Marty’s Me­teor

Pilot - - OLD TIMERS - Re­port & photo: Tim Bad­ham

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

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