Rare UK war­birds sold

Pilot - - OLD TIMERS -

The sole air­wor­thy ex­am­ples of the Gloster Me­teor T7 and post-war RAF Avro An­son T21 nav­i­ga­tion trainer, both pre­vi­ously part of the Clas­sic Air Force (CAF) fleet at Coven­try, have been sold. An­son G-VROE/WD413 was reg­is­tered to Glenn James on 21 March 2017 and was de­liv­ered to its new base at Sleap four days later.

WD413 was con­structed in 1950 as an An­son T21 nav­i­ga­tion trainer and was ini­tially op­er­ated by the RAF at Ham­ble. Af­ter con­ver­sion for pas­sen­ger transport as a C21 it served with RAF Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Flights at Booker and Bov­ing­don. By the mid-1960s it was grounded for use as an in­struc­tional air­frame at Alder­grove in North­ern Ire­land. De­clared sur­plus the An­son was sold to Gor­don Fraser who reg­is­tered it as G-BFIR in De­cem­ber 1977 and lov­ingly re­stored it to flight. Air At­lan­tique ac­quired this rare air­craft in March 1998 for the Clas­sic Flight (later re­branded Clas­sic Air Force). It made an epic jour­ney to Bahrain in 2000 to par­tic­i­pate in Gulf Air’s 50th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions, mas­querad­ing as an An­son once flown by Gulf Avi­a­tion. Af­ter re­turn to the UK it was re­painted in its cur­rent RAF trainer colours. Al­though BAE Sys­tem’s Avro C19 Sers 2 G-AHKX is air­wor­thy at Old War­den it is a civil­ian transport ver­sion pur­chased by Smiths Air­craft In­stru­ments in 1946. The only other mil­i­tary An­son still fly­ing is the very dif­fer­ent WWII era Mk I ZK-RRA at Omaka, New Zealand.

A very sig­nif­i­cant loss to the Bri­tish avi­a­tion scene is the sale to the USA of Me­teor T7 G-BWMF/WA591 which has been a star at­trac­tion at Bri­tish air­shows in re­cent years. Al­though it has been for sale for a cou­ple of years, in that time, ac­cord­ing to the ven­dors, ‘no cred­i­ble of­fers or

vi­able ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est were re­ceived from within the UK’. It will be join­ing the grow­ing fleet of the World Her­itage Air Mu­seum (WHAM) in Detroit. In mid-march the mu­seum an­nounced: “One of our bene­fac­tors just ac­quired this amaz­ing T7 Gloster Me­teor and will be bring­ing her State­side as soon as pos­si­ble. She is the sec­ond old­est fly­ing jet in the world, and the old­est fly­ing jet trainer.”

WHAM is a ‘non-profit fly­ing jet war­bird mu­seum…that aims to rescue Cold War era jets, bring them to flight sta­tus, and use them to in­spire the youth of Amer­ica at air­shows in the Mid­west’. WHAM’S large fleet al­ready in­cludes ex­am­ples of the HA-200 Saeta, Mag­is­ter, Vam­pire, MIG-15, MIG-17, Delfin, Aero L-39 and Temco Su­per Pinto.

Me­teor T7 WA591 was built at Huc­cle­cote in 1949 and served as a pi­lot trainer at var­i­ous bases in­clud­ing Stradishal­l, Driffield, Fin­ning­ley and the Col­lege of Air War­fare at Manby. It be­came a ground in­struc­tion air­frame at St Athan but ended its mil­i­tary ser­vice as gate guardian of RAF Woodvale. WA591 was res­cued for preser­va­tion in 1995 by Me­teor Flight who spent many years in cramped con­di­tions at Yates­bury restor­ing it. The air­craft took to the skies again at Kem­ble in 2011 and sub­se­quently joined the CAF fleet at Coven­try. Re­port: Tim Bad­ham

News up­date: it was re­vealed on 4 April, just as this edi­tion went to press, that WHAM Di­rec­tor, Marty Tib­bits had not only pur­chased the Me­teor T7 but also the air­wor­thy EX-CAF Me­teor NF11 WM167 and the Venom FB50S WK436 and WR470 at Coven­try.

Sole air­wor­thy post-war An­son T21 G-VROE

Head­ing for Detroit, Me­teor T7 WA591

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