Thunder & Lightnings

Gloster Javelin - Survivor XH903

FAW.9 XH903 - Jet Age Museum, Meteor Business Park, Gloucester, Gloucestershire

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Javelin FAW.9 XH903 at Jet Age Museum, 30th June 2024; Damien Burke

On loan to the Jet Age Museum from the RAF Museum is XH903. This airframe was delivered as an FAW.7 to 19 MU at RAF St. Athan in early 1959, XH903 served with 23 Squadron at RAF Coltishall and RAF Horsham St. Faith. After only a year of service, the aircraft was converted to an FAW.9 and returned to RAF service in 1961. XH903 saw further service with 33, 29 and 5 Squadrons until retirement in late 1965.

Allocated as a gate guard for RAF Innsworth in 1967, she remained there until 1993 when XH903 was replaced by a Meteor and was put on loan to the nearby Jet Age Museum at Staverton.

Progress on XH903 appeared slow, but in 2003 a major boost was given with RIAT wanting the aircraft as part of the '100 years of flight' exhibition. Quickly reassembled and cosmetically restored with a shiny new repaint by the RAF Museum, the aircraft was one of the stars of the static display.

XH903 was then moved back to Staverton, where she displayed outside the museum until a new hangar was erected in 2013. The airframe was thankfully then put undercover. Today, XH903 can be seen on display next to two Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire engines; sadly the canopies have completely clouded over due to many years of being exposed to direct sunlight, and she doesn't appear to have had any serious restoration work carried out since being put undercover. It would be good to see her engines - or at least jetpipes - reinstalled.

Information on this page current as of 01/07/2024, last updated by Damien

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