HERITAGE: Post War, 1960s

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I.H.T.U. testing its first hovercraft at Lee in 1963.

1960s and return to HMS Daedalus, 1965

In the 1960's and 1970's Daedalus was home to the Inter service and subsequently Naval Hovercraft Trials Unit which made extensive use of the widened and improved seaplane slipway. Throughout the 1960s the Air Station was buzzing with Sea Devons, Sea Herons, Sea Hawks and Whirlwinds of the Communications squadron, then in 1962, the Inter service Hovercraft Trials Unit (IHTU) was formed at Lee, and tested its first hovercraft the SR.N3 in 1963 at their facility at HMS Daedalus to ascertain whether hovercraft could have any military potential.

Model of Sea Devon of FONAT, HMS Daedalus in the 1960s

The Station reverted to its HMS Daedalus name in October 1965, in recognition of RNAS Lee-on-the-Solent's traditional role as home of the Fleet Air Arm.

The Search and Rescue (SAR) Flight maintained Whirlwinds which were eventually replaced by Wessex HU.5s in June 1969.


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