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Survivor XJ494

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FAW.2 XJ494 - Classic British Jets Collection, Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome, Leicestershire

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Sea Vixen FAW.2 XJ494 at Bruntingthorpe, 14th April 2019; Damien Burke

XJ494 was used as a trials aircraft and was equipped with an undernose camera mounting and a cable running down the port boom, leading to what may be a transponder or beacon fairing of some kind on the tailfin. She took part in Red Beard and Martel missile trials, some details of which are still classified. After retirement she survived many years out in the open (formerly with the 'Trout Lake Air Force' at Kings Langley) with minimal deterioration. The cockpits are in excellent condition, with the non-standard instrument fit also indicating her use as a trials aircraft. There was an effort to restore her to taxiable condition so that XJ494 could take part in Bruntingthorpe's open days, and to that end she has had her starboard engine replaced with a 'new' one (the old one had suffered FOD damage of the first stage compressor blades) and has now run both engines. The small team working on the aircraft are certainly doing an impressive job and there was a real prospect of seeing her blast down the runway before the sudden cessation of aviation activity at Brunty. Sadly now she'll be limited to static engine runs in the small site dedicated to the CBJC and other smaller aircraft currently being set up.

Information on this page current as of 03/08/2021, last updated by Jake

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