Charity Appeals for White Knight

Charity Appeals for White Knight 

Following the emergency landing of Sea Vixen G-CVIX XP924 at RNAS Yeovilton on 27 May 17, Navy Wings is urgently seeking a ‘white knight’ sponsor to save the aircraft and restore this unique and nationally important naval heritage fighter to full flying condition.

Unfortunately the structural damage to the airframe is more serious than first thought. This includes cracks on both tail booms, warping of the main bulk heads in the engine compartment and major damage to the gear box. The important factor here was speed of landing. The Sea Vixen suffered a major hydraulic failure of both systems and the pilot, Commander Simon Hargreaves was unable to lower the flaps along with the under-carriage. This necessitated a high speed, low angle run on and the energy transferred itself through the airframe.

Work by Assessors estimate that it could take between 3-4 years and cost £2-3M to get her flying again. A white knight is needed in the next month who would be prepared to come to the rescue and under-write these costs and save the last flying Sea Vixen in the world, recognising her uniqueness and value to the Nation’s naval aviation heritage.

Follow the Sea Vixen Wheels Up landing Story here

 25th July 2017 Update

Many thanks to all of you who have supported the Sea Vixen appeal.  We now know when the primary hydraulic pump failed in flight, the secondary pump did not go to full stroke as it should have done.  The result was that it did not provide the pressure required to put the undercarriage and flaps down.

Since 27 May, we have been surveying the aircraft and are now aware that there is extensive damage to the belly and structural frames of the centre fuselage, even although it does appear too bad from the outside, as many of you will have observed at Yeovilton Air Day.

We have now suspended the aircraft from maintenance procedures while we continue to investigate plans for complete restoration.  This is a significant task and to achieve it, the Sea Vixen Team has been re-organised for the long term.  Brian Johnson, the Chief Engineer, who was due to retire from the Team in November to work nearer his home in the Midlands, remains on as a consultant, but hands over the role of Chief Engineer to Kevin Bugg.   The Trustees would like to thank Brian for his superb work and also welcome Kevin to his new role.   They would also like to publicly congratulate Simon Hargreaves, the Pilot, for his exemplary flying skills in getting the Sea Vixen down with minimal damage and are delighted to note that Simon has been awarded a Green Endorsement for this display of airmanship by the head of the Fleet Air Arm, Rear Admiral Keith Blount OBE.  Simon has also confirmed that he is looking forward to flying her again should we manage to return her to the skies.

The Sea Vixen Appeal will remain open for those who wish to contribute, but it must be noted that if we do not find a way to fund a re-build, then this money will be used to support other Navy Wings aircraft, primarily the Swordfish and the Sea Fury T20 now that the latter has been re-built following her forced landing in 2014.