Gloster Meteor F Mk.I "The First British Jet Fighter"
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.
Vier uitvoeringen mogelijk;
- Gloster Meteor F Mk.I, EE216/YQ-E, RAuxAF No.616 South Yorkshire Squadron, Manston airbase, August 1944.
- Gloster Meteor F Mk.I, EE219/YQ-D, RAuxAF No.616 South Yorkshire Sqaudron, Lübeck airbase, occupied Germany, summer 1945.
- Gloster Meteor F Mk.I, EE227/YQ-Y, RAuxAF No.616 South Yorkshire Squadron, Manston airbase, July 1945.
- Glaster Meteor F Mk.I, EE210/G, USAAF, Muroc airbase, California, First half of 1944. This Meteor was exchanged for YP-59 Airacomet and trialled in USA..