Yeovilton Air day - why only one Hawk

Yeovilton Air day - why only one Hawk

Postby aknott68 on Wed 13 Jul 2016, 6:29 am

There was a lot to be grateful for at the Yeovilton air day this year, not least the timing of the major downpour to happen over the lunchtime period, but I have to say that I thought that the junglie display at the end of the day was a bit low key compared to previous years. Now that may be that if I recall the Wildcat squadron (847?) is in the States working up, and I think the second Merlin Junglie squadron might also have been away, but there was no inclusion of the AEW sea king or Merlin HM2 (which may I guess also be because they are in transition).

But the thing that I Was really surprised about was that there was only one Hawk aircraft flying. In recent years FRADU displays at airshows have included 4 Hawks and 2 Falcons. I understand that FRADU has now been absorbed back into the Navy as 736 squadron, but is there a reason why they couldn't have put up a 4 ship to take part in the finale?

This isn't a criticism I'm just interested to understand why not, there seems to have been a very noticeable absence of attendance of "second line" display items at both Cosford and Yeovilton compared to previous years - and I wonder if this reflects the transition from actual flying to more simulator training these days?
aknott68

Re: Yeovilton Air day - why only one Hawk

Postby aknott68 on Wed 13 Jul 2016, 7:19 am

Here's an example of the formation that I'm describing from RIAT 2009

Imagecobham formation by andy knott, on Flickr
aknott68

Re: Yeovilton Air day - why only one Hawk

Postby aviodromefriend on Wed 13 Jul 2016, 9:46 am

That FRADU team has disbanded for a number of years already. The pilots that were the drivng force behind it moved on to other jobs (AFAIK even outsde the military).
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Re: Yeovilton Air day - why only one Hawk

Postby Wissam24 on Wed 13 Jul 2016, 9:49 am

When was the last show you attended? 2013 was my first show and since then it's only been 1 or two Hawks at most, nor have they included the Baggers or Merlin HM2s
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Re: Yeovilton Air day - why only one Hawk

Postby Andyperkins on Wed 13 Jul 2016, 9:58 am

The Commando Assault last year was also a single Hawk, I asked them on Facebook if their would be two and they said they were trying to get a pair but obviously that didn't happen for whatever reason.

I really should have appreciated the Commando Assault in 2010 more with two Harriers and two Hawks taking part but had seen it so many times previously I had just become accustom to seeing them, wonder in the years to come when the F-35s are operational whether they will be able to get them to join in with the finale.
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Re: Yeovilton Air day - why only one Hawk

Postby aknott68 on Wed 13 Jul 2016, 11:03 am

SO it had been 10 years since I'd been at Yeovilton so hadn't appreciated that they'd cut down the size of the finale, but thought I'd seen pictures showing a decent size fleet for it.

And as I say 2009 I saw the FRADU combination. Whilst I know that FRADU is now 736 NAS, I've assumed (rightly or wrongly) that they came across with the same fleet of Hawk jets and with the same mission, so wondered what stops them being able to put on a bigger formation for one of their key displays during the season ( I canm understand them not having access to the Falcon 20s, but a 4 ship of Hawks would add to the overall spectacle.
aknott68

Re: Yeovilton Air day - why only one Hawk

Postby centaurus18 on Thu 14 Jul 2016, 6:56 am

The FRADU 4-ship team was just that, a team.
It was disbanded in 2007 for a number of reasons - finances, pilot availability (its leader subsequently left Serco, others retired).
The 4-ship was only returned in 2009 due to Fly Navy 100 and it was only ever guaranteed for one season.

Up until 2014, 2 Hawks and their crews were permanently detached at Yeovilton with NFSF(FW), so they were readily available - now they are all based at Culdrose.
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Re: Yeovilton Air day - why only one Hawk

Postby aknott68 on Thu 14 Jul 2016, 2:59 pm

centaurus18 wrote:The FRADU 4-ship team was just that, a team.
It was disbanded in 2007 for a number of reasons - finances, pilot availability (its leader subsequently left Serco, others retired).
The 4-ship was only returned in 2009 due to Fly Navy 100 and it was only ever guaranteed for one season.

Up until 2014, 2 Hawks and their crews were permanently detached at Yeovilton with NFSF(FW), so they were readily available - now they are all based at Culdrose.


Centaurus18 thanks for the further information, so whilst I can understand as a private company there may be a reluctance in flying a teem in front of a crowd, it would be nice if -given that the Navy is looking to gear up for fixed wing flying again - that a decision was made to introduce this sort of formation activity to achieve not only an increase in skillset with the relevant pilots but also a bit of PR as well for the tax payer.

I appreciate that I may be living in an ideal world - but it seems a much nicer place than the mad house out there ;0)
aknott68

Re: Yeovilton Air day - why only one Hawk

Postby aknott68 on Thu 14 Jul 2016, 4:14 pm

OK so not the best image, taken on D100 from 11 years ago - but if only we could go back and have this again at Yeovilton ;0)

Image4 shars yeovilton 05 by andy knott, on Flickr
aknott68

Re: Yeovilton Air day - why only one Hawk

Postby rocketeer on Thu 14 Jul 2016, 5:55 pm

May I ask with the F-35 in country and displaying at RIAT and FIA why wasn't it at the Naval Air Day one of the main users in years to come? :dunno:
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Re: Yeovilton Air day - why only one Hawk

Postby Trenethick on Thu 14 Jul 2016, 7:00 pm

rocketeer wrote:May I ask with the F-35 in country and displaying at RIAT and FIA why wasn't it at the Naval Air Day one of the main users in years to come? :dunno:

Because the VL show came before the one at Fairford and it had been agreed that the UK airshow debut would be at Fairford
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