Display teams

There are a number of display teams offering exceptional insight into the Royal Navy.

Black Cats Helicopter Display team

The Black Cats are an exciting four-man helicopter display team who thrill audiences at air shows with their dynamic flying displays in Lynx helicopters.

The Black Cats are the Royal Navy’s Helicopter Display Team flying front-line Lynx maritime attack helicopters.

The Team started in 2001 as the ‘Lynx Pair’ and have been the first official Royal Navy flying display team since the ‘Sharks’ disbanded in the mid-1990s.

Winning several awards over the years, the Black Cats are requested to display all over the UK and at many European air shows.

The aircrew and engineers are all volunteers from 702 Naval Air Squadron and the Lynx Wildcat Maritime Force based at the Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton in Somerset.

The name ‘Black Cats’ is derived from the fierce cat depicted on the 702 Naval Air Squadron emblem and the term ‘blackcatting’ which is naval slang for one-upmanship – doing or owning something better than someone else.

Royal Navy Historic Flight

The Royal Navy Historic Flight is a Royal Naval unit established in 1972 as a living memorial to all those who have served in the Royal Naval Air Service and Fleet Air Arm since the birth of naval aviation in 1909.

The Flight operates historic naval aircraft, namely  Swordfish, Sea Fury and a Sea Hawk, attending air displays throughout the United Kingdom which also provides something of a 'shop window' on the Fleet Air Arm.

The current display aircraft collection consists of; Swordfish MkI W5856, Swordfish MkII LS326, Swordfish MkIII NF389, Sea Fury FB.11 VR930 and Sea Hawk FGA.6 WV908.

Raiders Parachute Display team

The Raiders are the official parachute display team of the Royal Navy, and display at high-profile events across the UK.

Since the formation of the Raiders in 1983, the team has composed of skilled sport parachutists from across the spectrum of the Naval Service, including team members from Royal Navy Surface Fleet, Submarine Service, Royal Marines and Fleet Air Arm.

The Team display into a variety of public events throughout the season (May to September), landing right in front of the crowd at large military and civilian events such as RNAS Yeovilton Air Day and Brickwoods Field Gun day at HMS Collingwood.  In addition to Armed Forces events, notable recent appearances include the Eng-Aus One Day International Cricket Match covered by Sky Sports 1 in 2010 and a high profile appearance on the BBC's Top Gear show in 2011 for the series launch episode.

All the members of the team are highly trained volunteers, and all parachutists and ground crew invest a significant amount of personal time and effort to maintain their specialist skills in order to promote the Royal Navy and at every display.

To contact the team fora parachute display booking or for more information, contact the Team Leader on NAVYFORF-RAIDERS-PDT-TL@mod.uk


Royal Marines Commando Display team

The Royal Marines Commando Display Team consists of specialists in unarmed combat, helicopter and building abseils, aerial slides and qualified supervisors for rock climbing simulators. Based at Yeovilton, the team travels the length of the British Isles to county fairs and festivals, motor and air shows, charity and sporting events. If you are interested in this, please contact your local Armed Forces Careers Office, and they will help to organise this with you.

Unarmed Combat is a highly disciplined method of hand-to-hand fighting, which is taught to all Royal Marines. The display is performed by up to sixteen marines in four-man teams on separate mats around the arena.

Helicopter abseiling provides an exciting display of one of the many skills taught to all Royal Marines. The helicopter abseil usually provides an entrance into the unarmed combat display. The marines abseil either individually or as part of a multiple abseil dependent on the type of aircraft being used. The marines descend from heights of up to 180ft during this spectacular display. The availability of helicopters is subject to operational commitments and cannot, therefore, always be guaranteed.

Fastroping is a method used to deploy lightly equipped troops into confined areas where a helicopter could not land. The rope is suspended from the hovering aircraft and the fastroper wears special gloves, allowing him to slide, gripping with only his hands, down the rope under control from heights of up to 90ft.

Throughout the day the visiting public have the opportunity to experience the challenge of the extreme sport of rock climbing on our state of the art simulators. The Rocks are climbing walls, similar in concept to vertically mounted treadmills. They can be adjusted electronically to suit all skill levels from the complete novice to the extreme climber. These walls allow the public to experience rock climbing in an extremely safe yet exhilarating environment. The Rocks are located under large inflatable domes which allow members of the public to watch those trying their hand at this exciting challenge.

702 Naval Air Squadron

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Royal Navy Historic Flight

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