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Meteor NF14 WS776

WS776 was built from a batch of 100 Meteor NF.14s manufactured by Armstrong Whitworth, at Baginton in Coventry to Contract 6/Acft/6412.


Feb-1954 First Flight
09-Feb-1954 Accepted by the Air Ministry
22-Feb-1954 Delivered to 8 Maintenance Unit (MU), Little Rissington.
15-Jun-1954 To 25 Sqn., West Mailing, coded ‘K’
02-Jul-1958 To 85 Sqn., Church Fenton, coded ‘J’
25-Nov1958 To 72 Sqn., Church Fenton, coded ‘J’
15-Jun-1959 To RAF Leeming for 60 Sqn.,
25-Aug-1959 Sent for storage to 5 MU, Kemble.
26-Jul-1960 To No. 228 Operational Conversion Unit (OCU), Leeming, coded ‘Z’
25-Jan-1961 To 33 MU, Lyneham
30-Mar-1961 Allocated the maintenance number 7716M.
03-May-1961 Placed on the gate at RAF North Luffenham, coded ‘K’
Mar-1998 Sold to Aviation Group and moved to North Coates.
Nov-1999 Moved to Sandtoft, Lines, and placed on display at the gate.
05-Feb-2005 Delivered to Bournemouth Aviation Museum.


The Gloster Meteor

The original Gloster Meteor was the first jet to enter service with the RAF (July 1944) in its initial role as a single seat fighter. Entering service with 616 Squadron, the initial F.1 version was used in action against V-1 flying bombs.

Improvements were made post war resulting in the F.4 version, followed by the main fighter version - the F.8 - from 1949. Over 1,000 of this variant were produced for the RAF, with many others sold to overseas air forces.

The RAF had need of a modern night fighter to replace the wartime Mosquito, and a two seat development of the Meteor was developed by Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft on behalf of Gloster Aircraft. In fact the prototype was a rebuild of a T.7 trainer. The first production Meteor NF.11 flew in November 1950, with over three hundred built for the RAF. The armament of the fighter version was moved to the wings of the night fighter, with a large Airborne Intercept (AI) radar housed in the nose. The NF.11 entered service with 29 Squadron in August 1951.

Improvements to the radar led to the NF.12, followed by the NF.14 which first flew in October 1953. This version was longer to accommodate a new radar, plus it was fitted with a clear view cockpit for its crew of two. However none of the night fighters were fitted with ejector seats! As with the fighter version a number were sold overseas, including Belgium, Denmark, France and Israel. With the RAF, the night fighters served Fighter Command at home and in Germany, as well as in the Middle and Far East.

All night fighter versions of the Meteor were eventually replaced by the Gloster Javelin, the last being taken out of service in August 1961. A number were then converted for use as target tugs or as navigational trainers.


Technical Information
Armstrong Whitworth Meteor NF.14

Role: Two seat Night Fighter
Length 51 ft 4 in (15.63 m)
Height 13 ft 11 in (4.2 m)
Wing Span 43 ft (13.1 m)
Wing Area 374 sq ft (34.74 sq m)
Engines: Two 3,800 lb (1,723 kg) thrust Rolls Royce Derwent 9
Weights: Empty 12,620 lb (5, 724 kg)
Maximum loaded 21,200 lb (9, 626 kg)
Maximum speed at 10,000 ft (3,048 m) 585 mph (940 kph)
Service ceiling 43,000 ft (13,106 m)
Range 950 miles, 825 nautical miles (1,530 km)
Armament: Four Hispano 5 canon, with 160 rounds per gun.