Global Aircraft -- Gloster Meteor
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Gloster Meteor Specifications
Primary Function: Fighter
Contractor: Gloster
Crew: One
Unit Cost: N/A
  Two Rolls-Royce W.2B/23C Welland I turbojet engines rated at 1,700 lb thrust each
Length: 41 feet
Wingspan: 43 feet
Height: 13 feet
Empty: 8,140 lb
Maximum Takeoff: 13,800 lb
Speed: 417 mph
Ceiling: 40,000 ft
Range: 1,000 mi
  Four 20 mm Hispano Mk III cannons, torpedoes, rockets.

Gloster Meteor Achievements
  • The Meteor was the RAF's first jet fighter aircraft.

Gloster Meteor Features
Gloster Meteor marks
Meteor F 1
First production aircraft built between 1943 and 1944.
Meteor F 1, Trent turboprop
One-off engine test bed, built 1945, designated EE227, for the new and highly successful Rolls-Royce Trent turboprop engine making it the world's first turboprop-powered aircraft.
Meteor F 2
Alternate engined version - only one built.
Meteor F 3
Derwent I powered with sliding canopy.
Meteor F 4
Derwent 5 powered with strengthened fuselage.
Meteor FR 5
One-off fighter reconnaissance version of the F 4.
Meteor T 7
Two-seat trainer.
Meteor F 8
Greatly improved from the F 4. Longer fuselage, greater fuel capacity, standard ejection seat and modified tail (derived from the E.1/44). This variant was a prolific frontline fighter in RAF squadron service, 1950-54.
Meteor F 8 Prone Pilot
One-off experimental prone pilot F8, WK935 modified by Armstrong Whitworth.
Meteor FR 9
Fighter reconnaissance version of the F 8.
Meteor PR 10
Photo reconnaissance version of the F 8.
Meteor NF 11
Night Fighter variant with Airborne Intercept radar.
Meteor NF 12
Longer nosed version of the NF 11 with American radar.
Meteor NF 13
Tropicalised version of the NF 11 for overseas service.
Meteor NF 14
NF 11 with new two-piece canopy.
Meteor U 15
Drone conversion of the F 4.
Meteor U 16
Drone conversion of the F 8.
Meteor TT 20
High speed target towing conversion of the NF 11.
Meteor U 21
Drone conversion of the F 8.

Gloster Meteor Background
The Gloster Meteor entered the history books as the only turbojet powered aircraft flown in combat by the Allies during World War Two. It fought V-1 and V-2 rockets, and also served on the other side of the channel looking for Me 262s and Me 163s.

Eight prototypes of the Meteor were built during development, each with differing engines of various speeds and powers. The first prototype to fly was the fifth one built. It got airborne on 5 March 1943 powered by two dH Halford H.I engines, with about 1,500 pounds of thrust each. The first production batch consisted of 20 Gloster G.41A Meteor F.Mk Is. These had Welland engines and a clear-view canopy. The first Meteor was traded to the United States for a Bell YP-59A Airacomet, the USA's first jet fighter. One was used in an experimental design for the world's first turboprop-driven plane. This aircraft, the Trent-Meteor, used reduction gears on the engine to drive a propeller shaft with a five bladed propeller. It was equipped with longer-stroke landing gear to give clearance for the propeller tips.

The first operational jet fighter squadron was No. 616. It was given a detached flight of seven Meteor F.Mk Is when it moved to Manston, Kent in July of 1944. RAF Flying Officer Dean claimed the first V-1 to be destroyed by a jet fighter. After all four of his guns jammed, he used his wing tip to push the V-1 nose-first towards the ground. The same day another Meteor claimed a second V-1. By the end of August, the squadron was completely converted to Meteors. The first Meteor F.Mk IIIs were delivered on December 18, 1944, and these began to replace the Mk. Is. The Mk IIs had the much better Derwent turbojets, which improved performance considerably. In January of 1945, one flight from No. 616 Squadron was moved across the channel to begin operations in Belgium. After the war, production continued. The most prolific version built was the Meteor F.Mk 8, with gyro-gunsights, bubble canopy, ejection seats and bigger Derwent engines, with a top speed of 600 mph (966 km/h). A two-seat, dual control trainer was built for the RAF under the designation Meteor T.Mk 7, and a two-seat night fighter, the Meteor NF Mk 13, entered service in 1952.

When production of the Meteor ended in 1954, 3,947 had been built. Today, approximately a half-dozen Meteors are still flying, most in the UK and at least one in Australia.

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