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Armstrong-Whitworth Meteor NF14 Serial WS807

1950s RAF two-seat jet night fighter.

Armstrong-Whitworth Aircraft of Coventry developed the two-seat night fighter version of the Meteor and WS807 was built at their Baginton factory. It entered service with 46 Squadron with the side letter N and was later converted to an NF(T)14, serving with side letter J with 2 Air Navigation School at Thorney Island, then 1 ANS at Stradishall. 

In June 1967 it went to Watton as 7973M, painted as N of 46 Squadron. It was later acquired by Meteor Flight at Yatesbury.

It was recorded in the Flight International edition of 28 February 1976 that WS807 was being refurbished to its original night fighter finish after being gate guardian at RAF Watton.

The third of the three major variants of the Meteor to join our collection, WS807 was bought for the museum in 1996 by Violet Davis in memory of her late husband Norman, who developed the Gloster Trading Estate from the former Gloster factory-airfield at Hucclecote and Brockworth. It arrived at the museum in July the following year and is complete apart from the two Derwent engines, having both seats and all instruments. Not on display.

It was WS807 in which Jet Age Museum ex-chairman John Lewer made his first jet flight, flown by Flt Lt Ball of 1 ANS at RAF Stradishall on 9 December 1963. John’s log records that they took off at 10.25 am and were in the air for 1 hr 20 min. John made seven flights in NF14s altogether, each lasting approximately one and a half hours. The flights were made to prepare navigators for high-speed, low-level flight. He flew again in WS807 that afternoon – 1 hr 35 min with Flt Lt Horner – and on 13 December was airborne for an hour with Flt Lt Wilkinson.