Tag Archives: De Havilland Sea Vixen

Sea Vixen Future In Question Following Analysis of Belly Landing Damage

Inspectors Suggest Restoration After Belly Landing Will Be Extensive.

The Royal Navy Heritage website Navy Wings has announced the status of repairs and prospects for restoration of their De Havilland DH.110 Sea Vixen, XP924 G-CVIX “Foxy Lady” following its emergency wheels-up landing at Yeovilton, UK, on May 27.

As reported by The Aviationist with both video and photos by photographer Scott Dabinett, “Foxy Lady” sustained damage during the emergency landing. An analysis of the damage to components and airframe reveal that, unfortunately, “Foxy Lady” is unlikely to be in the air any time soon.

Emergency crews respond to the Sea Vixen belly-landing. (Photo: BBC)

On Jul. 25 Navy Wings editors wrote, “We have now suspended the aircraft from maintenance procedures while we continue to investigate plans for complete restoration.”

That the routine flying maintenance routine has been suspended is bad news as it suggests there is no capability to get the Sea Vixen airworthy during the remainder of the airshow season. However, the statement about investigating plans for complete restoration is hopeful.

Key to the restoration and return to flight operations of the Sea Vixen is some reorganization of roles for key personnel within the Royal Navy Heritage organization. Chief Engineer Brian Johnstone, who was originally intending to retire from his role at Royal Navy Heritage, will remain with the project as a consultant. He will advise the new Chief Engineer, Mr. Kevin Bugg, in his new role as Chief Engineer of the Sea Vixen.

Meanwhile, Sea Vixen demonstration pilot Cdr. Simon Hargreaves OBE, Royal Navy Reserves, has been awarded the “Green Endorsement” commendation for his role in the controlled belly landing in the Sea Vixen on May 27. Hargreaves airmanship certainly minimized damage to the aircraft as it landed without landing gear. Fleet Air Arm, Rear Admiral Keith Blount OBE, cited Hargreaves for exceptional skill in the incident.

Demo pilot Cdr. Simon Hargreaves, OBE, awarded the Green Endorsement award for airmanship in his emergency landing of the Sea Vixen. (Photo: Navy Wings)

Navy Wings is an organization that helps maintain up to fourteen different historic aircraft through their sub-organizations. In addition to the Sea Vixen they include a Supermarine Spitfire Mk. XV currently undergoing restoration and slated to fly in 2018 along with two Sea Fury aircraft, one undergoing ground testing and one in restoration.

Top image credit: Navy Wings

 

New Video Shows The Last Sea Vixen Jet Performing A Belly Landing At Yeovilton

The last remaining Sea Vixen jet made an emergency landing at Yeovilton, UK. And here’s an interesting video.

As we have already reported, the last remaining Sea Vixen aircraft, XP924 G-CVIX “Foxy Lady”, performed an emergency landing at Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton, UK, on May 27.

The Sea Vixen, the first British two-seat aircraft type to break the sound barrier in a dive in the early 1950s, was returning to its homebase after taking part in Duxford airshow, near Cambridge, when it experienced a failure that prevented the undercarriage to be lowered, forcing the pilot to perform an emergency gear-up landing.

Steven Canning, a reader of The Aviationist, filmed the successful belly-landing at Yeovilton: the clip shows the pilot releasing the canopy as soon as the Sea Vixen touches the runway (in order to escape the cockpit as fast as possible) and the aircraft sliding up the runway, pretty much under control and closely followed by emergency vehicles,  until it comes to a rest.

Video credit: Steven Canning

“Foxy Lady” first flew on Sept. 23, 1963 and was delivered to 899 Squadron at RNAS Yeovilton on Dec. 18, 1963. It was retired from active service in August 1971.  It is currently operated by Fly Navy Heritage Trust Navy Wings from Yeovilton.