Gloster Meteor

The first jet aircraft to enter service with the RAF.
Gloster Meteor DG207G at Hatfield 26-10-45 Goblin engine Prototype DG207G at Hatfield on 26th October 1945 (Goblin engine)
 
Gloster Aircraft Company'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.
 
The prototype (DG206/G), powered by a De Havilland Halford H.1 (later Goblin) engine, made the first true flight at RAF Cranwell on 5th March 1943.
 
It was the later 5th Prototype (DG204/G), that eventually tested the Metropolitan-Vickers F.2 and F.3/1 axial flow engines 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 Gloster 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 with short hops at Newmarket Heath on 10th July 1942.
 
Twenty 'pre-series' Gloster 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 also used for a wide-ranging series of engine and airframe development trials, which continued on with the latter Gloster Meteor F Mk. III and Gloster Meteor F Mk IV.
 
In total, 3,875 Gloster Meteors were built which was by far more than any other British jet aircraft of the era. 3,545 of these were built in the UK by Gloster Aircraft Company and by Armstrong Whitworth, with a further 330 being built by Fokker (under licence in the Netherlands). 30 of these were however actually assembled in Belgium.
 
Gloster Meteor DG207G at Hatfield 26-10-45 Goblin engine Prototype DG207G at Hatfield on 26th October 1945 (Goblin engine)
 
The Sir W.G. Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft Ltd built some 1,050 Meteor aircraft at Coventry 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. In total, 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 Gloster Meteor was used for a very wide range of development and experimental trials throughout its life. These included 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 Gloster Meteors including boundary layer control, jet deflection trials, inflight refueling, brake parachute trials, etc. 
 
The prone pilot Gloster Meteor (WK935) and the Trent Gloster Meteor (EE227 - the world’s first aircraft to fly under turboprop power) are perhaps the most striking examples.
 
Gloster Meteor F8 'Prone Position' RAF WK935 Gloster Meteor F8 'Prone Position' RAF WK935
 
The type was also very significant in the development and flight testing of Martin Baker ejection seats.

 

Variants


Gloster Meteor F.9/40
8 Prototypes built
Used for airframe and engine development
Gloster Meteor F.I Trent turboprop 1 built
EE227 fitted with Rolls-Royce Trent as the world’s first turboprop aircraft.
Gloster Meteor F.I
20 built
First production variant
Gloster Meteor F.2
Never built
Alternative F.1 with 2 Halford H1 engines
Gloster Meteor F.3
210 built
Powered by Rolls-Royce Derwent 1, although first 15 aircraft delivered with Rolls-Royce Welland.
Gloster 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).
Gloster Meteor FR.5
1 prototype
Fighter reconnaissance variant of F.4  with vertical cameras in the nose- prototype destroyed on first flight, June 1949.
Gloster 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.
Gloster 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).
Gloster Meteor F.8 Prone Pilot
1 built
One-off experimental aircraft modified by Armstong Whitworth
Gloster Meteor FR.9
126 built
Fighter reconnaissance variant of F.8 for RAF. Built by Gloster Meteor Aircraft and ex-RAF aircraft supplied to Ecuador, Israel and Syria.
Gloster Meteor PR.10
59 built
Unarmed photo-reconnaissance variant of F.8 for RAF use.
Gloster Meteor F.21 Sea Vampire 6 conversions
Modified from F.3 for flexible deck aircraft carrier belly landing trials.
Gloster 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.
Gloster Meteor NF.12
100 built
A longer-nosed variant of the NF.11 with US APS.21 radar for RAF use.
Gloster 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.
Gloster 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.
Gloster Meteor TT.20
24 conversions 
High-speed target tug conversions by Armstrong Whitworth from Gloster Meteor NF.11 for Royal Navy use with 4 for Denmark. 
Gloster Meteor U.15
92 built
High-speed target tug conversion from Gloster Meteor F4
Gloster Meteor U.16
108 built
Gloster Meteor U.21
24 conversions
Complete rebuilds of Gloster Meteor F.8's with the U.21 being the Australian variant used at Woomera.
Gloster 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 (Gloster Meteor 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


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

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