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Earl's Court Sea Vixens

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  • Chris Royle
    Rank 5 Registered User
    • Aug 2011
    • 37

    Earl's Court Sea Vixens

    Anyone know what happened to these Sea Vixen replicas built (I assume) for the Earl's Court Military Tattoo?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s00RhlMTySk
  • Sabrejet
    Rank 5 Registered User
    • Mar 2010
    • 1645

    #2
    Wow - some effort must have gone into those. Sea Venom-based maybe?

    Comment

    • TempestV
      Rank 5 Registered User
      • Dec 2003
      • 1481

      #3
      Yes, Sea Venom based look-a-likes built by the Navy.
      ​I'd only ever seen still photos of them, and am impressed to see they were actually conversions of live aircraft! I would imagine these were never to fly again though.

      Comment

      • Chipmunk Carol
        Surly bond slipper
        • Aug 2003
        • 2674

        #4
        I'm sure http://www.gateguardsuk.com will make you some new ones, if you ask them nicely.
        de Havilland forever!

        Comment

        • bazv
          olde rigger
          • Feb 2005
          • 5793

          #5
          They were dubbed 'Vixettes' and built at RNAS Abbotsinch - sorry do not know their fate.
          They were based on Sea Venoms.

          Comment

          • Lee Howard
            Roundel checker
            • Jan 2004
            • 728

            #6
            There were four 'Vixettes' which were made for the Royal Tournament from unidentified Sea Venoms dumped at Abbotsinch. All were taxiable. One was later mounted above the perimeter wall at Lee-on-Solent to advertise Air Day, but the final fates are, like their origins, unknown.
            The views I express are PURELY my own. Please respect that.

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            • NEEMA
              Rank 5 Registered User
              • Feb 2013
              • 210

              #7
              There was a picture posted in 'Flight Deck" around that time showing a Vixette parked next to a Sea Vixen. I visited Earls Court for the display, which showed the deck activity in the arena using the Vixettes before cutting to film showing Vixens being launched.

              Comment

              • Chitts
                Rank 5 Registered User
                • Jan 2009
                • 134

                #8
                Sadly Gateguards are unlikely to make you one as they have recently gone into voluntary liquidation.

                Comment

                • SADSACK
                  Rank 5 Registered User
                  • Jan 2000
                  • 3451

                  #9
                  I wonder why they made so many modifications, rather than use real a/c?

                  Real shame about GGUK - I was chatting to the guy a few weeks back.
                  Last edited by SADSACK; 11th December 2018, 00:36.
                  pb::

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                  • bazv
                    olde rigger
                    • Feb 2005
                    • 5793

                    #10
                    It was to reduce the Size/Weight for the displays/occasions planned for them - The full size Vixen was quite a large and heavy beast.
                    I thought they were cleverly done - the previous year they had built the 'Vennet' which I believe was also taxiable.
                    We have discussed them on here before but I have not managed to find the thread yet LOL

                    Comment

                    • Propstrike
                      Rank 5 Registered User
                      • Mar 2004
                      • 3891

                      #11
                      On the theme of rather 'dodgy' Sea Venoms...

                      ''Speaking of Sea Venom conversions, what about the one which had a pointed radome added, wings clipped, booms removed and Gannet fins added to the top of each wing! It was painted white with Royal Navy painted on the side and taxied out onto the airfield (at Lossiemouth I think?) during an airshow after being announced as the latest `top secret' naval fighter...it got to the end of the runway but then the announced told the crowd that it had a tech problem and it taxied back to dispersal behind a hangar again...no doubt to a crowd of waiting groundcrew rolling around on the floor laughing...what a wind up...typical Fleet Air Arm humour!''

                      https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/...nnants/&page=3

                      Comment

                      • DaveF68
                        Rank 5 Registered User
                        • Jun 2004
                        • 1771

                        #12
                        There was a thread about them on here a couple of years back (if the search is working!)

                        Comment

                        • SADSACK
                          Rank 5 Registered User
                          • Jan 2000
                          • 3451

                          #13
                          Bet the Russkies were trying to get pictures of the secret fighter!
                          pb::

                          Comment

                          • bazv
                            olde rigger
                            • Feb 2005
                            • 5793

                            #14
                            I found one of the previous threads (2006)

                            With a picture of a 'Vennet' and a 'Sea Snipe'

                            click on link below....

                            https://forum.keypublishing.com/foru...ry-behind-this

                            Comment

                            • vampiredave
                              Rank 5 Registered User
                              • Jan 2009
                              • 107

                              #15
                              To 'Gild the Lily', slightly:

                              A number of Sea Venom FAW.20s were relegated to instructional airframes for use at various Naval-training establishments. However, the majority were passed to the AHU at Abbotsinch, where they languished in long-term storage until being sold for scrap between 1958 and 1963.

                              A few redundant airframes were also used for fire practice but several were given a temporary reprieve when they formed the basis of the conversion of the navys top secret, experimental aircraft - the DH Vennet which was also variously referred to as the Fairey Nuff or Sea Snipe. Preparing for the 1961 Open Day, the engineers of No.12 Hangar at Abbotsinch, under the direction of the AEO, Lt Ted Cottle decided to build a spoof aircraft. The conversion involved removing the tail booms and tip tanks from a surplus Sea Venom, while the rudders of two Fairey Gannets were fixed to the boom attachment points and connected to the rudder pedals by adapting the control cabling. Dummy missiles were also fitted, together with an extended nose, into which a standard tubular office chair - or pilots seat was bolted to the cockpit floor.

                              The Vennet was described as the Fleet Air Arms latest rocket-powered, high-altitude fighter, capable of flying over Mach 3 and would be making its maiden test flight in front of the public during the forthcoming Air Day. As an experimental aircraft it was kept at a discreet distance from the crowd line when the pilot, Lt Paul Stevenson taxied to the main runway and accelerated away at 90 knots. With smoke and flames pouring from the condemned Ghost engine, a bemused public was told that the aircraft had developed an engine failure and because of repeated trouble with the super-heat ignition system the test flight would have to be abandoned!

                              The following year, the technicians of 10 Hangar produced the Vennett Mark II as a successor for the Mark 1 for the 1962 Air Day. With Sea Venom and Gannet airframes again used as the basis for the conversion, the main alterations included the fitting of wing-tip ramjets, modified rudders, a nose-type intake and the addition of two guided weapons. The aircraft was painted white indicating the strike role with a yellow P on the fuselage. Unfortunately, the ultrasonic version of the previous supersonic world beater failed to take off for the planned Air Race and was returned to the hangar for further modifications!

                              In November 1961, Abbotsinch was asked to investigate the conversion of older aircraft into a modern type for the Fleet Air Arms Display in the Royal Tournament, as the Service aircraft would prove too heavy for the floor of the Earls Court Stadium. With the technical expertise behind them from their early conversions, it was decided that the simplest method was from Sea Venom to Sea Vixen. Four Sea Venoms were selected, with the work being completed by March 1962 and the airframes being transported to Portsmouth by lighter. Dubbed Mini-Vixens or Vixettes, three of the replicas were known to have worn the spurious markings XJ601: 241/H, XJ602: 247/H and XJ603: 246/H.

                              One 'Vixette' ('XJ601:241/H') was known to have been displayed at the entrance to RNAS Lee-on-Solent to advertise it's Navy Day. I also asked one or two of chaps involved with the conversions what happened to them and said they were "disposed of locally". Whatever that means?





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