Armstrong Whitworth Meteor WD686

Courtesy of Mike Bursell

Meteor NF11 WD686 had been in use with the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Thurleigh (Bedford) when it finished its flying service. On 26/10/1967 it was allocated as an Apprentice Training Vehicle at RAE Bedford. It was disposed of to the Imperial War Museum at Duxford in 1973. From there it was passed to The Muckleburgh Collection at Weybourne in Norfolk, and then to the Boscombe Down Aircraft Museum at Old Sarum in Wiltshire on 27/04/2017. Following an extensive period of restoration WD686 was moved to Croome Park, as the old Defford Airfield had been WD686s home for many years. On 8th September 2023 WD686 was moved to Wattisham to join the Wattisham Station Heritage Museum.

Click the video below to view the arrival at Wattisham on 8th September 2023.

WD686 active history

Built by Armstrong Whitworth at Baginton
22/04/1952 Ferried to Bitteswell by Mr Akers
23/04/1952 Awaiting Collection and transferred to CS(A) on a free loan for 6 months to Armstrong Whitworth for conversion to fit the AI.17 RADAR
27/05/1952 Arrived at TRE Defford as an AI.17 flying test bed
26/09/1952 Arrived at West Raynham with the CFE for AI.17 trials
09/04/1952 Arrived at Boscombe Down for the A&AEE for ‘Green Cheese’ anti-shipping RADAR-guided missile trials
20/09/1954 Transferred to C(A) in exchange for WD951
25/07/1955 Arrived at West Raynham with the CFE for AI.17 familiarisation sorties
29/11/1955 Arrived at 15 MU at Wroughton
09/06/1956 To 38 MU at Llandow for Major Servicing
23/05/1957 Arrived at Defford with Boulton-Paul for use as an instrumented piloted target aircraft in support of Canberra WG789 ‘Red Dean’ trials
23/01/1959 Radome damaged
11/05/1959 Arrived at RAE Bedford Thurleigh for development of Flight Test Instrumentation
08/08/1967 Released from flight test duties when replaced by Hunter XG290

Click here to view the pictures from the arrival at Wattisham in September 2023.