Thunder & Lightnings

de Havilland Sea Vixen


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Derelict Sea Vixen XN691 at North Weald, 2001
Preservation may not be permanent - XN691 derelict at North Weald, February 2001 (scrapped 5 months later); author

Not being a particularly famous aircraft, it is surprising how many Sea Vixens have been preserved, one - XP924 - even being in flying condition. This contrasts with earlier Fleet Air Arm aircraft (such as the Wyvern or Scimitar) which are real rarities nowadays. One Sea Vixen and a nose section have even ended up in Australia!

As the Sea Vixen was retired early in 1972, many of the airframes had several years of fatigue life left in them. Had the RN's carriers not been lost, it is feasible that the Sea Vixen could have been operational into the 1980s. After all, Lightnings were operational until the late 1980s, and were of around the same generation. The airframe itself, being designed for the pounding a carrier borne aircraft gets, is extremely tough. Certainly most landing accidents only took Sea Vixens off line for a few days while repairs were carried out. This and extensive anti-corrosion features also mean that examples at museums, even when parked in the open, have survived years of inactivity very well.

Click on the serial of a survivor entry for further information. Please comment on any individual survivor entry you feel requires an update!

Complete aircraft

SerialMarkOwner & locationUpdated
XJ481FAW.1Fleet Air Arm Museum (stored), RNAS Yeovilton, Somerset02/02/2011
XJ482FAW.1Norfolk & Suffolk Aviation Museum, Flixton, Suffolk01/10/2008
SerialMarkOwner & locationUpdated
XJ490FAW.2Queensland Air Museum, Caloundra Aerodrome, Queensland, AustraliaJune 2008
XJ494FAW.2Dave Thomas, Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome, Leicestershire23/09/2012
XJ560FAW.2Newark Air Museum, Winthorpe, Nottinghamshire13/03/2008
XJ565FAW.2de Havilland Aircraft Heritage Centre, London Colney, Hertfordshire
XJ571FAW.2Hallett Foundation, Solent Sky, Southampton, Hampshire07/10/2008
XJ580FAW.2Tangmere Military Aviation Museum, Tangmere, West Sussex03/09/2005
XN685FAW.2Midland Air Museum, Coventry Airport, Warwickshire
XP919FAW.2Scrapped? (was Blyth Valley Aviation Collection, Walpole, Suffolk)21/01/2009
XS576FAW.2OFMC, Imperial War Museum, Duxford Airfield, Cambridgeshire08/10/2006
XS590FAW.2Fleet Air Arm Museum, RNAS Yeovilton, Somerset25/10/2007
SerialMarkOwner & locationUpdated
XS587FAW(TT).2Gatwick Aviation Museum, Charlwood, Surrey01/10/2008
SerialMarkOwner & locationUpdated
XP924 (G-CVIX)D.3Fly Navy Heritage Trust, RNAS Yeovilton, Somerset30/06/2017

Nose/cockpit/other sections

SerialMarkOwner & locationUpdated
SimulatorSimulatorFleet Air Arm Museum (store), RNAS Yeovilton, SomersetJune 2008
SerialMarkOwner & locationUpdated
XJ476FAW.1Boscombe Down Aviation Collection, Old Sarum Airfield, Wiltshire12/06/2012
XJ488FAW.1Robertsbridge Aviation Society, Robertsbridge, East Sussex13/10/2013
SerialMarkOwner & locationUpdated
XJ575FAW.2Wellesbourne Wartime Museum, Wellesbourne Mountford airfield, Warwickshire
XJ579FAW.2Midland Air Museum, Coventry Airport, Warwickshire20/06/2008
XJ607FAW.2Queensland Air Museum, Caloundra Aerodrome, Queensland, AustraliaJune 2008
XN647FAW.2Privately owned, Steventon, OxfordshireJune 2008
XN650FAW.2Privately owned, Spanhoe Airfield, Northamptonshire13/01/2011
XN651FAW.2Tony Collins, Lavendon, BuckinghamshireJune 2008
XN696FAW.2Norfolk & Suffolk Aviation Museum, Flixton, SuffolkJune 2008
XP925FAW.2Sea Vixen Preservation Group, 1268 ATC, Haslemere, Surrey
SerialMarkOwner & locationUpdated
XS577D.3Privately owned, SwitzerlandJune 2008