View Full Version : RAF Benson

01-30-2008, 03:23 PM
I was Driving past RAF Benson today and thought I saw a Glostor Meteor flying. Afaik the only flying Meteor is in Australia .
Can someone confirm or if not identify the Aircraft that was in the air.
sorry no pictures

01-30-2008, 04:00 PM
The last F8 ? was the one I think that went to Auz....

Martin Baker still operate a meatbox for ejection seat trials and has one in store too......... the only tandem seat, twin eng fast jet suitable to use, might of been theirs..


http://www.martin-baker.com/getdoc/075f013d-447b-4987-b...ove-meteors-_2_.aspx (http://www.martin-baker.com/getdoc/075f013d-447b-4987-b2a7-1684d2d6bc9d/The-Chalgrove-meteors-_2_.aspx)


01-30-2008, 04:10 PM
Thanks i think you may be right i would swear it was this one


Owned and operated by Martin-Baker, this aircraft is still in use for ejector seat trials. Seen here in the static park at Kemble Airday 07

01-31-2008, 04:37 AM


01-31-2008, 04:46 AM
I saw an interview with the pilots and they stuck with the meteor apparently because the engines are the least prone type to fail if a foreign object enters the intake. That and the aircraft is ultra reliable in general.

01-31-2008, 05:12 AM
war time RAF Benson

1939 No 12 Operational Training Unit

At the outbreak of war the station became No 12 Operational Training Unit, its first task being to train pilots, observers and air gunners in Fairey Battles and Avro Ansons for operations against the enemy.
1940 Wellington Aircraft

In 1940 these aircraft were superseded by Wellingtons. Among those trained on the station during this period was a Polish contingent. During the war RAF Benson was honoured by many distinguished visitors, including HM King George VI and HRH the Duke of Kent. Less welcome visitors were German aircraft which attacked the airfield on a number of occasions. Fortunately, little damage was caused and there was only one fatality. During one raid an air shelter received a direct hit but, since no warning had been received, it was empty.

1941 Photographic Reconnaissance Unit

In 1941, RAF Benson was chosen as the home for an experimental Photographic Reconnaissance Unit which had been set up to test and develop new methods of carrying out photographic reconnaissance over enemy territory. Using Spitfire aircraft, pilots found that their speed enabled them to avoid interception and that their camouflage and height rendered them virtually invisible. Extra fuel tanks allowed them to fly deep into enemy territory and in fact, it was an aircraft from this unit, which was to spot the Bismarck near Bergen in May 1941.

1942 Runway Expansion

The advent of more advanced types of aircraft required the building of runways and these were completed in 1942, this work, however, caused the closing of the Old London Road and as a result, the Royal Engineers built the present road to Crowmarsh. With this development came the expansion of No PRU into No's 540, 541, 542, 543 and 544 Squadrons and the grouping of the station under Costal Command.

1942 Spitfire & Mosquito Aircraft

Until the end of the war the special Spitfire and Mosquito aircraft of these squadrons ranged far and wide, from northern Norway to southern Italy and as far east as Vienna. Outstanding events during that period were: the photography of the Mohne, Eder and Sorpe Dams shortly after the attack by the Dambusters, a flight over Berlin 1943 when the pilot remained over the target for three quarters of an hour and obtained an almost complete mosaic of the city and the photography of the Tirpitz which was to lead to its destruction. A PRU Mosquito from Benson was the first aircraft to encounter a Me 262, the German jet propelled aeroplane. Although the encounter lasted for 20 minutes, the Mosquito was able to escape into the clouds and return home undamaged.
1945 Mosquitos Become Couriers

In 1944, a Mosquito from Benson was stripped of its photographic equipment and flew to Moscow in 4 hours, acting as a courier for the Moscow Conference. As a result of this flight, Mosquito's from RAF Benson were given the job of carrying diplomatic mail from Yalta and Potsdam conferences in 1945. In May 1945, four Mosquito's were delivered to Karachi within 13 hours of take-off from Benson, beating the previous record by over four hours.