Hello and welcome back to another one of my blogs, I thought I would share a slightly more personal story today and talk about how my passion for aviation started and what my favorite aircraft is.
My love for aircraft and aviation in general started from an early age, my Grampa telling me stories of Stukas and Spitfires flying over his village at low altitude during the war just got me fascinated. My Great Grandfather was a paratrooper during the second world war and was captured during the Battle of Arnhem, he was transported by a Douglas C-47 or the "Gooney Bird". He eventually escaped during a French raid of the camp. Hearing these stories told my Grampa just really encapsulated me from and young age and just got me wanting to know more and more. I also recall my Grampa telling me stories of the Javelin test flying at low altitude over their village, and their early sightings of the Meteor and hearing a jet engine roar over them for the first time.
The Douglas C-47 Skytrain
All of these stories from my Grampa just set me on the path of being a lover of aviation, one that I have stayed firmly on ever since. I grew up walking my dog and riding my bike across the abandoned RAF Brockworth, where the Gloster Aircraft Company was based, and where the first British jet aircraft was built and tested, back then the majority of the runway was still there, a lot of it overgrown and cracked, but long stretches of it remained. I have vivid memories of me spending hours exploring this old airfield and searching for little pieces of aircraft that I though may be lurking in the bushes. I never did find a Meteor or Javelin remain surprisingly enough! Slowly over the years this abandoned runway was slowly lost to more factories and offices, until there was none left. Seeing this history disappear in front of my eyes made me realize two things, that I was so damn lucky to have been able to set foot on such history, but also that I wanted to ensure that I educated people on what was there. I wanted to ensure that the incredible rich history of this place remained told.
The Airfield when it was in use
So, my favorite aircraft.....
It has to be the Gloster Javelin. This thing was just a beautiful and fierce looking fighter. The first all weather fighter and the first delta winged fighter and also the Gloster Aircraft Company's last aircraft, bar one design that was never developed into a prototype, more on that soon ;). The Javelin was introduced in 1956 after 5 years of prototype testing. The aircraft used Armstrong Siddley Sapphire engines and could reach Mach 0.93 with a service ceiling of 52,000 feet. The only problem was that this was a big and bulky aircraft. It just was not right for its time, too slow and too clunky compared to its competition and that would end up being its downfall.
For me however, I just love this aircraft, I absolutely love it. I have been up close with two of them (both based at Staverton Airport) and this aircraft is just stunning looking. Also, the connection of the aircraft being built pretty much on my front doorstep makes me feel I have a sort of connection to it. It makes me feel I know it and where it has come from, I have spent hours and hours on the very ground this beautiful aircraft was built. I have done a whole article on the XA778 Gloster Javelin FAW MK2 (XA778) (aircraftandwatches.com) so if you want to check that out then click the link here.
I love the Javelin, I always will, I cannot quite describe it, but I just feel connected to this aircraft more than any other.
Thank you for reading once again, I appreciate it! So that is a little bit about my love for aircraft and my obsession with the Javelin. Keep posted for more content soon!