Aviation Historian 30
B.Lindwall - Whistling in the Dark
Another rare colour photograph of 33008 in the UK before delivery. Note the original taller fins, later replaced with shorter kidney-shaped fins and rudders to prevent excessive yaw and possible rudder-locking at low speed.
Contained within the bulbous radome of the J 33 was the scanner for the same PS-20/A (SCR-720B) radar suite, known as AI Mk X in RAF service, fitted to its predecessor, the J 30 Mosquito. Note also the apertures on the underside of the fuselage for the nightfighter’s four 20mm Hispano cannon and the original framed canopy roof.
With its short undercarriage enabling easy access to all parts of the airframe and powerplant, the J 33 proved to be a rugged and adaptable nightfighter, capable of operating in the harshest Arctic winters. The revised clamshell canopy, seen here, was a great improvement over the original.
Although Flygvapnet regarded the J 33 as an interim aircraft, the type remained in front-line service for seven years, before being replaced by the Swedish-designed and -built Saab J 32B Lansen. The last of the RAF’s Venom NF.2s and NF.3s were retired from squadron service in late 1957, and the Royal Navy’s Sea Venoms in 1960.