The Meteor F8 reigned supreme between 1949 and 1954 as the RAF’s principal single-seat day fighter aircraft, equipping 30 front line squadrons.
The Museum’s F8 is a hybrid of at least two aircraft. WA829 was delivered to No 245 Squadron at RAF Horsham St Faith in late 1950 as one of 16 aircraft fitted with flight refuelling probes to conduct operational refuelling trials. This role continued until 245 Squadron’s Meteors were phased out in 1957.
Meanwhile, an F8 originally on No 19 Squadron’s establishment, WA 984, had been cannibalised to provide spares for the Meteor U Mk16 drone programme. Major components of this latter aircraft were used in the post-Service restoration of WA829.
The aircraft now bears VZ440, the serial of the RAF’s first F8 delivered to No 43 Squadron in August 1949.