Britain's first jet fighter hitches a lift below helicopter



This is the moment an historic RAF fighter jet was transported to its new home by a Chinook helicopter.

The Gloster Meteor T.7 was both the UK's first jet aircraft and the Allies' first operational jet fighter when it entered service in 1944.

This 1949 aircraft has been located at Imjin Barracks in Gloucestershire - home to NATO's Allied Rapid Reaction Corps for the last 13 years - since 1981.

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A RAF Chinock helicopter moves a historic Gloster Meteor T.7 jet to its new home at the Jet Age Museum which is based at Gloucestershire Airport in Staverton

But it was recently bought by the Gloucestershire Jet Age Museum in Staverton.

So instead of transporting the jet via road, the RAF decided to make use of its Chinook fleet and fly the out-of-service aircraft to its new home.

The 100ft long helicopter lifted the 4.8 ton jet before flying it 1.5 miles over the rooftops of Gloucestershire to its resting place.




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Major Chris Hyde, Allied Rapid Reaction Corps spokesperson, said: 'I can't think of anything more fitting than for Imjin's Meteor aircraft to 'fly' to its final destination.

'We're honoured that we have had the opportunity to host this splendid aircraft, one that has been part of Britain's and the Allies' treasured history.'

Engineers started work on the Gloster Meteor in 1940 with the first Meteor flying in in 1943.

VIDEO Meteor takes its final flight. UK's first jet fighter hitches lift to new home




Britain's first jet fighter takes final flight... hitching a...




Ready for lift-off: The RAF Chinock helicopter moves into place before the operation begins



The 1949 aircraft was moved the short distance from RAF Innsworth as the base has now closed and the Meteor's future was uncertain



The historic jet was recently purchased by the museum and is slated for restoration and inclusion in its exhibits




It was heavily reliant on a groundbreaking turbojet engine, which was developed by Sir Frank Whittle and his company, Power Jets Ltd.

The jet commenced operations in July 1944 with 616 Squadron of the RAF.

This particular plane, which was once flown by former MP Norman Tebbit, has a chequered history.

It was involved in a number of minor flying accidents, some of which required return to the manufacturers for repair.
VIDEO See Gloucester Meteor's final flight with Chinook chopper




Hitching a lift. Britain's first fighter jet moves to new home



The 100ft long helicopter lifted the 4.8 ton jet before flying it 1.5 miles over the rooftops of Gloucestershire to its resting place



The Chinook lifts the Gloster Meteor T.7 above Staverton Airport, in Gloucestershire





The Meteor will now join a growing collection of aircraft at the new museum




In 1957, it was delivered to the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment at Boscombe Down, where it performed a variety of flying and ground test roles before ending its flying life some 2,000 flight hours later in 1968.

Officially 'struck off charge' in 1977, the aircraft was transported to RAF Innsworth in 1981, where it underwent a long term restoration.

It was unveiled as the former HQ Personnel and Training Command 'gate guardian' in 1994 with the site later renamed Imjin Barracks after the Battle of Imjin in the Korean War.

The aircraft will now undergo a new restoration before going on display at the museum at Gloucestershire Airport.



A Gloster Meteor fighter aircraft. 3,947 were built and used by the RAF, as well as other nations such as Israel and Belgium



The Gloster Meteor saw early action in the Second World War and the Korean War

Maj Hyde added: 'The Meteor aircraft represents a very important link to Gloucestershire's military and industrial heritage.

'It embodies a period of rapid technological progress in the region that is still represented in the area today.

'In military terms, the Meteor defines an era where former adversaries forged military alliances that aided in the development and establishment of NATO, the ARRC's parent organisation.'

Thousands of Meteors were built to serve in the RAF and other air forces and remained in use for several decades. They saw limited action World War Two.