Preserved Lee on Solent Aircraft  around the World

  Home  |  Search  |  Contacts Virtual Museum  |  Feedback
The most important preserved aircraft with a Lee on Solent history, the World Air Speed record holder Supermarine S6B
Preserved at the Science Museum, London

Although the Air Station at HMS Daedalus closed in 1996 a number of aircraft which served in her long career from 1917-1996 survive to be preserved in various museums and in private collections in the UK and around the world.

The Daedalus Virtual Aviation Museum Collection includes the following aircraft which were known to have been stationed at Lee-on-Solent, 1917-1939. Many others must have served Lee-on-Solent and any information is welcome to augment this basic list.

Chippie former Fleet Air Arm Chipmunk of HMS Daedalus used today by the local flying club at Lee on Solent

Royal Navy Historic Flight
Lee on Solent had for many years used Chipmunks for training. Many if not all the Royal Navy Chipmunks have served with the RNHF at some stage of their careers. After all Chippies were being put up for disposal the RNHF moved quickly to retain two examples, T.10's WB657 and WK608. At present WK608 is used regularly with WB657 in storage.
Fleetlands Air Museum [museum closed 2001]
WP795/G-BVZZ originally stationed at Lee-on Solent. Location 2001?

Hunter WV382 of the Jet Aviation Preservation Group
Loaned to the Redhill & Reigate Air Cadets
A recovery operation has been hastily undertaken by members of the East Surrey Aviation Group (ESAG) to save a De Havilland Devon, serial number VP967 (G-DOVE) from potential scrapping. VP967 was used as an instructional airframe at the East Surrey College, Redhill, but has recently [2000] been under threat from developers constructing the new Art Centre at the college. Over a three day period, ESAG together with Roger Greenwood (a volunteer from the Mosquito Museum) dismantled the Devon and moved it away from the developers until a suitable home could be found. ESAG have loaned the aircraft to Redhill & Reigate Air Cadets. On 29th August, under police escort, 150 Recovery Company (TA) - which had volunteered to do the move - took VP967 by road to the Redhill TA & ATC Centre, where it now proudly stands. VP967 later transferred to RNAS Culdrose, 1978-1981, where it saw service in the Fisheries Patrol at Lee-on-Solent spotting Spanish fishing vessels intruding into British waters. It was retired from service in 1982.

Preserved Royal Navy Dragonfly

DRAGONFLY HR5, Westland-Sikorsky WS51  WH991
First flew on the 4th February 1953. It was known to be at HMS Daedalus (Lee-On-Solent shore base) from May 16th 1956 for a series of modification before being issued to the station flight at HMS Gannet (Eglington Northern Ireland) on the 14th June. It was subsequently converted to an HR5 and work completed by the 1st May 1958. The Yorkshire Helicopter Preservation Group is a Group of Enthusiasts dedicated to the restoration and preservation of Historic Helicopters. The group was born out of Ray “Mac” McElwain’s Dragonfly Restoration Project, started in 1994 and completed in 1998. Westland W.S.51 Dragonfly WH991 was rebuilt using parts from two other airframes,WP503 & WG718. See photo

Westland-Sikorsky WS-51 Dragonfly HR.1 VX595

Also see the Helicopter Preservation Resource website

GANNET, Fairey T.5 XG883

5/57  Maiden flight from Northolt to White Waltham, Berkshire. Fitting out and final preparations at White Waltham. 5/57-7/57 Stored, RNAS Anthorn, Cumbria. 7/57-1/60 Pre-delivery preparation work and storage, RNAS Abbotsinch, Strathclyde. 1/60-3/60 Radio installation work, RNAS Lee-on-Solent, Hampshire.

Preserved Gannet XL500

GANNET, Fairey XL500
Chatham Dockyard Museum

Fairey Gannet AEW.3 XL500XL500 has had an unusually active retirement; first used by the School of Aircraft Handling at Culdrose, she then moved onto Lee-on-Solent for a period of storage and was then actually brought back to airworthy status. Dowty-Rotol Propellors operated the aircraft for a short period on noise trials and then XL500 was grounded once more, finally becoming the mascot of 849 NAS, back at Culdrose. She was put on display by the public viewing area at the airfield during the summer months (as pictured above) but in late March 2000 moved once more, having been donated to the Chatham Dockyard Museum.

GANNET, Fairey
Proposed for Australian Naval Aviation Museum (ANAM) at HMAS Albatross, Australia

A T.2 trainer (XG888) was manufactured with the RN’s batch of T.5 production, and after service in Australia, was sold to the RN, sailing from Sydney in November 1966 aboard HMS Victorious, XG888 then returned to Hayes in 1967 to be refurbished, after upgrade to T.5 standard, XG888 was delivered to the RN station at Lee-on-Solent in August 1968. At the time of going to press the Australian Naval Aviation Museum (ANAM) at HMAS Albatross was hopeful that this aircraft would be returning to Australia for eventual display at Nowra. If the ANAM is successful in returning XG888 from England, this might allow the Navy to again display an airworthy Gannet. (Ref.)

HUNTER, Hawker "830/VL" = Hunter GA.11 WV382
Jet Aviation Preservation Group

The aircraft was transferred onto FRADU's strength in 1969, becoming '830/VL'. The aircraft served on with the Unit for the next 16 years before being retired in late 1985. It was moved to RNAS Lee-On-Solent and used as an engineering and battle damage repair training aircraft before being de-mobbed in the early 1990's.  The aircraft was purchased by a small band of enthusiasts based at Long Marston and the aircraft became part of the Jet Aviation Preservation Group. The aircraft remains in good condition apart from the rather faded paintwork.
RAF Museum Cosford
All pictures were taken at Cosford in 1996.

Sea Hawk WV903 of the Royal Navy Historic Flight

SEA HAWK FGA.4, Hawker WV903
Royal Navy Historic Flight, Yeovilton

After being disposed of the airframe moved to RNAS Lee-On-Solent and was used with the Aircraft Engineering School. Put into storage at Lee and then moving to Dunsfold with WV908 in 1996, she returned to Yeovilton in April 1997 and remains there in open storage.
SEA HAWK, Hawker FGA.4 WV903
Hawker Sea Hawk FGA.6 (FGA.4) WV908 (Under refurbishment away from site)
SEA PRINCE, Hunting-Percival
Toronto Aerospace Museum
Toronto Aerospace Museum - only one in world that flies (second, similar aircraft, a Percival Pembroke is now flying at a museum in England)
SEA VENOM, De Havilland FAW Mk22 ECM XG629
Preserved Staffordshire
This example  was in Lee on Solent in 1963 - 18.03.1963. N.A.R.I.U. Lee on Solent till 22.06.1964, whence serving with 893 Sqdn at RAF Watton. Below is a picture of XG629 being moved from long Marston airfield to a new home in Staffordshire to start its static restoration.
Jet Aviation Preservation Group
Former owner's the Jet Aviation Preservation Group premises at Long Marston airfield to its new home. Alan Simpson's DH Sea Venom FAW Mk22 ECM XG629, Fleet Air Arm history includes ex NARIU at Lee on Solent in 1963, and RAF Watton in 1964.

Sea Vixen XJ481 preserved at Fleetlands [museum closed 2001]

SEA VIXEN, De Havilland XJ481
Fleetlands Air Museum [museum closed 2001]

Curator of Fleetlands Air Museum up till 2001 provided access to XJ481. This is the most complete preserved example of the Sea Vixen in existence, and lacks only the cockpit clock. Information needed re current location.

SEA VIXEN, de Havilland FAW Mk 2 XJ490 (C U)
Queensland Air Museum, Australia

Two replacement Sea Vixens (XJ490 & XJ579) were shipped out from HMS Daedalus (Lee-on-Solent) 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 Tengah 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 Tengah and "scrapped". XJ490 had been loaded on the foredeck of the 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.

The actual Supermarine S6B which won the Air Speed Record in 1931 at Lee on Solent,
preserved att the Science Museum

SUPERMARINE S6B Seaplane S1595 (1931)
Science Museum London - History of Flight Aircraft on Display

This aircraft became the fastest vehicle on earth when on 29 September 1931 it set an absolute speed record of 656 km/h (407.5 mph). The Supermarine S6B floatplane, the Schneider Trophy and the Rolls-Royce R engine used to achieve the absolute speed record are all on display at the Museum. The one displayed is the actual aircraft that won the 1931 Schneider Trophy contest at an average speed of 340.08 mph, and the Schneider Trophy outright for Britain. IFlt. Lt. Stainforth flew On 29th September, he flew S1595 to a new new world record of 407.5 mph.

Swordfish NF389 of the RNHF former gate guardian Lee on Solent

Royal Navy Historic Flight

Swordfish III NF389, this aircraft has a non-working engine and it found its way onto the deck of a Royal Navy ship during 1996. This aircraft was on outdoor static display at RNAS Lee-On-Solent for a number of years from march 1953 until november 1963 after having a early limited airshow career during the fifties and she also starred in the film 'Sink the Bismarck.'

Wavendon Social Housing Ltd. (UK)

Former FAA aircraft. Delivered to RN 11 Jan 1943; 780 sqdn Lee on Solent
15 Jan 1943; 758 sqdn Hinstock Feb 1944-May1945

Private ownership

Tiger Moth aircraft which saw ROYAL NAVY service was NL879
which went on to become G-AVPJ in civvie street, the aircraft which has seen a very interesting history is currently owned by Tony Hooper and Cathy Silk and flown from a strip in Warwickshire. It often flew to Lee On Solent accompanied by Supermarine Sea Otters.

Solway Aviation Society, Carlisle Airport

WV198 is the sole surviving Sikorsky Whirlwind supplied to the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm, prior to licensed manufacture by Westland Helicopters. Ten examples were built at New London Connecticut, USA, in 1952 and were delivered in midnight blue colour scheme of contemporary United States Navy HRS-2 models, to serve in the Malayan emergency. WV198 is currently undergoing restoration at the Solway Aviation Museum workshops at Carlisle Airport, must of the work being carried out by Ken Burns. On the 31st July 1951, it also became the first Helicopter to fly the Atlantic. To Naval Recruiting Unit, RNAS Lee on Solent 15/01/1960, and to the School of Aircraft handling RNAS Culdrose 29/01/1962, to Naval Recruiting Unit, RNAS Lee on Solent 10/10/1962 A2576 Down-graded to Class 11, engine E4589 (Used as a travelling demonstrator) 12/09/1967. Part restored and painted in USMC colours as "130191" in the film "Full Metal Jacket". 1986. Solway Aviation Society, Carlisle Airport.13/11/1992

WHIRLWIND, Westland XM 660
RAF Millom Museum

RAF Millom Museum. Westland Whirlwind XM 660. Our Westland Whirlwind XM 660 (Con No. WA251) first flew on the 20th November 1958 and was delivered to the RNAY at Fleetlands on the 10th December that year. The aircraft was issued to 824 Sqdn. at Culdrose on the 19th February 1959. It was then issued to 737 Sqdn. at Portland where it remained until 3rd April 1962 when it returned to Fleetlands for reconditioning. On 15th September 1962 it was moved to Lee on Solent for modifications on the 13th October it was issued to RNAS Lossiemouth for Search and Rescue coded LM/933. On the 15th December 1969 XM 660 was returned to Fleetlands for storage and then moved to Lee on Solent where it was an instructional airframe until 1975. It was then used as a gate guardian at RNAY Almondbank, Scotland. It was then acquired by The North East Aircraft Museum which is where we got it from.


Fleetlands Air Museum [museum closed 2001]
Aircraft were on view at the Fleetlands 60th anniversary open day. Apart from maintenance and rework, Fleetlands is also used for storage, and accordingly a large number of stored airframes could be found in 'B' shop hangar, such as AAC Gazelles, RN Sea Kings and Lynx, and RAF Wessex. Over in 'F' shop, apart from the Sea Kings on rework, there is a selection of apprentice training airframes comprising a Lynx, three Gazelles, and four immaculate Wasps. The pristine gate guardian Wessex HU5 XT480, the resident Fleetlands Museum had Sea Vixen FAW1 XJ481 on display, behind 'J' shop, Wessex HU5 XT466/XV, This ex-847 Squadron airframe had, surprisingly, spent a number of years at Cosford as 8921M for ground instruction with Nr 2 SoTT.In mid 1990s it had apparently also seen some use with the nearby Air Engineering & Survival School at HMS Sultan, illustrating the continued usefulness of an airframe long after retirement from flying duties. The RNAY contained the following (current status of airframes after closure of the Museum in 2001 ought be verified with Fleetlands):


XS539/435, XS568/441, XS569, XT434/455, XT780/636, XV625/471.
XP110/55, XR499/W, XR502/Z, XR503, XR516/WB, XR518, XR520, XR523/M, XS485, XS489/R, XS496, XS507, XS510/626, XS511/M, XS513, XS514/L, XS515/N, XS516/Q, XS517/WG, XS520/F, XS522/ZL, XT453/A-B, XT455/U, XT458/622, XT466/XV, XT474/820, XT480, XT484/H, XT485, XT602, XT604, XT607/P, XT759, XT761, XT764/G, XT765/J, XT766/822, XT771/620, XV720, XV724, XV725/C.
Sea King
XV370, XV371, XV642, XV647/820, XV651/599, XV654/705, XV669/10, XV670/588, XV673,
XV677/69, XV705/821, XV709/505, XV710/269, XV713/018, XZ581/269, XZ920/822, ZA130/824, ZA169, ZA170, ZF121/VJ, ZG818/707.
XZ213(TAD213), XZ252, XZ649, XZ665, XZ677, XZ728/MM-415, QP31, QP32.
XW844, XW852, XW855, XW893, XX418, XX440, XZ307, XZ342, XZ935, ZA729/V, ZA730, ZA733, ZB629, ZB672.

Fleet Air Air Museum at Yeovilton
Main Exhibits

Albatros D V A Replica, RegNr.:D5397
BAC 221 RegNr.: WG774
BAC Aerospatiale Concorde 002 RegNr.: G-BSST
Bell UH 1 H Iroquois RegNr.: AE442
Blackburn Buccaneer S 2 RegNr.: XV333
Blackburn Skua Mk I RegNr.: L2940
Chance Vought F 4 U Corsair Mk IV RegNr.: KD431
DeHavilland DH 100 Sea Vampire RegNr.: LZ551
DeHavilland DH 112 Sea Venom FAW 1 RegNr.: WW138
DeHavilland DH 82 Tiger Moth RegNr.: XL717 /G-ABUL
DeHavilland DH 90 Dragonfly HR 5 RegNr.: WN493
DeHavilland Sea Vixen FAW 2 RegNr.: XS590
Fairey Albacore RegNr.: N4389 / N4172
Fairey Barracuda RegNr.: DP872
Fairey Firefly TT 4 RegNr.: VH127
Fairey Fulmar RegNr.: N1854
Fairey Gannet AEW 3 RegNr.: XL503
Fairey Swordfish II RegNr.: HS618 / P4139
FMA IA 58 Pucara RegNr.: A522
Fokker Dr I Dreidecker Replica, BAPC#88
Grumman F 4 F Wildcat RegNr.: AL246
Grumman F 4 F Wildcat RegNr.: XT596
Grumman F 6 F Hellcat II RegNr.: KE209
Handley Page HP 115 RegNr.: XP841
Hawker Siddeley Harrier AV 8 A RegNr.: 159233
Hawker Siddeley P 1127 RegNr.: XP980
Hawker Sea Fury FB 11 RegNr.: WJ231
Hawker Sea Hawk FGA 6 RegNr.: WV856
Mikoyan Gurevich MiG 15 Fagot RegNr.: 01420 G-GMZF
NA 39  RegNr.: XK488
North American T 6 Harvard II A Trainer, RegNr.: EX976
Ohka II  BAPC#58
Short S 184  RegNr.: 8359
Short SC 1  RegNr.: XG900
Sopwith Baby  RegNr.: N2078
Sopwith Camel  Replica, RegNr.: B6401
Sopwith Pup  RegNr.: N6452
Sopwith Triplane  RegNr.: N5492
SPAD XIII  RegNr.: S3398
Supermarine Attacker  RegNr.: WA473
Supermarine Scimitar F 1  RegNr.: XD317
Supermarine Seafire F 17  RegNr.: SX137
Supermarine Walrus I  RegNr.: L2301
Westland Wasp HAS 1  RegNr.: XS527
Westland Wessex HU 5  RegNr.: XS508

Southampton Hall of Aviation
Main Exhibits
Airwave Hang Glider BAPC.215
Avro 504J (R) 'C4451'
Britten-Norman BN-1F G-ALZE
De Havilland D.H.82A Tiger Moth BB807
De Havilland D.H.110 Sea Vixen FAW.1 (nose only) XJ476
De Havilland D.H.112 Sea Venom FAW.21 WM571
De Havilland D.H.115 Vampire T.11 XD596
Folland Fo.141 Gnat F.1 XK740
Saunders-Roe SR.A1 TG623
Saunders-Roe Skeeter AOP.12 XL770
Short S.25 Sandringham 4 VH-BRC
Slingsby T.31B Cadet TX.3 XN246
Slingsby T.38 Grasshopper TX.1 WZ753
Southampton University Man Powered Aircraft BAPC.7
Supemarine Seagull (nose only)
Supermarine S.6A (S.6) N248
Supemarine 356 Spitfire F.24 PK683
Supermarine Swift (cockpit section only)
Wight Quadraplane (R) 'NS546'


This page is published by Fleet Air Arm Archive and is updated regularly. Click Here!

© 2001 All rights reserved for all information created for or on behalf of the HMS Daedalus Virtual Heritage Museum
Contact email: