Airshow Moments 2021 Number 6 – Sea King Return

It’s another virtual trip to Old Warden for today’s 2021 airshow moment.

With the sad decline in classic jet operations in the UK on the whole, it has been a real positive to see rotary winged machines from the same era return to flight, with recent seasons providing sights and sounds such as Westland Whirlwind, Westland Wessex, numerous Wasps and the wonderful Flying Bulls Sycamore. 2019 also saw Historic Helicopters at Chard get the first of what is now a wide number of Westland Sea Kings into the air.

Seaking Take Off

However, we would have to wait until the July 2021 Shuttleworth show before the familiar sight and sound of a Sea King would grace a display line again. Watching this large helicopter join the circuit ahead of the show and land in the confines of Old Warden was a real treat.


The Sea King put on an imposing display early on in the programme that made great use of the whole display line. Though a relatively recent retirement it really was great to see a Sea King in a display again. This example being a “junglie” Commando variant made it even more special. I certainly haven’t seen such an example away from a Yeovilton display.

2022 has even more promise for these helicopters, with a Lynx already through flight testing and the promise of a recently arrived pair of Belgian Air Force Sea kings joining the fleet. It will be great to get a chance to enjoy the sights and sounds of these once familiar machines back into the air at UK airshows.

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