The beautiful Gloster Gladiator represented the absolute pinnacle of biplane fighter design, but entered service just as the first of the fast monoplane fighters were already dictating the future of aerial warfare. A thoroughbred aircraft in every sense of the word, the Gladiator was the last biplane fighter to enter RAF service and the first to feature a fully enclosed cockpit. Highly manoeuvrable and extremely fast by biplane standards, the Gladiator also served with the Royal Navy, with aircraft modified for operations at sea by the inclusion of a strengthened fuselage, arrester hook and catapult spools, as well as provision for the stowage of an inflatable dinghy. Sea Gladiator N5519 wears the attractive pre-war colours of No.802 NAS, serving on board HMS Glorious, with the black fin marking this aircraft as the Squadron Commander’s mount. All twelve of the 802 NAS Sea Gladiators based on HMS Glorious were lost during operations in the defence of Norway in June 1940, when the carrier was sunk by the German Battleship Scharnhorst.