Fighter All Weather (FAW) of the Fleet Air Arm.

Sea Vixen MK 2.  XJ 490 in Caloundra, Queensland, Australia.

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XJ490. C/N 110017.

  • Built at Christchurch under contract 6/ACFT/10865/CB.5(b). 06 March 1959
  • First flight 18 March 1959.
  • Issued to 700Y IFTU, RNAS Yeovilton.19 March 1959.his was the RN Intensive Flight Trials Unit (IFTU) responsible for service trials before the aircraft was released for general squadron use.
  • 06 May 1959. Damage to starboard engine noticed before flight at RNAS Yeovilton.
  • 29 May 1959. Detached to RAE Farnborough for investigation of Airborne Interim Dynamic Reference System. Returned to Yeovilton 700Y IFTU. Returned to RAE Farnborough. Returned to RNAS Yeovilton 700Y IFTU.
  • 30 June 1959. To 892 Squadron RNAS Yeovilton. Coded 210. (Some sources state 01July 1959.
  • 04 March 1960. 892 Sqn. HMS Ark Royal. (AEA Mod).
  • 23 March 1960. Nose oleo fully compressed landing on HMS Ark Royal.
  • 21April 1960. While spreading wings on HMS Ark Royal the starboard aileron was damaged when it contacted the nose of a Scimitar.
  • April 1960. Unserviceable with cracked nose wheel oleo.
  • 20June 1960. Received at RNAS Yeovilton for repair and 250 hourly inspection.
  • August 1960. Additional crack discovered.
  • 28 September 1960. Issued to 766 Sqn RNAS Yeovilton as temporary replacement.
  • 30 January 1961. Issued to 766 Sqn RNAS Yeovilton. Coded 713.
  • 27 April 1961. To RNAS Abbotsinch. Air Holding Unit.
  • 24 October 1961. Issued to RNAY Sydenham (Belfast) for modernisation.
  • 01 November 1961. Received at RNAY Sydenham (Belfast).
  • 27 November 1961. Allocated RNAS Abbotsinch. (Glasgow Airport).
  • 31 May 1963. Delivered to RNAS Abbotsinch Aircraft Holding unit coded 726.
  • 05 June 1963. RNAS Abbotsinch for limited modernisation programme
  • 16 July 1963 To Aircraft Holding Unit, RNAS Brawdy.
  • 29 July 1963. Received at Aircraft Holding Unit, RNAS Brawdy coded 711
  • 17 October 1963. To 892 Sqn. RNAS Yeovilton.
  • 15 November 1963. Received at 892 Sqn Yeovilton. Coded 210/H (HMS Hermes).
  • January 1964. Wheel brakes caught fire landing on HMS Hermes. Damage to centre section.
  • 02 March 1964. Issued to RNAHU at RAF Tengah,Singapore and later ferried to the U.K. by ship.
  • 10 April 1964. To Hawker Siddeley, Brough for CAT 4 repair.
  • 22 April 1964. Transferred to Hawker Siddeley at Hawardon (Chester) for repairs and conversion to FAW Mk 2
  • 28 March 1966.To RNAS Brawdy Aircraft Holding Unit.
  • 05 May 1966. To NARIU. RNAS Lee-on-Solent.
  • 17June 1966.To 766 Sqn RNAS Yeovilton. Coded 726/VL. (Some sources state 02 June 1966).
  • 07June 1968. To NASU. RNAS Brawdy.
  • 07 November 1968. Delivered to Hawker Siddeley at Hawardon (Chester).
  • 27 March 1969. To 893 Sqn. RNAS Yeovilton coded 245 replacing XJ524.
  • September 1969, photographed at RNAS Yeovilton in 893 Sqn markings coded 245/H from HMS Hermes. Also photographed at Luqa,Malta 1969
  • 10 July 1970. To NASU. RNAS Yeovilton.
  • 03 September 1971. Issued to 899 Sqn. HMS Eagle.
  • 1971-1972. 899 Sqn embarked on HMS Eagle deployed to the Far East and Australia on its last commmision. Two Sea Vixens were offloaded at Simbang Dockyard,Singapore. Aircraft "121" had crashed into the barrier after undercarriage problems and "126" had a cracked boom. Two replacement Sea Vixens (XJ490 & XJ579) were shipped out from HMS Daedalus (Lee-on-Solent,UK) as deck cargo on the SS. Glenfalloch by the Mobile Aircraft Repair Transport and Salvage Unit (MARTSU). Both aircraft were towed from the dock to RAF Tengah, Singapore for re-erection and test flying. While XJ579 was successfully flown out to Eagle, XJ490 was found to be too badly corroded and was stripped of useful parts at RAFTengah and "scrapped". XJ490 had been loaded on the foredeck of the SS.Glenfalloch while XJ579 had been loaded aft of the superstructure. XJ490 was to take up the call sign "126" and the following crew names but it is unknown if these were painted on the aeroplane before despatch from the UK.


Note: 899 Sqn was the last operational squadron to fly Sea Vixens and HMS Eagle made its last deployment before scrapping in 1972

  • 20 SEP 1971 Left at RNAHU Tengah,Singapore
  • 1973 Donated to Aeronautical Engineering Department of Singapore Polytechnic.
  • 1980 Noted on display on Sentosa Island,Singapore in 899 Sqn colours but with no codes or canopy.
  • 28 MAR 1989 Removed from Sentosa by QAM on barge "Tai Chen"
  • 10 JUL 1989 Arrived in Townsville on M.V. "San Juan" from Singapore
  • 04 AUG 1989 Arrived Brisbane from Townsville on M.V. "Sid McGrath"
  • 07 AUG 1989 Trucked to Caloundra and cosmetically restored in 899 Sqn markings with bogus code "490"
  • AUG 1990 Examination revealed that last digit of code appears to be a "3".

Information by Flg. Off. Rodney Shelbourne RAF, who served in 899 Sqn Last Commission, HMS Eagle. 1969/1971

Scorching Away in the Singapore Sunshine 1980/1989.Sentosa Island. archive Brian Johnstone MBE.

Outside waiting for a home at the QAM Queensland.

Now safely under cover. October 2006. archive Ron Cuskelly QAM Curator.

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