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Newquay Gets Louder

We'll be making some loud noises on Saturday 19th April when we fire up the BAC 1-11 to give her engines a bit of exercise. Squa...

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Welcome Back!

It was great to re-open the gates of our Coventry Airbase on Saturday....

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We're open

We opened for business at Newquay on Friday. It was a fairly low-key affair...

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This Year's Model

It all started with a kind donation of 350 models by Mrs Pauline Cole. Her husband Barry, who passed away some ten years...

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Sir John's Gemini

While work gets underway on our major restoration of Miles Gemini G-AKDK we're delighted to welcome a flyable version at...

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The Sea Hawk in need of some TLC
Status: Under restoration
Owned by: The Classic Aircraft Trust
Current location: Newquay
Available for pleasure flights: No

Given the Classic Air Force’s proximity to the coast it is only fitting that a new arrival in the collection has a strong Naval heritage.

Hawker Sea Hawk FGA.6 WV798 arrived at Hangar 404 last summer and was the first aeroplane to grace the new CAF home. The aircraft has stood outside in the elements for many years, and is in a sad state of repair.  Although she can never be restored to flying condition, she is now a priority for restoration to her former glory and will be gracefully retired as a static display aircraft in our hangar. This major restoration is happening behind closed doors at our hardened aircraft shelter (HAS) at Newquay, untill most of the heavy duty work is completed.

The Sea Hawk traces its history back to the Hawker P.1040 that first flew in September 1947 and was the first jet from the Hawker Aircraft Company. Almost 550 were built and the type served with the Royal Navy as well as the German, Dutch and Indian Navies. WV798 was built for the Royal Navy in 1954 as a Sea Hawk FGA.4 and delivered to the Aircraft Handling Unit (AHU) at RNAS Abbotsinch on October 7, 1954. On November 26 it entered squadron service with 787 NAS (Fighter Development Unit) at RAF West Raynham.

On January 11, 1955 fuel discharged into engine, exploded and caught fire, resulting in the aircraft being declared ‘Cat L.’ It was repaired and sent to RNAY Fleetlands on January 12, 1956 to be upgraded to FGA.6 standard and joined 803 NAS at RNAS Lossiemouth (and HMS Eagle) on December 14 of that year acquiring the codes 147/E. In November 1958 she was issued to 801 NAS at RNAS Brawdy and coded 116/C.

Less than a year later, on June 25, 1959, the aircraft was damaged when it was hit by a Sea Venom XG696 that was conducting a ‘bolter’ aboard HMS Centaur! The aircraft was offloaded at RNAS Hal Far in Malta and shipped back to Fleetlands for repairs and reconstruction in readiness to join the Airwork Fleet Requirements Unit (FRU) at Hurn in 1961. WV798 served with FRU, painted in a distinctive black scheme, until May 1967 when it was set to RNAS Culdrose for use at the School of Aircraft Handling.

At the end of her useful life she was sold on May 16, 1975 and moved to Thorpe Park for static display. In 1981 she was moved to the Second World War Aircraft Preservation Society (SWWAPS) at Lasham but by 2009 she had fallen into disrepair and was stored with Parkhouse Aviation at Booker until she joined the Classic Air Force in 2012.