11 January 2022
Supermarine Seafire Mk XVII SX336 – a well-known and historic aircraft – has joined the Navy Wings flying collection.
The Seafire is the naval version of the Spitfire, modified to operate from aircraft carriers during the Second World War.
Seafire SX336 is the only airworthy Seafire Mk XVII, and one of only very few Seafires still flying in the world.
The aircraft has been meticulously restored by her former owner and will be based at RNAS Yeovilton, where fighter pilots trained on Seafires during WWII.
“We are very excited to welcome Seafire SX336 into the Navy Wings Collection” said CEO Jock Alexander OBE.
“SX336 is a magnificent example of the naval story of the Spitfire. Few people know that the Spitfire went to sea, and we couldn’t have wished for a more iconic and evocative British fighter to add to the collection.”
We are delighted to announce that the Seafire MK XV11 SX336 has joined the Navy Wings Heritage Aircraft collection. This Seafire is the only airworthy Seafire Mk XVII, and one of the very few Seafires still flying in the world. Read More https://t.co/HwUvb4R20Y pic.twitter.com/jzCwdSQtrv
— Navy Wings (@NavyWingsUK) December 15, 2021
The headline gift that enabled Navy Wings to purchase Seafire SX336 reflects the growing reputation of the charity and the national importance of the country’s naval aviation heritage.
“This level of philanthropic support makes a huge difference,” said Rear Admiral Tom Cunningham CBE, Chairman of Navy Wings.
“Gifts at this level reinforce the professionalism and expertise of the Navy Wings brand and the increasing part the Charity is playing in the culture and heritage sector at a national level.”
The Spitfire went through a complex evolutionary process and Seafire SX336 is a Mk. XVII, which is an advance on early Spitfires with a more powerful Rolls Royce Griffon VI engine and greater firepower and speed over the early versions.
The aircraft was built by British aircraft manufacturer Westland at Yeovil in 1946 and painted in post-war Royal Navy colours with Yeovilton Squadron markings.
The donation also included a spare Rolls Royce Griffon VI engine critical to the Seafire’s long term sustainability.