Thunder & Lightnings

de Havilland Sea Vixen - Survivors

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, Somerset09/05/2022
XJ482FAW.1Norfolk & Suffolk Aviation Museum, Flixton, Suffolk17/06/2020
SerialMarkOwner & locationUpdated
XJ490FAW.2Queensland Air Museum, Caloundra Aerodrome, Queensland, Australia09/05/2022
XJ494FAW.2Classic British Jets Collection, Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome, Leicestershire09/01/2022
XJ560FAW.2Newark Air Museum, Winthorpe, Nottinghamshire11/04/2021
XJ565FAW.2de Havilland Aircraft Heritage Centre, London Colney, Hertfordshire02/12/2020
XJ571FAW.2Hallett Foundation, Solent Sky, Southampton, Hampshire15/01/2022
XJ580FAW.2Tangmere Military Aviation Museum, Tangmere, West Sussex27/07/2022
XN685FAW.2Midland Air Museum, Coventry Airport, Warwickshire16/05/2022
XS576FAW.2Imperial War Museum, Duxford Airfield, Cambridgeshire25/03/2022
XS590FAW.2Fleet Air Arm Museum, RNAS Yeovilton, Somerset04/11/2021
SerialMarkOwner & locationUpdated
XS587FAW(TT).2Gatwick Aviation Museum, Charlwood, Surrey07/08/2023
SerialMarkOwner & locationUpdated
XP924 (ex G-CVIX)D.3Bournemouth Aviation Museum (stored), RNAS Yeovilton, Somerset16/02/2024

Nose/cockpit/other sections

SerialMarkOwner & locationUpdated
SimulatorSimulatorPrivately owned, South Wales Aviation Museum, (stored), St. Athan, Wales24/02/2023
SerialMarkOwner & locationUpdated
XJ476FAW.1Boscombe Down Aviation Collection, Old Sarum Airfield, Wiltshire14/06/2020
XJ488FAW.1Robertsbridge Aviation Society, Robertsbridge, East Sussex02/08/2021
SerialMarkOwner & locationUpdated
XJ575FAW.2Wellesbourne Wartime Museum, Wellesbourne Mountford airfield, Warwickshire18/06/2021
XJ579FAW.2Midland Air Museum, Coventry Airport, Warwickshire16/05/2022
XJ607FAW.2Queensland Air Museum, Caloundra Aerodrome, Queensland, Australia09/05/2022
XN647FAW.2Robin Phipps, Steventon, Oxfordshire17/02/2022
XN650FAW.2Privately owned, Spanhoe Airfield, Northamptonshire09/05/2022
XN651FAW.2Tony Collins, Lavendon, Buckinghamshire29/08/2021
XN696FAW.2North East Land Sea & Air Museum, Sunderland Airport, Tyne & Wear27/06/2022
XP925FAW.2Privately owned, Stoneykirk, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland17/06/2020
SerialMarkOwner & locationUpdated
XS577D.3Privately owned, Chantel St Denis, Switzerland02/08/2021