#1274 Merlin HM2

Merlin HM2
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£10.00 €11.71 $12.48
43.8 cm x 29.2 cm
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Merlin HM2
824 Sqn
RNAS Culdrose
UK - Navy
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Squadron Prints Lithograph No. 1274 - Merlin HM Mk2, ZH850, 824 Naval Air Squadron, RNAS Culdrose. 824 Squadron formed at Gosport from No. 460 Flight on 3 April 1933 with nine Fairey IIIFs as a spotter and reconnaissance unit and embarked in HMS EAGLE for the Far East in June. The Squadron lost its identity on 8 October 1934 but a new 824 was formed the same day at Upavon with Fairey Seals. Embarked in HMS HERMES it arrived in Hong Kong in January 1935. Swordfish Is were received in 1937 but with the outbreak of WWII the Squadron, embarked in HMS EAGLE, moved to the Mediterranean where it took part in the TARANTO attack on 11 November 1940. After operations in the Red Sea area and the South Atlantic to help search for the BISMARCK the Squadron returned to the Mediterranean early in 1942. From 1943 it was engaged in the North Sea and North Atlantic areas including a period of North Russian convoy escort duties prior to disbanding in October 1944. 824 Naval Air Squadron reformed in Ceylon in July 1945 with Barracuda IIs but disbanded in the UK in January 1946. The Squadron reformed at Eglinton in 1952 with Firefly AS6s, re-equipping with Avengers in 1953 and Gannets in 1955. Now embarked in HMS ARK ROYAL, 824 NAS transferred to HMS ALBION before disbanding in November 1957. It reformed at Eglinton as a helicopter unit on 21 April 1958 equipped with Whirlwind HAS7s and continued in the anti-submarine role embarked in various carriers until disbanding on 21 May 1963. The Squadron reformed at Culdrose on 24 February 1970 with Sea King HAS1s and was soon embarked in HMS ARK ROYAL remaining part of that carrier’s Air Group until its withdrawal in 1978. It received Sea King HAS2s in May 1977 upgrading to the HAS5 in May 1982 and has been embarked in various RFAs, HMS INVINCIBLE and HMS ILLUSTRIOUS. In 1982 the Squadron participated in the Falklands Campaign and in June ‘D’ Flight had the distinction of carrying out the pioneer trials of helicopter mounted airborne early warning radar in two Sea Kings fitted with Searchwater radar. In November 1984 824 reduced in size and operated as the Sea King trials unit but decommissioned in August 1989. The Squadron reformed at Culdrose on 10 Jan 2000 equipped with the Royal Navy’s new Merlin HM Mk.1 which was replaced by the HM Mk.2 in 2013 under the Capability Sustainment Programme. The aircraft has a top speed of 152 kts and houses a set of advanced crew workstations and the latest digital cockpit displays alongside a duplex autopilot. The Mk.2 programme gives the aircraft an unrivalled capability to fulfil its anti-submarine patrol and littoral policing role. The Squadron is responsible for training aircrew and engineers to operate and maintain the aircraft in the maritime environment in order to sustain the UK’s airborne anti-submarine capability.