Air to air photograph of Gloster GA5 Javelin prototype WD804
Air to air photograph of Gloster GA5 Javelin prototype WD804

The last design of the Gloster Aircraft Company Ltd to enter service was the GlosterGA.5 Javelin, an all weather fighter with its unique tailed delta configuration.


The first prototype Gloster GA.5 Javelin (WD804) was taken by road from Hucclecote to Moreton Valence for its first flight, which took place on 26th November 1951. Gloster Chief Test Pilot Bill Waterton was at the controls and he described the aircraft 'as easy to fly as an Anson' although in his report he did express concern over the inadequate power controls.


The first production Javelin FAW.1 (XA544) flew on 22nd July 1954 and significant developmental changes had been made between the initial GA.5 and the production aircraft, including changes to the canopy, nose profile, wing planform and flight controls. Modifications, in particular to the wing, continued during the aircraft’s production run.


Gloster Javelin FAW5 XA694 ground
Gloster Javelin FAW5 XA694.


Air Service Training at Hamble was responsible for the design of the forward fuselage modifications for the Gloster Javelin T. Mk 3 operational trainer which contained dual-controls under a bulged canopy.


The T. Mk 3 prototype (WT841) was also assembled at Hamble, before being disassembled and moved by road to Gloucester for its first flight. This took place on 20th August 1956 and a further 22 production Javelin T. Mk 3 were subsequently built by Gloster.


Gloster Javelin FAW9 XH793 air to air
Air to air photograph of Gloster Javelin FAW9 XH793.


Including the GA.5 prototypes, Gloster built 302 Javelin aircraft whilst Sir W.G. Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft Ltd built a further 133 at Coventry, giving a total of 435 aircraft.


The most important marks were the Javelin FAW.4 (50 aircraft, first flown 19 September 1955), Javelin FAW.5 (64) and the Javelin FAW.7 (142). Seventy-six of the Javelin FAW.7 aircraft were subsequently modified to become Javelin FAW. 9.

Gloster Javelin FAW9 XH897 ground
Javelin FAW9 XH897 was the last Javelin to fly (in support of trials at Boscombe Down).

Variants & Numbers

Mark                         Description
GA.5 Five prototypes
F(AW). Mk 1 40 production aircraft. Sapphire Sa.6 and British AI.17 radar
F(AW). Mk 2 30 production aircraft. As F(AW) 1, but with American AN/APS-43 radar 
T Mk 3 Operational trainer, one prototype and 22 production. 
F(AW). Mk 4 50 built. Vortex generators, all-moving tailplane and British AI.17 radar. 
F(AW). Mk 5 64 built. Similar to F(AW) 4 with some structural revisions.
F(AW). Mk 6 33 built. American radar and F(AW) 6 wing design.
F(AW). Mk 7 142 built. Sapphire Sa.7 engines, lengthened rear fuselage. Firestreak AAM equipped. 
F(AW). Mk 8 47 built. Sapphire Sa7R engines with reheat. US AI.22 radar. 
F(AW). Mk 9 F(AW) 7 aircraft modified to F(AW) 8 standard. 76 conversions. 


Specification (F(AW).7)

Powerplant Two 11,000 lbst Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire Sa.7 turbojets                 
Span 52 ft 0 in
Maximum Weight 40,270 lb (with ventral tanks)
Capacity & Armament Two crew – pilot and navigator. 4 fixed 30 mm Aden cannon in wings. Provision for 4 pylon-mounted Firestreak air-to-air missiles
Maximum Speed 540 kt (620 mph) at 45,000 ft.



XA564 Javelin FAW1 Royal Air Force Museum, Cosford            
XA634 Javelin FAW4 Gloucestershire Jet Age Museum
XA699 Javelin FAW5 Midland Air Museum, Coventry
XH767 Javelin FAW9 Yorkshire Air Museum, Elvington
XH892 Javelin FAW9 Norfolk & Suffolk Aviation Museum Flixton, Suffolk
XH897 Javelin FAW9 Imperial War Museum Duxford
XH903 Javelin FAW9 Gloucestershire Airport, Staverton
XH992 Javelin FAW8 Newark Air Museum, Newark
XH768 Javelin FAW9 Painted as XH707 Museo dell'Aviazione, Cerbaiola, near Rimini, Italy
South Africa
XA553 Javelin FAW1 Gate guardian at Thunder City, Cape Town
Other information 
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