Skip to content

RNAS Yeovilton: Experience the Rich History of the British Fleet Air Arm

RNAS Yeovilton

RNAS Yeovilton, also known as HMS Heron, is one of the UK’s largest naval aviation bases. Located in Yeovilton, Somerset, it is a military airbase of the Royal Navy. The site covers 452 hectares of land and is home to a variety of aircraft, including the Royal Navy Wildcat HMA2, Army Air Corps Wildcat AH1, and the Royal Navy’s Commando Helicopter Force Merlin HCi3/4/4A and Wildcat AH1 helicopters. RNAS Yeovilton has a rich history dating back to its establishment in 1939, and it is open to the public, offering tours and hosting events such as the annual Air Day.

Key Takeaways:

  • RNAS Yeovilton is one of the UK’s largest naval aviation bases, housing a diverse fleet of aircraft.
  • The base has a rich history dating back to 1939 and offers public tours and events.
  • Visitors can explore the Fleet Air Arm Museum, which showcases the history of naval aviation.
  • RNAS Yeovilton hosts the annual Air Day, featuring thrilling aerial displays.
  • The base is easily accessible by car and rail, making it convenient for visitors.

RNAS Yeovilton Location and Facilities

RNAS Yeovilton, also known as Naval Air Station Yeovilton, is located a few miles north of Yeovil in the picturesque county of Somerset, England. The address of the base is Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton, Ilchester, Somerset, BA22 8HT. Situated on 1,000 acres of land, the base offers a spacious and well-equipped environment for naval aviation operations.

Accessing RNAS Yeovilton is convenient, with excellent transport links. If you choose to travel by car, the base is conveniently situated just off the A303 and A37, providing easy access from nearby towns and cities. For those preferring public transportation, Yeovil Pen Mill, Yeovil Junction, and Castle Cary stations are the nearest mainline routes. From there, it’s a short journey to the base, allowing you to begin your exploration of the rich history and exciting aviation environment that RNAS Yeovilton has to offer.

When you arrive at RNAS Yeovilton, you’ll find a range of facilities designed to enhance your visit. The base has ample parking available, ensuring a stress-free arrival. Inside, you’ll discover the Fleet Air Arm Museum, which is located on the base itself. The museum offers a fascinating insight into the history of naval aviation and provides a memorable experience for visitors of all ages. It showcases a variety of exhibits, interactive displays, and informative exhibitions, making it a must-visit destination during your time at RNAS Yeovilton.

Facility Description
Car Parking On-site parking available
Transport Links Conveniently located near major roads and railway stations
Fleet Air Arm Museum Explore the rich history of naval aviation

Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an aviation buff, or simply curious to learn more about the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm, RNAS Yeovilton offers a unique experience. From its prime location in the heart of Somerset to its top-notch facilities, the base provides an immersive environment that highlights the importance and evolution of naval aviation.

RNAS Yeovilton History and Development

RNAS Yeovilton has a significant historical background. It was established in 1939 when the Admiralty Air Division commandeered 417 acres of land. The construction of the base was completed in 1941, and it played a crucial role as a demobilization center for the Royal Navy after World War II. Over the years, RNAS Yeovilton underwent extensive development and expansion, accommodating the needs of jet aircraft and becoming the main shore base for the Commando Helicopter Squadrons. Today, the base continues to evolve and adapt to the changing requirements of the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm.

The rich history of RNAS Yeovilton reflects its significant contributions to the British military. The base has witnessed key milestones in naval aviation, from its establishment during World War II to its modern role as a hub for helicopter operations. Throughout its legacy, RNAS Yeovilton has played an essential part in supporting the Royal Navy’s air power and ensuring the readiness of the Fleet Air Arm.

The development of RNAS Yeovilton showcases the commitment to excellence within the Royal Navy’s aviation operations. From its humble beginnings in 1939 to its current status as one of the UK’s largest naval aviation bases, RNAS Yeovilton demonstrates the ongoing dedication to maintaining a powerful and effective Fleet Air Arm.

The Evolution of RNAS Yeovilton

Since its establishment, RNAS Yeovilton has continuously evolved to meet the demands of naval aviation. The base has undergone significant expansion, accommodating new aircraft technologies and operational requirements. One notable development was the integration of jet aircraft, as RNAS Yeovilton transitioned to support the changing needs of the Fleet Air Arm. This evolution enabled the base to remain at the forefront of naval aviation, ensuring the Royal Navy’s continuing air superiority.

Another critical phase of development for RNAS Yeovilton was its role as the main shore base for the Commando Helicopter Squadrons. With the integration of the Commando Helicopter Force, the base became a vital hub for helicopter operations, supporting the Royal Navy’s amphibious and special forces missions. This expansion enhanced the capabilities of the Fleet Air Arm and reinforced RNAS Yeovilton’s reputation as an essential asset within the Royal Navy.

Looking towards the future, RNAS Yeovilton remains committed to advancing its capabilities to meet the ever-changing demands of naval aviation. With plans underway for the introduction of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, the base is poised to support the Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers and remain a key component of the Royal Navy’s air power. RNAS Yeovilton’s continuous development is a testament to its enduring legacy and unwavering dedication to serving the Royal Navy and the nation.

Related articles you may like:  Cornwall Airport Newquay

RNAS Yeovilton: Aircraft at RNAS Yeovilton

RNAS Yeovilton is home to a diverse fleet of aircraft, showcasing the capabilities and versatility of the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm. The base operates various types of helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft, each serving a specific purpose in supporting naval aviation operations. From anti-submarine warfare to reconnaissance and support missions, these aircraft play a crucial role in safeguarding the interests of the United Kingdom.

Table:

Aircraft Description
Royal Navy Wildcat HMA2 A versatile helicopter used for anti-submarine warfare and surface attack missions.
Army Air Corps Wildcat AH1 A reconnaissance and support helicopter primarily used for army operations.
Commando Helicopter Force Merlin HCi3/4/4A and Wildcat AH1 Helicopters utilized by the Royal Navy’s Commando Helicopter Force for various combat and support roles.

These aircraft are manned by highly skilled pilots, aircrew, and ground personnel who ensure their readiness and operational capability. RNAS Yeovilton’s commitment to maintaining a diverse and advanced fleet highlights the base’s crucial role in supporting the Royal Navy’s mission and defending the nation’s interests.

“The diverse fleet of aircraft at RNAS Yeovilton showcases the capabilities and readiness of the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm, ensuring the protection and security of the United Kingdom.”

The Fleet Air Arm Museum

The Fleet Air Arm Museum, located on the grounds of RNAS Yeovilton, offers a captivating journey through the history of naval aviation. Whether you’re an aviation enthusiast or simply curious about British military history, this museum is a must-visit destination. With a wide range of exhibits, interactive displays, and informative exhibitions, the museum provides a comprehensive and engaging experience for visitors of all ages.

Step into the world of naval aviation as you explore the diverse collection of historic aircraft on display. From iconic warplanes to cutting-edge modern aircraft, the museum showcases the evolution of naval aviation technology over the years. Get up close to legendary aircraft like the Supermarine Spitfire, Hawker Sea Fury, and the mighty Avro Vulcan. The museum’s knowledgeable staff are also on hand to provide insights and answer any questions you may have.

“The Fleet Air Arm Museum is a treasure trove of aviation history, offering a fascinating glimpse into the achievements of the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm. From remarkable aircraft displays to interactive exhibits, this museum brings the stories of naval aviation to life.” – Visitor testimonial

Immerse yourself in the world of naval aviation with the museum’s interactive displays. Test your flying skills in the flight simulators, experience the thrill of carrier landings, and learn about the challenges faced by naval pilots. The museum also offers guided tours, providing visitors with a deeper understanding of the exhibits and the history of naval aviation. Witness the restoration of historic aircraft in the workshop and gain insights into the meticulous process of preserving aviation treasures.

Whether you’re visiting as an individual, a family, or a group, the Fleet Air Arm Museum offers a captivating and educational experience. Discover the remarkable achievements of the British Fleet Air Arm and gain a newfound appreciation for the vital role played by naval aviation in protecting our seas. Plan your visit to the Fleet Air Arm Museum at RNAS Yeovilton and embark on a journey through the rich history of British naval aviation.

RNAS Yeovilton Events

Visiting RNAS Yeovilton offers a wealth of exciting events that attract aviation enthusiasts from all over the country. One of the most highly anticipated events is the annual Air Day, held every July. Air Day is a spectacular showcase of aerial acrobatics and thrilling displays, featuring the incredible capabilities of the aircraft based at RNAS Yeovilton. From heart-stopping flypasts to breathtaking aerobatic performances, Air Day provides a truly memorable experience for all.

In addition to Air Day, RNAS Yeovilton regularly hosts air shows and other special events throughout the year. These events offer visitors the opportunity to witness unique aircraft up close and learn more about the fascinating world of naval aviation. From vintage aircraft exhibitions to live demonstrations, each event at RNAS Yeovilton promises an exciting and immersive experience.

Whether you’re a seasoned aviation enthusiast or simply curious about naval aviation, attending an event at RNAS Yeovilton is a fantastic way to explore this captivating realm. It’s an opportunity to witness the skill and precision of the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm and gain a deeper appreciation for the vital role they play in protecting our nation’s security.

Upcoming Events

  • August 2022: RNAS Yeovilton Air Show – A thrilling day of displays and demonstrations.
  • September 2022: Wings and Wheels Event – A celebration of both classic cars and aircraft.
  • October 2022: Helicopter Experience Day – Get up close to helicopters and learn about their capabilities.
  • November 2022: Remembrance Sunday – A poignant ceremony to honor and remember those who have served.

These are just a few examples of the exciting events taking place at RNAS Yeovilton. With a diverse range of activities and displays, there’s always something to suit every interest and age group. Plan your visit and be part of the excitement at RNAS Yeovilton.

Visiting RNAS Yeovilton

When planning a visit to RNAS Yeovilton, there are several options available to explore this fascinating military airbase and its rich history. Guided tours offer an in-depth look at the facilities, aircraft, and daily operations of the base. Visitors can gain unique insights into the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm and learn about the role it plays in supporting naval aviation. The tours provide a behind-the-scenes experience, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the world of naval aviation.

For those who prefer a more self-guided experience, the Fleet Air Arm Museum offers a comprehensive and engaging exploration of naval aviation. Visitors can take a self-guided tour of the museum’s exhibits, which include historic aircraft, interactive displays, and informative exhibitions. The museum provides a wealth of information on the history and development of naval aviation, making it a must-visit for aviation enthusiasts and history buffs.

If you’re planning a visit to RNAS Yeovilton, it’s important to note that access to certain areas of the base may be restricted due to security concerns. It’s recommended to check the official RNAS Yeovilton website or contact the base directly for the most up-to-date information on visiting hours, tour availability, and any special requirements or restrictions. Whether you choose a guided tour or a self-guided exploration of the museum, a visit to RNAS Yeovilton promises a unique and immersive experience into the world of naval aviation.

Related articles you may like:  Truro Aerodrome: The Gateway to Cornwall's Skies

RNAS Yeovilton Accessibility and Facilities

When visiting RNAS Yeovilton, accessibility is a top priority. The base is committed to providing a welcoming environment for all visitors, ensuring that everyone can fully enjoy their experience. Whether you have mobility challenges, visual or hearing impairments, or specific needs, RNAS Yeovilton strives to accommodate you.

The base offers accessible parking spaces, allowing convenient access for visitors with mobility difficulties. Inside the Fleet Air Arm Museum, you will find easy access toilets and baby changing facilities, ensuring comfort and convenience for families. Approximately 95% of the museum is wheelchair accessible, and wheelchairs are available for visitor use.

For visitors with visual or hearing impairments, the museum has specific facilities in place to enhance your experience. Induction loops are available for those with hearing aids, ensuring clear audio. Additionally, guides are available upon request to provide assistance and make the exhibits more accessible.

As an added convenience, RNAS Yeovilton offers free Wi-Fi for visitors. This allows you to stay connected during your visit, share your experiences, and access information about the base and its rich history.

Facility Accessibility Info
Accessible Parking Designated spaces available
Easy Access Toilets Located in the Fleet Air Arm Museum
Wheelchair Accessibility Approximately 95% of the museum
Induction Loops Available for those with hearing aids
Guides Available upon request
Free Wi-Fi Stay connected during your visit

Dining Options at RNAS Yeovilton

When visiting RNAS Yeovilton and the Fleet Air Arm Museum, you’ll find a range of dining options to satisfy your hunger. The Warnefords Café, located in Hall One of the museum, provides a delightful selection of sandwiches, pastries, cakes, and hot and cold drinks. All of the café’s products are sourced from local Somerset suppliers, ensuring freshness and supporting the local community. Whether you’re in the mood for a quick snack or a leisurely lunch, the Warnefords Café offers a variety of options to suit every taste.

Visitors also have the option to bring their own picnic and enjoy it in the designated grassed area in front of the museum. This allows you to take full advantage of the beautiful surroundings while enjoying a meal. So, whether you prefer a casual café experience or a relaxed picnic amidst the picturesque landscape, RNAS Yeovilton has you covered.

For those looking to make their visit even more special, the museum offers private dining experiences for groups or special occasions. Whether it’s a corporate event, family celebration, or even a wedding, the museum can provide a unique and memorable dining experience to suit your needs.

The Warnefords Café Menu

Food Price
Sandwiches £4.50
Pastries £2.50
Cakes £3.50
Coffee £2.00
Tea £1.50
Soft Drinks £2.00

“The dining options at RNAS Yeovilton offer a delightful variety of choices, ensuring that visitors can refuel and recharge during their visit. Whether you choose to indulge in the delicious offerings of the Warnefords Café or enjoy a picnic in the scenic surroundings, you’re sure to find a dining experience that suits your taste. And if you’re looking to make your visit extra special, the museum’s private dining experiences are perfect for creating lasting memories.” – RNAS Yeovilton

Planning a School Visit to RNAS Yeovilton

Are you looking for an exciting and educational school trip? Look no further than RNAS Yeovilton! Our base, home to the British Fleet Air Arm, offers unique opportunities for students to learn about naval aviation and British military history. A visit to RNAS Yeovilton and the Fleet Air Arm Museum is a fantastic way to engage students and bring their learning to life.

Tailored School Visits

At RNAS Yeovilton, we understand the importance of tailoring educational experiences to meet curriculum requirements. That’s why we offer dedicated school visits that can be tailored to suit the needs of your students. Our knowledgeable guides will lead your students through interactive exhibits, providing insights into the development of naval aviation and the historical significance of RNAS Yeovilton. With guided tours, hands-on practical sessions, and educational workshops available, we ensure that your school visit is not only informative but also engaging and memorable.

Enhancing Learning

A school visit to RNAS Yeovilton goes beyond the traditional classroom setting, allowing students to learn in a dynamic and immersive environment. Our exhibits and guided tours provide a wealth of information, supplemented by interactive displays and educational resources. Students can explore historic aircraft, experience flight simulators, and gain a deeper understanding of the role of naval aviation in British military history. Whether it’s learning about the technical aspects of aircraft or discovering the stories of the brave men and women who served, a visit to RNAS Yeovilton will enrich your students’ knowledge and inspire their curiosity.

Booking a School Visit

Booking a school visit to RNAS Yeovilton is straightforward. Simply contact the Fleet Air Arm Museum directly to discuss your requirements and availability. Our dedicated team will work with you to create a tailored itinerary that best suits the needs of your students. We recommend making your booking well in advance, as availability can be limited, particularly during peak times. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to provide your students with an unforgettable educational experience at RNAS Yeovilton.

Benefits of a School Visit to RNAS Yeovilton
Engaging and interactive exhibits
Tailored to meet curriculum requirements
Knowledgeable guides
Hands-on practical sessions
Opportunity to learn about British military history
Enhances understanding of naval aviation
Inspires curiosity and interest in aviation
Memorable and immersive educational experience

RNAS Yeovilton Group Visits

RNAS Yeovilton group visits

RNAS Yeovilton welcomes group visits from organizations, clubs, and other large parties. Whether you’re a group of aviation enthusiasts, history societies, or simply friends and family wanting to explore naval aviation, the base can accommodate your needs. Special arrangements, including discounts and guided tours, can be made for groups. To arrange a group visit, simply email your requirements to the base’s dedicated email address for group inquiries. Discover the fascinating world of naval aviation with your group at RNAS Yeovilton.

Related articles you may like:  Perranporth Airfield

Exploring RNAS Yeovilton as a group offers a unique opportunity to delve deeper into the rich history and operations of the British Fleet Air Arm. With a customized visit, you can gain insights into the base’s operations, learn about the diverse fleet of aircraft, and witness the capabilities of the Royal Navy’s air power. From guided tours to special access areas, the base strives to provide an engaging and informative experience for all group visitors.

During your group visit, you’ll have the chance to witness the impressive aircraft housed at RNAS Yeovilton up close. From the versatile Royal Navy Wildcat HMA2 to the Army Air Corps Wildcat AH1 helicopters, each aircraft plays a crucial role in supporting naval operations. The guided tours can take you behind the scenes, where you can learn about the maintenance and operations of these aircraft and the daily life of the personnel stationed at the base.

With its picturesque location in Somerset, England, RNAS Yeovilton offers a captivating backdrop for your group visit. Explore the Fleet Air Arm Museum, immerse yourself in interactive displays, and learn about the development of naval aviation. Whether you’re planning a day trip or an extended visit, RNAS Yeovilton provides a memorable experience for groups of all sizes. Take advantage of the discounts and dedicated services available for group visits and embark on a journey through the fascinating world of naval aviation at RNAS Yeovilton.

Future Developments at RNAS Yeovilton

As RNAS Yeovilton continues to be a key hub for the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm, there are exciting future developments on the horizon. One of the significant changes planned is the introduction of the state-of-the-art Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II aircraft. These advanced jets will operate from RAF Marham and equip the Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers, enhancing the capabilities of the Royal Navy’s air power.

The addition of the F-35 Lightning II to RNAS Yeovilton is a testament to the base’s commitment to staying at the forefront of naval aviation technology. These cutting-edge aircraft will provide advanced combat capabilities, ensuring the readiness and effectiveness of the Fleet Air Arm in the years to come.

With its advanced stealth capabilities and advanced sensor systems, the F-35 Lightning II will play a crucial role in supporting naval operations and maintaining the security of the United Kingdom’s maritime interests. This new addition further solidifies RNAS Yeovilton’s position as a vital asset for the Royal Navy.

The Future of Naval Aviation

The introduction of the F-35 Lightning II is just one example of how RNAS Yeovilton is adapting to meet the changing needs of naval aviation. The base remains committed to pushing the boundaries of technological innovation and ensuring that the Fleet Air Arm has the most advanced and capable aircraft at its disposal.

As the future unfolds, RNAS Yeovilton will continue to evolve and develop new capabilities, ensuring that it remains a cornerstone of the Royal Navy’s maritime operations. This commitment to excellence and continuous improvement ensures the Fleet Air Arm’s readiness to defend the nation’s interests at sea.

RNAS Yeovilton’s Continued Success

RNAS Yeovilton’s future developments and the introduction of the F-35 Lightning II highlight the base’s continued success and commitment to excellence. With its rich history, diverse fleet of aircraft, and engaging visitor attractions like the Fleet Air Arm Museum, RNAS Yeovilton is a testament to the proud legacy of naval aviation in the United Kingdom.

As the base looks to the future, it remains a vital hub for training, operations, and preserving the nation’s maritime security. RNAS Yeovilton’s strategic location, state-of-the-art facilities, and dedicated personnel ensure that it will continue to play a vital role in the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm for years to come.

Future Developments at RNAS Yeovilton Impact
Introduction of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Enhanced combat capabilities for the Fleet Air Arm
Adaptation to new aircraft technologies and operational requirements Continued readiness and effectiveness of RNAS Yeovilton
Pushing the boundaries of technological innovation Staying at the forefront of naval aviation advancements
Commitment to training, operations, and maritime security Preservation of the nation’s interests at sea

Conclusion

RNAS Yeovilton, also known as HMS Heron, is a significant military airbase located in Somerset, England. It has a rich history dating back to its establishment in 1939 and plays a crucial role in supporting the operations of the British Fleet Air Arm. With a diverse fleet of aircraft, including helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft, RNAS Yeovilton showcases the capabilities of the Royal Navy’s air power.

Visitors to RNAS Yeovilton have the opportunity to explore the fascinating world of naval aviation at the Fleet Air Arm Museum. This unique attraction offers a comprehensive range of exhibits, including historic aircraft, interactive displays, and informative exhibitions. The museum provides an engaging experience for aviation enthusiasts, history buffs, and anyone interested in British military history.

Throughout the year, RNAS Yeovilton hosts a variety of events, including the highly anticipated annual Air Day. This event offers an exciting display of aerial acrobatics and allows visitors to witness the capabilities of the aircraft based at the airbase. Whether it’s attending an air show or taking a guided tour, a visit to RNAS Yeovilton is a must for anyone fascinated by naval aviation.

RNAS Yeovilton continues to evolve and adapt to meet the changing needs of the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm. With future developments in the pipeline, such as the introduction of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, the base remains at the forefront of naval aviation. RNAS Yeovilton is a testament to the rich history and ongoing commitment to excellence in British military aviation.

Source Links

Contents