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  The Hangar at NAS Lee-on-Solent
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Text:

Michael E. Fader

Pictures:

Michael E. Fader

   

In 1983 I took an extended vacation trip through southern England, where I visited some airshows. The Yeovilton Air Show was certainly the highlight of the season in England. On the way towards Dover I passed the Naval Station Lee-on-Solent - even I was not invited in advance or else I had made ​​any preparations - I spontaneously came up with the idea to visit the base. Let's see what I could achieve!

   
Fairey Swordfish NF389 (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader) Fairey Swordfish NF389 (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader) Fairey Swordfish NF389 (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader)
   
Fairey Swordfish NF389 (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader) Fairey Swordfish NF389 in 2012 (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader)

Fairey Swordfish NF389 (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader)

The press officer was quite friedly, but it was also holidayseason in the UK and no flight operations  where held on the base. RNAS Lee-on-Solent was no longer as important as before, and rather only a Maintenance-Base. On active aircraft or helicopters, therefore, not much was present. But in a hangar there where some old planes that he might like to show me. With a old Land Rover he drove me to the hangar. The weather was as often in England modest - well - it was raining.
I was surprised when I walked into the hangar. In addition to a Hawker Sea Hawk also a Fairey Swordfish and North American Texan was in the hangar. Some helicopters - Westland Wasp and Westland Wessex were lined up in rows.
The helicopter where not permitted to Photographand also the outside on the base. Although the Wessex and the Wasp were quite old, they were still in use by the FAA. I concentrated me the three historic aircraft. It was unusual to see next to the LS326 a second Swordfish. The NF389 is now (2013) under restoration at RNAS Yeovilton to became again airworthy condition. Unfortunately, the plane had no visible identification, but it was NF389. The Sea Hawk was full Airworthy and in excellent condition. Today, from this historic plane is not much left. What can happen in 30 years!  The Texan - sorry Harvard as named as the plane is callen un the UK - has just been serviced. This plane is still in the same state and operated by the Historic Flight of the Fleet Air Arm. Over all a great short visit to RNAS Lee-on-Solent.

   
Hawker Sea Hawk FGA-6 (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader) Hawker Sea Hawk FGA-6 (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader) Hawker Sea Hawk FGA-6 (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader) Hawker Sea Hawk FGA-6 (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader)
   
Westland Wasp HAS-1 (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader) Westland Wasp HAS-1 (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader) Westland Wasp HAS-1 (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader) Westland Wessex HAR-1 (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader)
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last update

Written 6. January 2014

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