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Big changes are sweeping through the Royal Navy's Commando Helicopter Force at present, and the attendance in the RIAT 2015 static display of a Merlin HC3 or HC3A from 846 Naval Air Squadron at RNAS Yeovilton, Somerset, will illustrate this. To replace its faithful Sea King HC4s, the Fleet Air Arm is receiving Merlins previously operated by Nos 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. With the process complete, the squadron returned home to Yeovilton this March. 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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