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Gloster Meteor T7

The oldest operational British jet - the Gloster Meteor - will be on static display at this summer's airshow.

The aircraft, produced by the Gloster Aircraft Company, featured Sir Frank Whittle's ground-breaking turbo jet engines. It first flew in 1943 and began RAF operations in July 1944 with 616 Squadron, initially as a counter to the Germans' V-1 flying bomb.

In 1945 two F.3 Meteors were modified for an attempt on the world air speed record and in November that year, Gp Capt 'Willy' Wilson set the first official air speed record by a jet aircraft of 606mph.

The aircraft on display at the Air Tattoo comes from The Classic Aircraft Trust at AIRBASE, Coventry and was latterly an RAF Gate Guardian at RAF Woodvale, near Southport. The aircraft has been subject to a major 15-year restoration project by a group of enthusiasts (called The Meteor Flight) at Yatesbury, which was completed three years ago.

The T7 variant on display is the two-seat trainer version which first flew in 1948.

“It was an epic spectacle, as magical as anything you've ever seen in the West End, and as loud as anything you've ever heard at Knebworth.”

Jeremy Clarkson, Television Presenter

“All the thrills, excitement and noise of a Grand Prix, but in the air!”

Jenson Button, Formula 1 Racing Driver

“This is the best airshow!”

Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 Astronaut

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