RNAS Culdrose 6th March 2013

With the weather fair to middling, a trip to the viewing point at Culdrose was on the cards, and if I’m honest, didn’t disappoint. One of the main reasons for the trip was to capture the Avengers of 750 NAS, and they duly obliged during a total of three hours at the site.

An 820 NAS Merlin (ZH839) was practising winching on the dummy deck upon arrival, and another airframe (coded 70) was towed out of the hangar for engine testing. It provided a great opportunity to shoot both aircraft together through the fence during the morning, with 839 joining her stable mate after the training was complete. RAF Merlin HC3 coded H also got airborne and departed from the Merlin depth maintainence facility in the morning.

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Sea Kings were plentiful with HAR5 and ASaC7 of 771 and 849 squadrons putting in appearances operating from the far side of the field.

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Four Hawks launched during my time there, one pair in the morning and two singletons in the afternoon.

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Surprise visitor of the day was Tornado GR4 ZA554 performing a touch and go, providing a nice diversion from the usual based subjects.

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And so to the Beechcraft King Air 350ER Avenger, my first encounter with the new type. I got to see a launch in the morning, and ZZ501 in the circuit in the afternoon sunshine to round up a great days photography and viewing at the most westerly of active Royal navy air stations.

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Aircraft seen during just under three hours at the viewing point were as follows: –

Merlin HM1 ZH839
Merlin HM1 (70)
Merlin HM1 (84)
Merlin HC3 (H)
Sea King HAR5 ZA167
Sea King HAR5 XV648
Sea King ASaC7 XV707
Hawk T1 XX316
Hawk T1 XX205
Hawk T1 XX281
Hawk T1 XX330
Avenger ZZ503
Avenger ZZ501
Tornado GR4 ZA554