A unique historic aircraft will be one of the star attractions at this year’s RNAS Yeovilton Air Day, which celebrates the base’s 70th anniversary. The Shuttleworth Collection’s Hawker Sea Hurricane 1b is the only example of its kind flying anywhere in the world and is representative of the very first Royal Navy types to have been based at Yeovilton after its creation in 1940.
The Sea Hurricane’s induction into Fleet Air Arm service occurred as a result of the RAF’s positive experiences with the original Hawker Hurricane in the Battle of Britain. To ensure it could be successfully operated on and off aircraft carriers, the basic Hurricane design was adapted with the addition of an arrester hook and other measures. In all, 443 Sea Hurricanes served with the FAA, of which the majority were Mark 1bs, as per the example appearing at Air Day.
The Shuttleworth Collection’s Sea Hurricane left the production line in 1940 as a standard Hurricane, but was navalised to Sea Hurricane standard one year later. Post-war, it was used as a ground-based instructional airframe before an epic restoration took place to get it back in the air: the culmination of years of hard work being realised in September 1995.
The Sea Hurricane will provide Air Day’s anticipated crowd of up to 40,000 people with an evocative link back to both the Fleet Air Arm of WW2 and RNAS Yeovilton’s own past, and will join other historic and modern aircraft representative of the base’s seven decades of naval airpower.
The current list of participating aircraft can be viewed at www.yeoviltonairday.co.uk. Tickets are available online or via the ticketline on 08445 781 781.