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RAF Benson

RAF Benson
Airport information
Airport typeMilitary
OwnerMinistry of Defence
OperatorRoyal Air Force
LocationBenson, Oxfordshire
Elevation69 m (226 ft)

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RAF Benson is a Royal Air Force station near Benson in South Oxfordshire, England. It is home to the Royal Air Force's support helicopters, the Aérospatiale Puma and the EH-101 Merlin, known as the Puma HC.Mk 1 and the Merlin HC.Mk 3 and Mk 3a.Benson is currently home to 28 (AC) Squadron, 78 Squadron, 33 Squadron, 230 Squadron and also to Oxford University Air Squadron and No 6 Air Experience Flight. In January 2008, 78 Squadron was formally stood up at RAF Benson to create, alongside 28 (AC) Squadron, a Merlin Force. Also included in the Merlin Force is the Merlin Force Engineering Squadron. No 78 Sqn were previously a Sea King/Chinook Squadron based at RAF Mount Pleasant in the Falkland Islands). In November 2009, 230 Squadron with its Puma helicopters took residence here having been posted to RAF Station Aldergrove, in Northern Ireland since the early 1990s. Previous units once located there include the Queen's Flight.

The Chiltern Air Support Unit helicopter (a Eurocopter EC 135) and the Thames Valley and Chiltern air ambulance helicopter (a Eurocopter EC 135, call sign "Helimed24") are also both located here as lodger units. The Old Station Nursery is also located on the domestic site at Benson - it is open to all families from the RAF station and the local civilian community (for further information go to

The airfield is a well-known frost hollow, often recording the coldest temperatures in the UK. In early 2009 the Met Office at RAF Benson recorded a temperature of -11.8 degrees, and on 7 January 2010, -17.1 degrees.

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