Swordfish Mk.II, Duxford 2012 - ©Nigel Key
The Royal Navy Historic Flight is based at Yeovilton in Somerset. The Flight was established at the Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton in 1972 in order to preserve Naval heritage, and to be a living memorial to all Fleet Air Arm personnel, especially those who gave their lives in maintaining the freedom of our nation.
The flight currently include two Fairey Swordfish (LS326, W5856), Hawker Sea Fury FB11 (VR930), Hawker Seahawk FGA6 (WV908), and a Chipmunk (WK608).
Latest News - March 2019:
The Royal Navy Historic Flight, which has flown the flag for the Royal Navy at air shows and public events around the country for nearly 50 years, stands down on 31 March 2019.
Responsibility for maintaining and flying the aircraft is expected to transfer to the charity 'Navy Wings', securing their long-term future flying as civilian rather than military aircraft.
Fairey Swordfish Mk.I (W5856)
W5856, a "Blackfish" built by Blackburn Aircraft at Sherburn-in-Elmet, first flew on Trafalgar Day (21 October) 1941. Bought by British Aerospace for presentation to the Swordfish Heritage Trust, the partly-restored airframe went to BAe Brough for complete restoration to flying condition, the work being completed in 1993. In September 1996 W5856 was adopted by the City of Leeds and now proudly wears the City's coat of arms and name on her port side just forward of the pilot's cockpit.
Fairey Swordfish Mk.II (LS326)
LS326, also a 'Blackfish', was built in 1943 at Sherburn-in-Elmet. In 1959 LS326 was repainted for a starring role in the film 'Sink the Bismarck!'. In September 1960 she was presented to the Royal Navy by the Westland Aircraft Company and has been flown ever since. Since 1987 she has worn her original wartime colour scheme for North Atlantic convoys with 'L' Flight of 836 Squadron. Following extensive work by BAeS Brough to her wings, LS326 flew again on 1 July 2008 for the first time in nine years. LS326 was adopted by the City of Liverpool, the name she proudly wears on her port side.
Sea Hawk FGA.6 (WV908)
The Royal Navy Historic Flight's Sea Hawk WV908 was built at Baginton, Coventry, in late 1954 as an FGA.4 variant and assembled at the company's Bitteswell airfield before being delivered to the Royal Navy in February 1955. After a period of storage she re-flew briefly in 1989 before being taken to British Aerospace's Dunsfold works for a complete refurbishment which was completed in 1996. She is now currently the only airworthy Sea Hawk in the world.
Sea Fury FB.11 (VR930)
VR930 was delivered to the Royal Navy at RNAS Culham in March 1948, she then spent from May to December of that year in front-line service with 802 Squadron aboard HMS Vengeance and ashore at RNAS Eglinton. British Aerospace's Brough works restored her to flying standard, eventually joining the RNHF in 1998 in pristine condition. VR930 now wears her authentic, original 802 NAS code of '110/Q' as worn when she first joined the unit at the shore base of RNAS Eglinton, Northern Ireland, and embarked in HMS Vengeance in 1948. This early scheme was applied to all F.10 and the early FB.11 aircraft.
Chipmunk T.10 (WK608)
Chipmunk T.10 WK608 was built by the de Havilland Aircraft Company at Chester and, following early service with the Royal Air Force, entered service with the Royal Navy's Britannia Flight at Roborough (now Plymouth City Airport) in June 1966. She served with the unit until retirement of the type from service in 1993, transferring to the RNHF at Yeovilton in July of that year, thus becoming the last flying example of the type in RN service.
Unlike the remainder of the RNHF aircraft, WK608 is not displayed on the airshow circuit and doesn't get a winter break either, being used for continuation training throughout the year and providing the display pilots with much valued tailwheel experience.
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