RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day 2008 - Press Release
Navy Historics at Air Day
RNAS Yeovilton Air Day 2008 takes place on July 5th 2008. The event features a number of modern military aircraft, and, in recent years, has developed into an industry showcase for Future Navy technology. This year's show, however, is also set to include a unique gathering of historic British naval aircraft ever to appear at Air Day at the same time.
At the heart of this gathering is a three-aircraft contribution from the based Royal Navy Historic Flight (RNHF) - its Fairey Swordfish, Hawker Sea Fury and Hawker Sea Hawk making up a trio of types that has not been seen together at a British airshow for many years.
The Fairey Swordfish biplane torpedo bomber first flew in 1934 and, when World War Two broke out five years later, was already considered obsolete. It went on, however, to serve stoically and heroically in a number of key battles. Most prominent are the roles the type played at Taranto Harbour, and in the Sinking of the Bismarck. The RNHF actually has three Swordfish in its inventory, all of which are gradually being returned to flight. The one set to star at Air Day is LS326, which has been kept on the ground since 1999. The Swordfish's display at RNAS Yeovilton will be among its first post-restoration appearances.
Sea Fury & Sea Hawk
The RNHF's Sea Fury is a two-seat T-20 version, an example of which has not been seen flying in this country for the past 18 years. At this moment in time, Air Day is planned to be the Sea Fury's first display under RNHF ownership.
The Sea Hawk, meanwhile, has been a frequent and popular Air Day performer since its post-restoration flight in 2004. Both types represent mid/ post-WW2 British engineering at its best.
Another type on show will be the Supermarine Seafire - essentially a Spitfire modified for the rigours of life aboard an aircraft carrier. The Seafire is making its second Air Day appearance.
Topping Air Day 2008's historic naval contingent is the De Havilland Sea Vixen - an incredible-looking 1950s fighter jet, and the only example left flying in the world. The Sea Vixen - operated by De Havilland Aviation - flew again after restoration in 2001 and has starred at three previous Air Days. She made no airshow appearances at all in 2007, but, this year, is set to shake the skies above RNAS Yeovilton once again.
Five-Hour Flying Display
Air Day's five-hour Flying Display will also include the Royal Jordanian Falcons display team, the Royal Navy Black Cats helicopter duo and, as ever, the awe-inspiring Commando Assault finale.
The current list of participating aircraft can be viewed at www.yeoviltonairday.co.uk. Tickets are available online or via the ticketline on 08445 781 781.