STATUS: Retired, Out-of-Service
MANUFACTURER(S): de Havilland Aircraft Company - UK / SNCASE - France
OPERATORS: Australia; France; United Kingdom
LENGTH: 36.75 feet (11.2 meters)
WIDTH: 42.85 feet (13.06 meters)
HEIGHT: 8.53 feet (2.6 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 9,259 pounds (4,200 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 15,807 pounds (7,170 kilograms)
ENGINE: 1 x de Havilland Ghost 105 turbojet engine developing 5,300lbs of thrust.
SPEED (MAX): 576 miles-per-hour (927 kilometers-per-hour; 501 knots)
RANGE: 705 miles (1,135 kilometers; 613 nautical miles)
CEILING: 39,501 feet (12,040 meters; 7.48 miles)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 5,750 feet-per-minute (1,753 meters-per-minute)
Detailing the development and operational history of the de Havilland DH.112 Sea Venom Carrier-based Fighter / Fighter-Bomber Aircraft.
Entry last updated on 3/9/2018.
Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
With the de Havilland Venom already in the works for the British Royal Air Force (RAF), the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm (FAA) took interest in a navalized form of the versatile twin-boom, turbojet-powered fighter for use on its carrier decks as an all-weather interceptor/fighter-bomber. Specifically, the Venom NF.Mk 2, the dedicated two-seat night-fighter form of the Venom, was elected for modification. Changes to the original design included a reinforced undercarriage, an arrestor hook under the tail for carrier landings and powered folding wings for carrier storage. The resulting design emerged to undertake its first flight on April 19th, 1951 and three prototypes were eventually constructed. Carrier trials then followed in 1952 and the type presented for service by 1956 as the de Havilland "Sea Venom". Initial production models were recognized as FAW.Mk 20, outfitted with the Ghost 103 series turbojet engine of 4,850 lbs thrust and featured the American SCR 720 radar (as the AI Mk 10). Standard armament was 4 x Hispano Mk.V cannon with support for 2 x 1,000lbs drop bombs or 8 x 60lb RP-3 unguided rockets underwing.
Following FAW.Mk 20 was FAW.Mk 21 which brought about use of the de Havilland Ghost 104 turbojet engine of 4,950lbs thrust. Radar became the American APS-57 (as the AI Mk 21) and the undercarriage was further reinforced for the rigors of carrier operations. These airframes were largely based on the Venom NF.Mk 3 night-fighter variant and some 167 of the type were ultimately delivered. Of those, six were eventually converted to Electronic CounterMeasures (ECMs) platforms under the designation ECM.Mk 21 and lacked the armament of their fighter-bomber brethren.
Next came the improved FAW.Mk 22 which featured a more powerful de havilland Ghost 105 turbojet of 5,300lbs thrust. Thirty-nine aircraft were produced from in this mold. FAW.Mk 22 featured a maximum speed of 575 miles per hour with a range out to 700 miles and service ceiling up to 39,500 feet. The aircraft exhibited a rate-of-climb of 5,750 feet per minute. Again, an ECM variant was brought out of the existing FAW.Mk 22 stock and these designated as ECM.Mk 22.
The Royal Australian Navy Fleet Air Arm (RANFAA) arranged for three squadrons to field the Sea Venom when their turn came - squadrons 724, 805 and 808 - and these Sea Venoms served under the local designation of FAW.Mk 21 across 39 examples.
RAF Sea Venoms were used in operational actions during the Suez Crisis of 1956 which saw the nation of Egypt attempt to nationalize the world-important Suez Canal. Britian was joined by France and Israel in their venture with Sea Venoms launched from HMS Albion and HMS Eagle. Sea Venoms undertook various bombing missions against Egyptian targets of opportunity. Additional actions then greeted the type during the 1958 Cyprus Emergency and continued in faithful service up until her usefulness as a frontline aircraft was deemed over.
All Sea Venoms were eventually removed from service by 1970, replaced by more modern types emerging from the technological explosion seen during the Cold War decades. Sea Venoms were replaced by another de Havilland product - the famous twin-engine, twin-seat "Sea Vixen" (detailed elsewhere on this site) which incorporated swept-back wings and continued the twin-boom de Havilland tradition with its jet aircraft.
French Navy Sea Venoms - the Aquilon
Beyond the U.K. and Australia, the only other Sea Venoms in service were with the French Navy and these became license-production examples from the SNCASE (Sud-Est) concern under the local designation of "Aquilon". The Aquilon was procured along three distinct variant designations with initial models being Aquilon 20 and numbering twenty-nine examples. The Aquilon 202 was a twin-seat variant with American-originated AN/APQ-65 radar of which 50 were eventually taken on. Aquilon 203 was the single-seat Sea Venom form and outfitted with AN/APQ-94 radar and provision for air-to-air missiles (AAMs). Production of this mark totaled 40 units. Aquilon 201 was a one-off prototype and six Aquilon 20s were converted to the Aquilon 204 twin-seat trainer (sans cannon armament). 11F and 16F Naval Squadron fielded Aquilons.
The DH.116 Sea Venom
For a short time, there stood the potential for the Sea Venom to experience its ultimate evolution as the proposed DH.116. The existing aircraft was to be given a modernized radar system with greater capabilities as well as swept-back wings. The project did not progress far and Royal Navy interest eventually settled on the aforementioned Sea Vixen.
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Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.
Relative Maximum Speed Rating
This entry's maximum listed speed (576mph).
Graph average of 562.5 miles-per-hour.
Graph showcases the de Havilland DH.112 Sea Venom FAW.Mk 22's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units