On May 25th 1949 VW453 was delivered to RAF Driffield based 203 Advanced Flying School, the first unit to use the Meteor T.7 in any numbers. On September 1st 1949 No.203 AFS was renamed No.226 Operational Conversion Unit at RAF Stradishall and on December 1st 1949 VW453 was transferred to No.604 Squadron at North Weald, Kent. Here it was involved in two separate accidents on October 21st 1950 and July 7th 1952 and in both cases Category 3 damage was repaired on site by Gloster Aircraft technicians.
VW453 was then loaned to RAF Takali (now known as Ta Qali) on Malta on June 18th 1953 but was damaged there on September 27th 1954, necessitating a return to Hucclecote for repairs by Gloster Aircraft. After a period of storage, the T.7 was struck off RAF charge with just 381 hours 25 minutes flying time and was transferred on March 13th 1957 to the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment (A&AEE) at Boscombe Down.
VW453 was used by A&AEE for ‘hack’ duties such as tasks involving photo-chase, instrumentation and navigational development and last flew on February 23rd 1968 with a total airframe time of 2048 hours 5 minutes.
The aircraft was delivered to the Jet Age Museum on Monday April 22nd 2013 in rather spectacular fashion; being carried as an underslung load by an RAF Chinook heavylift helicopter (click here to see pictures) who used the aircraft for practising carrying unusual loads. When I first visited the museum earlier this year the aircraft was stored inside the main hall. However its place has now been taken by Meteor NF.13 WM366/4X-FNA. It is now on display outside of the main hall located next to Meteor T.7 WF784