Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton

Yeovilton Air Show

The Red Arrows

One might think that living next to a naval air station is noisy but quite the reverse is true. Although the base is busy, it is not a commercial airport and the most one hears from time to time is an occasional  whoosh as an aircraft takes off. The Air Show Day however is noisy but that is a prerequisite we accept in return for the wonderful free entertainment that we get.

Yeovilton is not a large village, its more of a hamlet with about 50 properties. It used to be the case however in the week preceding the air show for aircraft enthusiasts world-wide to flood into the village to watch rehearsals for the show taking place, some with camper vans intending to camp overnight in the village. Understandable as it is for enthusiasts to satisfy their chosen hobby, for a small village it was proving very disruptive. Now military personnel seal off both ends of the only road to run through the village prior to the air show and only residents who are issued with passes are allowed through. Regrettable but necessary.

The UK’s own Red Arrows are frequent participants at the show and each year their display in precision flying seems more spectacular the preceding year. The vertical take off Aircraft the Harrier has always been a favourite. Until a few years ago, the Harriers were based at Yeovilton after which they amalgamated with the RAF Harriers. Alas the Harrier is no more having been withdrawn from service due to budget cuts. I watched the last flight of Harriers land at Yeovilton after they left their aircraft carrier for the last time. One cannot forget the role the Harrier played during the Falklands conflict and although they were coming to the end of their serviceable life, I would seriously question the decision to retire the Harrier prematurely solely as a budget saving exercise without a replacement. This now leaves the UK with mothballed aircraft carriers without aircraft and the same position will exist for some time even when replacement aircraft carriers eventually are commissioned. The thought of placing reliance in other countries for our defence is one that hardly fills me with enthusiasm. Dear old Winston must be turning in his grave.

Although peace has now returned to the Falklands, possession of the islands by any country now becomes even more desirable with the discovery of oil in the offshore waters. As usual politicians will assure the public they know what they are doing but history shows that conflicts frequently swiftly arise in a short space of time, like a storm appearing from nowhere out of a clear blue sky. The last Falklands conflict is a prime example. History is equally littered with swiftly replaced politically defunct leaders that thought they knew what they were doing.

 There are however strong rumours going around locally that a flight of 8 or 9 Harriers may be stored at Yeovilton, “just in case”. I have no idea whether there is any truth in the rumours.  Some people claim to have faries at the end of their gardens, in my case it’s jet fighters.

Friends watching the Air Show

Yeovilton Air Show

 Yeovilton Air Show

2 Responses

  1. I really enjoyed your blog on Yeovilton air base. I am interested in buying a house in Yeovilton but am worried about the noise from the air base. My sister went there recently mid week and said it was really noisy is this the case ?

  2. Hello Glennis. Personally I have never found noise a real issue and have never heard existing villager complain about it either. When the Harrier Jets were based here, there used to be about two short periods a week when they did hovering practise, but these were withdrawn from service several years ago. A problem with noise though is it is always a subjective matter of opinion,. If I visit London for instance, I find that a constantly noisy place, whereas I find Yeovilton mostly quite peaceful. but that’s my opinion. The only exception to that is when the Royal Navy hold their annual International Air Display Day,, As you can imagine, that is very noisy at times, but that is usually for that day only, and the day before at odd times when early arriving aircraft have practice sessions. Due to Covid there have been no air display for the last two years.

    The best option like buying any home is to visit the area yourself if you can, and form your own opinion.

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