united kingdom Royal Air Force


As a result of the Smuts reports of Jun and Oct 1917 which reviewed the future of air fighting arrangments, the Air Force (Constitution) Act of Nov 1917 created the Royal Air Force by amalgamating the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Naval Air Service on 1 Apr 1918. It was an unpopular decision, but driven through against almost overwhelming opposition, largely by Sir Hugh Trenchard and a small group of ex-Army officers. A period of contraction occurred after World War I, followed by an expansion programme from 1934. Then in May 1939, the units of the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Air Force were returned to Royal Navy control.
The RAF was active in many types of flying but the first steps with rotary wing machines, initially in 1926 with the assessment of the Cierva C8 at Farnborough, were followed in 1934 by the introduction of Cierva C30A autogyros, for Army Co-operation purposes but found a later role as a means of calibrating the ground breaking new radar equipment used in the various Chain Home family of systems. These were followed by the Cierva C.40 (aka Rota II) and then the first true helicopter as the Hoverfly R-4 in 1945 and the introduction to service of the Sycamore and Dragonfly by the end of 1953. On 1 Sep 1957, the RAF relinquished its Air Observation Post (AOP) Squadrons and Light Liaison Flights to the newly formed Army Air Corps.
Since 1 Oct 1999, when Joint Helicopter Command was formed, the RAF has committed 7, 18, 27, 33 & 230 Squadrons with their Chinook, Puma and (from 2002), 28(AC) Squadron with its Merlin helicopters to this tri-service organisation.
With effect from Nov 2007 78 Sqn was re formed at RAF Benson to fly the Merlin HC3A.  The RAF brought these six Merlins from the Danish Air Force to boster the Support Helicopter Force.
Following an outcome of the 2010 Defence SDSR, 78 Sq (Joint Helicopter Command) passed its Merlins in Sep 2014 to 846 NAS as part of the fleet transfer to the Commando Helicopter Force.

helicopter   Model Types

B CH-47F Block II2025
AH H145D3 2025
AW AW109SP GrandNew2015
B CH-47F Chinook2014
B Chinook HC.42012
EC Puma Mk2 242012
SNIA AS350 Ecureuil 12010
Agusta A109E Power22009??
AW EH101 Mk.512620072015
AW AW109E Power320062016
AW Merlin HC.32220012015
EC AS350BB Ecureuil2619972018
Bell 412 1519962023
SNIA AS355 ecureuil 2319932006
B 414 - H-47D Chinook 491993
B-V CH-47C Chinook 4219801995
Westland Sea King 2519782016
SNIA SA341E Gazelle HCC.441976??
SNIA SA341D Gazelle HT.33019731997
SNIA SA330 Puma 5519712012
Westland Wessex HCC.4219691998
Westland Sioux1519661982
Westland Wessex7719632003
Bristol Type 192 Belvedere 2619601969
Westland Whirlwind13519551981
Bristol Type 171 Sycamore9319531972
Westland dragonfly1619531958
Westland Dragonfly HC.41219521958
Westland Dragonfly HC.2419501954
Pitcairn PA-3951942??
Cierva C.401938??
Cierva C.302519341945

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