Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton will host its annual International Air Day on Saturday 26 July, 2014. This eagerly anticipated event promises to be right up there with the other top UK air shows of 2014.
The theme of the 2014 International Air Day is “Celebrating Carrier Aviation” and the organisers have gone to extraordinary lengths to secure some top flying and static displays to illustrate this theme. No easy task in this modern era where the armed forces of the UK, Europe and worldwide are forever consolidating and running on ever shrinking budgets.
Air Day 2014 takes place in the same month of course as the newest and largest ever warship for the Royal Navy was officially named, HMS Queen Elizabeth. This new ship will give the Royal Navy and fleet air arm a state of the art vessel capable of protecting the interests of the UK, worldwide, any time day or night, forward deploying UK military power wherever it is required.
With the current procurement of the new carrier and its associated naval air assets, the Fleet Air Arm and RNAS Yeovilton in particular are extremely busy, as the whole Station and its personnel are in a major transitional period, whilst still maintaining a full commitment to current operations worldwide. With this in mind it is amazing and highly commendable that the Station and the organisers are committed to holding Air Day at all and value keeping the UK public engaged and informed of the exciting changes taking place. Attendees of the 2014 Air Day will be able to experience first-hand the size of the Queen Elizabeth carrier as it is planned to mark out a full size replica of the flight deck area on the Yeovilton tarmac. Also visitors will get to see displays by the Royal Navy and its industry partners in regard to the new carrier and its associated assets.
Foreign air arms supporting the Royal Navy at Air Day 2014 are well represented this year and include two flying displays from Belgium. Making their début at the show are the Red Devils flying their four SIAI Marchetti SF260 aircraft along with the always-spectacular Belgian F-16 solo display in what will be Renaud ‘Grat’ Thys’ last UK performance as display pilot. The Royal Danish Air Force Baby Blue Display Team (T17 Supporter x 4) are further débutantes while the Royal Netherlands Air Force Historic Flight B-25J Mitchell is a very welcome visitor and a great addition to the flying programme.
More noise and flares can be expected from the Swiss Air Force which will display its F/A-18C Hornet and fast jet fans will also be pleased to hear that the French Navy will be supporting the show by sending not one but two of their Rafale carrier-borne fighters for the static display. Some spirited formation aerobatics will also be on show from Yeovilton regulars, the Royal Jordanian Falcons, the Yakovlevs and the brilliant Rich Goodwin in his Muscle Biplane, while The Great War Display Team will demonstrate its unique and very special brand of ‘air combat’.
Adding to all the above will be the always expertly presented displays from the home team. The Royal Navy Black Cats are back to a two-ship display for 2014 with the Lynx HMA.8 being joined by the new Wildcat. Supplementing this will be three more Lynx HMA.8s performing a maritime role demonstration and the show will conclude, as ever, in spectacular Yeovilton style with the traditional Commando Assault. Various helicopter and air assets will combine with armoured vehicles, troops and spectacular pyrotechnics to provide a fitting finale to Air Day. Also, Air Day 2014 will possibly be the last time the public will get to see the famous Commando Sea King HC4 in action as the type is due to be replaced in 2015 by the Merlin.
The Royal Air Force is providing both a Typhoon and Voyager for flypasts while the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and Chinook solo displays are crowd favourites.
There will also be a quality selection of historic aviation represented both on the ground and in the air. Flying displays from a Royal Navy Historic Flight as well as the hugely popular Vulcan XH558 will be supplemented with the Cotswold Airport based Midair Squadron making its Yeovilton début displaying the recently restored Canberra PR9 as well as a Hunter T7. Last, but by by no means least, and central to the carrier aviation theme, will be the wonderful Sea Vixen – always a fantastic sight and sound.
A standard entrance ticket on the day is priced at £25 for Adults and £12 for Children Under 16. Savings are available with advance tickets priced at £20 and £6 respectively. Children Under 5 gain entry free of charge. There are also special packages covering entrance to the Grandstand, Flightline Enclosure or Swordfish Enclosure.
Details of these, along with the latest aircraft participation information, can be found at www.royalnavy.mod.uk/yeovilton-airday or by calling the Ticketline 08445 781 781.