repaired in the future as it was the only airworthy version.

Sea Vixen,RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day 2017
The rear of the Sea Vixen after its crash.
sea vixen,RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day 2017
Looking from the rear you can see the Sea Vixen has been going through some inspections and the engines removed.
sea vixen,RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day 2017
Another view of the Sea Vixen.

Whirlwind HAR10

The Whirlwind HAR10 you see below is the only flying version.  Throughout its operational life it was assigned in an air sea rescue role.

Whirlwind HAR10,RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day 2017
Whirlwind HAR10 in flying display.

Pitts Special S-25 Muscle

The Pitts Special S-25 Muscle put on an exciting display at RNAS Yeovilton.  This plane was first flown in 1945 and still entertains with its incredible acrobatic ability today.

Pitts Special S-25 Muscle
The Pitts Special S-25 Muscle being put through its paces by pilot Rich Goodwin.
Pitts Special S-25 Muscle
Pitts Special S-25 Muscle.

Merlin HM2

The Merlin HM2 was another variant on display and also in flight.  Its main role is anti-submarine based but it can also take the task of being transportation, casualty evacuation as well as search and rescue.

Merlin HM2
Merlin HM2 whilst on its flying display.
Merlin HM2
Merlin HM2 gliding through the air at RNAS Yeovilton.

Rafale

The Rafale is the french Navy’s main choice of aircraft.  Introduced in 1991, it is used in various combat roles and has also seen front line action.

rafale
Two Rafales take off during RNAS Yeovilton Air Day.

Summary of RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day 2017

I had a really enjoyable day.  There was no congestion around the static displays and viewing the flying displays was great too.  It was an absolutely hot day too.  Seating in the grandstand was good, although there are times when people need to get up and everyone has to move, which in turn restricts your view of the display.  However if i was to go again, i would definitely book another place in the grandstand area.

As for walking around RNAS Yeovilton Air Day, it was a pleasurable experience.  There were also lots of stands that were helping support charities of all military ranks.

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