Sea Vixen Appeal 2017
Sea Vixen G-CVIX XP924 is the only flying Sea Vixen in the world. 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 Last Flying Sea Vixen
The maintenance programme over the winter has gone really well. The flap issue has been resolved and both Avon 208 engines have been fully maintained. The Sea Vixen engineering team has decades of engineering experience and the professionalism and care being taken to ensure the aircraft is fully serviceable and compliant in all respects demonstrates the diligence and importance being given to keeping this last flying Sea Vixen in prime condition, click here for more information . Two successful ground runs have been completed plus three test flights including display rehearsals have taken place.
Many companies have helped us through the winter and we are very grateful for all their help and technical assistance. Our friends at Skysmart MRO Ltd provided very valuable assistance with gyros and instruments. Kearsley Airways Ltd helped us with our hydraulic systems and we have new tyres provided by Dunlop Ltd. Survival Equipment Services Ltd continue to provide us with excellent support for our ejection seats. The Fleet Air Arm here at RNAS Yeovilton continue to host us in 15 Hangar and provide us with a substantial amount of excellent support for which we are enormously grateful. With your help we are now over 10% of the Sea Vixen Target. Help keep her in the skies by donating below.
30th May 2017 update
Following the Sea Vixen’s successful display closing the show at Duxford Air Show, upon her return the Sea Vixen suffered an under carriage failure and Pilot Cdr Simon Hargreaves performed a highly controlled wheels up text book landing at RNAS Yeovilton showing first class airmanship.
Simon’s calm professionalism and outstanding flying skills, in a situation that demanded the utmost courage and control, minimised damage to a rare and nationally important heritage jet. The aircraft has been safely recovered from the runway and assessors will now carry out an inspection of the damage. The Trust would like to thank all its supporters and well wishers for their donations and support.
The charity will make every effort to get the Sea Vixen repaired and back in the air as soon as possible. If subsequently the assessors feel that the damage may be beyond repair, monies donated to the Sea Vixen Appeal will be used to support other historic naval aircraft in the Navy Wings collection.
15th June 2016
We know there is lots of interest in our plans for G- CVIX. For the moment we continue to survey the aircraft fuselage and structure, and will be lifting both engines to investigate more extensively from inside the airframe.
Post the wheels up landing the investigation to establish the cause of the hydraulic system malfunction has now revealed a major failure which is a significant development in our analysis.
The investigation continues.
29th June 2017 Update
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.
25th July 2017 Update
Many thanks to all of you who have supported the Sea Vixen appeal. We now know that the 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. Simo 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.
For each donation we receive from a person who pays UK Tax, we can claim up to 25% of the donation from HMRC. So each £10 you give us becomes £12.50 for us to use.
Please help us to claim this by ensuring you have filled out our Gift Aid Declaration. Or if you donate by cheque, please print off this form and post it back to us.