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Thread: Sea Hornet PX230 NF21 Prototype

  1. #1
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    Oct 2008
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    Default Sea Hornet PX230 NF21 Prototype

    I know this is a Navy variant, but maybe someone can help with more details about this aircraft. It crashed 16-5-47 From A&AEE Boscombe Down. Abandoned after engine fire. Crashed 1.5 miles from Monxton. Nr Andover. Thats all I know. Many thanks

  2. #2
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    Nov 2007
    Bristol, England
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    UK Flight Testing Accidents 1940/1971 records

    "16/5/47. Lt Cdr KR Hickson RN (Graduate No 4 Course), C (Naval Test) Sq, AAEE. Stick forces in dives to the limiting speed. Following a dive from 12000' to 5000' at 480 mph, during the recovery using a 2G pull out, the port engine detached from the airframe. The controls became ineffective, the cockpit hood detached and the a/c entered an inverted spin. The pilot abandoned the a/c by parachute. The cause of the engine detaching was established as a crack in the light alloy forging for the port engine superstructure which had been precipitated by the pre-loading of the bracket due to an incorrect assembly technique."

    The Hornet File does not mention the above incident in the a/c's history ;
    "PX230 9/7/45 ff, To RN as NF.21 prototype. 8/8/45 , RNAS Ayr. 12/3/47, Lasham scrap dump. 12/8/47 SOC."

    AB Serials notes "abandoned near Boscombe Down after engine fell out"

    FAA Fixed Wing A/c Since 1946 has rather more;
    "PX230 (F.1, hooked) Accepted for service use 6/8/45; Ayr 8/8/45 (spare a/c for initial ships trials by PX212); 778S Arbroath to A Flight RAE Farnborough 11/8/45, Ocean 4/9/45 (arrester trials); D H Hatfield 26/10/45 (conv NF.21), FF as such 9/7/46; Accepted for service 6/8/46; Retd DH 18/10/46 (mods); AAEE Boscombe Down tp DH 18/12/46 (mods); C Sq AAEE 24/4/47 (handling); Port engine detached at 480 mph in pull-out from 9 degree dive, went into spin, pilot baled out, crashed 4m SW Andover, Cat ZZ 16/5/47 Lt Cdr KR Hickson slightly injured. From 49 MU to Lasham dump 12/8/47; SOC 16/410/47 (TFH 35.20)."




  3. #3
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    Oct 2008
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    From the Hornet File:-

    Sea Hornet Trials at A. & A.E.E., Boscombe Down.

    PX230 Sea Hornet NF.21 Prototype. Following conversion to a night fighter, this aircraft arrived at Boscombe Down on 24 April 1947 for trials which included stick force/g tests. On 16 May 1947, Lt Hickson was diving the aircraft on an air test from 12,000 feet to 5,000 feet at 480 m.p.h. and during recovery the port engine detached from the wing. Controls became ineffective and the NF.21 entered an inverted spin. Hickson succeeded in abandoning the aircraft, suffering only minor injuries.

    Sea Hornets - Prototypes.

    PX230 8.8.45, to Ayr for month's ship trials from 4.9.45. 26.10.45, to DH for night fighter conversion. 24.4.47,To A&AEE for handling trials. 16.5.47, aircraft crashed near Boscombe Down; port engine detached in dive. 12.8.47, despatched by 49 MU to Lasham dump. 16.10.47, surplus to requirements.

    The Hornet File.
    Cooper,Lewis G.
    Tonbridge:Air Britain(Historians),1992.
    pp.32 & 131.

    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 20th May 2009 at 16:51. Reason: minor correction

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