Gloster Javelin FAW.9

XH768 Javelin

XH768/7929M

With the H.A.M from Sep 1971 to May 1983

Beginning life at Baginton in 1958, this all weather fighter had initially been built as a Mk7 aircraft after which, she was placed in short term storage with 5 MU at Kemble. In March 1959, she returned to Gloster for conversion to a Mk9 aircraft (this involving a number of wing modifications and the addition of engine reheat) and was then delivered to the RAF in October 1959, entering service with 11 Squadron at RAF Geilenkirchen in Germany. In 1961 she was transferred to RAF Leuchars where she would serve with 25 Squadron until November 1962 at which time the squadron was disbanded. She later moved to 29 Squadron based in Cyprus and at the end of 1965, the squadron headed off to Zambia where she would become involved in the Rhodesian Crisis. However, with the squadron due to re-equip with English Electric Lightnings at the end of 1966, she was put into storage with 27 MU at Shawbury. Nevertheless, she would go on to serve a little longer as a ground instruction airframe at Cranfield where she would arrive at the beginning of 1967, receiving the designation 7929M in the process.

This aircraft initially came up for sale at the beginning of 1971 and at the time, the newly built Newark Air Museum had also shown an interest in acquiring this Javelin. However, having failed to raise the necessary £500, the aircraft subsequently went to the H.A.M instead. XH768 eventually arrived at the museum by road during September 1971 after being dismantled at Cranfield by ATEL engineers, although the engines were not part of the deal and would thus not accompany the aircraft. At Southend, the aircraft was reassembled and placed at the end of ‘Fighter Row’ near to the entrance of the museum car park where she would remain until mid-1983. Two months after the H.A.M auction she was moved to Air Classik in Germany and remained there until being purchased by a theme park in Italy during 1995. Since then, she has been a resident of the Parco Tematico dell’ Aviazonie in Rimini where she is displayed as ‘XH707’. She is kept outside and is rumoured to be in a relatively poor condition, no doubt due in part to the climate extremes that are prevalent in this Mediterranean region.

 

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