SEAFIRE XVII SX336
The Seafire was the naval development of the Spitfire. It was produced in various versions with Merlin and Griffon engines; the post-war MkXVII, as will be displayed at RIAT 2015, is a Griffon-powered example. The variant's front-line Fleet Air Arm service was fairly brief before the more powerful FR47 appeared, and indeed the Hawker Sea Fury. Kennet Aviation's Seafire SX336 was built by Westland at Yeovil in 1946 and delivered to the Fleet Air Arm. It had been relegated to ground instructional use by May 1950. Twenty-three years later, one of the Fleet Air Arm Museum staff saw the airframe rotting away in a Warrington scrapyard. Spitfire historian Peter Arnold rescued it, and sold SX336 to Peter Wood who started a restoration. The project was bought by Tim Manna of Kennet Aviation in 2001, and moved to Kennet's North Weald base the following year. A maiden flight took place on 3 May 2006. There to watch was Tommy Thompson, the Westland test pilot who had taken SX336 into the air for the very first time, 60 years ago to the very day!