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Great Britain's Gloster Meteor fighter

Photos

  • Gloster Meteor Mk I fighter
  • Gloster Meteor F Mk I fighter
  • Gloster Meteor F Mk III fighter
  • Gloster Meteor fighter
  • Gloster Meteor fighter

Design

Gloster convinced the Air Ministry to draw up the F.9/40 specifications around their new jet fighter design. The Meteor was designed by George Carter.

The Gloster Meteor was designed to be a day and night fighter, ground attack, and trainer.

Other names under consideration were Ace, Reaper, Scourge, Terrific, Thunderbolt, and Wildfire.

Prototypes

The F.9/40 prototype, DG202/G, was used in deck trials on the HMS Pretoria Castle.

Eight F.9/40 prototypes were built with three different test engines.

DG206/G was powered by two Halford H.1s and first flew on March 5, 1943 / March 1943. There was some instability and modifications were made in the tail.

The Meteor F.Mk I first flew on January 12, 1944. It was traded to the United States for a Airacoment. Twelve of these equipped the No. 616 Squadron in July 1944.

Note: The G suffix in the serial number indicated that the aircraft was to have an armed guard at all times while on the ground.

Production

Most Meteors were produced after World War II.

  • Prototypes: 8
  • Meteor Mk I: 20
  • Meteor Mk III: ~200, 210
  • Total: 3,886
    • Manufacturer: Gloster Aircraft Co. Ltd.

Variants

  • Prototype: Had either Whittle W.2B (later Rolls-Royce Welland), Halford H.1 (de Havilland Goblin), or Metrovick F.2 engines.
  • Meteor F. Mk I: Delivered in June 1944.
  • Meteor Mk II: Was to have Goblin engines, but was not built.
  • Meteor F. Mk III: Had sliding canopy. More fuel with the Derwent I engines. The airframe was also strengthened.

Usage

Primarily used against the German V-1 flying bombs. Flying Officer Dean scored the first kill of a V-1 in August 4, 1944 / August 14, 1944 / August 1944.

When finally deployed in Europe they were forbidden to fly over Germany. These were used in ground attacks.

First Squadron

The 616th Squadron received the Meteor in July 1944.

Specifications

  Gloster Meteor
Type Fighter
Crew 1
Engine (Type) 2: Rolls-Royce Welland turbojet
OR 2: Rolls-Royce Derwent turbojet
Dimensions  
Span 43'
13.1 m
Length 41' 3"
12.57m , 12.6 m
Height 13'
3.96 m
Wing area 374 sq ft
34 sq m
Armament  
Nose 4: 20 mm
4: 20 mm Hispano
  Gloster Meteor F.Mk I
Gloster Meteor Mk I
Type Fighter
Crew 1
Engine (Type) 2: Rolls-Royce W.2B/23C Welland Series 1 turbojet
2: Rolls-Royce Welland turbojet
Thrust 1,700 lb
Fuel capacity 360 gallons
1,363 liters
Dimensions  
Span 42' 11", 43'
13.1 m, 13.11 m
Length 41', 41' 3"
12.5 m, 12.57 m
Height 12' 9", 13'
3.9 m, 3.96 m
Wing area 373 ft2 , 374 sq ft
34.7 m2 , 34.74 sq m
Weight  
Empty 8,140 lb, 8,221 lb
3,692 kg, 3,693 kg, 3,737 kg
Loaded 13,768 lb, 13,800 lb
6,257 kg, 6,258 kg, 6,260 kg
Performance  
Speed at sea level 385 mph
620 kph
Speed @ 10,000' /
3,048 m / 3,050 m
415 mph, 419 mph
668 kph, 675 kph
Climb 2,155'/minute
657 m/minute
Service ceiling 40,000'
12,190 m, 12,192 m
Range 1,000 miles
1,609 km
Armament  
Nose 4: 20 mm Hispano
  Gloster Meteor Mk III
Type Fighter
Crew 1
Engine (Type) 2: Rolls-Royce Derwent I turbojet
2: Rolls-Royce Welland turbojet
Thrust 2,000 lb
Dimensions  
Span 43'
Length 41' 3"
Height 13'
Weight  
Empty 8,810 lb
3,996 kg
Loaded 13,800 lb, 13,920 lb
6,314 kg
Performance  
Speed 493 mph
793 kph
Speed @ 30,000' 493 mph
Climb 3,980'/minute
1,213 m/minute
Service ceiling 44,000'
13,411 m
Range 1,340 miles
2,156 km
Armament  
Nose 4: 20 mm

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, General Editor: Jim Winchester, 2004
  2. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  3. World War II Airplanes Volume 1, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  4. Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II, 1989
  5. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site