Originally instituted as the King's Flight in 1936, it served the Royal Households of King Edward VIII and King George VI. It moved to RAF Benson in Sep 1939, disbanding in 1942 and reformed there in 1946. From 1952, with the accession of Queen Elizabeth II, the unit became the Queen's Flight and served with a mix of fixed wing and rotary wing airframes.
The Dragonfly HC.4 was introduced in Apr 1954 and phased out in autumn 1958, following the introduction of the Whirlwind HC.2 around Mar 1958. The HC.2 was replaced by the Whirlwind HCC.8 in 1959, itself to be replaced by the Whirlwind HCC.12 in 1964, supplemented with the Whirlwind HAR.10 until 1969 while both were replaced by the Wessex, which as the HC.2, had started operations in 1967. In Apr 1969 the Wessex HCC.4 VIP version was introduced and served until the Flight was disbanded.
In April 1995, the Queen's Flight was absorbed into 32 Squadron at RAF Northolt and it was renamed 32 (The Royal) Squadron to acknowledge the honour. Although the fixed wing component remains with 32 Squadron, the UK rotary wing element of Royal Flying is largely through a private contractor, operating the Royal Household's Sikorsky S-76 from Blackbushe.
The S-76 is operated solely by the Royal Household not a contractor
Queens Flight List of helicopters
|C/N||Version||Built||In this Org||In other Org|
|wa 48||har.4||1955|| XJ432 : XD801 ntu. Loaned to Queens Flight (as HC.2 ?) 1958-59, conv to HAR.10, 28+ |
|wa266||hcc.8||1959|| XN126 : del Queens Flight at RAF Benson on 5 Nov 1959. |
|wa267||hcc.8||1959|| XN127 : del Queens Flight at RAF Benson on 5 Nov 1959. |
|wa342||har10||1961|| XP299 : A&AEE Jul 1961 to Apr 1962;
Westlands Apr 1962 to Sep 1966;
CFS-H /W-H Sep+ |
|wa418||hcc.12||1964|| XR486 : Westland Whirlwind HCC.12, c/n WA418, ff: 06May64; del Royal Air Force as + || G-RWWW : sold Derek Jones, UK as G-RWWW, unk.; donated to the Helicopter Museum, We+ |
|wa419||hcc.12||1964|| XR487 : Westland Whirlwind HCC.12, c/n WA419, ff: 26Mar64; del Royal Air Force as + |
|wa627||hcc.4||1969|| XV732 : First flew 17 Mar 1969, delivered 25 Jun 1969 to RAF for the Queens Flight+ |
: Queens Flight visit Antwerp
: pictured in Queens Flight markings at RAF Museum, Hendon
|- XV732 : Aug17 at the RAF Museum in Hendon |
|wa628||hcc.4||1969|| XV733 : First flew 13 May 1969, delivered 30 Jun 1969 to RAF for the Queens Flig+ ||- XV733 : Purchased by The Helicopter Museum, Weston-super-Mare in Nov 2001. This wa+ |