deHavilland Sea Hornet

deHavilland Sea Hornet








The de Havilland DH 103 Sea Hornet was the first twin-engine 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-engine 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 194, 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-engine 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.

General characteristics

Crew:                                                       1
Wingspan:                                              45 ft 0 in (13.72 m)
Length:                                                    36 ft 8 in (11.18 m)
Height:                                                    14 ft 2 in (4.3 m)
Wing area:                                              361 ft² (33.54 m²)
Gross weight:                                         19,550 lb (8,886 kg)
Powerplant:                                           2 x Rolls-Royce Merlin 130/131 12-cylinder engines, 2,080 hp (1551 kW)


Maximum speed:                                   472 mph (760 km/h) at 22,000 ft (6706 m)
Rate of climb:                                        4000 ft/min (20.3 m/s)
Service ceiling:                                       35,000 ft (10668 m)
Maximum range:                                  3,000 mi (4828 km)


Guns:                                                       4 x 20 mm Hispano cannon (with 190 rounds per gun) in fuselage nose
Bombs and Rockets:                             2 x 1000 lb (454 kg) bombs under wing, outboard of engines
                                                                 8 x 60 lb (27 kg) RP-3 unguided rockets

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