Gloster Gladiator

The Gloster Gladiator is a British-built biplane fighter. It was used by the Royal Air Force (RAF) and the Fleet Air Arm (FAA) (as the Sea Gladiator variant) and was exported to a number of other air forces during the late 1930s.

The Gloster Gladiator was the RAF’s last biplane fighter and the first to feature an enclosed cockpit for the pilot. Deliveries began in 1937, with Gladiators continuing to serve in the early years of the Second World War.

During the Battle of Britain, Gladiators of No. 247 Squadron protected the Plymouth naval dockyards, frequently escorting inbound convoys. Withdrawn from UK front line defence in 1941, they continued to be used for metrological reconnaissance and training.

The Gladiator on display at RAF Cosford was built in 1937 and was employed on trials and training duties, Although it never took part in the Battle of Britain, it is used here to represent the Gladiator’s role in that conflict.

In the world of the Very British Civil War which is post 1936, you might expect to see squadrons of Gloster Gladiators flying from the aerodrome at Brockworth, and fighting for the Royalist Army of the Severn Valley. The Gloster Factory was in Cheltenham which was at the heart of the Severn Valley.

N5628 – Gladiator II forward fuselage is on static display at the Royal Air Force Museum London. It is displayed unrestored

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