WH453 arrived at the museum in January 2005 having arrived from Llanbedr in Wales, where it had previously been in use as a static engine test frame after retiring from flying in 1990. The aircraft started life as an F.8 fighter version serving with RAF 222sqn, 72Sqn and then 5 CAACU. In 1972 it was one of several Meteor airframes selected to be converted to a U.16 drone, which meant it could be flown by remote control from the ground whilst towing a target banner for aircraft to practice shooting at. The aircraft is currently undergoing a long term full restoration back to a F.8 fighter version and will be painted in the colours of 72 Sqn when complete.

TECHNICAL SPECS
Manufacturer: Gloster Aircraft Company
Purpose: Single seat day fighter
Crew: One
Wingspan: 37 ft 2” / 11.8 metres
Length: 44 ft 7” / 13.5 metres
Height: 13 ft / 3.9 metres
Weight (Empty): 10,684 lb. / 4,846 kg
Service ceiling: 43,000 ft / 13,106 metres
Engines: 2x Rolls Royce Derwent 8
Performance: 598mph at 10,000 ft

WEAPONS
4x 20mm Hispano cannons

HISTORY
Construction no. – G5/415582
Place of manufacture – built by Gloster aircraft company at Huccelcote
Date of Manufacture – work completed 12th October 1951
Type – built as an F.8, converted to U.16/D.16
Date of delivery to RAF –  19th October 1951

ASSIGNMENTS
19th October 1951 33MU (Maintenance unit)
11th March 1952 delivered to 222 Sqn at RAF Leuchars
9th May 1954 to Avro factory at Langar for maintenance
30th May 1954 delivered to 72Sqn at RAF Church Fenton
1st May 1956 delivered to 5 CAACU
13th October 1971 to 5 MU
18th April 1972 to MOD for U.16 drone conversion
9th April 1974 to Flight Refuelling for drone equipment installation
9th August 1974 to RAE West Freugh
6th January 1975 to RAE Llanbedr
13th September 1976 to Flight refueling for upgrades
24th November 1976 to RAE Llanbedr
10th October 1990 removed from flying at Llanbedr and used as static engine test frame

 

Total flying hours –  4106.55
Date received by the museum – 18th January 2005