Historic Meteor flown over Gloucestershire by helicopter
A HISTORIC Meteor took to the skies over Gloucestershire today.
But rather than flying it made the journey slung under a Royal Air Force helicopter.
Hundreds of people gathered this afternoon to watch the amazing scenes as the aircraft was lifted from Imjin Barracks and transported 1.5 miles over the rooftops of Churchdown to Staverton Airport.
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The early 1950's Meteor T.7 has been bought by members of the Jet Age Museum for the new museum it is due to open there on August 2.
The thrilling journey was also a homecoming for the Chinook helicopter pilot flight lieutenant Paul Farmer.
He grew up in the area and went to Churchdown School Academy.
The 31-year-old said: "It was really nice to take the Meteor on its final flight.
"It's not every day you get to fly a classic jet underneath a helicopter."
The Gloster Meteor was both the UK's first jet aircraft as well as the Allies first operational jet fighter.
Its development was heavily reliant on its ground-breaking turbojet engines, developed by Sir Frank Whittle and his company, Pwer Jets Ltd.
Imjin's Meteor T.7, built in 1949 at Hucclecote, had something of a chequered operational history and was involved in a number of minor flying accidents, some of which required return to the manufacturers for repair.
It served primarily with No. 604 Squadron at North Weald and was once flown by former Conservative MP, now Lord Norman Tebbit when he joined the squadron in January 1952.
It ended its flying life in 1968 and was transported to RAF Innsworth ands became its 'gate guardian' in 1994.
It remained at the base after it was renamed Imjin Barracks in 2010 and became home to Nato's Allied Rapid Reaction Core (ARRC).
ARRC spokesman Major Chris Hyde said: "I can't think of anything more fitting than for Imjin's Meteor aircraft to 'fly' to its final destination.
"We're honoured that we have had the opportunity to host this splendid aircraft, one that has been part of Britain's and the Allies' treasured history."