‘Working’ Meteors showcased at Chalgrove

Eight decades of Gloster Meteor flight was celebrated with a special photo shoot at Chalgrove, Oxfordshire on September 1

Photographers had the opportunity to shoot both the Martin-Baker Meteors, T.7s WL419 and WA638, which are still active in flight-testing over 80 years after the debut flight of prototype DG206. The shoot was arranged by Threshold Aero, with some proceeds going to Martin-Baker’s chosen charity, the RAF Benevolent Fund.

The Meteor T7 pair
The Meteor T7 pair Richard Hall

The long-serving Meteors have mostly been used for ejection seat trials. They were initially on loan to Martin-Baker from the Ministry of Aviation. Management was then transferred to the MOD Procurement Executive which became the Defence Research Agency (DERA). The jets were then sold for a nominal sum to Boscombe Down defence contractor QinetiQ; the first time the Meteors had not been under government ownership.

It later became apparent that the most appropriate operating environment would be the British Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Annex II permit to fly for former military jets. They were eventually transferred to the civilian register and now operate on a CAA permit basis: WA638 as G-JWMA and WL419 as G-JSMA. The registrations honour James Martin’s two sons, both Martin-Baker directors: J W Martin and J S Martin. With thanks to Richard Hall

WL419 on September 1
WL419 on September 1 Richard Hall
The Meteors alongside Martin Baker's two Beech Super King Airs, G-JMAW and G-BGRE
The Meteors alongside Martin-Baker's two Beech Super King Airs, G-JMAW and G-BGRE Richard Hall
The Meteors at Chalgrove
The Meteors at Chalgrove Richard Hall
WA638 on September 1
WA638 on September 1 Richard Hall