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Royal Navy Merlin HC3/3A

Big changes are swept through the Royal Navy's Commando Helicopter Force a couple of years ago, and the attendance in the RIAT 2017 static display of a Merlin HC3/3A from 846 Naval Air Squadron at RNAS Yeovilton, Somerset, will illustrate this. To replace its faithful Sea King HC4s, the Fleet Air Arm received Merlins previously operated by No. 28 and 78 Squadrons, RAF. 846 NAS was based at RAF Benson, Oxfordshire, for the last three years while Navy crews were trained on this variant of Merlin. The HC3 and HC3A models are being optimised for use in the maritime environment with the installation of folding rotor blades and a modified undercarriage for deck landings.

“It was an epic spectacle, as magical as anything you've ever seen in the West End, and as loud as anything you've ever heard at Knebworth.”

Jeremy Clarkson, Television Presenter

“All the thrills, excitement and noise of a Grand Prix, but in the air!”

Jenson Button, Formula 1 Racing Driver

“This is the best airshow!”

Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 Astronaut

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