Royal Navy’s aerobatic team, the Black Cats, returns

YEOVILTON | The Black Cats will be returning to the airshow circuit in 2019, according to the team’s Instagram account.

Photo: James Connolly

The team, who fly a pair of Wildcat HMA.2 helicopters, come from 825 NAS at RNAS Yeovilton. They were founded in 2001 with a pair of Lynx Mk.8s. The transition from the Lynx to the Wildcat saw the team reduced to a solo display in 2013, a Lynx and Wildcat pair in 2014 and a pair of Wildcats thereafter.

The team’s display included a mix of formation, opposition and synchronised manoeuvres. They performed across the UK and occasionally in mainland Europe.

However, they did not display in 2017 and 2018 while their squadron focussed on converting Lynx crews to the newer Wildcat. The Lynx was retired in 2017.

Photo: James Connolly

However, that the Black Cats’ today posted a “Loading” image to their Instagram feed and updated their bio to say: “The Royal Navy’s elite helicopter display team; flying the Wildcat Mk.2 to the edge of it’s envelope for your enjoyment, all across Europe in 2019…

It is not clear whether this would be a pairs display or a solo demonstration. There has been no official comment from the Royal Navy so far. The Black Cats said on Instagram that more details will follow.