NV778 was built in November 1944 by Hawker at Langley, Bucks. On January 5th 1945 it was on charge at Napiers. After been damaged twice it was on January 26 1946 transfered to Hawker Aircraft, and was once again damaged on February 4th and not ready again until August 19. After spending 3 1/2 years in storage at 5 Maintenance Unit (MU) it was converted to target-tug (TT.5) in March 1950. Several moments later it (complete fuselage) was found in an old dispersal at North Weald, Essex.

NV778 was rebuilt to take part in the celebrations for the presentation of 33 Squadron's standard in 1958. It was reconstructed from parts of several aircraft in the Proof and Experimental Establishment, Shoeburyness, ranges. It then spent some years as a "gate guardian" at Middleton St. George, painted as 5R-F(SN219). When later restored at Cardington it was found out that 85% of the airframe is of NV778. Tailplanes, elevators and some panels are from SN219. Other aircraft which had been given parts to NV778 were Mk. VI NX262 (at least on panel), Mk. V EJ753 (a cannon cover) and Mk. II PR622 (cockpit undershield).

NV778 was displayed at several airshows and parades, but after refurbishment by 71 MU, it was in November 1972 displayed at RAF Museum, Hendon. In the early 1990s NV778 was moved to Cardington and maintenance. In December 2000 NV778 was moved from Cardington to RAF Museum's temporary facility at Wyton, Cambs. The RAF Museum Restoration Centre, at Cosford Shropshire, was officially opened on May 13 2002. The NV778 arrived at the centre in November 2001, but the rebuild restarted not until May/June 2002. NV778 was rebuilt and repainted as a Turget Tug.

On December 18th 2003 two new exhibition halls were opened for the public at Hendon - Milestones of Flight and the Grahame-White Factory. NV778, was hanging from the ceiling in the Milestone exhibition painted as a Turget Tug. But since early 2018 NV778 is displayed on the floor! 



  Summary of History  
Date Note Code/Serial
Nov 1944 Built at Hawker Aircraft Ltd at Langley (Contract ACFT/1876/C.23(a)) NV778
5 Jan 1945 On charge with Napiers, probably at its engine development establishment at Luton NV778
26 Jan 1945 Hawker Aircraft NV778
9 Sep 1946 5 Maintenance Unit (MU) Kemble, Glos, for storage NV778
24 March 1950 Converted to TT.5 at Hawker Aircraft Ltd at Langley (Contract 6/ACFT/2485/CB.7(a)) NV778
12 Dec 1950 6 MU Brize Norton, Wilts, for storage NV778
20 Sept 1951 20 MU Aston Down, Glos, for storage NV778
27 Oct 1952 233 Operational Conversion Unit, Pembrey, Wales NV778
13 July 1955 Returned to 20 MU Aston Down, Glos, for storage. Last in service with RAF NV778
30 Nov 1955 Transfered to the Ministry of Supply. NV778
April 1957 Complete fuselage noted in old dispersal at North Weald, Essex NV778
1958 Rebuilt for display during 33 Squadron's standard at Middleton St George, Durham 5R-F/SN219
Aug 1958 Gate guardian at Middleton St. George, Durham 5R-F/SN219
Sept 1963 Moved to gate at Leeming, Yorks 5R-F/SN219
Nov 1965 RAF Museum store at Henlow, Beds 5R-F/SN219
April 1968 Refurbished by 27 MU Shawbury, Shropshire. Correct identity discovered. Roll-out on April 11 1968 NV778
1972 Refurbished by 71 MU. I/d stripes removed as incorrect NV778
Nov 1972 RAF Museum Hendon, public display NV778
17 Dec 1991 Cardinton, Beds. Overhaul and return to TT.5 NV778
20 Jan 2000 Moved to temporary RAF Museum facility at Wyton, Cambs NV778
13 Nov 2001 New RAF Museum Restoration Centre, at Cosford Shropshire NV778
18 Dec 2003 On display at RAF Museum, Hendon, as TT.5 NV778


Since early 2018 NV778 is now displayed on the floor! 




© Peter Goodearl
© Christer Landberg
James Atkinson
Text sources:
The Typhoon & Tempest Story (Chris Thomas & Christopher Shores).
FlyPast Jan 2002.
FlyPast May 2002.