Gloster Meteor Resources & References

Virtually forgotten is the fact that the RAF had a jet fighter in service from about the same time that the Luftwaffe started fielding the Me 262, and that this aircraft, the Gloster Meteor, did in fact play a role in the fighting, both from the UK, and from bases on the continent. Much of this can be attributed to official reticence at the time to committing the type to forward areas until late in the war, by which time the Luftwaffe had already been beaten down by fuel shortages and masses of conventional Allied aircraft.

As Frank Whittle’s work on turbojets began to yield substantial results in the late 1930s, it was recognized that an operational fighter using two of the large W.2 engines then under development might be ready relatively soon. Even as Spitfires and Hurricanes were fighting the Battle of Britain, Gloster was at work on the G.41 airframe – this was a generally conventional design, save for the engines, which were mounted on the unswept wing. The company was contracted to build 80- aircraft under Specification F/9/40 in the fall of 1940, but progress would be stymied by serious problems with the W.2, these being compounded by conflict between Whittle’s Power Jets, and Rover, which was tasked with productionizing Whittle’s design. A Meteor taxied under power in July 1942, but it would be almost a year later before a W.2-engined aircraft would fly.

Review: Glenn Ashley Meteor in action Squadron/Signal Publications, 1995
Some highlights:
Meteor F.4 specifications and 3-view
T.7 3-view and specifications
Color profiles include a No.245 F.3, F.4 of No.222, a Brazilian T.7, Israeli FR.9, PR.10 of No.81, and an NF.2 of No.85
NF.14 3-view and specifications
Large photo of NF.11 WD790 used in trials of the TSR.2 radar
Large photo of a U.16 drone

Review: Richard J. Caruna, Richard A. Franks The Gloster & AW Meteor Modeller’s Datafile No.8
Some highlights:
A listing of the numerous F.8s used as testbeds
Previews of Meteor kits
Several pages of drawings showing the differences between the various Meteor marks
Cockpit diagrams
Structural drawings for the wings, fuselage, and landing gear
Color walk around pictures, including the Prone Pilot Meteor
Camouflage and marking diagrams, including squadron insignia
Listing of aftermarket and decals

 

Meteor Variants:

F.4: Derwent 5 engines; replaced the F.3 by the late 1940s. As part of the High Speed Flight, F.4 EE454 Britannia was used to set a new speed record of 606mph in November 1945, this being bettered a year later when the unit’s EE549 was flown to 616mph.
U.15: conversion of redundant F.4s into target drones.

F.8: The most numerous of all Meteors, the F.8 helped keep the type competitive in an era when second-generation jet fighters such as the F-86 and MiG-15 were appearing. Central to the new model was the installation of a new tail, the design for this having been derived from that of the Gloster E.1/44; this was a success, lowering the rudder and elevator forces needed. The airframe was also re-stressed, and stretched by some thirty inches, this being used to accomodate additional fuel.

FR.9: low-level armed recce version of the F.8

PR.10: For high altitude recon work; FR.9 fuselage with old style tail and wings, armament removed.

Meteors in the Middle East: Syria received twelve new-build F.8s and seven excess British aircraft; some of these only arrived in 1956, not long before one example was used to bring down an RAF Canberra that was carrying a recon mission in support of the Suez operation. This marked the high note of Syrian Meteor usage, as the type was thereafter phased out with the arrival of much superior MiG-17s. The Meteor actually fought with both sides at Suez, with Egypt’s F.4s and F.8s being targeted by RAF strikes, while Israel flew the F.8 as its first jet fighter.

 

Further Reading:

Structural sketch drawing of the nose of a Meteor refitted for high speed testing, with armament removed. Aviation February 1947 p.77
Photo: in-flight view of T.7 prototype G-AKPK Flight January 27, 1949 p.101
Photos: close-up of a Derwent afterburner installation on a Meteor; tails of F. Mk VII VZ438 and Mk IV RA435 Aviation Week October 3, 1949 p.26-27
David A. Anderton “Meteor PV Armed for Infantry Support” Aviation Week October 16, 1950 p.27-28
Photo: Meteor NF.11 WA548 Aviation Week October 2, 1950 p.9
Photo: Meteor in flight with Rolls-Royce Soar engines on wingtips. Aviation Week September 11, 1954 p.7
Photos (2): “Fireflash on Meteor Wingtips” Aviation Week May 28, 1956 p.63
Photo: Three Meteor F.8s of No. 504 Squadron Flight 10 August 1956 p.220
Photo: FRU TT.20 WD785 in flight, deploying a target Air Pictorial March 1970 p.96
Photo (small): RAE Meteor T.7 WA662 Air Pictorial November 1978 p.428
Color profiles, including F.3 EE270, F.4 of the High Speed Flight, F.8 of No.500 Squadron, RADF F.8 and a PR.10 of No.541 Squadron. Air International May 1982 p.247
Photo: F.9/40 prototype DG205 RAF Yearbook 1984 p.51; Mk.III cutaway p.54-55
Francois Verdu “Gloster Meteor NF.11” Replic March 1994 Building the 1/72 Matchbox kit as a French aircraft. Includes walk around details.
“Quick Look: Tamiya 1/48 Meteor F.1” Scale Aviation Modeller International July 1997
Photo: “Meteor Rolled Out” FlyPast June 1998 p.10 restored FR.9 VZ608
Photos: PR.10 VS968, FR.9s VZ602 and VZ 603 Scale Aviation Modeller November 1999 p.850-851
Richard J. Caruna “Meatbox! The Gloster Meteor F Mk 8” Scale Aviation Modeller International April 2000 Includes 1/72 scale drawings.
Diego F. Rojas “El Bolido: The Meteors of the Argentinian Air Force” Model Aircraft Monthly February 2002 Includes several pages of color profiles
Photo: T.7 WL419 in flight, carrying out an ejection seat test Air Forces Monthly April 2003 p.44
Tim Large Review of the 1/72 PR.9 kit Scale Aviation Modeller International April 2007
Preview of the Xtrakit 1/72 Meteor T Mk.7 Model Airplane International December 2008 p.57
Review of the MPM 1/72 Meteor Mk. 4 kit Skymodel 24/10 p.64
Meteor F.8 scale 3-view plans with cross-sections, F Mk. I and Mk. III side-view drawings Aeroplane February 2014
Nick Turner “Classic Plastic: Matchbox 1/72 Gloster Meteor NF.14” Scale Aviation Modeller International August 2014
Photo: F.4 RA450 as modified for deflected thrust testing Aviation News November 2015 p.56

Gerry Manning 1000 Preserved Military Aircraft photos p.41 NF.11 G-LOSM, T.7/F.8 hybrid WA634

Gerry Manning Military Aircraft of the 1970s photos: F.8 WH453/No.5 CAACU, U.16 WA991/RAE p.57

William Green and Gordon Swanborough The Complete Book of Fighters p.28-29 Meteor NF.12 cutaway

Paul A. Jackson French Military Aviation p.144: photo of CEV Meteor NF.11

Ray Bonds Classic Fighters: The Inside Story p.71-72: cutaway diagram of a Meteor F.III, large in-flight photo of a group of F.8s, including aircraft WH280, WH253, and WF757

Chris Bishop, editor The Encyclopedia of 20th Century Air Warfare ISBN 0-7607-2770-8 p.269: color 3-view of F.8 WF714/No 500 Squadron

Tony Buttler British Secret Projects: Hypersonics, Ramjets, & Missiles p.36-37: photo and scale 3-view of an F.8 with wingtip-mounted Red Dean AAMs

Tony Buttler British Experimental Combat Aircraft of World War II p.255: side view photo of DG204 with MetroVick F.2 engines in new nacelles

Kenneth Munson Pageant of the Air p.89 photos – closeup of the prone pilot Meteor, overhead view of an NF.14

Martin W. Bowman Fast Jet Fighters 1948-1978 p.22: photo showing a formation of three NF.14s, including WS810