206 Squadron

Heavy Aircraft Test & Evaluation Squadron.

Naught escapes us


  • Based at RAF Brize Norton, testing and evaluating UK Defence heavy aircraft, including the Hercules and Atlas
  • Flew anti-submarine patrols throughout World War Two
  • After a brief period as a transport unit, 206 Squadron returned to maritime flying in 1952
  • Former aircraft include the Avro Anson, Boeing Fortress, Avro Shackleton and Hawker Siddeley Nimrod
  • Re-formed as 206 (Reserve) Squadron at MoD Boscombe Down in 2009. Moved to RAF Brize Norton in 2014, alongside the RAF tanker and transport fleet


1916 - Formed on 25 October as 6 Squadron, Royal Naval Air Service. A fighter unit, 6 Squadron initially flew the Nieuport Scout

1917 - Re-equipped with the Sopwith Camel in June, for operations around Dunkirk, before disbanding in August

1918 - Reformed in January as an Airco DH.9-equipped bomber unit. Re-numbered as 206 Squadron, RAF, on 1 April. Remained in Germany after the Armistice, flying airmail

1919 - Moved back to France in May and then to Egypt in June. Renumbered as 47 Squadron on 1 February 1920

1936 - Re-formed out of 48 Sqn’s ‘C’ Flight at RAF Manston, using the Avro Anson to provide advanced flying training. Began maritime patrol work in 1937

1940 - Re-equipped with the Lockheed Hudson

1943 - Began re-equipping with the Boeing Fortress during July, moving to the Azores in October. Returned to the UK in 1944, for conversion onto the Consolidated Liberator VI

1945 - Converted onto the Liberator VIII transport aircraft and began flying routes to India and Asia. Disbanded on 25 April 1946

1947 - Re-formed as an Avro York operator on 17 November. Flew transport missions during the 1948–49 Berlin Airlift. Disbanded on 20 February 1950

1952 - Re-formed in the maritime role as a Shackleton MR1 operator on 27 September. Re-equipped with the Nimrod in 1970 and flew during the 1982 Falklands War. Disbanded on 1 April 2005

2009 - The Heavy Aircraft Test & Evaluation Squadron, based at MOD Boscombe Down, became 206 (Reserve) Squadron, tasked with trialling all UK Defence ‘heavy’ aircraft, from the Beechcraft King Air up to the Boeing C-17

2014 - Permanently moved to RAF Brize Norton, alongside the bulk of the RAF’s heavy aircraft fleet, as Atlas trials ramped up

Battle honours

Western Front 1916-1918*

Arras 1917*


Channel and North Sea 1939-1945*

Atlantic 1939 and 1941-1945*


Invasion Ports 1940

Fortress Europe 1940 and 1942*

German Ports 1940 and 1942

Biscay 1941 and 1943-1944*


Baltic 1945

South Atlantic 1982

Gulf 1991

Iraq 2003-2011

(Honours marked with an asterisk, may be emblazoned on the Squadron Standard)


Please contact the home station Media Communications team for more information or to contact the Squadron

Media enquiries details for RAF Brize Norton