Early production Sea Vixen's entered service with No 700Y Naval squadron in 1958 in order to complete the Sea Vixens flying and carrier trials. The first operational Sea Vixen squadron was 892 squadron which was formed in 1959. A total of 119 Sea Vixen FAW1's were built before the the definitive production version the Sea Vixen FAW2 started to come off the production line. The Sea Vixen FAW2 had uprated Rolls Royce Avon 208's of 10,000lb thrust, much improved systems, a refueling capability and increased internal fuel tankage housed in the booms which were extended beyond the leading edge. I personally find it rather amazing that during the 1960's the sea Vixen was flown by two Royal Navy jet aerobatic teams each flying five aircraft, 'Fred's Five', and 'Simons Circus'. The Sea Vixen was retired from navy service rather prematurely in the early 1970's and many aircraft, (they had quite low accumulated airframe hours) were used for trials work. As a result, (unlike the Gloster Javalin) one Sea Vixen has survived in flying condition and is a very popular addition to the airshow circuit in the UK and Europe and is a very sprightly performer indeed.
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