In 1975 a former Royal Navy Meteor TT20 was placed on the US civil register and ferried to the USA for Al Letcher, who then operated it for a while from Mojave. It was later donated to the Flight Test Center at Edwards AFB where it remains as a static exhibit. So it could be over thirty years since an American last flew a Meteor. This was rectified in June when the former Classic Air Force Meteor T7 WA591/G-BWMF was flown at Coventry by Marty Tibbitts with test pilot Dan Griffith in the rear seat. Marty is passionate about classic jets and has obtained this iconic aircraft for the World Heritage Air Museum of Detroit, Michigan, which focusses on keeping airworthy examples of military jets from the 1950s-70s. Its Chief Pilot Zach Mcneill subsequently checked out on the Meteor with Dan. Only two other Meteors can be found in the USA, both Mk 4s exhibited statically in museums. G-BWMF is in a different league, as it is in superb condition and reputed to be the oldest completely original airworthy jet. It will be transferred onto the American register with the aim of being displayed next year. In readiness, the aircraft will be shipped by sea to the United States later this year.
In addition to the Meteor T7, Marty has purchased three other EX-CAF jets: Meteor NF11 WM167 and a pair of Venom FB4S. He has yet to announce plans for these aircraft. The two Venoms are out of permit so cannot currently be flown, but during his visit one was successfully fired up.
Marty Tibbitts with test pilot Dan Griffith in the rear seat for his first flight in Meteor T7 WA591 at Coventry