Thunder & Lightnings

Gloster Javelin - Survivor 'XH707' (really XH768)

FAW.9 XH707 - Museo dell'Aviazione, Cerbaiola, near Rimini, Italy

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Javelin FAW.9 XH707 at Cerbaiola, 27th August 2002; Alan Allen

XH768 was built as an FAW.7 and delivered to storage with 5 MU, to await conversion to FAW.9. This happened during March to October 1959 and she was then delivered to 19 MU for preparation for squadron service. She began her active career with 25 Squadron on 8th December 1959, coded E. By December 1962 she had moved to 11 Squadron. Her final squadron was 29 Squadron from January 1966 (coded O), retiring from flying in November of that year, to storage with 27 MU. She became an instructional airframe (7929M) at RAF Cranwell in early 1967.

After her ground instructional career was finished, she ended up displayed at the ill-fated aviation museum at Southend. With the museum's closure, she was auctioned off and bought by Air Classik in Germany, and stayed there until acquired by the newly formed Museo dell'Aviazione in 1995. For some reason, she was repainted as XH707. They have a page about the aircraft here.

Unfortunately the Italian climate, while most agreeable to people, hasn't been kind to this Javelin - by 2000 she had become badly faded, had some moss growing on her, and the pitot probes had been bent by vandals. The nose wheel was sinking into the ground, and to stop the aircraft tipping on its tail, the rear fuselage was supported by a brace. In 2021, she underwent a restoration, with the result that she was repainted and various missing panels replaced. The fuselage still remains supported from underneath, but the undercarriage is now supported properly rather than sinking into the ground. The pitot probes have been removed entirely.

The real XH707 was used by Armstrong Siddeley to test various reheat installations, as a precursor to the FAW.8, and went on to be converted to an FAW.9, serving with 23, 64 and 60 Squadrons - she was lost in a crash in 1967.

Information on this page current as of 15/04/2024, last updated by Damien

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