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Hawker Hurricane V6799 SD-X

“HURRICANE COMBAT” – AUTHOR: WING COMMANDER K.W. MACKENZIE DFC, AFC

Extract taken from Pilot’s Combat Report for 7 October 1940

“…At about 1335 hours I saw 8 Me109’s coming across the coast from the East about 1,800 feet above me. I attacked the three nearest machines in vic formation from beneath and a fourth enemy aircraft doing rear-gaurd flew across the line of fire and he developed a leak in the glycol tank. He rolled and dived towards the coast. I followed him, and his aircraft was only about 200 yards and so was easy to catch. I emptied the rest of my ammunition into him from 200 yards but he still flew on and down to 80, to 100 feet off the sea. I flew around him and signalled him to go down, which had no result. I therefore attempted to ram his tail with my undercarriage but it reduced my speed too low to hit him. So flying alongside I dipped my starboard wing-tip onto his port tail plane. The tail plane came off and I lost the tip of my starboard wing. The enemy aircraft spun into the sea and partially sank…”

One of the outstanding fighters of WWII with many more victories than the Spitfire during the Battle of Britain in 1940.

A total of 2,750 MkI and MkII Hurricanes were built locally, by Gloster Aircraft, between 1939 and 1941. Many of them served in the Battle of Britain, when the Company achieved a production rate of five aircraft per day.

Our Hurricane is an accurate external replica built at Pinewood Studios for the 1969 film Battle of Britain directed by Guy Hamilton.

It bears the British Aviation Preservation Council Number of BAPC72.

The replica was restored by us as Mac’s own Gloster-built Hurricane V6799 of 501 (County of Gloucester) (Not …shire) Squadron and proudly bears his signature on the nose, a souvenir of his visit to the museum in the late 90s. He was a Patron of Jet Age Museum until his death in June 2009.

Armstrong-Whitworth Meteor NF14 Serial WS807

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.

Gloster Meteor F8 Serial WH3644

Gloster Meteor F8 Serial WH3644

WH364 served with 601 Squadron between 1952 and 1957, then with the station flights at Safi, Takali and Idris. It last served with 85 Squadron, retiring in 1971 and going on the gate at RAF Kemble the following year. 

Twenty years later it was bought by Eddie and Paul Brown of Meteor Flight, but when they abandoned plans to get it flying again it was bought by former Gloster test pilot and Jet Age patron Peter Cadbury for the museum.

Initially stored at Kemble, where it was restored for us by a team led by Paul Brown, it now has pride of place in the museum’s display hanger.

Gloster Meteor T7 Serial WF784

Gloster Meteor T7 Serial WF784

Example of world's first two-seat jet trainer.

WF784 was the 19th of a batch of 89 built by Gloster and delivered to the Royal Air Force between January and September 1951.

It served in Germany between 1951 and 1954, first with 26 Squadron, then with 130 Squadron. 26 Squadron was at Wunstorf, moving to Oldenburg in November 1953. It was equipped with Sabres to June 1952, Vampire FB9s to December 1953 and Sabre F4s to July 1955. 130 Squadron re-formed at Bruggen 1 August 1953 and operated Sabre F4s to May 1956. 

It’s likely, but not certain, that the T7 wore the same colours and markings as the fighters.

WF784 served with the Ferry Training Unit at Benson between 1956 and 1958 and with the College of Air Warfare/Royal Air Force Flying College at Manby and Strubby, Lincolnshire, between 1959 and 1962.

It was then transferred to No. 5 Civilian Anti-Aircraft Co-operation Unit before going to 5MU storage and disposal unit at RAF Kemble. It went to RAF Quedgeley for display on No. 1 site on 20 November 1965,allocated Service Task No. 7895M.

It was bought by Gloucestershire Aviation Collection/Jet Age Museum 30 May 1996 with a grant from Tewkesbury Borough Council. Stored for us temporarily at Quedgeley, it arrived at the museum on 3 March 1997 and is complete except for its two Rolls-Royce Derwent 8 engines.

Gloster Gladiator N5914

Gloster Gladiator N5914

The Gladiator holds the distinction of being the last biplane fighter to enter RAF and Fleet Air Arm service

A 20 year old New Zealander, Pilot Officer James Leon Wilkie, took off from Bardufoss at 14:30 along with N5681 (P/O Jacobsen) on patrol in the Narvik/Bjørnfjell area. He was attacked by two Bf 110’s of I./ZG 76 east of Rombaksfjorden and shot down by the German ace Lt H Lent to become one of the seven daylight kills of the total 110 claimed by the ace up to his death on 7 October 1944. 

The Gladiator held by Jet Age Museum is the one shot down on 2 June 1940 and the wreckage remained on Lille Haugefjellet until the end of 1998 it was recovered for restoration.

Above members of Jet Age recovering the wreckage and below right the airframe under restoration by Jet Age members. 

 

Read the full story of Wilkie’s Gladiator and Jet Age Museum’s rebuilds of Gladiator wreckage recovered from Norway at History Journal 

Gloster Gamecock Reproduction

Gloster Gamecock reproduction

The Gloster Gamecock first flew in 1925 and was the RAF’s last wooden fighter, serving with several front-line squadrons.  No complete Gamecock survives.  Our reproduction Gamecock has been finished as J7904, of 43 Squadron as flown by the Squadron Commander in the late 1920s, complete with black and white chequers on the rear fuselage spine.

Rear fuselage sections of two Finnish-built Gamecocks survive in museums in Finland, but apart from a handful of components that is all. The reproduction is a remarkable achievement because hardly any original Gamecock drawings have survived either. The few original drawings available were for the Finnish version, widely differing from the RAF version and with all captions in Finnish.     

Roff T Jones

Our design team was led by the late Roff T Jones, a former Gloster senior designer and engineer who had joined the company in 1937. He brought together a team of veteran designers and draughtsmen. Working from the surviving Finnish drawings, known dimensions for the RAF Gamecock I, the chance discovery of an original spares manual and a limited range of other sources, Roff and his team produced a priceless set of many hundred construction drawings to the highest possible standard. 

The drawings were passed to the late Barry Denton, who led the construction team. Volunteers got to work in workshops and sheds around the county and in August 1998 at Staverton a basic fuselage and tail unit, with engine, propeller and undercarriage, was dedicated by Ida Whitaker, daughter of Gloster company founder AW Martyn, on her 100th birthday. 

The Gamecock then had to go into store when the Jet Age hangar at Staverton was redeveloped, but it was moved to the Tithe Barn Centre in 2007, when the workshop there became available, and work resumed.

A few compromises have been made – the rigging wires are circular rather than streamline section due to cost, and plywood is used instead of asbestos for the firewall – but otherwise it is pretty much spot on. The engine is on loan from the RAF Museum and was reconditioned by Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust. The propeller is original, as are one interplane strut and two inter-aileron struts, one of them restored after it had been sharpened as a fence post.

Many detailed photographs of the Jet Age Gamecock under construction are featured in “Gloster Grebe and Gamecock” by Tim Kershaw, published by MMP Books in April 2011 

Gloster Javelin FAW9 Serial XH903

Gloster Javelin FAW9 Serial XH903

Cold War-era delta wing all-weather fighter. Restored 2003. On loan from the Royal Air Force Museum. Image: Phil Jones JetPhotos.Net

XH903 was the 65th of 85 Javelin FAW7s built by the Gloster Aircraft Company under contract Acft/11329/CB7(b) of 19 October 1954.

It was completed in early 1959 and was delivered from the Gloster factory at Hucclecote on 27 February to RAF St Athan. After service acceptance checks with 19 MU it was assigned to 23 Squadron at RAF Coltishall and detached to RAF Horsham St Faith on 1 May.

XH903 came back to Gloster’s Moreton Valence factory on 1 June 1960 for changes to systems and equipment and replacing the Sapphire Sa7 engines with the reheated Sa7R . Now completed as a Javelin FAW9, it was delivered to St Athan on 5 January 1961 and on 14 February to 33 Squadron at RAF Middleton St George.

Ten days later it went to RAF Leuchars on loan to 29 Squadron, returning to 33 Squadron on 3 March.

In October 1962, 5 Squadron, then flying the Javelin FAW5, began to convert to the FAW9 variant and took on charge most of 33 Squadron’s aircraft, including XH 903. Re-equipment was completed by 21 November and coincided with the Squadron’s move from RAF Laarbruch to RAF Geilenkirchen and assignment to 2 ATAF, XH 903 gaining the code “G” at this time.

The aircraft flew with 5 Squadron until 20 September 1963 when it suffered a Cat3 accident. This resulted in its withdrawal from use until repairs were completed , the aircraft returning to 5 Sqn on 10 April 1964.

On 7 October 1965 5 Squadron disbanded as a Javelin unit and XH903 was flown to 27 MU at RAF Shawbury on 15 October for storage. It was struck off charge on 2 December 1966 and allocated to RAF Innsworth for display on 23 August 1967, receiving the maintenance serial 7938M.

(NOTE: details above edited by TK from the book RAF Gate Guards by Jim Simpson)

The aircraft was delivered to Gloucestershire Aviation Collection (now known as Jet Age Museum) on 19 May 1993, and restored at RAF St Athan in 2003. 

Gloster Javelin FAW.4 XA634

Gloster Javelin FAW.4 XA634

XA634, the only surviving FAW4, was delivered to the RAF on 18 May 1956.  It was assigned to Airwork on a sub contract from Gloster Aircraft Company for the continuation of the Sperry Mk12 autopilot trials. She arrived at Blackbushe on 30 April 1957 and was returned on 3 January 1958. Thereafter she was used by Flight Refuelling Company to test an unsuccessful refuelling probe installation on the port wing.

Service life then began with 228 OCU at Leeming, which ended when the airframe was assigned to RAF Melksham as ground trainer 7641M. 

XA634 was restored in 1988 in 228 OCU colours and displayed on the gate at RAF Leeming for many years. When repainted in 2001 the very clouded cockpit canopy was painted black. She will undergo restoration after being acquired by Jet Age Museum 

 

Brilliant job by the guys at GJD Services of Bruntingthorpe who delivered XA634

 

Thank You

 

Birth of the jet age: Gloster E28/39

Birth of the jet age: Gloster E28/39

The Gloster E28/39 has great significance for us as Gloucestershire’s outstanding contribution to world aviation history.
 

The original aircraft, now in the Science Museum in London, was the first-ever British and Allied jet.

Powered by jet engine inventor Frank Whittle’s first flight engine, it was designed and built by the Gloster Aircraft Company. Its official first flight was at RAF Cranwell on 15 May 1941, but it had already left the ground during taxiing trials at Gloster’s Brockworth airfield on 8 April.
 
Our E28 (shown above) is a full-size fibreglass model, assembled from mouldings produced by the Sir Frank Whittle Commemorative Group and paid for by the Reactionaries – former colleagues of Whittle – and a generous grant from Tewkesbury Borough Council.
 
Our own team, led by aircraft restoration manager Chris Radford, then added a massive amount of detail, including building the undercarriage, fitting out the cockpit and adding panel and rivet lines.