“Exceptionally Rare” World War II British Fighter Aircraft Brought Back to the Public

The Seafire SX336 is the naval version of Britain's most famous aircraft, Spitfire 7 photos
Photo: Royal Navy
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It’s that time of the year when gifts are more abundant than ever, and that seems to be the case for the Navy Wings Charity as well, who just added to its collection one of the most important World War II fighter aircraft of all time, thanks to a generous donation gifted for this precise purpose.
Military aircraft connoisseurs are familiar with the Spitfire, Britain’s most famous aircraft, but not too many people know about its naval version, the Supermarine Seafire. In the 1940s, the fierce Spitfire was used to develop a naval version that would boast the same powerful characteristics, including its speed, rate of climb, and maneuverability.

The Seafire SX336 was produced at the Westland factory in Yeovil, in 1946. It was an Mk XVII model, powered by a Rolls-Royce Griffon VI engine. Compared to the early Spitfires, this ship-borne beast was stronger in terms of firepower and speed. Navy Wings says that the Rolls-Royce engine was famous among pilots and engineers. So much so, that it was said that “you can hear a Merlin, but you feel a Griffon.”

According to the Charity, the Seafire successfully battled with the famous Japanese suicide planes, becoming one of the best carrier interceptors (fast attack aircraft launched by carrier ships) of WWII. It then went on to participate in many other battles, obtaining prestigious honors for its performance. This powerful naval aircraft continued to serve with the Fleet Air Arm until the 1950s, when the first jets started to replace older models.

Out of the 2,600 Seafires that were built, very few still exist today. This particular Seafire SX336 is, in fact, the only airworthy Mk XVII, which makes it even more special. After having been restored by its previous owner, the Seafire can now be displayed on the UK Air Show circuit. It even came with a spare for its might engine, essential for the long-term sustainability of this veteran aircraft.

Luckily, thanks to this generous gift, future generations will also get the chance to admire one of the most impressive aircraft in naval history.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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