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THE JET AGE RESERVE MODEL COLLECTION

 
 

   
 

SYDNEY CAMM AND THE WINDS OF CHANGE

 
 

   
 

Click here for an introduction to the Jet Age Reserve Model Collection and future display information

 
 

   
Click here for the American Stories


 

Click here for the American Stories

 
 

   
   Click here for the German Stories  


Click here for the German Stories


Click here for the Japanese Stories


Click here for the Japanese Stories


  Currently, Jet Age Model Reserve Collection presentations are focussed on exploring the existing Airfield Embankment configuration and below are some of the stories that have been told so far. Jet Age Reserve Collection models displayed at the time are indicated in bold although the Meteor NF14 mentioned in The Winds of Change was subsequently stolen. If anyone has a replacement they would like to donate please email me!

The first presentation, on Sydney Camm's swept wing jets, includes an introduction to the whole concept of the diorama boxes although on this page the Gloucester RCW cement wagon topic is covered comprehensively under The Winds of Change.

 
 

   
Born in 1895, Sydney Camm’s interest in model aircraft led him to work for Martinsyde during the First World War before joining Hawkers in 1923. He then rose to the position of Chief Designer in 1925 and became a Director of the famous firm in 1935. Among his classic biplane designs were the Hart family – and later Fury – while his Henley, Hurricane and Typhoon monoplane types were built by the Gloster Aircraft Company: a part of the Hawker empire by the outbreak of World War II. The tank-busting Typhoon was further developed into the Tempest and Sea Fury – the latter even managing to shoot down MiG 15 jets during the Korean War. But before being knighted in 1953 and his death in 1966 respectively, Camm – a Commander of the British Empire and Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society – left Britain the legacy of two classic jet types: the Hunter and the Harrier.


 

SYDNEY CAMM’S SWEPT WING JETS

 
 

   
As well as faithfully replicating one time and place, another option for the modeller is making the unlikely happen – if not the impossible! In this novel diorama, the evolution of British bulk cement wagons – in which the Gloucester Railway Carriage and Wagon Company played an important part – forms the literal background to the development of modern British fighter-bombers. Both stories stretch from the 1950s to the 1980s.

Born in 1895, Sydney Camm’s interest in model aircraft led him to work for Martinsyde during the First World War before joining Hawkers in 1923. He then rose to the position of Chief Designer in 1925 and became a Director of the famous firm in 1935. Among his classic biplane designs were the Hart family – and later Fury – while his Henley, Hurricane and Typhoon monoplane types were built by the Gloster Aircraft Company: a part of the Hawker empire by the outbreak of World War II.


The tank-busting Typhoon was further developed into the Tempest and Sea Fury – the latter even managing to shoot down MiG 15 jets during the Korean War. But before being knighted in 1953 and his death in 1966 respectively, Camm – a Commander of the British Empire and Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society – left Britain the legacy of two classic jet types: the Hunter and the Harrier.


The tank-busting Typhoon was further developed into the Tempest and Sea Fury – the latter even managing to shoot down MiG 15 jets during the Korean War. But before being knighted in 1953 and his death in 1966 respectively, Camm – a Commander of the British Empire and Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society – left Britain the legacy of two classic jet types: the Hunter and the Harrier.

Sydney Camm’s first straight winged jet prototype, the Hawker P1040, had first flown on 2 September 1947 and entered Royal Navy service as the Sea Hawk. The swept wing P1052 – one of two aircraft ordered under Air Ministry Specification E 38/46 - followed on 19 December 1948 to explore work done by German aerodynamicists and was again powered by a single Rolls Royce Nene turbine. Although deck landing trials were undertaken aboard HMS Eagle in May 1952, experience gained by VX 272 (pictured above) was to lead not to a naval aircraft but to Britain’s most widely exported land based swept wing fighter: The Hawker Hunter.

Sydney Camm’s first straight winged jet prototype, the Hawker P1040, had first flown on 2 September 1947 and entered Royal Navy service as the Sea Hawk. The swept wing P1052 – one of two aircraft ordered under Air Ministry Specification E 38/46 - followed on 19 December 1948 to explore work done by German aerodynamicists and was again powered by a single Rolls Royce Nene turbine. Although deck landing trials were undertaken aboard HMS Eagle in May 1952, experience gained by VX 272 (pictured above) was to lead not to a naval aircraft but to Britain’s most widely exported land based swept wing fighter: The Hawker Hunter.

This was developed from three P1067 prototypes built to Air Ministry Specification F3/48, The first of these flew for the first time on 20 June 1951 at Boscombe Down with Squadron Leader Neville Duke at the controls. Avon powered Hunters began to replace Gloster Meteor F8s in RAF service during 1954, 43 Squadron at Leuchars in Scotland being the first to re-equip with the Mark 1 variant.

The F6 version, represented in grey and green camouflage by XL 619 above ( a serial in reality used by a Hunter T7), also served with the Swiss Air Force as well as the famous "Black Arrows" display team of the RAF. Similarly IF 70 was part of the Belgian "Red Devils" from 1961 –63 while 65  was an altogether less conspicuous member of 8 Squadron based at Chievres.

The F6 version, represented in grey and green camouflage by XL 619 above ( a serial in reality used by a Hunter T7), also served with the Swiss Air Force as well as the famous "Black Arrows" display team of the RAF. Similarly IF 70 was part of the Belgian "Red Devils" from 1961 –63 while 65  was an altogether less conspicuous member of 8 Squadron based at Chievres.

The F6 version, represented in grey and green camouflage by XL 619 above ( a serial in reality used by a Hunter T7), also served with the Swiss Air Force as well as the famous "Black Arrows" display team of the RAF. Similarly IF 70 was part of the Belgian "Red Devils" from 1961 –63 while 65  was an altogether less conspicuous member of 8 Squadron based at Chievres.

The F6 version, represented in grey and green camouflage by XL 619 above ( a serial in reality used by a Hunter T7), also served with the Swiss Air Force as well as the famous "Black Arrows" display team of the RAF. Similarly IF 70 was part of the Belgian "Red Devils" from 1961 –63 while 65 was an altogether less conspicuous member of 8 Squadron based at Chievres.


Effective though the Hunter was, Sydney Camm’s last and most radical design was the vertical take off Harrier family. XP836 was the second of two P1127  prototypes that sprang from a design study carried out by the Hawker Project Office in 1957. Supported by the American Mutual Weapons Development Programme, the first bicycle-undercarriaged P1127 began tethered flights at Dunsfold in 1960 to prove the concept of using vectored thrust from the Pegasus turbofan engine.


Effective though the Hunter was, Sydney Camm’s last and most radical design was the vertical take off Harrier family. XP836 was the second of two P1127 prototypes that sprang from a design study carried out by the Hawker Project Office in 1957. Supported by the American Mutual Weapons Development Programme, the first bicycle-undercarriaged P1127 began tethered flights at Dunsfold in 1960 to prove the concept of using vectored thrust from the Pegasus turbofan engine. XP836 was first flown conventionally from Dunsfold on 7 July 1961 but unfortunately crashed near Yeovilton on 14 December 1961, after the loss of the port front engine nozzle. Pilot Bill Bedford ejected safely from an altitude of 200 feet but the aircraft exploded on impact.


The P1127 evolved into the Kestrel, which equipped a multinational British, American and German proving unit in the mid 1960s, while the World’s first operational "jump jet" squadron – No 1 RAF – was formed in 1969 with the Harrier GR1. XW 769 was a GR1 later upgraded to GR3 standard with a distinctive long, thin nose and served with 4 Squadron at RAF Gutersloh.


The P1127 evolved into the Kestrel, which equipped a multinational British, American and German proving unit in the mid 1960s, while the World’s first operational "jump jet" squadron – No 1 RAF – was formed in 1969 with the Harrier GR1. XW 769 was a GR1 later upgraded to GR3 standard with a distinctive long, thin nose and served with 4 Squadron at RAF Gutersloh.

As well as winning the 1969 Daily Mail Trans Atlantic Air Race for Britain, the Harrier GR1 – which avoided the need for long, vulnerable runways - was also sold to the Spanish Navy (as the Matador) and the United States Marine Corps (as the AV-8A). A distinctive feature of 158389  – in the colours of VMA-513 "Flying Nightmares" is the large dorsal radio aerial.

As well as winning the 1969 Daily Mail Trans Atlantic Air Race for Britain, the Harrier GR1 – which avoided the need for long, vulnerable runways - was also sold to the Spanish Navy (as the Matador) and the United States Marine Corps (as the AV-8A). A distinctive feature of 158389 – in the colours of VMA-513 "Flying Nightmares" is the large dorsal radio aerial.


Experience of flying GR1s off relatively small aircraft carriers led to the British Aerospace Sea Harrier being developed for the "Invincible" class through deck cruisers of the Royal Navy. The Sea Harrier FAW1 arrived in Fleet Air Arm squadrons just in time for the Falklands conflict of 1982, which proved the worth of the Harrier concept beyond doubt.  XZ454, seen here, was not included in the overall diorama box picture above - having been acquired as a Corgi die-cast model some time later.  The white undersides were characteristic of the FAW1 Sea Harriers when first delivered to the Royal Navy although they went to war in the South Atlantic in an all-over grey scheme.  The tail letter N signifies HMS Invincible (R05).


Experience of flying GR1s off relatively small aircraft carriers led to the British Aerospace Sea Harrier being developed for the "Invincible" class through deck cruisers of the Royal Navy. The Sea Harrier FAW1 arrived in Fleet Air Arm squadrons just in time for the Falklands conflict of 1982, which proved the worth of the Harrier concept beyond doubt.  XZ454, seen here, was not included in the overall diorama box picture above - having been acquired as a Corgi die-cast model some time later.  The white undersides were characteristic of the FAW1 Sea Harriers when first delivered to the Royal Navy although they went to war in the South Atlantic in an all-over grey scheme.  The tail letter N signifies HMS Invincible (R05).


In fact existing American interest in the Short Take Off / Vertical Landing concept led to the McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II, flown for the first time on 5 November 1981. Known as GR5s in RAF service, aircraft such as ZD 363  were distinguished from its predecessors by a new wing – mainly constructed of carbon fibre composite materials - featuring extra weapon hardpoints and outrigger wheels moved inboard. The new cockpit was also a development of that fitted to the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle and an uprated Pegasus engine offers a larger payload without performance loss.


 

In fact existing American interest in the Short Take Off / Vertical Landing concept led to the McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II, flown for the first time on 5 November 1981. Known as GR5s in RAF service, aircraft such as ZD 363 were distinguished from its predecessors by a new wing – mainly constructed of carbon fibre composite materials - featuring extra weapon hardpoints and outrigger wheels moved inboard. The new cockpit was also a development of that fitted to the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle and an uprated Pegasus engine offers a larger payload without performance loss.

 
 

   
 

Modelling on 12" to the foot has the advantage of more realistic detailing! A replica of Bae Systems Harrier GR5 ZH139 on show at the Royal International Air Tattoo at Fairford in 2002

 
 
   
 

Modelling on 12" to the foot has the advantage of more realistic detailing! A replica of Bae Systems Harrier GR5 ZH139 on show at the Royal International Air Tattoo at Fairford in 2002

 
 

   

On 26 December 2009 the following article appeared in the Daily Telegraph, written by Chief Reporter Gordon Rayner:

Move to mark life of man who gave the RAF the Hurricane

As the designer of such aircraft as the Hawker Hurricane and Hawker Harrier, Sir Sydney Camm has been described as the Isambard Kingdom Brunel of aeronautical engineering. Yet his vital contribution to victory in the Second World War , and his leading role in post-war defence, has remained largely unrecognised by the British public.

More than 40 years after his death, a fund-raising appeal has  has been launched to educate future generations about his towering achievements by installing a full sized replica of a Hurricane in hi home town of Windsor and setting up a scholarship fund in his name.

The appeal is being backed by Sir Sydney's only grandchild, Elizabeth Dickson, who believes her grandfather's " reserved, quiet" personality is the reason he has never been lauded to the extent as other key figures of the war.

"He was never one to blow his own trumpet and had to be persuaded to accept his knighthood," she said " He deserves to be remembered not only as the designer of the Hurricane but, perhaps more importantly, as the pioneer of vertical flight in the form of the Harrier, which is still in service 40 years after he died."

Mrs Dickson, who was 12 when Sir Sydney died in 1966, added:

"He was a wonderful grandfather and I always remember him reading me bedtime stories.  Oddly enough, he never liked flying, and on one occasion when he had to go to America he had to go by sea."

Sir Sydney joined Hawker in 1923 ad was so prolific that at one point in the 1930s more than 8 in 10 aircraft in the RAF were designed by him.  Having designed biplanes including the Hart, the Hind nd the Fury, he designed the Hurricane in 1934, of which 14 500 were built.  He later became one of the leading designers of the jet age.
The Hawker Hunter, which first flew in 1951, was the fastest aircraft of its time.  Before his death Sir Sydney also designed the prootype of the revolutionary Hawker Harrier, the first aeroplane capable of vertical take off and landing, which played a pivotal role in winning the Falklands conflict.

The Hawker Hunter, which first flew in 1951, was the fastest aircraft of its time.  Before his death Sir Sydney also designed the prootype of the revolutionary Hawker Harrier, the first aeroplane capable of vertical take off and landing, which played a pivotal role in winning the Falklands conflict.
 

THE WINDS OF CHANGE

 
 

   
   
 

   
  "Britain has lost an Empire, but has not yet found a role"

Dean Acheson, former US Secretary of State, after the 1956 Suez Crisis

 
 

   
 

The 1950s were the best and worst of times for both the Gloucester Railway Carriage & Wagon Company and the Gloster Aircraft Company. Both major manufacturing employers reached their technological zeniths before their positions were overtaken by World events.


The Gloucester Railway Carriage & Wagon Company had begun the 1950s with export orders for new trains for the Toronto Subway and Victorian Railways in Australia. Chief Engineer Fred Sinclair was also pushing back the frontiers of bogie technology. But as British colonies in Africa and Asia gained their independence they often made a point of buying their rolling stock from anyone but their former imperial masters.


Another traditional market – London Underground trains – was also lost to Metropolitan Cammell, although Gloucester RCW did benefit from the modernisation plans of the newly Nationalised British Railways. Along with a record four different types of diesel multiple units and railcars, the Bristol Road based Wagon Works also outshopped two variants of the classic 16 ton steel mineral wagon – a riveted version going to Western Region while London Midland took delivery of welded types.


Indeed, the "16 ton min" began as a London Midland & Scottish Railway concept to replace the lower capacity wooden private owner coal wagons that firms like Gloucester RCW had built in their hundreds from the 1880s to the 1930s. The 9’ wheelbase wagons ranged in complexity from simple 16’ 6" underframe boxes on wheels used to feed iron ore tipplers to examples like the one shown here with two half-height side doors and a full height end door, as indicated by the high end of the diagonal white stripe. When new, 16 ton minerals fitted with vacuum brakes were painted in bauxite livery and those unfitted in light grey – although both varieties soon took on a patina of grime and rust. In all, 239 673 16 ton mineral wagons were built and lasted up to 1987 in revenue earning service. However, their main use was the transport of coal to local merchant’s sidings, a traffic flow that was to disappear - along with small freight yards and vacuum braked wagon load traffic - with the advent of air braked merry go round services direct to power stations from mines.


Just as the coal fires were also going out in British hearths with the spread of the national electricity grid so steam locomotives were being supplanted by newer diesel and electric types. Hauling the mineral wagon and a typical Great Western "Toad" brake van is 0-6-0PT 9753, seen here in post 1956 British Railways black livery, which spent exactly 30 years at Tyseley Depot in Birmingham from introduction in May 1935 until the end of Western Region steam.


Drewry Diesel Mechanical Class 04 0-6-0 D2277 meanwhile was built by Robert Stephenson Hawthorn and introduced to Ashford Depot in September 1959. Like a number of early British diesels, it was to have a career of just less than a decade and after withdrawal from Colchester was cut up by H. Brahams of Bury St Edmunds.


Before Nationalisation, most
cement was bagged and transported in ordinary covered vans but in the 1950s British Railways made the first major attempt at bulk transit with its L-type container. A better solution was designed and built by British Railway’s Shildon Works in 1954. Officially known as a Pressure Discharge Bulk Powder Wagon the "Presflo" was top loaded by gravity but emptied by air pressure through a flexible pipe – from valves on one side of the wagon - into either a storage silo or road vehicle. All 1891 production vehicles – outshopped by various builders between 1955 and 1963 – conformed to Diagram 1/272. Measuring 11’9" high and 19’11"" over buffers the 10’6" wheelbase all-steel vehicle boasted two vacuum cylinders – located at one end of the underframe with a ladder positioned at the opposite end of the central reinforced hopper - actuating eight clasp brakes and roller bearing axle boxes for high speed running. Such was the iconic appeal of the Presflos that they appeared in 00 gauge Airfix kit form in the early 1960s. Dapol continue to produce the 20 ton load 13 ton 3cwt variant carrying the number PF 20. Sixty such vehicles were built during 1959 and 1960 by the Butterley Company Limited in Derbyshire for the Associated Portland Cement Manufacturing Company following the latter’s experience with earlier British Railways owned examples.
These included Gloucester RCW Order 4559 Lot 3177 1958 ( 200 wagons ) Order 5126 Lot 3323 1960 ( 170 wagons ) Order 5297 Lot 3361 1961 ( 170 wagons ) and Order 5617 Lot 3406 1961-2 (150 wagons )


However, Presflos had high centres of gravity – encouraging rolling at speed – despite their modest capacities as a result of cement’s characteristic steep angle of repose. The Prestwin was an attempt to solve this problem. The first 31 wagons – adapted from Continental practice and again modelled by Airfix – were built by the Metropolitan Cammell Carriage & Wagon Company Ltd in 1960 to 10’ wheelbase Diagram 1/274. Each cylindrical silo on the 11’11" tall Prestwin was inherently stronger than the Presflo’s hopper shape, which was strengthened by heavy ribs against implosion during rapid unloading. Additionally, each silo on featured a 2’ diameter perforated aeration base plate, allowing air to be pumped into the heart of the 515.5 cubic feet load, making the cement behave like a liquid while keeping the fine particles out of the air supply system.


Although no Prestwins were ever built at Bristol Road the idea of the aerated baseplate was developed into a complete aerated floor by GRCW for Associated Portland Cement who needed a lightweight 4-wheeled wagon with a high tare to weight ratio but incorporating BR standard running gear. The only suitable material it could be designed around was aluminium alloy. As such, the ‘Cemflo’ is now believed to be the first type of aluminium cement wagon built in Britain.


Despite this innovation – and with the 1955 British Railways Modernisation Plan complete – Gloucester RCW were left with no more complete wagons to build after 1968.
However, many of the best features of the Cemflo survived on the 31 operational cement designs built between 1969 and 1987. Underfloor aeration, like air brakes, had become standard while 22 of the types ran on suspensions designed at Gloucester RCW. Examples using the Floating Axle system include APCM Blue Circle PC009A 9344 ( BREL Doncaster 1975-77 ) with the "depressed centre" (DP) body design allowing cement to settle down toward a central discharge valve. And PC015D in the orange livery of Ready Mix Concrete Limited. (Procor of Wakefield 1981)


The Gloster Aircraft Company meanwhile started the 1950s with the strength of their pioneering application of gas turbine propulsion during the Second World War. The Gloster Meteor F4s were a direct development of the Meteor F3, the first operational jet fighter used by the Royal Air Force, and distinguished from it by a shorter wingspan and longer engine nacelles. The shorter wingspan – 37’ 2" against the original 43’ – was stiffer, and being 6% smaller offered a rate of roll of more than 80 degrees per second. However, the Meteor F4 required higher take off and landing speeds as a result. The more aerodynamic long chord nacelles meanwhile could accept the 3 000 lb thrust Derwent 5 engine, adapted by Rolls Royce from the even larger and more powerful Nene turbojet. Meteor F4s also featured a strengthened airframe and a pressurised cockpit and could reach over 600 mph at sea level and Mach 0.85 at 30,000 ft, an altitude that could be reached in just 6 minutes.


Meteor F4s equipped 31 RAF and Royal Auxilliary Air Force squadrons (often with flamboyant colours added to the standard roundels and other markings) and remained in service with training units long after they had been replaced by the Meteor F8 in front line service between 1950 and 1955. Meteor F4s were also exported to Argentina, Belgium, Denmark, Egypt and the Netherlands with 46 examples being produced by Armstrong Whitworth - a sister company to Gloster Aircraft within the Hawker Siddeley group.


In fact Armstrong Whitworth was to take the Gloster Meteor to a new level with the two seat night fighter versions. Based on Gloster’s T7 – the World’s first tandem jet trainer – and developed to replace the de Havilland Mosquito, the prototype Meteor NF11 first flew on 31 May 1950. This combined long span wings containing four 20mm canon – outboard of the Derwent engines - with the improved tail of the Meteor F8 and the "glasshouse" canopy of the T7 to protect the pilot and radar operator / navigator. The most noticeable feature of the NF11 though was the nose lengthened to accommodate Mark 10 Airborne Interception radar equipment. NF11s served with 15 RAF squadrons and 228 Operational Conversion Unit as well as being exported to Belgium, Denmark and France.


The last of the 341 NF11s left Baginton in May 1954, by which time Armstrong Whitworth had also produced the NF12 version – with a larger fin with leading edges curving out to meet the horizontal tailplane. This was necessary to balance the new, 17 inch longer, nose which carried American built APS 21 AI radar.


The NF13 was a tropicalised version of the NF12 used by two RAF squadrons in the Middle East – although these were later exported to Egypt, France, Israel and Syria.
The final Meteor Night Fighter variant was the NF14, easily distinguished from its predecessors by a two piece blown canopy and larger diameter air intakes for its Derwent 9 engines. The last of these 100 aircraft was delivered to the RAF on 26 May 1955 and they served with 13 different squadrons.


WS810 here is seen in the markings of 264 Squadron RAF as worn at Linton-on-Ouse, Yorkshire, in the early part of 1957. 264 Squadron later moved to Middleton St George and was formally disbanded on 1 October that year by being renumbered as 33 Squadron – having been itself reformed on 20 November 1945 by the renumbering of 125 Squadron. The new Church Fenton based unit continued to fly the de Havilland Mosquito aircraft of its wartime incarnation – which had been used on "Diver" patrols against V1 flying bombs – until relocation to Linton-on-Ouse and re-equipment with Meteor NF11s in 1951. The NF 14s arrived in 1954 – and 264 was briefly reactivated as a Bristol Bloodhound surface to air missile squadron from 1958 to 1962.


The argument for the defence of Britain’s air space by missiles rather than manned fighter aircraft had been the cornerstone of the infamous 1957 Defence White Paper. The Conservative Defence Minister Duncan Sandys had been involved with rockets as an army officer and had later led British investigations into the Nazi V1 and V2 weapon programmes. The White Paper was also based on the NATO "tripwire" philosophy of instant and massive retaliation to any Soviet aggression. As such, many promising British fighter projects were cancelled and the Mach 2 English Electric Lightning retained mainly to offer point defence to V-bomber bases.


This was in stark contrast to the early years of the 1950s following the tense days of the Berlin Airlift, Korean War and the detonation of the first Soviet atomic bomb in 1949. From just 24 squadrons in December 1946, RAF Fighter Command strength had risen to 45 squadrons by December 1951. Jet aircraft rapidly took over from piston types, control and reporting systems were rapidly improved and the Royal Auxilliary Air Force – refounded in 1946 – was to grow in size to 20 squadrons.


However, although this provided an effective defence against large unescorted formations of piston engined bombers such as the Tu-4, the experience of the 1950 – 1953 Korean conflict proved that even Meteor F8s and later marks of de Havilland Vampire were no match for the latest American and Soviet warplanes. The RAF even flew Canadian built transonic Sabres until its own swept wing Hunters and Swifts were available, but the cost of these new aircraft – which demanded concrete rather than grass runways – led to the disbandment of the RAuxAF even before the Duncan Sandys White Paper was published.

 

XH 766 is seen here as a Gloster Javelin 9R variant, further distinguished by its refuelling boom, and wears the scarab and trellis markings of 64 Squadron. This unit had previously flown Meteors F8, NF12 and NF 14, converting to Javelins in 1958 and moving to Binbrook in 1961. It later served as all-weather air defence for Indonesia – based at Tengah – until disbandment on 16 June 1967.

   To replace the Meteor Night Fighters in RAF service however, Gloster managed to overcome competition from the de Havilland DH110 ( later to evolve into the Sea Vixen naval fighter ) and build the delta winged Javelin.


The Gloster Javelin was designed to Air Ministry Specification F4/48 and was selected to equip the RAF's all-weather squadrons in 1952. It was the world's first delta winged fighter and could intercept high flying bombers day or night and in all weathers because of its electronic and radar instrumentation. The first prototype flew in 1951 from Moreton Valence, just south of Gloucester, and it entered service with the RAF in 1956 with No 46 squadron at Odiham in Hampshire.

Nine variants of the Javelin were produced, steadily increasing its performance and allowing it take on different roles. The Fighter All Weather 7 version introduced Firestreak homing air-to-air missile armament in addition to 30 mm Aden cannon. Also noticeable was an extended rear fuselage – bringing the twin Sapphire jet pipes beyond the fin – and wing mounted vortex generators. The FAW 8 held the unhappy distinction of being the last aircraft to be manufactured by the Gloster Aircraft Company although it continued with aircraft modification and repair for a number of years.


The FAW 9 was in fact a major update of the FAW 7, 116 of which were modified at Gloucester in the early 1960's. Over 400 Javellns were built for the RAF and at peak strength the type equipped 18 different squadrons: 3, 5, 11, 23, 25, 29, 33, 41, 46, 60, 64, 72, 85, 87, 89, 96, 141 and 151. The disbandment of No 60 squadron RAF in 1968 saw the end of the Javelin's service in the front line.


XH 766 is seen here as a 9R variant, further distinguished by its refuelling boom, and wears the scarab and trellis markings of 64 Squadron. This unit had previously flown Meteors F8, NF12 and NF 14, converting to Javelins in 1958 and moving to Binbrook in 1961. It later served as all-weather air defence for Indonesia – based at Tengah – until disbandment on 16 June 1967.