Owner: Fly Navy Heritage Trust
Status: Suspended Maintenance


The Sea Vixen is an iconic all-British twin-boom, twin-turbojet fighter that flew from Royal Navy aircraft carriers at the height of the Cold War in the 1960s and 70s, helping to transform the nation’s carrier aviation capability. She was one of the UK’s most notable aircraft designs of the time, with cutting edge technology and the capability to go transonic. The Vixen was the first British aircraft to be armed with guided missiles, rockets and bombs instead of guns and was formidably capable.

With power-folding swept wings and hinged nose-cone, she epitomised the radical and innovative thinking of British engineers and designers of the time, whose designs overcame the challenges of operating the UK’s all-weather interceptor at sea, day and night. Based at RNAS Yeovilton and flying in 899 Naval Air Squadron colours from HMS Eagle, she plays a key role in the story of the evolution of the nation’s carrier aviation heritage.

The Sea Vixen G-CVIX XP924 suffered a hydraulic failure in May 2017 resulting in a highly controlled wheels up landing. The Sea Vixen is now in a period of suspended maintenance, with the aim of preserving her while a viable repair / recovery plan is being developed. For engineering updates see our Oily Rag engineering updates


Tech Specs

  • Crew: 2

Flight Specs :

Speed -
690mph / 594 Kts
Range -
600 miles
Ceiling -
48,000 ft
Full Specs


The Sea Vixen entered service with the Fleet Air Arm in 1959 replacing the Sea Venom.  Sea Vixens, flying from HMS Centaur in 1964, took part in the successful operation to restore stability in the East African state of Tanganyika.  In 1961 and 1964, Sea Vixens saw service in the Persian Gulf and later in the 1960s they played a crucial role during the days of the Beira Patrol preventing oil reaching landlocked Rhodesia. In 1967 Sea Vixens also helped cover the withdrawal from Aden.

XP 924 first flew on 23 September 1963 and was delivered to 899 Squadron at RNAS Yeovilton on 18 December 1963.  The aircraft suffered a number of incidents during its time in squadron service.  Tyre bursts, canopy shattering, some engine problems and, while serving at sea in HMS Eagle, an inadvertent release of a practice bomb near the island of Gan in the Indian Ocean!  Retirement from active service sent her to Royal Naval Aircraft Yard at Belfast in August 1971.  The Royal Aircraft Establishments (RAE) at Farnborough and Llanbedr were in possession from 4 June 1973 until August 1977.  Flight Refuelling took over on 11 October 1977 at Tarrant Rushton and converted her to a Drone (D3) with a Red and Yellow paint scheme to improve visual acuity.  In February 1996 she was taken on by de Havilland Aviation and was re-registered as G-CVIX.  In May 2003 she was painted in “Red Bull” colours as a sponsorship arrangement and was subsequently purchased on 18 April 2006 by Drilling Systems Ltd (Mr Julian Jones) and operated from Bournemouth.  March 2007 saw a return to Naval colours as XP 924 with the 899 Squadron mailed fist logo.  The aircraft was gifted to Naval Aviation Ltd in September 2014 and now operates from the Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton.