Aviation historians need £150,000 to keep the last airworthy Sea Vixen fighter in the skies.
The historic jet, part of the RN Historic Flight based at Yeovilton, was once the Navy’s premier interceptor, safeguarding the Fleet from air attack during the 1960s.
Pictures: LPhot Dan Rosenbaum
DO YOU want to see this magnificent naval fighter continue to perform at air shows around the land?
This is the last flying Sea Vixen in the world – once the shield of Britain’s aircraft carriers against enemy jets.
The distinctive two-seat fighter with its trademark twin boom was the Fleet Air Arm’s principal interceptor in the 1960s until the legendary F4 Phantom entered service.
Half a century on and G-CVIX – aka ‘Foxy Lady’ – is the only one of 145 Sea Vixens built which is still flying (there’s a handful of aircraft in aviation museums, including the Fleet Air Arm’s).
The jet, which is painted in the colours of 899 Naval Air Squadron assigned to HMS Eagle in 1971, was donated to the Fleet Air Arm’s heritage arm back in 2014, since when she’s become a regular sight on the air display scene in the hands of pilot Cdr Simon Hargreaves (who’s also flown the RN’s new stealth fighter, the F-35B, as a test pilot).
As the 2017 display season looms, the team at Navy Wings reckon they need £150,000 to keep the 50-year-old fighter in working order for this year and beyond.
In particular, they want Foxy Lady to take her place in Solent skies alongside their Sea Fury trainer and Swordfish for the maiden entry into Portsmouth by new carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth.
The cash is needed to repair Foxy Lady’s flaps and wings, as well as carry out ‘deep maintenance’ on the engine, systems and airframe to maintain
The charity is taking donations starting as low as £10 for its Sea Vixen appeal with a prize draw to win a unique ‘cockpit experience’.
And if you give £100 to the cause, you can have your name inscribed in the aircraft’s nose cone.
See www.navywings.org.uk/support-us/sea-vixen-appeal-2017/ for details on donating.
To date nearly £14,000 has been pledged, allowing considerable repair work to be carried out on the vintage jet over the winter so that Foxy Lady should be ready to be refuelled and conduct ground running at Yeovilton in March.