The Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre’s Hawker Sea Hawk FGA.4/6 WV798 took pride of place at the recent day/night photo-shoot organised by Threshold Aero at the centre’s Newquay home.
Originally built in 1954 as an FGA.4, WV798 served with the Fleet Air Arm until 1959, being upgraded to FGA.6 along the way. In 1959 she transferred to the Fleet Requirements Unit and was painted all-over black, as was the case with many of the FRU’s aircraft. WV798 ceased flying in 1967, becoming a deck-handling training airframe at RNAS Culdrose before leaving the services in 1975.
The airframe, complete with Rolls-Royce Nene engine was acquired by CAHC in 2015 in unrestored condition and in need of a great deal of work. The long restoration to static exhibit standard was completed by CAHC’s conservation team during 2019 and she is now one of the few, if not the only example, of a Hawker Sea Hawk that is displayed daily with full access for the visiting public to enter the cockpit.
(Words: Richard Spencer-Breeze, Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre)