206 Test and Evaluation Squadron is based at RAF Brize Norton, testing and evaluating UK Defence heavy aircraft, such as the Atlas A400M. They 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, Hawker Siddeley Nimrod and Hercules.  206 Squadron moved to RAF Brize Norton in 2014, alongside the RAF tanker and transport fleet.

Naught escapes us



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.


1916 - 1918*   Western Front

1917*   Arras

1917   Lys

1939 - 1945*   Channel and North Sea 

1939 and 1941-1945*   Atlantic

1940   Dunkirk

1940   Invasion Ports 

1940 and 1942*   Fortress Europe 

1940 and 1942   German Ports 

1941 and 1943-1944*   Biscay

1941*   Bismarck

1945   Baltic 

1982   South Atlantic

1991   Gulf

2003 - 2011   Iraq 

*Honours marked with an asterisk, may be emblazoned on the Squadron Standard.