Many years ago I built an Airfix model of the Seahawk and I was struck how sleek and elegant the aircraft looked, even though it had been out of service fifty years by that point. Many of the jets introduced into service in the late 1940s and early 1950s have a beauty and elegance that has not been surpassed since. It is therefore no surprise that they were popular choices for photographers of the time, appearing in magazines such as ‘Aeroplane’ and on postcards which were avidly bought by young boys, excited by this cutting edge technology. Today we are looking at one such postcard of the aforementioned Seahawk:
The Seahawk had first flown in 1947 and was accepted into service with the Royal Navy for carrier duty from 1953. The fighter was a single seater aircraft powered by a Rolls Royce Nene engine that gave it a top speed of 600mph. It could carry a variety of armament, having fixed points on the wings for rockets and bombs in addition to the four 20mm Hispano cannons mounted in the nose.
The Seahawk was to see extensive service in Suez, with aircraft flying from HMS Eagle, HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark as ground attack aircraft. The aircraft was withdrawn from British service in 1958 as better aircraft came along. That was not the end of the story however as the Indian Navy had purchased the design and the aircraft continued in service for them right through until 1983 and so saw combat in both the Indo-Pakistan war of 1965 and the Indo-Pakistan war of 1971.