de Havilland Sea Vixen … 1951

The de Havilland DH.110 Sea Vixen is a twin boom, twin-engined 1950s–1960s British two-seat jet fighter of the Fleet Air Arm designed by de Havilland. Developed from an earlier first generation jet fighter, the Sea Vixen was a capable carrier-based fleet defence fighter that served into the 1970s.

Pictured above is WG236, the Sea Vixen DH. 110 prototype. This took to the skies for the first time on 26 September 1951 piloted by John Cunningham and proved to be a highly successful flight.
However, tragedy struck while WG236  was being demonstrated at the Farnborough Airshow on 6 September 1952. Following a demonstration of its ability to break the sound barrier,the aircraft disintegrated killing 31 people, including the crew of two: test pilot and record breaker John Derry and Tony Richards. Please follow this link for a British Pathe newsreel of this terrible accident.
There was an incident (pictured below) which actually took place in 2012 during which the world’s only remaining air-worthy Sea Vixen crashed at Bournemouth Airport after the undercarriage collapsed. Fortunately it should be flying again in 2013.

April 2012 … The world’s only remaining air-worthy Sea Vixen crashes at Bournemouth Airport.

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