Official launch for Navy Wings’ Seafire

Supermarine Seafire Mk.XVII SX336 was rolled out at Yeovilton on April 6, flying in front of a gathering of guests and media.

The 1946-built fighter joined Navy Wings’ collection of airworthy historic aircraft in December, having returned to skies for the first time in around five years on November 18. The Rolls-Royce Merlin-powered aircraft was rebuilt by Kennet Aviation at North Weald.

SX336 pictured flying on March 25, 2022 in the hands of Lt Cdr Chris Gotke.
SX336 pictured flying on March 25, 2022 in the hands of Lt Cdr Chris Gotke. Lee Howard

Entering service with the Royal Navy in 1946 at RNAS Bramcote in Warwickshire, it is thought to have served with 833NAS, Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve.

After a two-year spell in storage between 1953 and 1955, it was then decided that the aircraft should be scrapped. It wasn’t until 1973 that the fuselage was discovered and another five years before a restoration began.

A certificate of airworthiness was finally issued in 2003 and the first post-restoration flight took place in 2006.

Today SX336 flies in the markings of 767 NAS based at RNAS Yeovilton with 105 on the rear fuselage and the base’s VL code on the tail.