British Military Aviation in 1981

5 January
The first course begins at the Tri-National Tornado Training Establishment
at RAF Cottesmore.

26 February
A variable-angle ski jump (7-15°), of the type fitted to the Royal
Navy’s aircraft carriers, becomes operational at Royal Naval Air
Station Yeovilton in Somerset.

25 June
The United Kingdom Defence Secretary announces that the government intends
to purchase 60 McDonnell Douglas AV8Bs for the Royal Air Force (RAF).
The RAF aircraft will be designated as GR5s.

9 November

The first hardened aircraft shelters to be erected in the United Kingdom are
put into use at RAF Honington in Suffolk.

12 November
No.72 Squadron (Westland Wessex) redeploys from the United Kingdom to
RAF Aldergrove in Northern Ireland. Duty in the province was not new for
this squadron, as it had maintained a detachment in Northern Ireland throughout
the 1970s.

30 November
The last Westland Whirlwind helicopters on active search and Rescue duties
are retired from Royal Air Force (RAF) and replaced by the larger Westland