Thunder & Lightnings

de Havilland Sea Vixen

Survivor XJ571

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FAW.2 XJ571 - Hallett Foundation, Solent Sky, Southampton, Hampshire

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Sea Vixen FAW.2 XJ571 at Solent Sky, 7th October 2008; Damien Burke

After the collapse of an earlier attempt to get a Sea Vixen flying, this one was acquired with a view to a restoration to flight. Not a possible flyer at the time because of fatigued wings, a pair of factory-fresh unused wings were found and have since been fitted, though apparently they lack many items such as the flying surface control units. Also several of the electrical circuits have been re-activated by ex-FAA man Graham Windibank so the cockpit and navigation lights all work. Initially homed at the Brooklands Museum, it was moved to Southampton in 2003 and is now on display at the former Southampton Hall of Aviation (now Solent Sky). As for the plan to fly the aircraft - well in 2006 I was told that it was still a possibility, and just awaits suitable sponsorship. Realistically I suspect that two years down the line this aircraft will remain a static exhibit because it's been difficult enough keeping the one existing flyer in the air. She is beautifully presented on a carrier deck diorama, complete with catapult strop attached, and is certainly a credit to her restorers. An inscription on the nose states 'In memory of John Hallett - Spirit of Heritage'.

Information on this page current as of 07/10/2008

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