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Gloster Meteor

Gloster Meteor

2 x Rolls-Royce Derwent 8 turbojets
1,633 kg (3,600 lb)
13.59 m (44 ft 7 in)
4.22 m (13 ft 10 in)
11.33 m (37 ft 2 in)
8,864 kg (19,100 lb)
Max Speed
962 km/h (508 kt 585 mph)
13,411 m (44,000 ft)
1,234 km (666 nm)

Description of Aircraft

The experimental Gloster E28/39 made the first flight by a British jet-propelled aircraft on 15 May 1941 and on 5 March 1943 the Gloster Meteor became the Royal Air Force’s first operational jet aircraft. The Meteor was the only Allied jet to see action in World War II.

Australia ordered 113 Meteors; 95 F.8 single seat variants, 16 T.7 two seat trainers and a single NF.11 aircraft. Deliveries began in 1951.

Upon arrival the Meteors were immediately sent to 77 Squadron in Korea where the piston engine P-51D Mustang was under threat from the MiG-15 jet fighter. Training was conducted in Iwakuni, Japan before 77 Squadron was redeployed to Kimpo Air Base, Korea as part of the British Commonwealth Forces.

At the end of the war 44 Meteors had been lost to enemy action and by 1958 most Meteors had been replaced by CAC Sabres with the aircraft officially being retired in 1963.

A77-851 (on display) was delivered to No 77 Squadron in Kimpo, Korea on 20 August 1952.

The aircraft, named Halestorm, was made famous on 27 March 1953 when pilot George Hale, who’s name appears in the nose art, shot down a MiG-15 while operating in the Haeju area northwest of Seoul.

This was the last Australian aircraft to shoot down an enemy aircraft in action.

Following the end of the Korean War in July 1953, A77-851 was sold by the Royal Australian Air Force to the Weapons Research Establishment at Woomera, South Australia to be converted to an unmanned drone known as the U.21A. On 9 July 1963 the aircraft was damaged on landing during an unmanned flight and was deemed uneconomical to repair.

On 2 December 1963 the aircraft was converted to scrap and by January 1964 it was struck off charge.

While the aircraft was scrapped, the cockpit and forward fuselage section went to the Warbirds Museum at Mildura, Victoria before being acquired by the South Australian Aviation Museum.

In 2022 the South Australian Aviation Museum gifted the cockpit and forward fuselage to RAAF History and Heritage who have restored A77-851 to its former glory.

View Other Aircraft Displays

Exhibited in two hangars, visitors can walk-around, touch and look into the cockpits of such famous aircraft as the Mirage III, the Avon Sabre, the Gloster Meteor, the first Vampire jet built in Australia, the mighty F-111C and the F/A-18A Hornet. Also on display is a World War 1 Sopwith Camel replica, WWII Spitfire replicas, a PC-9A(F) Foward Air Control aircraft, Winjeel trainer and much more.

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