The Gloster Javelin was an all-weather interceptor aircraft which flew with the RAF in the late 50s and most of the 60s. It was a T-tailed delta wing aircraft designed for night and all-weather operations and was the last aircraft to bear the Gloster name. It was succeeded in the interceptor role by my favourite-ever aircraft the Mighty English Electric Lightning! And not a lot of people know that!!! I drove all the way to Staverton a few months ago to photograph this aircraft because I saw it was outside the airport café on Google Earth. Only it had been moved into this new museum and it wasn't open at that time!!! and my wife still doesn't know about that jaunt!!! This particular aircraft was delivered as an FAW.7 at 19 MU at RAF St Athan in early 1959 and served with 23 Squadron at RAF Coltishall and RAF Horsham St. Faith. After a year of service it was converted to a FAW.8 but by the time it returned to RAF service in 1961 it had been converted to FAW.9. It saw service with 33, 29 and 5 Squadrons until retirement in late 1965. It was allocated as gate guard at RAF Innsworth in 1967 and remained there until the early 90s when she was replaced by a Meteor. She was then acquired by Jet Age.
This is a replica of the Gloster E28/39, the first jet-engined aircraft to fly. It was designed to test the Whittle jet engine in flight leading to the development of the Gloster Meteor. The first prototype bore the serial W4041/G and first flew on the 15th May 1941. It now resides in the Science Museum in London and there are full-size replicas on a roundabout near Farnborough Airfield and on another roundabout in Lutterworth, Leicestershire, where the aircraft's jet engine was produced. I have photographed both and they appear in my Panoramio collection! And not a lot of people know that!
The Gloster Meteor was the first British jet fighter and the Allies' first operational jet aircraft and its development was heavily dependant on ground-breaking turbojet engines developed by Sir Frank Whittle. The Meteor first flew in 1943 and commenced operations in July 1944 with 616 Squadron of the Royal Air Force. There were several major variants of the Meteor incorporating technological advances in the 1940s and 1950s and thousands were built to serve in the RAF and other air forces and remained in use for several decades. This aircraft served with 601 Squadron between 1952-1957 and the with 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 on behalf of Meteor Flight but when plans to fly it again were abandoned it was bought by former Gloster test pilot and Jet Age patron, Peter Cadbury, for the museum.
This museum opened on 24th August 2013 adjacent to Gloucestershire Airport. It all began with a temporary exhibition in a hangar also adjacent to the airport but this had close when it was announced the hangar was to be demolished. Plans for the new museum were approved in January 2011 and this is the result. It is volunteer-run and houses a number of aircraft, aero engines, cockpits and other related exhibits. Aircraft there are: Gloster Javelin FAW.9 XH903, Gloster Meteors T.7 WF784 (outside), F.8 WH364 and T.7 VW453, Gloster Gamecock (reproduction), Gloster E28-39 (full-scale model) and Hawker Hurricane (full-scale model).There is also, as can be seen, the forward fuselage of Avro Vulcan B.2 XM569 and the cockpit is open to visitors. The very first British jet aeroplane, the Gloster 28-39, took off just three miles from this museum 74 years ago and the jet age had begun. The aim of this museum is to save and commemorate Gloucestershire's world-class aviation history, both its aircraft and people, for the enjoyment and education of the public. They describe themselves as not just another aviation museum but a local history museum as well. Above all they are the museum of the former Gloster Aircraft Company which designed and built many famous aeroplanes in the area. They are a real friendly & helpful bunch and I hope to attend the official opening of the museum in 2014.
Pleased to hear that. I believe they are doing quite well on Anglesey in north Wales after they took measures to eradicate the greys from the island.
The First World War Gallipoli Campaign, also known as the Dardanelles Campaign, was another heroic failure providing victory to the Ottoman Empire. It took place between April 1915 and January 1916 and the British and French, aiming to secure a sea route to Russia, launched a naval campaign to force a passage through the Dardanelles. After the naval operation an amphibious landing on the Gallipoli peninsula was undertaken to capture Constantinople (now Istanbul). After eight months the land campaign failed with many casualties on both sides and the invasion force was withdrawn to Egypt. The campaign was one of the great Ottoman victories of the war and a major failure of the Allies and the Republic of Turkey was formed eight years later. The date of the Gallipoli landing, April 25th, is now known as "Anzac Day" in Australia and New Zealand. Gallipoli casualties were over 56,000 Allied dead and a similar number of the Ottoman. Of the Allied dead 34,000 were UK, 8,700 Australians, 2,700 New Zealanders and 9,700 French. However,the UK and Ottoman figures, with wounded and missing men, could well be significantly higher. All in all not a campaign to look back on with any sense of achievement methinks.
The Arctic Convoys of World War II were oceangoing convoys which sailed from the UK, Iceland and North America to northern ports in the Soviet Union primarily Arkhangelsk and Murmansk. There were 78 convoys between August 1941 and May 1945 sailing via several seas of the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. About 1400 merchant ships delivered vital supplies to the Soviet Union under the Lend-Lease programme escorted by ships of the Royal Navy, Royal Canadian Navy and the US Navy. Eighty-Five merchant vessels and sixteen Royal Navy warships, (two cruisers, six destroyers and eight other escort ships), were lost. In July 1942 the convoy PQ17 suffered the worst losses of any convoy in the Second World War. Under attack from German aircraft and U-Boats the convoy was ordered to scatter following reports that a battle group including the battleship Tirpitz had sailed to intercept the convoy. (In fact the German group hadn't left port and in fact the Tirpitz was later sunk in a Norwegian Fjord by the famous 617 Dambuster Squadron but that's another story). Only eleven of thirty-five ships in PQ17 succeeded in running the gauntlet of German bombers and U-Boats and this convoy is said to have inspired the great author Alistair MacLean to write his first, and in my opinion, best novel, HMS Ulysses. This memorial is to the brave men of those convoys.
The pyramid-shaped memorial and the palm trees a nice "Suez" touch, I thought. Two of my uncles served in the Suez Crisis.
They've obviously sussed out the serial Cameo so no GE!
Thought the "split roundels" was a brilliant touch!