RNAS Yeovilton: Venue for Yeovilton Air Day
Before WWll much of the land on which RNAS Yeovilton stands was owned by the Church of England, but the admiralty Air Division commandeered it in 1939 and the first runway was operational in 1941. During the war the station was home for an increasing number of naval air squadrons and afterwards became one of the main demobilization centres for the Royal Navy.
RNAS Yeovilton, also known as HMS Heron, is now one of two principal naval air bases in the UK, the other being RNAS Culdrose. Over 100 aircraft are based here, belonging to front-line squadrons and training units including all Fleet Air Arm Lynx and the Commando Helicopter Force.
Yeovilton also houses the vintage aircraft of the RN Historic Flight and the Fleet Air Arm Museum.
Not as big as some of the major RAF shows, (attracting around 30,000 visitors as opposed to Cosford's 120,000, for example), Yeovilton Air Day is nevertheless the biggest naval air display and a major UK air show.
Air Day usually features the UK's headline displays, both military and civilian, and possibly the best range of naval aircraft in a UK show. It also includes military aircraft from each of the other UK services and a good variety from abroad.
The display usually lasts around 5 hours and includes fast jets, warbirds, helicopters, formation display teams and aerobatics. Also expect a Commando Assault Finale featuring troops, aircraft and pyrotechnics.
On the ground anticipate vintage, classic and military vehicles, demonstrations by the services, military bands, trade stands and side shows, a funfair and helicopter pleasure flights.