On 1 April 1995 the Queen’s Flight, equipped with BAe 146 CC.2 and Wessex HCC.4 aircraft, was merged into No. 32 Squadron to become No. 32 (The Royal) Squadron. Since then, 32 Squadron’s aircraft have served as transports in several recent conflicts including Operation Granby (Gulf War), Operation Veritas (Afghanistan) and Operation Telic (Iraq 2003). The merged squadron continues to be referred to in the press and by the public (inaccurately) as the Royal Flight or the Queen’s Flight.
An immaculately preserved example of one of the squadron’s ex-Queen’s Flight Wessex helicopters can be seen at The Helicopter Museum in Weston-super-Mare.
In 2004 the squadron’s jets lost their distinctive livery inherited from The Queen’s Flight, featuring red flying surfaces. This was due to the concern over the aircraft’s vulnerability to terrorist attack. While they do carry missile countermeasures it is felt that a more civilian-like appearance lowered the profile of the squadron’s planes.
No. 32 Squadron of the Royal Air Force operates from RAF Northolt, west London, in the VIP and general air transport roles.
On 1 April 1995 The Queen’s Flight was merged into No. 32 Squadron RAF to become No. 32 (The Royal) Squadron. Its BAe 146s and two Westland Wessex HCC.4 helicopters moved from Benson to 32 Squadron’s base at RAF Northolt. This ended the RAF’s provision of dedicated VIP transport aircraft, the aircraft of 32 Squadron are only available to VIP passengers if not needed for military operations. This was declared officially in 1999, with the MOD stating "the principal purpose of 32 Squadron [is] to provide communications and logistical support to military operations; the Squadron’s capacity should be based on military needs only; and any royal or other non-military use of... spare capacity is secondary to its military purpose