Aircraft Type Photo
BELOW: Of 2 Tactical Weapons Unit (TWU), RAF Chivenor, seen arriving for RIAT 86. Last noted flying in Australia as VH-MBX in the markings of A77-851.
Photo: 1986 Mike Freer - Touchdown-aviation
BELOW: Gloster Meteor F8 / WH291 at Abingdon.
Photo: 1973 Mike Freer - Touchdown-aviation
BELOW: Gloster Meteor F. MK. 8. The wheeled trolley in front of the aircraft is a trolley acc, containing lead acid accumulators (batteries) used for starting the aircraft's engines.
Photo: 2006 Stahlkocher
Aircraft Type and Background
RAF Gloster Meteor F.Mk.8 / WA821
The Gloster Meteor was developed during WWII and was the first jet fighter in service with the RAF before the end of the war.
The Meteor entered operational service in 27 July 1944—just
behind the German
Messerschmitt Me262. The Messerschmitt Me262—also
a jet-powered aircraft—had been under development for some time
before the Meteor. It entered operational service on 26 July
1944—one day before the Meteor.
The Gloster Meteor T.7 (F-IV airframe) was a two seat advanced fighter trainer (pilot and pupil). The T.7 variant was used by both the RAF and the RN (FAA).
Being a training aircraft, the Meteor T.7 had dual controls and was unarmed. It had an extended fuselage (0.76m / 2ft 6in longer) to accommodate the second cockpit.
The F.8 variant featured on this page had a longer fuselage, increased fuel capacity, a standard ejection seat and other improvements to the airframe and electronic systems. This variant saw active service between 1950 and 1954.
Aircraft Accident Details
F/O Hoadley (24) was flying Meteor WA821 of 222 Sqn. when it crashed in bad visibility near Stonehaven. The aircraft hit the ground and skidded across a field hitting 2 stone walls and breaking up. The pilot died in the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. [This information was kindly provided by Alan Leishman.]
(Note: The following text extracted from Brenchley War Memorial appears to contain some errors regarding the aircraft serial number and the location of the crash. See footnotes below for more details.)
Extract from Brenchley War Memorial Records.
"At the time of Owen’s death whilst flying a Gloucester Meteor F.8 jet aircraft (No. WA882 1 ) during a low level exercise, his squadron was based at R.A.F. Leuchars, Fife, Scotland.
"On Friday 25 July 1952 there was a very thick sea mist, (known locally as a Harr), which had spread inland to cover the town of Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, to the south of Aberdeen.
"The whine of the Owen’s flying Meteor jet was heard flying unseen above the streets of Stonehaven, and only a few seconds later it crashed into Bennachie 2 which is the highest hill in eastern Aberdeenshire."
1) WA882: F/O Owen Hoadley was flying Gloster Meteor WA821—not WA882. WA821 crashed near Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire on 25 July 1952. However, another Gloster Meteor aircraft being flown by a P/O J. Brian Lightfoot (WA882), crashed in February 1952.
2) Bennachie: The memorial at Oxen Craig, Bennachie, Aberdeenshire states that the pilot who died there when his Meteor crashed was P/O J. Brian Lightfoot (22). The memorial record also states that this pilot was flying WA882 at the time of the crash at Oxen Craig near Bennachie.
Aircraft Pilot Casualty
The pilot who died in the accident involving Gloster Meteor WA821 was:
[Fom the Second Supplement to The London Gazette, 7 January 1949.]
Royal Air Force / General Duties Branch
Additional extract from Brenchley War Memorial Records.
Owen had carried out some of his R.A.F. training in South Africa, as he was amongst a draft of Royal Air Force aircrew personnel which arrived at Southampton on 25 September 1948, onboard the Union-Castle Mail Steamship Company Ltd ship “Durban Castle.”
The 17,388 ton ship had sailed from Durban, South Africa, via East London, Port Elizabeth, Cape Town and Madeira. The R.A.F. draft was en-route to R.A.F. Burtonwood, Warrington, Lancashire."
Gloster Meteor History and Design Links
RAF and Related Links
Rare footage of Gloster Meteor type in action 1945 (YouTube video, 48 seconds)
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Gloster Meteor WA821