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Flying sideways

I snapped this phone photo of Dakota G-ANAF getting airborne at Coventry earlier this week. This was the day when the roads were littered with branches and wheelie bins, so the old girl needed a bootful of rudder to keep her tracking the...

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Membership' information...

Members. If you are a member and based in Cornwall, you may be wondering what will happen now that Newquay is closing. Well a group of volunteers are attempting to maintain a facility at St Mawgan, Newquay. We are trying to create...

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The English Electric Lightning rescued from the scrapyard with the help of our friends at Gateguards UK and the generous cooperation of BAe Systems has moved into the main hangar at Newquay. As you can see from the photograph, there's...

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Lovely to see so many people at Newquay yesterday when we ran our mini air show to round off a great season. Jon Corley put on a series of magnificent displays and the planes seemed to have a great time - the Meteor and Vampire were certainly...

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Back in the Hot Seat

A powerful moment on Wednesday when Meteor veteran Hal Taylor was reunited...

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Jem Shaw

Jem Shaw

01/08/2014 17:40:22

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Back in the Hot Seat

It was a powerful moment on Wednesday when Meteor veteran Hal Taylor was reunited with the very aircraft in which he trained student pilots sixty years ago.

The occasion was somewhat special: Hal headed up the Meteor Flight, the dedicated group who rescued our Meteor T7 from extinction. They persisted against massively mounting expenses and even somehow found the spirit to continue when their founder, Colin Rhodes, was tragically killed while working on the aircraft. When it seemed impossible to complete the project, Mike Collett stepped up with funding and resources from Air Atlantique.

The result is one of the most stunning full restorations of recent years. At time of writing this blog, Meteor WA591 is the world's oldest jet aircraft capable of flight. She's been cared for by Classic Air Force since 2010, and recently Meteor Flight voted unanimously to donate her to the collection. It's a noble and great spirited gesture for which we're humbly grateful.

Hal presented the Meteor at a brief ceremony at Newquay in front of representatives of the group. Mike Collett thanked them for their determination and generosity, pointing out that "In our view, this will always be your aeroplane."

Hal then climbed aboard with creditable agility and departed with Dan Griffith in the front seat for what must have been an intensely nostalgic flight to Culdrose. The crowd at Newquay were treated to a spectacular formation fly-by and break from the Meteor and Jon Corley in the Jet Provost 3, then two more low passes by the Meteor, the last of which featured a climbing double aileron roll to show off the fighter plane agility of this wonderful old machine.

Meteor Flight line up for the hand-over

Members of the Meteor Flight line up in front of the Meteor T7. Mike Collett (left) holds a superb book presented to him by Hal Taylor (third from right), chairman of the Meteor Flight.

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