Oxford Diecast 1/72nd scale 72HOR006 de Havilland DH103 Sea Hornet TT197 728 Squadron Malta 1953. Buy online at Flying Tigers.
The Sea Hornet F 20 prototype, PX 212, which did not have the wing-fold mechanism, first flew on 19 April 1945. PX 212 was later converted to the prototype NF Mk 21, first flying in this form on 9 July 1946.
The only unit fully equipped with Sea Hornet F 20s was 801 Squadron on 1 June 1947 at RNAS Ford. After a move to Arbroath the squadron embarked on HMS Implacable. In 1951, another move was made to HMS Indomitable until, in June, the Sea Hornets were replaced by Hawker Sea Furies.
Other Sea Hornets were attached to various Naval Squadrons, including three which were attached to 806 Squadron which, along with a Vampire and two Sea Furies, were embarked on HMCS Magnificent for a tour of North America in 1948. The Sea Hornets gave several spectacular flying displays at the International Air Exposition in New York between 31 July and 8 August. In mid-1948, one Sea Hornet, PX219, was adapted to carry 2 × Highballs in an installation that was developed but not applied to the fleet. The equipment was removed during January 1949 and it is currently unknown if the Hornet ever dropped a Highball during flight.
In January 1949, the Sea Hornet NF 21-equipped 809 Squadron at RNAS Culdrose, moved to HMS Illustrious and then, in May 1951, to HMS Vengeance. The unit was then briefly seconded to the RAF at Coltishall before a posting to Hal Far Malta where it disbanded in 1954. The NF.21 later equipped the Fleet Requirements Units at Hal Far, Malta, and St Davids, West Wales.
One Sea Hornet F 20, TT 213, was acquired by the RAAF from the Ministry of Supply in the United Kingdom. The aircraft was used by the Aircraft Research and Development Unit (ARDU), at Laverton, Victoria, Australia from 1948 to 1950. It was mainly used for evaluation and tropical trials.
As with its land-based cousin, no complete examples of the Sea Hornet remain extant.