As the build-up to this year’s RNAS Yeovilton Air Day gets under way, a small event took place to publicise the event to the local media. The proviso was much the same as previous years, with the gathered press treated to a range of static aircraft on the ground complementing an hour long mini air display. However, the latter would include one very special participant indeed.
With display commitments in France as well as Yeovilton this coming Saturday preventing a practice during the arrivals day, the Belgian F-16 Fighting Falcon took the opportunity to conduct its validation flight during the media launch, providing a hugely impressive, and not to mention noisy, appetiser for the weekend’s main event.
Kicking off the flying was the Royal Navy Black Cats Lynx solo, flying a typically polished routine. Also scheduled to appear was the Royal Navy Historic Flight’s Swordfish and Sea Fury T.20, but with technical gremlins keeping the Stringbag firmly on the ground, and the Sea Fury not in attendance, it was left to John Beattie to provide an historical naval element to the proceedings in Kennet Aviation’s Skyraider.
John threw the old Spad around with much aplomb in an extended display, before returning to the static park, where it re-joined with the Sea Fury FB.11 of the RNHF, a Sea King HC.4, Hawk T.1A and T-6 Texan.
So, a somewhat curtailed flying programme, but certainly a case of quality over quantity, and in stunning weather to boot. With the forecast scheduled to remain settled up to the weekend, RNAS Yeovilton Air Day is set be a scorcher, in more ways than one!
Advance tickets are still available from local Tourist Information Centres until 12 July.
Visit www.royalnavy.mod.uk/yeovilton-airday or call the Ticketline on 08445 781 781 for more details.