Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Sea Vixen survivors XS 587 (Gatwick Aviation Museum) , XP 924 G-CVIX

It is well over twenty years since I last visited Peter Vallance's Gatwick Aviation Museum collection at Charlwood near the airport back in the days when I was dispatching Air France B737s and Air Inter A320s but if a recent post on britmodeller.com is anything to go by the place is now open regularly through the year on Sunday and some Saturdays.

Here's a few shots I took back then of  Sea Vixen XS 587. This aircraft was built as an FAW.2 and served with 899 NAS. After frontline service she was converted to drone/target tug (FAW(TT).2) configuration. As a result, she carries a colourful paint scheme of white and red topsides and yellow and black striped undersides. As usual click on the images for a larger view.

Text extract from thunder and lightnings co.uk     " ... Once retired, Mike Carlton bought her with the intention of flying her in civilian hands as G-VIXN, but on his death the project came to an end and she was sold to Peter Vallance to join his impressive collection near Gatwick Airport. She's the only target tug Sea Vixen left so there's one reason at least to visit Vallances and help keep the local council from closing the place down. Peter runs the engines on XS587 from time to time and she can certainly shift a bit of gravel when she wants to!.."

De Havilland dH-110 Sea Vixen D3, formerly of the Royal Navy as XP 924, now on the UK Civil Register as G-CVIX, is maintained by De Havilland Aviation Ltd. at Bournemouth Airport, Dorset, England. The aircraft was in Red Bull advertising markings but has been repainted in its Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm markings. XP 924 entered service with the Royal Navy in 1964 as an FAW.2 model. It ended its flying in 1991 as a trainer for teaching pilots to fly aircraft by remote control from the ground (for use as missile targets).I purchased the following shots via Ebay - they apparently appeared in Flypast magazine at the time - although I'm not sure of the event. These are my photo-scans of those original images. More info would be welcome..

Now back in its Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm markings, the shot below was photographed by Adrian Pingstone in June 2009 and released to the public domain.

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