ARMSTRONG WHITWORTH METEOR
T.T. MK 20 WD647

 

 

QAM thanks the British Ministry of Defence for the donation of this aircraft.

 


14NOV51
 

Awaiting collection from Armstrong Whitworth.
Originally built as N.F.11 night fighter.

19NOV51
  Taken on charge by 141 Sqn. Coltishall (Code letter Q).
10JAN52
  Transferred to 264 Sqn. Linton-on-Ouse (Code letter S).
16OCT54
  Stored at 33 Maintenance Unit Lyneham.
09MAY55
  Transferred to 141 Sqn. Coltishall.
23NOV55
  Stored at 29 Maintenance Unit High Ercall.
29NOV56
  Transferred to 12 Maintenance Unit Kirkbride.
06JUN58
  Transferred to non-effective stock.
07JUL58
  Transferred to effective stock.
09DEC59
  Issued to 33 Maintenance Unit Lyneham.
27JUN61
  Issued to Armstrong Whitworth at Baginton for conversion to T.T.20 target tug.
28MAR62
  Awaiting collection after modification.
29MAR62
  Issued to 33 Maintenance Unit Lyneham.
03APR62
  Transferred to 5 Maintenance Unit Kemble for repainting in TT markings.
30APR62
  Transferred to 33 Maintenance Unit Lyneham.
28FEB63
  Issued to the pool of 3/4 Civilian Anti-Aircraft Co-operation Unit at Exeter
(Code letter S).
10JUL70
  Delivered to Flight Refuelling at Tarrant Rushton.
07AUG70
  Loaned to the Ministry of Technology.
22DEC71
  Struck off charge as sold to the Ministry of Defence (Procurement) - for use at Woomera.
15JUL75
 

Flown from Woomera to Archerfield on delivery to QAM having been donated by the British Ministry of Defence.

Pilot Peter McLean
Navigator/Engineer Dave Smith


The take-off from Woomera was aborted twice because of kangaroos on the runway! A refuelling stop was made at Broken Hill where the fuel agent offered the crew AVGAS! Another stop was made at Dubbo. After take-off from Dubbo two F-111s, which had been orbiting overhead, formated on the Meteor. Subsequently two Mirages from 77SQN at Williamtown joined the formation for photography before returning to Williamtown. South of Amberley a Canberra joined the formation which then overflew Amberley and Archerfield. Unfortunately a planned aerobatic display by the Meteor had to be aborted because of a stuck fuel valve in the ventral tank. The fuel state nearly caused the pilot to declare an emergency and divert to Amberley. It was calculated that the aircraft had 10 minutes usable fuel onboard on arrival Archerfield.

The Delivery Formation
Aircraft Sector Crew
F-111C A8-138 Dubbo-Amberley-Archerfield WGCDR Geoff Talbot AFC (CO 1SQN) and SQNLDR Lester Cavanagh. Aircraft identity confirmed by Geoff Talbot's log book.
F-111C A8-139 Dubbo-Amberley-Archerfield FLTLT John Kennedy and FLTLT John Bennett. Aircraft identity confirmed by John Bennett's log book.
Mirage IIIO A3-48 Ex Williamtown formated near Dubbo Unknown
Mirage IIID A3-? Ex Williamtown formated near Dubbo Pilot unknown. Photographer Bruce Adams.
Canberra A84-248 Joined south of Amberley WGCDR Graham Dyke DSO (CO 2SQN) and SQNLDR Al Kirby. Aircraft identity confirmed by Graham Dyke's log book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following anecdote was contributed by Malcolm Lloyd who at the time was a Flight Service Officer stationed in Broken Hill:

"Up until the early 90s Australian air traffic services were provided by two main sections; Air Traffic Control and Flight Service. The main difference between the two was that ATC provided positive separation between aircraft, mainly in higher traffic density areas (Controlled Airspace), and FS provided a traffic advisory service in the remainder (Uncontrolled Airspace). Most of the larger country towns with airports had a Flight Service Unit. There was also another section, Operations Control, who oversaw aircraft operating under Instrument Flight Rules in controlled airspace particularly with regard to them meeting statutory fuel requirements. The basic fuel requirement for non-airline civil flights was enough to cover the planned flight plus forty five minutes reserve. If forecast weather at the destination was below certain standards, additional fuel had to be carried, either to hold for a time or to divert to an alternate. At the time of WD647’s flight I was a Flight Service Officer stationed in Broken Hill and being an enthusiast was very excited to see this rare bird. The flight arrived as planned in Broken Hill then the pilot came into the Unit and submitted a flightplan for the leg from Broken Hill to Dubbo. This was a little unusual as in most cases a plan would have been submitted to cover from Woomera through the various stops right through to Brisbane. I accepted and transmitted the flightplan via telex in the usual manner, everything on it looking good to me. A few minutes later I received a phone call from Adelaide Ops – “This flight isn’t carrying enough fuel, he only has twenty minutes reserve, not the required forty five.” I pointed out that being a military flight it was not subject to that requirement. “Are you sure he’s military?” was the next question from Ops. My reply was something along the lines of “Who else operates Meteors?” “Have another look at the flightplan” the Ops controller said. I did and found that the box where the class of operation; private, charter, military etc., should be entered had been left blank. I don’t recall the subsequent conversations with the pilot but obviously things did get sorted out to most peoples’ satisfaction and the flight went ahead."

24SEP77
Meteor WD647 never joined Canberra A84-225 at Pioneer Valley Park, Kuraby because by late 1976 the park was in financial difficulties and QAM was faced with finding a new site for the Canberra. By January 1977 QAM had secured a site at Lower Nudgee. The Meteor was being prepared for transportation to Lower Nudgee when a serendipitous chain of events saw the aeroplane paraded through the streets of the Brisbane CBD.

As a result of being taken for a flight in a Mooney by John Knox, fellow 4IP announcer Alan McGirvan started flying lessons with Gordon Jenkinson at Archerfield. It must have been in the lead up to the annual Warana procession that Alan McGirvan had the inspiration that the Meteor would look good as 4IP’s float. He passed the idea over to 4IP’s publicity department who rang DCA at Archerfield to be told that the aeroplane was about to be moved. Subsequently 4IP agreed to pay the transport costs and the Meteor became the 4IP float in the Warana procession on 24 September 1977. After the procession the aeroplane spent the night on the other side of the river in the area now known as Southbank.
25SEP77
  In the early hours of the morning the aircraft was moved from the city to Lower Nudgee.
09APR80
  Moved to Brisbane Airport.
13APR84
The Meteor was inspected at the Brisbane Airport Navy Street site by Air Vice-Marshal D.C.T. Bennett, CB, CBE, DSO, Patron of QAM.
03FEB85
  Towed to International Terminal.
15FEB85
  Loaded on truck for transportation to RAAF Amberley for painting. En route the aircraft was displayed  in the city.
19MAR85
  Returned to International Terminal Brisbane Airport.
31MAR85
  Wings re-fitted at International Terminal.
17APR85
  Displayed in front of International Terminal in conjunction with special flight by Qantas Boeing 747 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of their first international service (with an Armstrong Whitworth FK8!).
29SEP85
  Towed back to Navy Street site near Runway 13.
13JUN86
  Moved to Caloundra.

 

The Thing on the Wing

 

Compiled by Ron Cuskelly

 

To view this page as it was designed please click HERE

 



 


ISSUE
DATE
REMARKS
9
07FEB20
Added a reference to the aircraft being inspected by AVM Don Bennett on 13APR84.
8
21NOV17
Added details of how the aeroplane came to be in the Warana procession on 24SEP77. Thanks to 4IP "Good Guys" Alan McGirvan and John Knox.
7
08NOV15
Corrected the identity of the F-111 photographed in formation with WD647 on 15JUL75. Changed from A8-136 to A8-138. The error became evident from higher resolution images supplied by John Bennett and Martin Edwards.
6
21JAN14
Added the name of the pilot and navigator on Canberra A84-248 thanks to Graham Dyke. See 15JUL75.
5
20JAN14
Added the name of the navigator on A8-138 and the pilot of A84-248, the latter to be confirmed. See 15JUL75. Thanks to Geoff Talbot.
4
07DEC12
Added details of the fuel stop at Broken Hill on 15JUL75 thanks to Malcolm Lloyd.
3
15APR12
Added details of the escort aircraft on 15JUL75 thanks to John Bennett.
2
06FEB02
-