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Prince George, the airplane-loving future king of England, looked a bit nervous at the Royal Air Force Base with his dad, Prince William Friday.

Duchess Kate Middleton joined her son and husband for the family field trip. They received a warm welcome from from the airmen at the base.

Prince George waved at visitors at the Royal International Air Tattoo, giving them a cheerful hello.

At one point, he seemed to get overwhelmed, reaching up to his mother to pick him up.

The nearly 3-year-old George wore a pair of noise-cancelling headphones on the loud tarmac as his dad showed him around.

Flight Lieutenant Jim Hobkirk spent some time chatting with the royal family. He told PEOPLE the young prince had a strong technical knowledge of the airplanes. Prince George pointed to the tail rotor of a helicopter.

“I imagine his father has told him about helicopters, so he knew what that was called and kept saying, ‘tail rotor.’ It was good to see his technical knowledge! Some training going on early!” said Hobkirk.

The prince clung closely to his parents as they explored the inside of a helicopter. Later, he sat in the backseat with his mom instead of at the controls, seeming a bit overwhelmed.

“He seemed overawed with the noise and being inside a helicopter,” said Hobkirk. “Everyone was just trying to keep him happy.”

Prince William flew with the Royal Air Force Search and Rescue Force from 2009-2013. His now a full time worker for the East Anglian Air Ambulance as a pilot. He donates his salary to charity.