united kingdom RNAS Yeovilton

Yeovilton, England
United Kingdom

Satellite and aerial maps of RNAS Yeovilton with nearby locations

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6.8179 Yeovil College, England
7.8190EGHG Yeovil, England
20.0 97EGHS Henstridge, England
21.1227 Higher Purtington, England
21.4256EGDI Merryfield, England
30.3 29 Vobster Quay, England

1940 to present

51 0 34 secs N - 2 38 20 secs W
4nm N of Yeovil, Somerset
Elevation: 75 feet

History of this Location

RNAS Yeovilton
Construction began in 1939 and the Naval Observer School moved in during mid 1940, while building works were still in progress. The site was commissioned as HMS Heron on 18 Jun 1940. The paved runways were completed by 1941 and the base was home to the Naval Air Fighter School and units which were working up prior to embarkation. As the Fleet Air Arm contracted after WWII it reverted primarily to a training role. With the coming of the jet era, Yeoviltons main runways were extended during 1952 and it became the HQ of Flag Officer Flying Training in May 1953. Carrier jet fighter operations continued until 1957 when the runways were again improved and upgraded aprons were provided while the base was temporarily closed.
The control tower was improved during 1961 and the School of Fighter Direction moved back the same year, whose last Sea Venoms were retired in 1965. Further works to improve the airfield were completed in time for the arrival of the Phantom FG.1 as a carrier-borne fighter in 1968. In 1970, it became the HQ of Flag Officer, Naval Air Command (FONAC), when the Flag was transferred in from Lee-on-Solent (then known as HMS Daedalus). With the retirement of the fixed wing aircraft carriers, the Phantoms transferred to the RAF and departed for RAF Leuchars in 1972, leaving the base as the home for the Commando Helicopter Squadrons and the fixed wing Fleet Requirements and Aircraft Direction Unit (FRADU).
RNAS Yeovilton was selected as the main shore base for the Navy's fleet of Sea Harrier FRS.1 (and later, F/A.2s) and the first examples arrived in 1979. After trials of Lieutenant Commander Douglas Taylor's innovative ski-jump in 1977, a ramp was installed at Yeovilton for practice ski-jump assisted take-offs, near the eastern end of 09/27. The Sea King HC.4 gradually replaced the Wessex HU.5 with the Commando Assault Squadrons from 1980 and following the closure of RNAS Portland in 1999, HMS Heron became the main shore base for the Lynx fleet.
RNAS Yeovilton is also home to that shrine of UK Naval Aviation, the magnificent Fleet Air Arm Museum.

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RNAS Yeovilton News

First Commando Merlin Mk4 Delivered to Royal Navy, 24-May-18 : #commando UK Fleet Air Air took delivery of the first of 25 upgraded Commando Merlin Mk4 ( Merlin HC.4 ) to support the Royal Marines Commando Force

Merlin HC4 Makes Yeovilton Debut, 12-Jul-17 : First former RAF Merlin in new configuration HC4 was displayed at the Yeovilton Air Day 2017. Junglie Merlins, 25 to be delivered to the Commando Helicopter Force by 2020, are painted in pale grey

Royal Navy Retired Lynx Helicopter, 24-Mar-17 : 815 Naval Air Squadron held a ceremony to say goodbye to the Westland Lynx helicopter, mainstay of operations by Royal Navy around the globe since the late 1970s

846 Squadron Female Pilot Named in Awards, 17-Jun-16 : Royal Navy 846 Naval Air Squadron Junglie Merlin pilot Lieutenant Natalie Grainger named one of the country’s top 100 rising stars in the female-only We Are The City awards.

UK 815 NAS Starts Receiving AW159 Wildcat, 19-Apr-16 : 815 Naval Air Squadron received first four of 12 new AW159 Wildcats begining the transition from the Westland Lynx after 35 years. The unit Lynx Mk8 will be completely replaced by mid next year

24-Mar-16 - Royal Navy Retired Sea King HC.4
14-Oct-15 - Royal Navy Received Interim Merlin iMk3
02-Jun-15 - New Merlin HC.4 Simulators at Yeovilton


07-oct-0131-dec-14Operation Herrick
02-apr-8217-jun-82Operation Corporate

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