Sunday, July 10, 2016

Canada's Sea Hornet

TT193 taxis out at Watson Lake while operating with WEE. (Photo courtesy of the Canada. Dept. of National Defence/Library and Archives Canada/RE68-1785.)

While the RCAF had much experience with the de Havilland Mosquito, both in Canada and in Europe, only one de Havilland Hornet was ever operated by the RCAF. DH Sea Hornet F.20 TT193 was taken on strength in late 1948 and operated by Winter Experimental Establishment (WEE) undertaking cold weather trials.

The Sea Hornet during its time with Spartan Air Service. (Photo courtesy of
Joseph J. Scott/Library and Archives Canada/R3883-1-2-E.)

After being struck off by the RCAF in the summer of 1950, it was sold to Spartan Air Service as CF-GUO. Spartan intended to use the Sea Hornet for photo survey work, but decided to standardize on Lockheed P-38s. Later it was traded by Spartan to Kenting Aviation Ltd for a Lightning. The aircraft had an accident in British Columbia in 1952 and was long thought to be scrapped, but parts of the aircraft are still extant in Canada.

Modeler's Note: The Hornet family has been poorly served in plastic. The best bet to build TT193 in 1/72 is the Special Hobby Sea Hornet F. 20 kit. Consisting of short run plastic, resin, and photo etch it has some accuracy issues, but will look like a Hornet when finished. Sadly, it will take some work, and filler, to get a good looking Sea Hornet on the shelf.

1 comment:

Dave Shirlaw said...

Clarity of the color photo is amazing.