De Havilland Sea Venom
With the use by date of the Hawker Sea Fury aircraft approaching in the early 1950s, the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) chose to re-equip the Fleet Air Arm(FAA) fighter component with the DeHavilland DH 112 Sea Venom FAW 53, and 39 of them were ordered. The aircraft was the navalised variant of the de Havilland DH 112 Venom Night Fighter and was an all weather heavily armed strike or interceptor aircraft with a crew of pilot and navigator/systems operator seated side by side.
The Sea Venom aircraft would be operated from the RAN Aircraft Carrier HMAS Melbourne, that had been modified to permit the operation of jet aircraft with an angled flight deck a steam catapault mirror landing system and strengthened arrester system, all of which made it state of the art, and only the third carrier in existence to have an angled flight deck after the RNs Ark Royal and the US Navy's USS Forrestal.
The Sea Venom order was shipped to Australia on HMAS Melbourne arriving at Jervis Bay on May 7 1956.
The Sea Venoms served on all the Fleet Air Arm Squadrons from 1956 to 1967 when their main role was 24 hour fighter protection for the fleet, and also taking part in joint Naval exercises with the Far East Strategic Reserve. The Sea Venoms began to be phased out of service in mid 1966 to be replaced by the McDonnel Douglas A4 Skyhawk aircraft in 1967. No 724 Squadron operated four Sea Venoms as Target Tugs until they too were retired from service in 1973.
The Museum's Sea Venom NA-901 was delivered on February 27 1956. After serving with Squadron Nos 801, 867, 876 and 875 it was withdrawn from service on August 20 1970 following a heavy landing on HMAS Melbourne that caused severe distortion of the main wing spar. It was subsequently acquired by the Museum in 1972.
Crew : 2
Power plant 1 x 5,300lbs thrust Rolls Royce Ghost tubojet engine.
Length : 36'06'' (11.15m) Wingspan : 42'08'' (13.08m) Height : 8'01'' (2.49m)
Weight : empty - 9,202lbs (4,174kg) maximum - 15,311lbs (6,945kg)
Speeds : maximum at sea level - 501kt (600mph) (927km/hr) maximum at 30,000ft - 482kt (893km/hr)
Range : 705 miles (1,135km)
Armament : 4 x 20mm Hispano canon under nose.
Ordnance : 8 x 60lbs RP-3 rockets and or 2 x 1,000lb bombs.