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RNAS Yeovilton Air Day 2017 spectacle in the sky

11 July 2017
Blue skies and glorious sunshine set off a glittering line up for International Air Day at Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton.

Temperatures soared as tens of thousands gathered at the Royal Navy’s Premier Air Day enjoyed an annual feast of aviation bathed in dazzling sunshine.

Spectators saw aircraft of all ages take to the skies for breath-taking and exhilarating air displays.

The show started at 1100 as it meant to go with Rich Goodwin’s Pitts Special tumbling through the sky in front of the expectant crowd.  

It’s a tremendous day and we have the perfect weather for a superb and diverse flying display program from here and around the world.

Commodore Nick Tindal RN

The extravaganza had begun! Amazed at the agility and skill demonstrated by the Pitts Special the performance captivated with an aerobatic display that left the crowd spell bound.

The Fleet Air Arm (FAA) demonstrated their front line capability with displays from the Wildcat Maritime Forces latest edition to the FAA family and newest operational helicopter Wildcat HMA2 alongside a Merlin Mk2 from 824 NAS RNAS Culdrose.

Commodore Nick Tindal, the Commanding Officer of RNAS Yeovilton, was delighted with the day and said: "This is a fantastic day for the air station, and its 5,000 staff military and civilian.

“Thousands of visitors come here to see an exciting day of flying in perfect conditions and  it is the one chance in the year for the aircrew and support staff here at RNAS Yeovilton get the opportunity to explain what they do and how they support helicopter squadrons worldwide.

“It’s a tremendous day and we have the perfect weather for a superb and diverse flying display program from here and around the world for the huge crowds to enjoy, looking around everyone is having a great time!."

There was also nostalgia from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight as a Spitfire and Lancaster flew past Air Day crowds honouring the thousands of men and women in the air and on the ground that gave their lives for this country.

The line-up included Red Arrows, French Rafale, and Apache from the Army Air Corps, and many more part of 21 flying displays to WOW the crowds!

Thousands visited the many ground displays and attractions including a STEM (Science Technology, Engineering and Maths) centre, HMS Heron Field Gun demonstrations; the Commando Helicopter Force Forward Operating Base, Military Wives Choir, HMS Herons Volunteer Band and a smorgasbord of Statics past present and future.

Finally this year saw a change to tradition as the show was closed in spectacular fashion by the Patrouille Suisse.

The display team of 7 F-35E Tiger Sharks treated the crowds to 30 minutes of aerobatics defying gravity as the ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ could be heard across the Air Station a perfect way to end RNAS Yeoviltons International Air Day 2017.

The crowds although reluctant to leave were happy and content with smiles on their faces as they began winding their way home following yet again a wonderful show from the Royal Navy and Friends!

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