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 Mk.7 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 Mk.9 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 No. 11 Squadron at RAF Geilenkirchen in Germany. In 1961 she was transferred to RAF Leuchars where she would serve with No. 25 Squadron until November 1962 at which time the squadron was disbanded. She later moved to No. 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 arriving there at the beginning of 1967 and receiving serial 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 shown an interest in acquiring her. However, having failed to raise the necessary £500, the aircraft was sold to the H.A.M instead. XH768 arrived at the museum on the back of an ATL Queen Mary trailer during September 1971, having been dismantled at Cranfield over a 10 day period by Bill Gent, Nigel Stockwell & Stan Brett. However, the engines were not part of the deal and would as such 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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