First test flight of a jet aircraft in Australia

05 Jun 1946

An ex-RAF Gloster Meteor F.3 took off from Laverton, Victoria, on the first test flight of a jet aircraft in Australia. It was flown by Squadron Leader Derek (‘Jell’) Cuming, who earlier that year became the first RAAF officer to complete the Empire Test Pilots course. The Meteor had been received at No 1 Aircraft Depot the previous month and was provided on loan by the British War Ministry to enable the RAAF to gain experience in operating a radical new type. Two days later the aircraft was taken on RAAF strength with the tail number A77-1 and allotted to No 1 Aircraft Performance Unit for trials. Australia did eventually acquire the Meteor for squadron service, but only in 1951. By that time the de Havilland Vampire had already become, in 1949, the first jet acquired in numbers for the RAAF.

Related aircraft

  • Meteor