The Princess of Wales Visits Royal Naval Air Station for Flight Simulator Training

The Princess of Wales Visits Royal Naval Air Station for Flight Simulator Training

In a recent visit to the Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton, the Princess of Wales showcased her commitment to her newly appointed role as Commodore-in-Chief of the Fleet Air Arm (FAA). This visit follows in the footsteps of King Charles, who famously received helicopter flying training at the air station in 1974. The Princess arrived at Somerset to immerse herself in the rich aviation history and experience firsthand the operations at RNAS Yeovilton.

During her visit, the Princess was given a comprehensive tour of the air station. Her first stop was the traffic control tower where she had the opportunity to meet with staff and engage in conversations with an airborne Wildcat helicopter crew. The Princess then proceeded to a hangar, where she conducted training exercises with survival equipment technicians who play a crucial role in ensuring the safety of aircrew.

One of the highlights of the visit was the chance to examine the advanced helicopters utilized by the Royal Navy. The Princess had the opportunity to view a Merlin Mk4 helicopter, which is deployed globally by the Royal Marines for disaster relief operations. Additionally, she observed a Merlin MK2, specifically utilized for submarine detection. These impressive helicopters showcased the Royal Navy’s cutting-edge capabilities in air operations.

Flight Simulator Training

Perhaps the most exhilarating part of the visit was when the Princess tried her hand at flying a Wildcat MK2 in a flight simulator. This state-of-the-art simulator allows aircrew to practice a range of scenarios, including flying over land or landing on ships. The Wildcat MK2, a maritime attack helicopter, is specifically designed to operate from frigates and destroyers of the Royal Navy. The Princess displayed great enthusiasm as she navigated through virtual challenges and showcased her skills in the cockpit.

RNAS Yeovilton is a vital hub for aviation operations, employing over 4,000 personnel. The air station is home to numerous frontline squadrons and training units, playing a pivotal role in preparing aircrew for their missions. The visit by the Princess of Wales served to highlight the significance of RNAS Yeovilton in maintaining the Royal Navy’s operational readiness and ensuring the safety and effectiveness of its aviation capabilities.

While the Princess of Wales was immersing herself in the world of aviation, the Prince of Wales embarked on a two-day visit to New York. During his time there, he attended the Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit, where he joined other influential figures such as former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. This summit aimed to address global environmental challenges and foster innovative solutions. Additionally, the Prince is scheduled to travel to Singapore for the upcoming Earthshot Prize Awards ceremony.

As the Princess of Wales continues to assume her role as Commodore-in-Chief of the Fleet Air Arm, her visit to RNAS Yeovilton exemplifies her dedication to understanding and supporting the aviation capabilities of the Royal Navy. Her flight simulator training and interactions with personnel at the air station demonstrate her commitment to the welfare and proficiency of the Fleet Air Arm. The visit also serves to emphasize the importance of RNAS Yeovilton in maintaining the Royal Navy’s operational readiness and further strengthening its capabilities in air operations.


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