Thunder & Lightnings

de Havilland Sea Vixen

Survivor XJ575

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XJ575 - Wellesbourne Wartime Museum, Wellesbourne Mountford airfield, Warwickshire

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Sea Vixen FAW.2 XJ575 at the Wellesbourne Wartime Museum, 16th May 1997; author

The small museum at Wellesbourne Mountford includes this Sea Vixen nose, usually displayed with the radome and cockpits opened up. Without the funds for a building to house their exhibits, the museum has chosen an elegant solution to keeping the Sea Vixen and their Vampire out of the weather; they've erected canopies over them. Keeps most of the rain out and protects them from the heat of the sun during the summer! The SAH on the nose stands for School of Aircraft Handling - now the School of Flight Deck Operations at RNAS Culdrose; when this Sea Vixen was still a complete aircraft it was used to train naval personnel how to move aircraft around in the cramped confines of an aircraft carrier deck, having been retired from service with 766 NAS (She was later shot to pieces on a firing range, with the nose section saved). With the advent of the Invincible class mini-carriers (sorry, 'through-deck cruisers') ex-RAF Gnats (and later, Harriers) replaced the various airframes used for this type of training.

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