A83 DH Sea Hornet
The de Havilland DH 103 Sea Hornet was the first twin-engined single-seat fighter to operate with the Royal Navy. It was a descendant of the famous Mosquito which, on 25 March 1944, became the first British twin-engined aircraft to land on an aircraft carrier. This Mosquito VI, LR359, was used as a prototype for the Sea Mosquito, just as the Sea Hornet was developed from the Hornet.
The prototype Sea Hornet made its first flight on 19 April 1945, and production fighters were produced as Sea Hornet F 20s. A camera-equipped version was developed as the Sea Hornet PR 22, and a radar-equipped two-seater was produced as the Sea Hornet NF 21.
On 11 June 1948, a Sea Hornet F 20 was received at No 1 Aircraft Depot and was brought on charge by the RAAF as A83-1. However, as the aircraft was on loan from the UK Ministry of Supply (MOS), it retained the original serial number TT213. On 10 September 1948, the Sea Hornet commenced tropical trials at Aircraft Research and Development Unit (ARDU) where the Australian-designed CAC CA-15 was also being tested. Thus, at this particular time, ARDU was operating two of the fastest piston-engined fighters in the world.
RAAF pilots flew the Sea Hornet for 49 hours on MOS tests before it was returned to No 1 Aircraft Depot on 20 October 1950.
TECHNICAL DATA: de Havilland DH 103 Sea Hornet F20
Single-seat carrier-borne strike fighter. Wooden fuselage, composite plywood and light alloy wing.
Two 2030 hp Rolls-Royce Merlin 133/134 engines.
Span 13.71 m (45 ft); length 11.18 m (36 ft 8 in); height 4.32 m (14 ft 2 in).
Empty 6033 kg (13 300 lb); loaded 8777 kg (19 350 lb).
Max speed 760 km/h (410 kt); Initial climb 1219 m (4000 ft)/min; Range 4828 km (2607 nm) with auxiliary tanks; Service ceiling 35,000 ft (10 668 m).