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Gloster Meteor

The first jet aircraft to enter service with the RAF
Gloster’s most successful design was the twin engine Meteor jet fighter, whose production spanned from the latter years of the Second World War into the mid-1950s.
 
 
Gloster Meteor DG207G at Hatfield 26-10-45 Goblin enginePrototype DG207G at Hatfield on 26th October 1945 (Goblin engine)
 
DG206/G, powered by a De Havilland Halford H.1 (later Goblin) engine, made the first true flight on 5th March 1943 at RAF Cranwell whilst DG204/G tested the Metropolitan-Vickers F.2 and F.3/1 axial flow engines. It was the 5th prototype as earlier prototypes were being delayed by the unfortunate wranglings and disputes over the intended use of other powerplants such as the Whittle W.2 engine.  On some prototypes the engines were actually installed below the wing due to their smaller diameter.
 
Eight development aircraft (known as the F.9/40) were used for a wide range of engine proving trials.  Of these, DG202/G conducted ground running on 29th June 1942 and then taxiing trials and short hops at Newmarket Heath 10th July 1942.Twenty 'pre-series' Meteor F Mk. I's were built, powered by the Rolls-Royce Welland engine with the first of these (EE210/G) flying on 12th January 1944 at Moreton Valance.  Although these were nominally production aircraft, they were used for a wide-ranging series of engine and airframe development trials and this usage continued on with the latter F Mk. III and F Mk IV.
 
In total 3,875 Meteors were built which was by far more than any other British jet aircraft of the era. 3,545 were built in the UK by Gloster Aircraft Company and by Armstrong Whitworth and a further 330 were built by Fokker (under licence in the Netherlands) although 30 of these were actually assembled in Belgium.
 
The main production marks of the Meteor were: F. Mk IV, T. Mk 7, and F. Mk 8.
 
The Sir W.G. Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft Ltd built some 1,050 Meteor aircraft at Coventry in the midlands and took overall responsibility for the development and production of the night fighter variants.
 
The type was very successful in the export market, providing numerous air forces with their first experience of jet fighter operations and around 30 national air forces were to ultimately operate the type at one time or another.
 
Gloster Meteors in level flight G-AKPK (T7) and VT170 (F4)Gloster Meteors in level flight G-AKPK (T7) and VT170 (F4)
 
The Meteor was used for a very wide range of development and experimental trials throughout its life, including test flying with different engine types including the Welland with reheat, the Trent turboprop, various models of the Derwent, the Metrovick Beryl, the Rolls-Royce Avon, the Snecma Atar, the RB108 lift-engine, the Rolls-Royce Soar tip-mounted turbojet and the Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire.
 
Various new technological developments were also tested on Meteors including boundary layer control, jet deflection trials, flight refuelling, brake parachute trials, etc. 
 
The prone pilot Meteor WK935 and the Trent Meteor EE227 (the world’s first aircraft to fly under turboprop power) are perhaps the most striking examples.
 
Gloster Meteor F8 'Prone Position' RAF WK935Gloster Meteor F8 'Prone Position' RAF WK935
 
The type was also very significant in the development and flight testing of Martin Baker ejection seats.

Variants

Meteor F.9/40
8 Prototypes built
Used for airframe and engine development
Meteor F.I Trent turboprop
1 built
EE227 fitted with Rolls-Royce Trent as the world’s first turboprop aircraft.
Meteor F.I
20 built
First production variant
Meteor F.2
Never built
Alternative F.1 with 2 Halford H1 engines
Meteor F.3
210 built
Powered by Rolls-Royce Derwent 1, although first 15 aircraft delivered with Rolls-Royce Welland.
Meteor F.4
658 built
Major production variant powered by Rolls-Royce Derwent 5. Exported to Argentina (50), Belgium (48), Denmark (20), Egypt (12) and Netherlands (38).
Meteor FR.5
1 prototype
Fighter reconnaissance variant of F.4  with vertical cameras in the nose- prototype destroyed on first flight, June 1949.
Meteor T.7
712 built
Highly successful two-seat trainer variant of the F.4, developed as a private venture and exported to Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Egypt, France, Israel and Netherlands.
Meteor F.8
1,183 built
Main fighter variant of F.4,  powered by Rolls-Royce Derwent 8 with greater fuel capacity - Widely exported (Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Egypt, Israel, Netherlands Syria).
Meteor F.8 Prone Pilot
1 built
One-off experimental aircraft modified by Armstong Whitworth
Meteor FR.9
126 built
Fighter reconnaissance variant of F.8 for RAF. Built by Gloster Aircraft and ex-RAF aircraft supplied to Ecuador, Israel and Syria.
Meteor PR.10
59 built
Unarmed photo-reconnaissance variant of F.8 for RAF use.
Meteor F.21 Sea Vampire
6 conversions
Modified from F.3 for flexible deck aircraft carrier belly landing trials.
Meteor NF.11
314 built
Night fighter derivative of T.7 with Airborne Interceptor Radar, longer fuselage and with the cannon moved from fuselage to wings. Built by Armstrong Whitworth  and exported to Belgium, Denmark, France.
Meteor NF.12
100 built
A longer-nosed variant of the NF.11 with US APS.21 radar for RAF use.
Meteor NF.13
40 built
A tropicalised variant of the NF.11-  40 aircraft built by Armstrong Whitworth for the RAF to replace the DH Mosquito, with ex-RAF aircraft supplied to Egypt, France, Israel and Syria.
Meteor NF.14
101 built
Final production variant from NF.11, with lengthened nose and the two crew housed under a twin piece blown canopy, built for the RAF.
Meteor TT.20
24 conversions 
High-speed target tug conversions by Armstrong Whitworth from Meteor NF.11 for Royal Navy use with 4 for Denmark. 
Meteor U.15
92 built
High-speed target tug conversion from Meteor F4
Meteor U.16
108 built
Meteor U.21
24 conversions
Complete rebuilds of Meteor F.8's with the U.21 being the Australian variant used at Woomera.
Meteor Ground Attack Fighter
1 built
An F.8 modified with rocket assisted take off by Gloster Aircraft as a private venture - Also know as The Reaper
Gloster CXP-1001
Never built
Single engine variant for China
It should be noted that the 'U' designation was later replaced with 'D'

Specification (F.8)

Powerplant                                Two 3,500 lbst Rolls-Royce Derwent 8 turbojets
Span 37 ft 2 in
Maximum Weight 15,700 lb
Capacity Single pilot
Maximum Speed 598 mph
Maximum Range 600 miles

Survivors

MeteorF.8
(WL419)
Chalgrove Airfield, near Watlington, Oxfordshire.                    
Meteor  T7
(WA591/G-BWMF)
Classic Air Force, St Mawgan, Newquay, Cornwall, UK www.classicairforce.com/
Meteor D.16 / restored as F.8
(WH453)
Bentwaters Cold War Museum, Suffolk, UK
Meteor D.16
(WK800)
Boscombe Down Aviation Collection, Old Sarum Airfield, Wiltshire, UK www.boscombedownaviationcollection.co.uk
Meteor F.4
(EE531)
Midland Air Museum, Coventry Airport, Coventry, Warwickshire, UK www.midlandairmuseum.co.uk
Meteor F.4
(EE549)
Tangmere Military Aviation Museum, Chichester, West Sussex, UK www.tangmere-museum.org.uk
Meteor F.8
(WA984)
Tangmere Military Aviation Museum, Chichester, West Sussex, UK www.tangmere-museum.org.uk
Meteor F.8
(WF643)
Norfolk & Suffolk Aviation Museum, Flixton, UK www.aviationmuseum.net
Meteor F.8
(WH291)
Speke Aerodrome Heritage Group, Crowne Plaza
Liverpool John Lennon Airport Hotel, Merseyside
Meteor F.8
(WH301)
Royal Air Force Museum, Hendon, London, UK www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london
Meteor F.8
(WK654)
City of Norwich Aviation Museum, Horsham St. Faith, Norfolk www.cnam.org.uk
Meteor F.8
(WK935)
Royal Air Force Museum, Cosford, Shifnal, Shropshire, UK     www.rafmuseum.org.uk/cosford
Meteor F.8
(WK991)
Imperial War Museum, Duxford, Cambridgeshire, UK www.iwm.org.uk/visits/iwm-duxford
Meteor F.8
(WL168)
Yorkshire Air Museum, Elvington, North Yorkshire, UK www.yorkshireairmuseum.com
Meteor F.8
(WL181)
North East Aircraft Museum, Sunderland, Northumberland & Tyneside, UK www.nelsam.org.uk
Meteor F.9/40
(DG202/G) 
Royal Air Force Museum, Hendon, London, UK www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london
Meteor FR.9
(WZ608)
Newark Air Museum, Winthorpe, Newark, Nottinghamshire, UK. www.newarkairmuseum.org
Meteor NF.11 / TT.20
(G-LOSM / WM167)
Classic Air Force, St Mawgan, Newquay, Cornwall, UK www.classicairforce.com
Meteor NF.11 9
(WD790)
North East Aircraft Museum, Sunderland, Northumberland & Tyneside, UK www.nelsam.org.uk
Meteor NF.12 9
(WS692)
Newark Air Museum, Winthorpe, Newark, Nottinghamshire, UK. www.newarkairmuseum.org
Meteor NF.13
(94X-FNA)
Lasham Aerodrome, Hampshire.
Meteor NF.14
(G-ARCX)
National Museum of Flight, East Fortune, East Lothian, Scotland, UK www.nms.ac.uk/flight
Meteor NF.14
(WS739)
Newark Air Museum, Winthorpe, Newark, Nottinghamshire, UK. www.newarkairmuseum.org
Meteor NF.14
(WS760)
Aeropark, East Midlands Airport, Donnington, Derbyshire, UK www.eastmidlandsaeropark.org
Meteor NF.14
(WS776)
Bournemouth Aviation Museum, Bournemouth Airport, Dorset, UK www.aviation-museum.co.uk
Meteor NF.14
(WS788)
Yorkshire Air Museum, Elvington, North Yorkshire, UK www.yorkshireairmuseum.com
Meteor NF.14
(WS832)
Solway Aviation Museum, Carlisle Airport, Carlisle, Cumbria, UK www.solway-aviation-museum.co.uk
Meteor NF.14
(WS838)
Midland Air Museum, Coventry Airport, Coventry, Warwickshire, UK www.midlandairmuseum.co.uk
Meteor NF.14
(WS843)
Royal Air Force Museum, Cosford, Shifnal, Shropshire, UK     www.rafmuseum.org.uk/cosford
Meteor T.7
(VZ634)
Newark Air Museum, Winthorpe, Newark, Nottinghamshire, UK. www.newarkairmuseum.org
Meteor T.7
(VZ638)
Gatwick Aviation Museum, Charlwood, Surrey, UK
Meteor T.7
(WA662)
AeroVenture, Doncaster, UK www.southyorkshireaircraftmuseum.org.uk
Meteor T.7
(WA634)
Royal Air Force Museum, Cosford, Shifnal, Shropshire, UK     www.rafmuseum.org.uk/cosford
Meteor T.7
(WF784)
Jet Aircraft Museum, Cotswold Airport, Kemble, Gloucestershire, UK www.jetagemuseum.org.uk
Meteor T.7
(WH132)
RAF Leconfield, East Yorkshire
www.raf.mod.uk/leconfield
Meteor T.7
(WL375)
Dumfries & Galloway Aviation Museum, Dumfries, Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland www.dumfriesaviationmuseum.com
Meteor T.7
(WL405)
Hooton Park, Cheshire.
Meteor T.7
(VW453)
Jet Aircraft Museum, Cotswold Airport, Kemble, Gloucestershire, UK www.jetagemuseum.org.uk
Meteor TT.20
(WD646)
RAF Manston History Museum, Manston, Kent, UK www.rafmanston.co.uk
Meteor TT.20
(WM224)
Aeropark, East Midlands Airport, Donnington, Derbyshire, UK www.eastmidlandsaeropark.org.uk
Meteor T.7
(G-JMWA/WA638)
Chalgrove Airfield, near Watlington, Oxfordshire
 
More information 
 
Please note that the information shown is based on that available at the time of the creation of this web page - If you have any additions or corrections please contact:  Heritage@baesystems.com