Gloster Javelin


Back to the Virtual Aircraft Museum
  ALL-WEATHER INTERCEPTORVirtual Aircraft Museum / United Kingdom / Gloster  

Gloster Javelin

Designed to meet the requirements of Specification F.4/48 for a two-seat twin-engined all-weather interceptor fighter, the Javelin was of tailed-delta configuration and the first of seven prototypes was flown on 26 November 1951. The initial production model, the Javelin F(AW) Mk 1, flown on 22 July 1954, was powered by two 3629kg Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire ASSa 6 turbojets and carried an armament of four 30mm Aden cannon. Forty F(AW) Mk Is for the RAF were followed by 30 F(AW) Mk 2s which differed essentially in having American (APQ 43) in place of British (AI17) radar, the first example of this version flying on 31 October 1955. The next fighter version (paralleling production of 22 T Mk 3 trainers) was the F(AW) Mk 4. This, flown on 19 September 1955, differed in having a fully-powered all-moving tailplane, 50 being built. The F(AW) Mk 5 was similar apart from carrying additional fuel in the wings and having provision for four de Havilland Firestreak AAMs. Sixty-four were built, together with 33 F(AW) Mk 6s which, like the F(AW) Mk 2s, were equipped with US radar. The F(AW) Mk 7 introduced 4990kg Sapphire ASSa 7 engines, a modified flying control system, an extended rear fuselage with raised topline and other changes. Armament comprised two 30mm Aden cannon and four Firestreak AAMs, and 142 were built. The final production version of the Javelin was the F(AW) Mk 8 with Sapphire ASSa 7R engines with limited afterburning boosting output to 5579kg above 6100m, and US radar. Forty-seven were built during 1957-59, and 76 of the earlier F(AW) Mk 7s were brought up to similar standard as F(AW) Mk 9s during 1960-61. The Javelin was finally withdrawn from RAF service in 1967. The following data relate to the definitive F(AW) Mk 8.

Gloster Javelin

 MODELJavelin F(AW). Mk 1
 ENGINE2 x Armstrong Siddeley Saphire ASSa.6 turbojets, 35.6kN
  Take-off weight14324 kg31579 lb
  Wingspan15.85 m52 ft 0 in
  Length17.15 m56 ft 3 in
  Height4.88 m16 ft 0 in
  Wing area86.12 m2926.99 sq ft
  Max. speed1141 km/h709 mph
  Ceiling16000 m52500 ft

Gloster JavelinA three-view drawing (1680 x 1127)

Comments1-20 21-40
Stephen Round, e-mail, 16.10.2013 04:01

Why the hell didn't they stick the tail on at the front why why why put up with masking the tailplane every time they wanted to manoever - hadn't they learned anything from the Westland Whirlwind?


Lester Stenner, e-mail, 05.10.2012 11:38

I flew in a Javelin once during the late 50's when one was based at Blackbushe, on loan to Sperry Instruments. It was supposed to be a flight to Perth, but immediately after take off the pilot(a Flt Lt Williamson)was told by ATC to make an immediate right turn, which he did, causing me to puke up in the face mask. A return to B /Bushe was made to clean up the mess, and the Pilot continued on his own to Perth. My day spoilt.


Steve Sykes, e-mail, 21.10.2011 21:47

I lived in Cyprus 1963 /66 and worked on 29 Squadron[Javelins] as a 'civy',having left school to earn a few'bob'I was employed to look after the flight crew in their crew room.I used to love watching them take off and land and I have some home movie film of them taking off and doing flypasts accompanied by Lightnings.I also remember a Sqd.leader Wilson landing without his navigator F /O Cook who ejected after the canopy was damaged but he was recovered safely from the sea.I also witnessed a Javelin landing with the port undercarriage not having lowered,clouds of dust but no injuries.


Ken Martin, e-mail, 08.08.2011 07:00

Don't you just love the smell of cordite in the morning......... especially when you have your head up the belly hatch reloading the cartriges hoping that the 'zobbit' in the cockpit wasn't going to press the tit before you got the hell out of there. 41sq & 29 sq ground crew.


Keith Fitchew, e-mail, 23.06.2011 17:25

Bill Krouwell {14 /06 /ll) is spreading mischievous nonsense. .The ejection seats in Javelins were not cleared for ground level use and use on rotation(whatever that means )would have resulted in certain death for the crew. We did n't rotate, we eased back on the stick.


pree, 20.06.2011 13:28

some severe performance limitations. This limited manoeuvrability and agility, but it was still well suited for its task as a bomber antagonist.


Bill Krouwel, 14.06.2011 17:44

Famously nearly killed one test-pilot (and nearly another) by "masking" its tailwing (and thus losing all fore-and-aft stability and "porpoising" till the wings fell off) with the main wing at a sharp angle of attack...

... Also a number were written-off (happily with no loss of life) when their crews ejected on seeing various red lights go on in the cockpit when rotating at take-off - turned out to be the sun shining through the perspex!


Keith Fitchew, e-mail, 12.06.2011 16:21

The Javelin was in fact in RAF service until 1968 when No 60 Sqadron was disbanded at Tengah on April 30th. In keeping with its role the parade and flypast of a diamond nine formation took place at night. I flew the last Javelin sortie in XH777 to the MU at RAF Seletar on May 2nd with Sqn Ldr Geof O'Brien as navigator..


Keith Fitchew, e-mail, 06.06.2011 00:44


I flew a thousand hours or so in various Javelin types.It really was n't that difficult to fly.


Keith Fitchew, e-mail, 04.06.2011 18:57

I flew a thousand hours or so in vaious Javelin types. It really was n't that difficult to flew. It was a good instrument platform. You had to be a bit careful.I don't recall the problems one contributer mentions about flying in Borneo.I flew many sorties and we did not shut engines down, One problem was that the runways were a bit short for the heavy take-off weights and getting to V1 was critical, particularly at Kuching.


Doug Browne, e-mail, 07.05.2011 11:14

This was the worst fighter aircraft I ever flew. It handled like a sack of potatoes. You couldn't hit anything with the guns as they were so far apart. If your navigator was superb at measuring range and you only fired two or three rounds each burst, you could run up a decent score. The ultimate disaster was to use this high level interceptor for patrols at treetop height in Malaysia. Due to a 'dangerous' vibration period at the revs we normally used for these patrols, one engine was shut down after takeoff.


Kevin Morrow, e-mail, 01.05.2011 14:22

There's a Gloster Javelin at RAF Baginton along with other modern aircraft on display outside.

Caught the view from Google Earth.


CliffS, e-mail, 15.12.2010 18:22

Loved the look of this plane: big, hulking brute and a good weapons platform. As a teenager, I was with 20 Gp ROC in York; in I think 1963 we went to an Open Day at Middleton St George. Circuits & Bumps in a Hastings, and Height & Speed spotting competitions. Great watching a flight of Javs doing 500mph at 200ft.


Tony F., e-mail, 08.12.2010 15:06

I worked on Javs on 85 Squadron at Stradishall in the late 50's. They were a temperamental aircraft to maintain, definitely not user-friendly. The aircrew liked them, although they were subject to some severe performance limitations. This limited manoeuvrability and agility, but it was still well suited for its task as a bomber antagonist.


Ken Foster, e-mail, 13.10.2010 12:32

I flew the 7s then 9s with No 25 Sqdn 1958-1962. First, it was a bomber destroyer not a 'fighter plane'. With four 340 pound IR seeking Firestreaks and two 30mm cannon the Mk 7,8 and 9s packed more punch than any contemporary intercepror aircraft. Experienced Meteor fighter pilots found the conversion to type easy, no aircraft or crews lost during training though no Mk 3 dual trainer until late 1969. Just do not stall it, with the high set tailplane blanked off by the delta wing, recovery was not possible. The aircrews found them to be a very effective weapon and liked the type.


Red Eagle, 06.06.2010 13:34

I worked on the dear old Javelin at the Central Fighter Establishment West Raynham, between 1957-61, Mk 4&5; a great aeroplane in all respects for us engineers!
Admittedly there were problems with waterproofing the radome, which leaked in the rain,f***up the radar; but that was soon sorted with sticky tape!
Also the Mk7&8 initially had problems with the reheat fuel supply, depriving the engine of fuel and causing fuel starvation /loss of power- not nice on take off!
The distinctive sound was resonance causing the wow wow wow sound-lulled you off to sleep on exercises.
219 Sqdn old boy.


'Bill' Hyland, e-mail, 24.08.2010 15:15

Did Ian Blackwolf fly the aircraft? I certainly do not remember him


Ian Blackwolf, e-mail, 25.03.2010 06:05

One of the worst examples of a jet fighter to see service. I can understand why this "thing" was nicknamed Dragmater.


Brian Gerrard., e-mail, 09.03.2010 22:32

I remember the Javlin when it was doing trials at Boscombe Down. We lived in the flight path about 5 miles from the runway. The engine noise from the Javlin was like no other aircraft, it had a very strange whine. You always knew when a Javlin was doing night trials. I spoke to some of the pilots and she was not the easiest of aircraft to fly.


big foot, e-mail, 01.02.2009 19:13

Trying 2 get any info on the jav is a bit like looking 4 rocking horse poo it is near impossible ,that is untill i found your good selves ,now iam happy thank you .


1-20 21-40

Do you have any comments?

Name    E-mail


All the World's Rotorcraft

All rhe World's Rotorcraft AVIATION TOP 100 -