RNAS Yeovilton is located north of Yeovil in Somerset, and is currently home to the Royal Navy's Westland Lynx/Wildcat helicopters, and the Commando Helicopter Force with their Merlin and Wildcat helicopters.
RNAS Yeovilton Satellite View
Yeovilton is also home to the Fleet Air Arm Museum, and the Royal Navy Historic Flight. The RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day is held here every year, usually in July.
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RNAS Yeovilton Scanner Frequencies:
Approach - 234.300
Director - 259.075
Radar - 127.350, 314.375, 386.725, 264.700
PAR - 282.025, 241.525
Tower - 375.575, 378.525
Ground - 268.625
ATIS - 283.925
Aircraft & Squadrons
Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton is home to the *Lynx HMA.8 and the new Wildcat HMA.2 helicopter squadrons which are deployed on Royal Navy vessels and military operations.
It is also home to the Commando Helicopter Force (CHF) which operates the Merlin HC.3 and Wildcat AH.1 in support of 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines. The Merlin HC.3 provides troop transport and load lifting support, and the Wildcat AH.1 provides armed reconnaissance and light transport. The CHF Merlin helicopters will be upgraded to HC.4 standard to ensure the aircraft are fully capable of deploying in a maritime/amphibious role.
652 Squadron AAC is a squadron of the British Army's Army Air Corps which is currently training crews on the new Wildcat AH.1 helicopter. Eventually, all the Army Air Corps Wildcat AH.1 helicopters will operate from RNAS Yeovilton so that all 62 UK military Wildcats on order will be based here.
727 Naval Air Squadron operates the Grob Tutor for training students.
815 Naval Air Squadron - *Lynx HMA.8/Wildcat.
825 Naval Air Squadron - Wildcat HMA.2.
845 Naval Air Squadron CHF - Merlin HC.3.
846 Naval Air Squadron CHF - Merlin HC.3.
847 Naval Air Squadron CHF - Wildcat AH.1.
727 Naval Air Squadron - Tutor T.1.
652 Squadron AAC - Wildcat AH.1
* 815 NAS formally retired the Lynx HMA.8 on the 23rd March 2017. See article.
In 1939, the Admiralty Air Division commandeered the land at Yeovilton and began construction of the site. The runways were completed in 1941 despite problems with poor drainage. 750 Naval Air Squadron (Royal Navy Observer School) moved to Yeovilton in 1939 and was joined by 751 and 752 Squadrons with the Naval Air Fighter School soon following. Westland Aircraft also developed a repair facility at the site.
From 1940, 794 Naval Air Squadron was the first to be formed at the base and served to train other squadrons to practice aerial gunnery, and part of one of the runways was marked up as a flight deck to practice landing on an aircraft carrier. 827 Naval Air Squadron was also stationed at Yeovilton operating Fairey Albacores and later Barracudas starting in May 1943.
After the War, Yeovilton became one of the main demobilization centres for the Royal Navy, with many of the men helping to refurbish the runways while they stayed at the base. In 1952, Yeovilton became the shore base for the fleets all-weather fighters. The runways were further extended in 1952 and 1957 to cope with jet aircraft. In May 1953, it became the headquarters of Flag Officer Flying Training.
During the 1960s, the School of Fighter Direction returned to Yeovilton, and the Sea Venoms were replaced by the de Havilland Sea Vixens then in turn by the McDonnell-Douglas Phantom FG.1 as a carrier-borne fighter. Royal Navy fixed wing operations were later phased out, and the Phantoms transferred to the RAF. The base remained as the home of the Commando Helicopter Squadrons, using the Wessex HU.5 and later the Sea King HC.4, and the fixed wing Fleet Requirements and Aircraft Direction Unit (FRADU) and became the main shore base for the Navy's fleet of Sea Harrier FRS.1 (and later, FA.2s). A ski-jump was installed to enable practice of ski-jump assisted take-offs.
All Harrier operations ceased in 2010 after the Strategic Defence and Security Review. The replacement Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, is now due to enter service in 2018, when it will equip the Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers. These aircraft will however, be operated from RAF Marham.