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SEA VIXEN: Shenley museum team aims to restore historical aircraft to its prime

 Published on: 14th June 2024   |   By: Sophia Sheera   |   Category: Uncategorized

A dedicated team of conservationists at a Shenley museum has made great progress on an ambitious restoration project.

Dubbed Hertfordshire’s best kept secret, the de Havilland Aircraft Museum was the first aviation museum to open in Britain in 1959 and still houses a plethora of historical aircraft to this day. One of its biggest displays is an enormous Sea Vixen aircraft which came to Shenley in 1976 and has been stationed outside the museum ever since.

Museum spokesperson Chris explained: “The Sea Vixen was the Navy’s frontline fighter in the 1960s. It was powered by two Rolls Royce Avon 208 engines and, fully laden, it weighed 20 tonnes.”

Despite being stationed outside for nearly 50 years, the Sea Vixen at de Havilland is in surprisingly good shape. However, shared Chris, some of the volunteers have assembled themselves into a working group dedicated to offering the magnificent aircraft a bit of tender loving care.

“We want to restore the Sea Vixen for future generations to enjoy,” explained Chris. “It’s a project that will take a few years, especially because we can only work on it when the seasons permit.”

Since April, the team has been back at work with the help of scaffolding services from Rodells Ltd and paint-matching expertise from Dulux.

Chris added: “Hertfordshire was once home to a big-time air industry and a lot of those retired experts have found their way to de Havilland, so we have a whole team of specialists on site. This project has become really special to me and the boys.”

Photo Credit: De Havilland Museum 

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