The Meteor NF.14 Night Fighter was the last major development of a line that started in July 1944, with the first jet aircraft to go into service with the Royal Air Force, and included the F.4, F.8 and T.7. The NF.14 was a two-seat, twin-engined monoplane, powered by two Rolls-Royce Derwent 8 turbojets, each delivering 3,600 lb thrust. The service ceiling was 40,000 feet and the maximum speed was 579 mph. Its range, with ventral and underwing tanks, was approximately 950 miles at altitude.
The Museum’s aircraft was built at Bagington, Coventry, in February 1954. In July 1954, it was issued to 152 Squadron at Wattisham. It served with the No.2 Air Navigation School at Thorney Island and later at No.1 School at Stradishall, where it was damaged in an accident. In January 1966, it was allocated for ground instructional use.
In September 1969, WS788 was moved to Patrington Radar Station on Spurn Head, as a static display aircraft. When Patrington closed, it was moved to Leeming to be the Station Gate Guard. It was brought to Elvington in 1991 and is displayed in 152 Squadron colours.
The Meteor is currently undergoing a deep restoration by a team led by Museum volunteer Graham Buckle. The objective is to return the aircraft as close to operational condition as possible without engine power before repainting her to one of her early, original colour schemes.
More and more of her original components are returning to operational status, so be sure to check on progress when you visit the Museum.