Donations are needed to help get an historic aircraft flying again, after it crash landed at RNAS Culdrose Air Day.
Fleet Air Arm historians are hoping aviation enthusiasts and the general public alike will get behind the campaign, to get the Royal Navy’s last propeller-driven fighter, the Sea Fury, back in the sky again.
It is after the aeroplane made an emergency landing at the Helston air display last month. The vintage Sea Fury skidded to a halt on the grass after pilot Lt Cdr Chris ‘Goaty’ Götke brought her down rapidly, when the aircraft began developing engine trouble mid-display.
His skill in bringing down the 60-year-old fighter earned praise from the Navy’s greatest pilot, Capt Eric ‘Winkle’ Brown, and drew applause from the 22,000-strong audience at Culdrose Air Day.
The fighter’s undercarriage collapsed on landing, providing some dramatic images as sparks flew off the runway before the Sea Fury careered over the grass and finally came to a stop.
Although the landing gear was damaged, it is the Sea Fury’s Bristol Centaurus engine which requires the most work.
Around 2,500 Centaurus engines were produced in the second half of World War Two for more than 20 different aircraft types, including the Tempest fighter and the gigantic Bristol Brabazon prototype airliner.
The Fly Navy Heritage Trust, which now operate the aircraft, has said that replacing the Centaurus will be tricky, as production stopped nearly 70 years ago and there are only a small number of working models left. Alternatively, experts face the painstaking task of restoring the damaged engine.
Either way, the trust is determined to restore the veteran fighter to flying order.
Tim Manna, from the trust, said: “We have the specialists and the spares to rebuild her and get her back in the air again as soon as possible. The offers of help from Fly Navy Heritage ambassadors and supporters have been incredible.
“A beautiful historic aircraft like the Sea Fury needs to be flying.”
Nearly 900 Sea Fury aircraft were built between the end of World War Two and the mid-1950s, seeing extensive service in Korea.
Donations to the restoration appeal can be made by credit card or Paypal at http://www.fnht.co.uk/t20-appeal.html or by cheque, payable to Fly Navy Heritage Trust, to Fly Navy Heritage Trust,Room 112 Unicorn House, RNAS Yeovilton, Ilchester, Somerset, BA22 8HW.