RAF Northolt is located in South Ruislip which is about six miles north of London Heathrow Airport and is used for Government and VIP transport to and from London.
RAF Northolt Satellite View
RAF Northolt plays an important royal role with both 32 (The Royal) Squadron and 63 Squadron RAF Regiment (Queen's Colour Squadron) based on the Station. Northolt is also home to RAF Music Services with the 'Central Band of the RAF' and the 'British Forces Post Office'.
32 (The Royal) Squadron currently operates two Dassault Falcon 900LX (known as the Envoy IV CC1 in RAF service) and one Leonardo GrandNew A109SP helicopter.
Military Aircraft Tracker in the UK
• Current Military Aircraft in the UK Tracker.
• Historic Military Aircraft in the UK Tracker.
• Military Aircraft around the World Tracker.
Plane Finder tracks mainly civilian flights but does also include some military aircraft such as the Tutor, Tucano, Hawk, Voyager, BAe 146, Squirrel HT1, and Sentinel R1 etc which can be seen over the UK. ADS-B Exchange (Click on ADSBX Radar View) tracks many other military aircraft such as Tornado, Typhoon, F-15, Hercules etc over the UK.
Military Aircraft Photographs at UK Military Bases
RAF Northolt Scanner Frequencies
Approach - 126.450
Departures - 129.125
Radar (Director) - 130.350
PAR - 125.875, 343.750, *123.300
Tower - 120.675, 279.925, *257.800
Ground - 121.575
OPS - 389.450
ATIS - 299.800, 125.125
*= NATO Common Frequency
Aircraft & Squadrons
RAF Northolt in west London is used by both military and civilian aircraft and is home to units from all three Armed Services and the Ministry of Defence.
32 (The Royal) Squadron currently flies two Dassault Falcon 900LX (known as the Envoy IV CC1 in RAF service) and one Leonardo GrandNew A109SP helicopter. The Squadron is tasked to deliver a safe, secure and responsive 'Command Support Air Transport' (CSAT) capability for senior military commanders, Government Ministers and occasionally the Royal Family. Previously 32 Sqn operated four BAe146 aircraft which were retired in 2022.
RAF Northolt is also home to No.5 RAF Force Protection Wing with No.63 Sqn Queen's Colour Squadron, No.600 (City of London) Squadron, No.601 (County of London) Squadron, RAF Music Services with the Central Band of the RAF, Air Historical Branch, Royal Logistic Corps (29 Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Search Group), Defence Intelligence with No.1 Aeronautical Information Documents Unit as well as the British Forces Post Office.
2Excel Aviation operate Piper PA-31 Navajo aircraft under a civilian contract for the RAF following the sale in 2017 of RAF Northolt's Station Flight's two Britten-Norman Islander CC.2s which were used in the electronic intelligence gathering (photographic mapping and light communications) roles.
No.32 (The Royal) Sqn - Dassault 900LX 'Envoy IV' CC.1 and an AW109SP helicopter.
2Excel Aviation - Piper PA-31 Navajo.
The two BAe146 Mk2 aircraft retired and become the latest exhibits at the British Airliner Collection at Duxford and the South Wales Aviation Museum at St Athan. The other two BAe146 aircraft were sold to civilian operators. All four BAe146 aircraft were retired by March 2022 and be replaced by two Dassault 900LX 'Envoy IV' aircraft (see news page). See the Strategic Defence and Security Review.
Northolt aerodrome opened in May 1915 and aircraft were used to defend London against Zeppelin raids. The Fairey Aviation Company conducted test flights at Northolt from 1917 until 1928.
By 1939, Northolt had new concrete runways and during World War 2 was an active base with RAF and Polish Air Force fighter squadrons defending the country from German bombers. Northolt was the first RAF station to operate the Hawker Hurricane (111 Sqn). During the Battle of Britain (September 1940), No.1 Squadron RCAF, No.229 Squadron, No.303 Polish Fighter Squadron, No.504 Squadron, and part of No.264 Squadron were based at the station, all under the control of No.11 Group RAF. After the Battle of Britain, the station remained a base for daytime fighter operations and in 1944, reconnaissance squadrons using Spitfires and Mosquitos moved here. RAF Northolt became home to Prime Minister Winston Churchill's personal aircraft, a modified Douglas C-54 Skymaster, in June 1944.
After the War, Northolt was used by civil aviation during the construction of nearby Heathrow Airport and became a major base for British European Airways. During 1952 it was the busiest airfield in Europe and the RAF also maintained a presence throughout this time. Civilian flights ended in 1954 when Heathrow opened and Northolt was used solely by the military again.
In April 1995, following amalgamation with The Queens Flight, the Squadron became No 32 (The Royal) Squadron and operated the HS125, BAe146 and Wessex, Gazelle, Twin Squirrel and now the Augusta 109 helicopter types in the Communications role. Today, the base operates in the VIP and general air transport roles using four BAe 146 aircraft and an Agusta A109E helicopter with No.32 (The Royal) Squadron RAF. The BAe 146 aircraft were replaced by two Dassault 900LX 'Envoy IV' CC.1 in 2022.