View Full Version : Martin-Baker Meteor

Wig Wag
20th Jul 2003, 18:24
Do Martin-Baker still carry out ejector seat testing on a Meteor? I was (idly) checking old fighter jet registrations the other day and couldn't fing a Meteor registered to the firm.



21st Jul 2003, 00:12
They still have two Meteor 7s at Chalgrove: WA638 and WL419.

21st Jul 2003, 07:20
I think you'll find that they belong to the M.O.D., as does Chalgrove airfield but M.B are the only people to use either. (Except for the ocasional chap who lands at Benson and then finds he hasn't.)

Mike W

Philip Whiteman
21st Jul 2003, 18:58
The M-B Meteor whizzing over our school (Lord Williams's in Thame) was one of the more memorable sights of my teenage years.

I do have Chalgrove in my logbook - dad and I took the Cub over there in 1995, just after we'd restored it to its 1944 9th Army/2nd Armored Division markings. We were invited in for a reunion visit by USAAF 7th Photographic Group veterans. These characters flew F-5's (photo-recce P-38 Lightnings) and PR Spitfires from Mount Farm, not far from Chalgrove. One of these men told me they'd lost two of their best pilots in a Cub, when they tried to emulate the stunt of landing off a loop. In their early twenties, neither had even flown a photo-mission...

25th Jul 2003, 12:52
Those at Avalon this year would have had the wonderful sight of a Meteor F8 from Temora flying each day.

Looked great. It was just like the first time I saw a Vampire flying. They look like a horrible slug on the ground, but in the air you can see they must have been a real jaw-dropper in their day. They never look quite so slug-like on the ground again:D

But the noise it made! It really sounded as if it had propellors, more like a turboprop than a jet. Nothing like the similarly-shaped engined Mig-15 or Vampire. Is it a characteristic of the Derwent, or just this example about to sh*t itself? Was it a security measure so the Germans didn't notice it was a jet?;)

25th Jul 2003, 15:02
That Meteor (Winston) used to be here in Blighty and, as Spodman says, boy did it sound good!

Somewhere I've got a sound clip of it displaying at Duxford and it reminds me of one of the Unlimiteds coming round the last turn at Reno! Maybe I could paste a link to it...


henry crun
25th Jul 2003, 15:54
Spodman, I have not heard the Temora Meteor but I think that noise you refer to is the original, the one and only,
never to be forgotten, Blue Note.

It certainly wasn't produced by the Derwents because not all marks of Meteor produced this note.

The most likely reason I seen put forward for it is the aerodynamic noise around the gun ports above a certain speed combined with a sort of organ pipe noise from the gun barrels.

A number of aircraft types since have blue notes attributed to them but IMHO there is nothing like the real thing. ;)

25th Jul 2003, 17:09
It's good to see these Meteors still being used for this purpose. About 5 years ago when there was only WL419 flying for Martin Baker I was talking to one of there pilots at Farnborough air show and asked if there were any plans to replace the Meteor with anything. His answer "Yes, with another Meteor" which was when WA638 was undergoing work to flying condition.

Keep 'em flying

Wig Wag
25th Jul 2003, 21:11

Thanks for your replies.

25th Jul 2003, 23:01
Here's the sound file - it's an 80kb wav file...

Recorded by Chris Gage, organmeister was either Stan Hodgkins or Rod Dean, sorry gents don't recall which of you!


meteor (http://www.tpsconsult.co.uk/dump/wow8.wav)

26th Jul 2003, 02:33
If you still want to hear the sound of Derwents the NF11 is still doing the rounds at the airshows this year.

26th Jul 2003, 04:54
Sorry Reichman, despite the lovely sound of two Derwents in an NF (Better still with deep breathers), you can only get the old blue note out of a single seat Meatbox such as a Mk 4,8 or 9 with nose gun ports. The NFs of course were all in the wings.

PS I'm desperately trying to get that wav format sorted out Treadders!!

26th Jul 2003, 06:01
Sorry BOF, if you can't sort out I will pressgang my mate Nadeem into providing another format. I have Chris's unadulterated AVI format at 700kb...

It is a great noise!

$%!*, I can't open it either... 700kb file will follow for those with Broadband or serious money....

Treadders the Chaste!

30th Jul 2003, 00:41
Henry, Henry!

<<the original, the one and only, never to be forgotten, Blue Note. >>

Oh no!

Not the original, and certainly not the one and only.

A venerable instructor of mine was taught (at Pensacola, WW2?) that the time to pull out of a dive in a F4U was when you hear the "Blue note". he said he had no idea what that would sound like, but when he eventually heard it there was no mistaking it.

Guess the F4 predates even the Meatbox?

Incedentally later he was on the second RN helicopter course - on the R4. his instructor sent him solo after 3 1/2 hours, saying "You now know as much as I do". The instructor then had 7 rotary hours! Sounds like a recipe for a brown note!

henry crun
30th Jul 2003, 11:31
skeptic, while I accept that someone else used the term Blue Note to describe the noise made by the F4U I very much doubt the noise made by a piston engine/ prop combination was anything like the Meteor note.

As to my, "original, the one and only, never to be forgotten" terminology, you can have your opinion and shall keep mine. :D

Beware of imitations. :)