Wonderfull cab in the air and a bloody leaking sod awful pig on the ground. Was capable of inflicting serious aerial rash. Could deliver more fuel and or hydraulic fluid to the deck than any other aircraft. Needed all night in a stinking hot hanger (Hermes '62 to '64 ) in order to fly the next day. Drove maintainers to distraction and beyond.
A real Naval aircraft. Long gone, long remembered and sadly missed.


Lantern Swinger
I somehow dont think so Slim. Wasnt it a bit of a Pilot killer? The old man told me it took 256 Maintainence Hours to 1 flying hour. is this true?
I have not heard the Scimitar being a "pilot killer". Like most military aircraft it had it's share of accidents but no more than that. 803 in Hermes 62 to 64 did not loose any pilots, aircraft yes, pilots no. When considering how small the deck was that is surprising. Likewise 800b in Eagle 65 to 66 did not loose any pilots during tanker duties.
I do not know where the 256 hours of maintenance came from, sounds like a calculator quote, but it is true to say that the scimitar took some looking after. The more time spent on the deck the more attention they needed and at times an aircraft would become so hanger bound that 256 hours and more may have been required to get it back in the air.
The Scimitar suffered from being a continuous "work in progress". Mark 1 and a mods list as long as your arm, the eternal prototype.
These are my memories.
Considering the jump from straight wing, single Nene powered Sea Hawk with unguided weapons to swept wing (first in the RN), twin Avon powered (much like the Lightning only without reheat) with guided weapons plus the RN's first nuke it is hardly surprising the increasing demands on training, flying and maintenance took a heavy toll on the relatively small Scimitar force.

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