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Developed from the Sikorsky S-61 and built in Britain by Westland, the Sea King has been a hugely faithful servant of the UK's armed forces. Both the RAF and the Royal Navy employ the type for search and rescue (SAR) duties, the Navy in Sea King HU5 form. Those of 771 Naval Air Squadron at Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose, Cornwall, cover the Western Approaches, an area taking in the Cornish peninsula, the Isles of Scilly and up to 200 nautical miles out into the Atlantic and the Channel. One helicopter is kept on 24-hour stand-by at 15 minutes' readiness for a call-out by day, 45 minutes' readiness by night. The Navy says that 771 NAS performs more than 200 rescue 'scrambles' per year. 2015 will be the last occasion on which RIAT will see a search and rescue Sea King from the Royal Navy in attendance, prior to the civilianisation of the service.

“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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