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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.1,5 The Meteor was designed by George Carter.3,5

The Gloster Meteor was designed to be a day and night fighter, ground attack, and trainer.2

Other names under consideration were Ace, Reaper, Scourge, Terrific, Thunderbolt, and Wildfire.1

Prototypes

The F.9/40 prototype, DG202/G, was used in deck trials on the HMS Pretoria Castle.1

Eight F.9/40 prototypes were built with three different test engines.1,3

DG206/G was powered by two Halford H.1s and first flew on March 5, 1943 / March 19434.1,2,3,5 There was some instability and modifications were made in the tail.1

The Meteor F.Mk I first flew on January 12, 1944.1,2 It was traded to the United States for a Airacoment.2 Twelve of these equipped the No. 616 Squadron in July 1944.1,2

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.1

Production

Most Meteors were produced after World War II.2

  • Prototypes: 82,3,5
  • Meteor Mk I: 202,5
  • Meteor Mk III: ~2003, 2102
  • Total: 3,8862
    • Manufacturer: Gloster Aircraft Co. Ltd.3

Variants

  • Prototype: Had either Whittle W.2B (later Rolls-Royce Welland), Halford H.1 (de Havilland Goblin), or Metrovick F.2 engines.2
  • Meteor F. Mk I: Delivered in June 1944.3
  • Meteor Mk II: Was to have Goblin engines, but was not built.2
  • Meteor F. Mk III: Had sliding canopy.1,2 More fuel with the Derwent I engines.1 The airframe was also strengthened.1

Usage

Primarily used against the German V-1 flying bombs.1,2 Flying Officer Dean scored the first kill of a V-1 in August 4, 19445 / August 14, 19444 / August 1944.1

When finally deployed in Europe they were forbidden to fly over Germany.1 These were used in ground attacks.2

First Squadron

The 616th Squadron received the Meteor in July 1944.3,5

Specifications

  Gloster Meteor
Type Fighter2
Crew 12
Engine (Type) 2: Rolls-Royce Welland turbojet4
OR 2: Rolls-Royce Derwent turbojet4
Dimensions  
Span 43'2,4
13.1 m2,4
Length 41' 3"2,4
12.57m 2, 12.6 m4
Height 13'2,4
3.96 m2,4
Wing area 374 sq ft4
34 sq m4
Armament  
Nose 4: 20 mm2
4: 20 mm Hispano4
  Gloster Meteor F.Mk I
Gloster Meteor Mk I
Type Fighter1,5
Crew 11,5
Engine (Type) 2: Rolls-Royce W.2B/23C Welland Series 1 turbojet1,2
2: Rolls-Royce Welland turbojet5
Thrust 1,700 lb1,2,5
Fuel capacity 360 gallons1
1,363 liters1
Dimensions  
Span 42' 11"1, 43'5
13.1 m1, 13.11 m5
Length 41'1, 41' 3"5
12.5 m1, 12.57 m5
Height 12' 9"1, 13'5
3.9 m1, 3.96 m5
Wing area 373 ft2 1, 374 sq ft5
34.7 m2 1, 34.74 sq m5
Weight  
Empty 8,140 lb2,5, 8,221 lb1
3,692 kg5, 3,693 kg2, 3,737 kg1
Loaded 13,768 lb1,5, 13,800 lb2
6,257 kg5, 6,258 kg1, 6,260 kg2
Performance  
Speed at sea level 385 mph2
620 kph2
Speed @ 10,000' /
3,048 m1 / 3,050 m5
415 mph2.5, 419 mph1
668 kph2,5, 675 kph1
Climb 2,155'/minute2
657 m/minute2
Service ceiling 40,000'1,2,5
12,190 m5, 12,192 m1,2
Range 1,000 miles2
1,609 km2
Armament  
Nose 4: 20 mm Hispano1,5
  Gloster Meteor Mk III
Type Fighter3
Crew 13
Engine (Type) 2: Rolls-Royce Derwent I turbojet2,3
2: Rolls-Royce Welland turbojet5
Thrust 2,000 lb2,3
Dimensions  
Span 43'3
Length 41' 3"3
Height 13'3
Weight  
Empty 8,810 lb2
3,996 kg2
Loaded 13,800 lb3, 13,920 lb2
6,314 kg2
Performance  
Speed 493 mph2
793 kph2
Speed @ 30,000' 493 mph3
Climb 3,980'/minute2
1,213 m/minute2
Service ceiling 44,000'2,3
13,411 m2
Range 1,340 miles2,3
2,156 km2
Armament  
Nose 4: 20 mm3

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