The De Havilland Devon was a military version of the de Havilland Dove short-haul airliner, one of Britain’s most successful post-war civil designs. The original design was in response to the Brabazon Committee report which called for a British designed short-haul feeder for airlines. The Devon was used by the Royal Air Force and, as the Sea Devon, by the Royal Navy for transport and communication duties. Powered by two de Havilland Gipsy Queen engines, the Dove and Devon were the first British transport aircraft to use reversible-pitch propellers for braking assistance. Standard accommodation as a transport was for 8 to 11 passengers.
Devon VP967 was built in 1948 as a C1 aircraft and was delivered to the Royal Air Force later in the year, operating in the United Kingdom and Germany. The aircraft was later fitted with more powerful engines as a C2 and continued its RAF service with 21 Squadron at Andover and 207 Squadron at Northolt transporting VIPs. In due course the aircraft was transferred to the Royal Navy and, named as a Sea Devon, served at RNAS Culdrose on the Station Flight. The aircraft is known to have participated in the ‘Cod Wars’ at a time when foreign fishing vessels were encroaching into United Kingdom territorial waters. Following retirement from service in 1982 and decommissioning in the late 1980s, VP967 was bought by a businessman who planned to operate the aircraft as G-KOOL to transport fresh lobsters from Ireland. Eventually the aircraft became a gate guardian and instructional airframe at East Surrey College, Redhill until recovered by the East Surrey Aviation Group in 2000. In 2002 the Devon was moved from Goodwood, West Sussex to Redhill Aerodrome and from 2003 was restored to ground taxiing condition and repainted in 207 Squadron colours.
Since acquisition by the Museum in November 2010, the airframe and engines have been restored to ground taxiing condition.