18th September 2018

Sea King MK7 | Royal Navy Farewell Flypast

People across Cornwall should look up to the sky on Wednesday for a farewell flypast of one of the most important aircraft of the last century.

The last Sea King helicopters flying in the UK is expected to make a three-hour tour of Cornwall and into Devon if the weather is on our side, starting from RNAS Culdrose in Helston at 11am on Wednesday 19th September.

They will then follow the coastline as far as Saltash, over to Dartmouth and across to Teignmouth, before heading back down the county again towards Tavistock, Bodmin Moor, Padstow and down the north coast, also taking in Chiverton Cross, Mount Hawke, to the most south-westerly point of Lands End and back around to Helston via Penzance for around 2pm.

This will be one of the last chances to see the aviators of 849 squadron at Culdrose fly the Mark 7 Sea Kings, retiring after almost 50 years in action.

They have been used heavily by the Royal Navy and RAF, particularly in active warfare during the Falklands, Bosnian and Northern Ireland conflicts, as well as both Gulf wars and in Afghanistan.

Back at home they have also played a major role in air sea rescue, up until their retirement in April 2016.

The German Navy is among the organisations that have taken on retired aircraft, with two Sea Kings from 771 Squadron at Culdrose being brought back into service only last year, for training their search and rescue operations.

The 'airborne surveillance and control' role that they have carried out will be passed over to the Merlin Mark 2.

Discover more about Sea King MK7 and other spectacular aircraft from the Royal Navy.

With thanks to Falmouth Packet.