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  RNAS Yeovilton Air Day 2012
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Text:

Urs Schnyder

Pictures:

Urs Schnyder

   

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The Show

It was more than 20 years since I had attended an Air day at Yeovilton. In normal years they tend to coincide with the Flying Legends Airshow at Duxford. However, 2012 being the year of the Olympic games in the UK, all the airshows were scheduled on a different date than usual so the two airshows were held on different dates.

In addition 2012 was the 30th anniversary of the Falklands so it promised to be special.

   

Westland Lynx HAS. (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder )

Westland Lynx HAS. (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder )

Westland Lynx HAS. (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder )

Westland Lynx HAS. (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder )

   

Westland Lynx HAS. (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder )

Westland Lynx HAS. (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder )

Westland Lynx HAS. (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder )

Westland Lynx HAS. (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder )

   

Fairey Swordfish Mk.1 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder )

Westland Aoache AH.1. (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder )

Westland Sea King HAS.5. (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder )

Westland Sea King HAS.5. (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder )

       

Bae Hawk T.1 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder )

Shorts Tucano T.1 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder )

Royal Marines & Black Cats

On the Friday before the airshow when the whole program is rehearsed, there is a possibility for enthusiasts to have access to the airfield and stay in one of the VIP enclosures. I decided to attend it which proved to be a good idea.

In fact, late afternoon on Friday proved to be the only time when there was a bit of sunshine. Friday was also the possibility to see all the aircraft arriving that would be displayed in the static.

The program for Air day promised to be interesting with many unique Aircraft on static or flying display. The Saudi Hawks were starting their UK tour 2012 at Yeovilton. I guess the weather must have been an experience compared with what they are used to at home. Their display showed some familiarity to the Red Arrows which is not surprising as one of their instructors is an ex Red Arrows Pilot.

   

Westland Lynx HAS. (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder )

Westland Lynx HAS. (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder )

Westland Lynx HAS. (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder )

Westland Lynx HAS. (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder )

Guests

One of the highlights would be the Sea Vixen which however didnít show up. Instead there were a Meteor Tr.7 and a Vampire Trainer that reminded me of the late RAF Vintage Pair of the 1970ís and 80ís.

The French Rafale also just appeared in the static. The flying participant that was announced didnít make it to the show. A surprise visitor was an Antonov 124 that made a flypast over the airfield.

   

Westland Lynx 83 + 06 Gernam Navy (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder )

Westland Lynx 83 + 06 Gernam Navy (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder )

Dassault Falcon 10MER French Aťronavale (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder )

PLZ M28 Bryza Polish Navy (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder )

     

PLZ M28 Bryza Polish Navy (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder )

Antonov (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder )

USAFE BlackHawk (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder )

Historic planes

Fortunately the day was dry except for 2 short rainshowers. But it was extremely cold with an icy wind blowing the whole day. The clouds were thick and low which was a pity because grey camouflage doesnít really show that much against the clouds. This shows its effectivenes, but didnít help photography much. The formation of the Fairey Swordfish and four Lynx is something really unusual and would have deserved some sunshine.

   

Hawker Harrier T.4N (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Hawker Sea Harrier FA.2  (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Hawker Hunter T (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Bac Jetptovost T.1 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)
   

Bac Jetptovost T.1 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Gloster Meteor T.7 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Gloster Meteor T.7 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Westland Wasp HAS.1 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Royal Saudi and Red Arrows

 

Royal Saudi Hawk (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Royal Saudi Hawk (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Royal Saudi Hawk (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Royal Saudi Hawk (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

 

Royal Saudi Hawk (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Royal Saudi Hawk (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Royal Saudi Hawk (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Royal Saudi Hawk (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

   
 

Royal Saudi Hawk (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Royal Saudi Hawk (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

 

Red Arrows (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

Red Arrows (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder )

Red Arrows (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder )

 (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder)

The Assault

As one of the topics of the show was the 30th anniversary of the Falklands campaign, the show ended with the display of a commando action. I had last seen this in the years after the Falklands, and the number of Sea King and Wessex helicopters that took part war amazing. Add to that Sea Harriers doing ground attack runs, it really was something to remember. I was therefore looking forward to how it would work out today after the reduction in strength of the FAA.

The Harriers were replaced by Hawks and there were a number of Sea Kings that landed troops and airlifted Motor transport and guns. A new feature was an Army Apache helicopter that gave gunship support. And the staged explosions nearly caught up with it. 

To sum up, there were interesting and unique participants and a good display. Unfortunately the weather was dreadful. In spite of the weather there seemed to be a good attendance by the public.

Just to mock us, the sun was shining again on Sunday.

I wish to thank Mr. Ralph Patel for providing press facilities.

   

Westland Commando HC.4(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder )

Westland Commando HC.4(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder )

Westland Commando HC.4(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder )

Westland Commando HC.4(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder )

   

Westland Commando HC.4(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder )

Westland Commando HC.4(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder )

Westland Commando HC.4(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder )

Westland Commando HC.4(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder )

   

Westland Commando HC.4(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder )

Westland Commando HC.4(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder )

Westland Commando HC.4(Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder )

Westland Aoache AH.1. (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder )

       

Westland Commando HC.4. (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder )

Westland Commando HC.4. (Picture courtesy Urs Schnyder )


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last update 14. August 2012

Written 4. August 2012

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