Warm welcome for Cold War fighters

October 2011
October 2011

Aircraft from the Cold War era will bring nostalgia to the skies of St Andrews and north east Fife next month.

A warm welcome is expected for the Gloster Meteor and de Havilland Venom when they perform at the RAF Leuchars Airshow: A Diamond Celebration on Saturday, September 15.

It will also be a trip down memory lane for many enthusiasts as Meteor aircraft were based at RAF Leuchars in 1952 when the Queen ascended to the throne.

A Meteor T7 will fly at the Airshow as fitting tribute to Her Majesty’s 60-year reign.

The Meteor entered service in 1944, and is the only jet fighter to have seen combat during World War Two when it protected the United Kingdom from V-1 flying bombs.

It was based at RAF Leuchars throughout the 1950s and will no doubt bring back fond memories for some of the guests.

Fittingly, the Meteor will be joined by the de Havilland Venom which entered RAF service in 1952 and was one of the predecessors of the Typhoon as the aircraft of Leuchars-based 6 Squadron.

The Venom saw service in Germany and the Far East and equipped 19 squadrons during its service with the Royal Air Force. It was also evaluated for navel use and the carrier-based version known as the Sea Venom entered service in 1954.

Trevor Bailey from Air Atlantique, on behalf of the Classic Aircraft Trust, told the Citizen: ‘‘Bringing these two hugely historic aircraft to RAF Leuchars to contribute to A Diamond Celebration in September is a great privilege.


‘‘It fits exactly with the objectives of the UK’s new aviation charity, to enable the British public to view these aircraft where they belong, in the sky. The Classic Aircraft Trust has been set up to ensure aircraft like these and others in the collection can remain operational as flying exhibits, as a tribute to the great British designers, engineers, pilots and operators, that helped so much to make aviation what it is today.”

Wing Commander Neville Clayton, officer commanding Base Support Wing at Leuchars, added: “To have the Meteor at the RAF Leuchars Jubilee Airshow is a most fitting tribute to the 60-year reign of the Queen.

‘‘I am also delighted the Venom will also be displaying as it is an aircraft that represents the joint contribution of the Armed Forces during Her Majesty’s reign with its service in both the RAF and the Navy.

‘‘I am sure both displays will be enjoyed by young and old alike.”