Image © Paul Johnson

The world’s only flying de Havilland Sea Vixen post-war naval strike fighter will be a special part of RNAS Yeovilton Air Day 2014′s ‘Carrier Aviation’ theme. Its appearance in this year’s flying display will be one of the most eagerly anticipated performances in recent years.

Closely following HMS Queen Elizabeth’s 4 July naming ceremony, Air Day 2014 celebrates the role played by airborne assets deployed at sea since aviation’s inception. The Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers will redefine this capability when, from 2017 onwards, they start to enter service but, more than 50 years ago, it was the mighty Sea Vixen which spearheaded the Royal Navy’s sea-deployed airpower.

An all-weather fleet air defence fighter, the twin-engine, twin-boomed de Havilland Sea Vixen entered Royal Navy service in 1959. It was the biggest and heaviest British designed type to operate from aircraft carriers but, now, the uniquely airworthy Sea Vixen FAW2 XP924 is the largest and weightiest classic jet fighter flying anywhere in Europe.

Image © Paul Johnson

Restored to flight in the late-1990s, with its futuristic lines and thunderous displays, the aircraft has been thrilling Air Day’s audiences for many years, recalling the times when Sea Vixens were based at RNAS Yeovilton. XP924 currently wears the colours of 899 Naval Air Squadron, replicating its exact look when it was based here during its former Fleet Air Arm service days.

Tickets for Air Day can be booked online at www.royalnavy.mod.uk/yeovilton-airday at the discounted advance rates or by calling 08445 781 781.

 

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