Senior Service Sting


The Sea Hornet had a relatively short tenure with the Royal Navy, but this descendant of the Mosquito delivered impressive performance, as Andrew Thomas reveals

De Havilland DH.103 Hornet

Forming the 1st Carrier Air Group, 801 NAS Sea Hornet F.20s and Blackburn Firebrands of 813 NAS prepare for a mass launch from HMS ‘Implacable’ during an exercise in 1950. Note the Fairey Barracuda on the left.
De Havilland Sea Hornet F.20 TT197 during deck landing trials.

De Havilland was quite confident the Fleet Air Arm (FAA) would acquire its new Hornet fighter for potential use in the Pacific. Long range and high performance, combined with twin engines specifically designed to eliminate excessive swing on take-off from carriers, enhanced its pedigree.

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