Those Magnificent Men 3 – Fast Run

This shot of the Hawker Siddeley Sea Vixen was taken at Yeovilton Air Day in 2009.  The weather that day was pretty poor and the flying display was severely curtailed.  The Sea Vixen did manage to display, and this shot is of a Fast Run, evident due to the condensation cloud starting to appear around the wing and fuselage.

Fast Run

This one really takes me back as it was one of the first aircraft that I can remember seeing fly at supersonic speeds when I was a boy.  The Sea Vixen was originally the de Havilland DH110, until de Havilland became part of the Hawker Siddeley group.

Sadly, at the Farnborough Airshow in 1952, the prototype DH110 had been demonstrating its ability to break the Sound Barrier, when it disintegrated, with parts of the aircraft crashing into the spectator crowd.  31 people died, including the crew of 2.  A design fault was established, and after redesign and development, the aircraft eventually entered service with the Royal Navy as a carrier borne, all weather fighter.    It saw service with the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm from 1959 until 1972.

After that crash, there was a major overhaul of the rules for airshow display flying, aimed at keeping spectators safe.

Much more detail about this aircraft can be found using Wikipedia.

The previous post in my ‘Those Magnificent Men’ series can be found here.

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