Sea Vixen Drones

Posted by Chris Thompson on 1 March 2021 | Comments


Sea Vixens at Flight Refuelling Ltd, Hurn August 1980

The current low level of aviation activity has provided an opportunity to scan our huge collection of slides going back many years and this collection of Sea Vixen pictures is the first theme to catch the eye.  During the late 1970s and early 1980s, Finest Hour's Chief Pilot was an aviation-mad teenager, while his father, 'Tommy' Thompson was an RAF pilot having a ball flying a variety of weird and wonderful aeroplanes at the Royal Aircraft Establishment Llanbedr.  Although the latter was involved in many 'interesting' trials, he was involved only on the periphery of the project to convert former Royal Navy Sea Vixen all-weather fighters to the unmanned drone role, flying the Meteor chase aircraft during a number of Sea Vixen trials.  Thus, this page includes pictures taken by an enthusiastic young Thompson junior from 'outside the wire' at RAE Llanbedr, while the 'inside the wire' pictures were taken by Thompson senior both at Llanbedr and during a trip to Flight Refuelling Ltd at Hurn to collect Canberra WK128 on 18 August 1980.


Sea Vixen 'Tarrant Rushton 1' at Llanbedr


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Sea Vixen for Drone Conversion, Hurn August 1980



Sea Vixen ready to fly, Llanbedr



Sea Vixen 'TR1' at Llanbedr



Sea Vixen Groundcrew, Llanbedr


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Sea Vixen at Llanbedr; this Aeroplane is preserved at the Gatwick Aviation Museum


img077.jpg Pilot Len Morgan Crop

Sea Vixen 'TR1' approaching Llanbedr.  Pilot:  Len Morgan