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  • united kingdom Lee-on-Solent

    Lee-on-Solent, Hampshire, England

    United Kingdom


    Satellite and aerial maps of Lee-on-Solent with nearby locations

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    1.5259 Seafield Park, England
    3.0047EGVF Fleetlands, England
    3.0128 HMS Siskin, England
    3.1117 HMS Sultan, England
    4.8088 Fareham Creek, England
    5.0158 Stokes Bay, England

    1917 to present

    50° 49' 0'' N - 1° 12' 0'' W
    3nm WNW of Gosport, Hampshire
    Elevation: 32 feet

    History of this Location

    Opened in July 1917 as a seaplane base with a slipway into The Solent, conveniently situated close to the Naval Base at Portsmouth. The base gradually expanded around the slipway to support the fleet deployed flights and as a home for fixed wing landplanes. From an early RAF presence in 1918, in 1932 it became a Coastal Area HQ and developed further inland and opened as a fully fledged airfield in Oct 1934. In the rearmament imperative leading to World War 2, more hangars were built in 1938 and a perimeter track laid out by 1939. In May 1939, control was passed to the Navy and it was commissioned as HMS Daedalus. By 1942, the newly laid runways were already becoming inadequate for the higher performance and larger aircraft using the base and in 1943 they were extended and further hangarge provided.
    As the nearby towns of Lee, Gosport and Stubbington expanded, they swallowed up potential expansion land that might have been used to support post-war fast jet operations and following the 1953 Coronation Fleet Review the base essentially stagnated. A new life was breathed in, inĀ 1955 when RNAS Gosport closed and its helicopters transfered down the road to Lee. It continued to be home to the RN Southern Communications Squadron (781 NAS) and it has hosted various support units such as the Accident Investigation Unit (AIU) and Air Engineering School (AES).
    The old slipway was key to locating the unique Interservice Hovercraft Trials Unit at Lee in 1962 and it continued its evaluations until around 1977.
    In June 1977 it also hosted the air component for the Silver Jubilee Fleet Review. Flag Officer Naval Air Command (FONAC) moved to RNAS Yeovilton and 781 Squadron disbanded in the early 1980s and routine naval flying ceased in 1993. In Dec 1995 the AES moved to Gosport (HMS Sultan) and on 29 Mar 1996 the naval establishment closed and the base was declared surplus to requirements.
    Old ICAO code EGUS
    Search and Rescue operations began here in 1973 and continue under a civilian contract to the HM Coastguard. The Hampshire Police Air Support Unit moved here in 1985 and gliding continues from the base, although formally the airfield is disused.

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    List of units at Lee-on-Solent

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    YearsRotary Wing Aircraft Unitbold : Current Model
    normal: Unit no longer at this base
    1988/    Solent DistrictAW189 2017/   
    AW139 2008/17
    S-61 H-3 1988/08
    1988202 SquadronSea King 1978/15
    1957/96NATIULynx 1976/96
    Wessex 1961/82
    1957/58701 NASWhirlwind 1958
    Whirlwind 1957/58
    dragonfly 1957/58
    S-55 H-19 1957/58
    Whirlwind 1957/58
    1957700 NASWhirlwind 1957
    1956/58845 NASWhirlwind 1957/59
    S-55 H-19 1955/57
    Whirlwind 1955/57
    1955/56845 NASS-55 H-19 1955/57
    Whirlwind 1955/57
    S-55 H-19 1954/55
    1955845 NASS-55 H-19 1955/57
    Whirlwind 1955/57
    S-55 H-19 1954/55
    1955/58705 NASdragonfly 1957/62
    Whirlwind 1955/66
    Whirlwind 1954/60
    UH-12B HTE-2 1953/63
    S-55 H-19 1953/56
    dragonfly 1952/60
    1947/48771 NASR-4 Hoverfly 1945/47
    1943/45829 NAS
    1940/81781 NASWessex 1969/81
    Whirlwind 1961/65
    S-55 H-19 1959/70

    Lee-on-Solent News

    AW189 Enters HM Coastguard Service, 31-Mar-17 : HM Coastguard helicopter base in Lee-On-Solent has started flying the AW189 helicopter for SAR operations. Operated by Bristow, bases Prestwick, St Athan, Lydd and Inverness will follow

    Coast Guard Solent District Received AW189, 03-Jan-17 : HM Coastguard first of two new AW189 helicopters for the Lee-on-Solent base. Will replace the current AW139 from April 2017


    04-jun-9405-jun-94D-Day 50th Anniversary Flypast
    07-jul-7212-jul-726th International Helicopter SAR Competition

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