Sea Vixen update

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Domvickery
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Sea Vixen update

Post by Domvickery »

It seems we’re at make or break for the Sea Vixen

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imho (I have no knowledge of running any aircraft or any costings involved) they should focus on the aircraft that are & near airworthy, profit from them to put towards the restoration
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Wyvernfan
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Re: Sea Vixen update

Post by Wyvernfan »

Considering the value of an airworthy Sea Vixen to both the flight and the Royal Navy - in terms of its Fleet Air Arm history and prominent place among Airshow ‘acts’, I wonder if they have considered the sale of other non airworthy airframes to help fund the Vixens restoration to flight?

I for one really hope it can be restored to fly again with Navy Wings, and a ‘thinning’ of the Fleet might be a better financial move in the long run!


Rob

Mike
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Re: Sea Vixen update

Post by Mike »

They’d be far better off parking the Vixen in a corner and concentrating on their core aircraft like the Sea Furies and Swordfish. For quite a few seasons recently all they’ve been able to field is a Chipmunk. Far better to focus their limited resources on an achievable goal, getting the Vixen (and Seahawk) back in the air and funding the operating costs in a post-Shoreham environment was always a big ask.

MiG_Eater
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Re: Sea Vixen update

Post by MiG_Eater »

It's nice to see a Swordfish or a Sea Fury - but it was always something utterly incredible to see the Sea Vixen in flight. I know others feel differently - but I hope they put everything into getting the Vixen back in the air, whatever the cost.

Paulish
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Re: Sea Vixen update

Post by Paulish »

Mike wrote:They’d be far better off parking the Vixen in a corner and concentrating on their core aircraft like the Sea Furies and Swordfish. For quite a few seasons recently all they’ve been able to field is a Chipmunk. Far better to focus their limited resources on an achievable goal, getting the Vixen (and Seahawk) back in the air and funding the operating costs in a post-Shoreham environment was always a big ask.


I think that Trust recognise that they are going to need a “white knight” donor to realistically provide the full funding for restoration to flight. The Sea Vixen did fly during the “post-Shoreham environment” so not sure how relevant that is. Of all of the fanciful fast jet restoration to flight proposals (buccaneers, phantom Concorde etc) that are regularly mooted, this is surely by far the most realistic and worthy of support?

Ant.H
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Re: Sea Vixen update

Post by Ant.H »

As much as I'd love to see the SeaVixen fly again, we have to remember that supporting something that costs so much is only possible either through a handful of individuals with very deep pockets, or through mass public support of a popular type. The basic problem is that the average Joe doesn't know what a SeaVixen is, let alone feeling like donating to support one. I once had a painting of a SeaVix hanging on my wall and a usually quite well informed friend asked "Did they ever really build a twin-tail version of Tornado?" Says it all really.

I really hope the money can be found from somewhere, she has bags of life left in her.

Paulish
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Re: Sea Vixen update

Post by Paulish »

The Sea Vixen ought to be better remembered than it is, if not least for the 51 servicemen who lost their lives operating the aircraft during very challenging conditions at the height of the Cold War. The link below gives some more details. A flying example in my view does much to raise awareness of their sacrifice.

https://www.seavixen.org/sea-vixen-accidents-public-page

Smog Monster
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Re: Sea Vixen update

Post by Smog Monster »

Wyvernfan wrote:Considering the value of an airworthy Sea Vixen to both the flight and the Royal Navy - in terms of its Fleet Air Arm history and prominent place among Airshow ‘acts’, I wonder if they have considered the sale of other non airworthy airframes to help fund the Vixens restoration to flight?

I for one really hope it can be restored to fly again with Navy Wings, and a ‘thinning’ of the Fleet might be a better financial move in the long run!


Rob


I think that's a really interesting question. Do they need multiple examples of the Sea Fury or Swordfish? What would the sale of one or more of their duplicates raise? And crucially, how would it stack up against the cost of getting the Sea Vixen back to airworthy status?

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centaurus18
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Re: Sea Vixen update

Post by centaurus18 »

Smog Monster wrote:I think that's a really interesting question. Do they need multiple examples of the Sea Fury or Swordfish? What would the sale of one or more of their duplicates raise? And crucially, how would it stack up against the cost of getting the Sea Vixen back to airworthy status?


Realistically if this happened, the only one that would probably yield significant interest is the Sea Fury FB.11.
I can't see the buyers market for a Swordfish being particularly huge... although the UK did recently gain Bob Spence's 'frame from Canada into White Waltham.

At the moment, Navy WIngs has on its books is one Swordfish, Sea Fury T.20, the Chippy and the rather static (currently) Sea Fury FB.11 Sea Hawk and Vixen.
It only has one duplicate type, and the argument for retaining the two Furies is valid - one is the trainer, the other the fighter.
Also, I have a feeling if they are both made airworthy, you will seldom see them displayed together.

The RNHF had core values for operating each type, and I'm sure FNHT/Navy Wings will continue those values going forward.
Last edited by centaurus18 on Tue 10 Mar 2020, 5:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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centaurus18
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Re: Sea Vixen update

Post by centaurus18 »

As an aside, if the question does get asked going forward about operating two Swordfish/Furies.... the same could be posed about BBMF needing all those Spitfires....
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Smog Monster
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Re: Sea Vixen update

Post by Smog Monster »

Not saying anything should necessarily be sold, just that it's an interesting question.

In theory I get the logic for using the two seat Sea Fury as a trainer, but it seems a bit of a luxury as a trainer when they also have the Chipmunk. And to extend your BBMF comparison... they don't have a 2 seat Spitfire for that purpose.

Personally, would I be sad to see one or two of the BBMF Spitfires sold in order to acommodate something new... not really.

Whilst I appreciate it's unrealistic, I'd much prefer the BBMF (in the broader spirit of recognising the RAF's history) to operate a classic jet or two, or some more obscure WW2 type alongside a couple of Spitfires, rather than 6 Spitfires.

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sdad
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Re: Sea Vixen update

Post by sdad »

You don't think a Swordfish could find a buyer? How much for Swordfish pleasure flights?

County1884
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Re: Sea Vixen update

Post by County1884 »

Wouldn't mind the BBMF selling a Spitfire to accommodate a Mossie :biggrin:

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Blue_2
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Re: Sea Vixen update

Post by Blue_2 »

sdad wrote:You don't think a Swordfish could find a buyer? How much for Swordfish pleasure flights?

It'd take it an hour to do a circuit!!
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Paulish
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Re: Sea Vixen update

Post by Paulish »

Paulish wrote:The Sea Vixen ought to be better remembered than it is, if not least for the 51 servicemen who lost their lives operating the aircraft during very challenging conditions at the height of the Cold War. The link below gives some more details. A flying example in my view does much to raise awareness of their sacrifice.

https://www.seavixen.org/sea-vixen-accidents-public-page


The Sea Vixen is also the last product of substance from the great and lamented de Havilland Aircraft Company Limited and was a pioneering design in many ways. The shape of the machine in the air has been described and a thing of beauty and enigmatic by air show commentators and was previously the fastest privately owned jet on the air show circuit. Surely worth saving by one or more of our many billionaire business leaders who profess an interest in aviation?

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centaurus18
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Re: Sea Vixen update

Post by centaurus18 »

Smog Monster wrote:Not saying anything should necessarily be sold, just that it's an interesting question.

In theory I get the logic for using the two seat Sea Fury as a trainer, but it seems a bit of a luxury as a trainer when they also have the Chipmunk. And to extend your BBMF comparison... they don't have a 2 seat Spitfire for that purpose.


There are other two seat Spitfires available to use in the UK they could utilise however.
G-RNHF is actually worth its weight in gold as a stock trainer, closest one after that is California!

RNHF had a policy with its Sea Fury pilots, in that they had to progress from the Chippy, through other types such as the Piston Provost, Harvard etc. before getting a seat in the Sea Fury.
Indeed in the original RNHF days they had to serve an "apprenticeship" on displaying the Firefly for a season or two before going up to the Furies.
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cometguymk1
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Re: Sea Vixen update

Post by cometguymk1 »

centaurus18 wrote:RNHF had a policy with its Sea Fury pilots, in that they had to progress from the Chippy, through other types such as the Piston Provost, Harvard etc. before getting a seat in the Sea Fury.
Indeed in the original RNHF days they had to serve an "apprenticeship" on displaying the Firefly for a season or two before going up to the Furies.


Various operators run similar schemes to get pilots up to speed. Shuttleworth get people displaying the basic types before moving them up the rarity/oddity scale. i also seem to remember the BBMF start spit pilots on the baby spit (MK II) then go up the scale.

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Archer
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Re: Sea Vixen update

Post by Archer »

And the BBMF Hurricanes before that, as the Hurri has a slightly more directionally stable undercarriage configuration.

Moving from a Chipmunk to a Sea Fury would be like attempting to drive a Formula 1 car, having trained on a Mini Cooper (I'm trying for a realistic comparison here, while being nice to the lovely Chippy...), it's a completely different ballpark.

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Re: Sea Vixen update

Post by Mike »

Do Fly Navy (as they are now) still use Tim Manna's Harvard as a tailwheel trainer?

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centaurus18
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Re: Sea Vixen update

Post by centaurus18 »

Mike wrote:Do Fly Navy (as they are now) still use Tim Manna's Harvard as a tailwheel trainer?


Yes I think it still has access to using it - Tim is on very good terms with the guys at Yeovilton.
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