|Operational RAF Meteor F.4 in July 1955|
|Manufacturer||Gloster Aircraft Company|
|First flight||5 March 1943|
|Introduction||27 July 1944|
|Retired||1980s (RAF target tugs/Ecuador combat roles)|
|Primary users||Royal Air Force
Royal Australian Air Force
Belgian Air Force
Israeli Air Force
The Gloster Meteor was the first British jet fighter and the Allies' first operational jet aircraft. The Meteor's development was heavily reliant on its ground-breaking turbojet engines, developed by Sir Frank Whittle and his company, Power Jets Ltd. Development of the aircraft began in 1940, work on the engines had started in 1936. The Meteor first flew in 1943 and commenced operations on 27 July 1944 with 616 Squadron of the Royal Air Force (RAF). Although the Meteor was not an aerodynamically advanced aircraft, it proved to be a successful and effective combat fighter.
Several major variants of Meteor were made to incorporate technological advances during the 1940s and 1950s. Thousands of Meteors were built to serve in the RAF and other air forces, and remained in use for several decades. The Meteor saw limited action in the Second World War, while Meteors of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) provided a significant contribution to the Korean War and several other operators such as Argentina, Egypt and Israel also flew Meteors in regional conflicts. As of 2011, two Meteors, WL419 and WA638, have remained in active service with the Martin-Baker company as ejection seat testbeds.
The development of the turbojet-powered Gloster Meteor was a collaboration between the Gloster Aircraft Company and Sir Frank Whittle's firm, Power Jets Ltd. Frank Whittle formed Power Jets Ltd in March 1936 to develop his ideas of jet propulsion, Whittle himself serving as the company's chief engineer, outside of his duties as an RAF flying officer. For several years, attracting financial backers and aviation firms prepared to take on Whittle's radical ideas was difficult; in 1931, Armstrong-Siddeley had evaluated and rejected Whittle's proposal, finding it to be technically sound but at the limits of engineering ability. Securing funding was a persistently worrying issue throughout the early development of the engine. The first Whittle prototype jet engine, the Power Jets W.1, began running trials in early 1937; shortly afterwards, both Sir Henry Tizard, chairman of the Aeronautical Research Committee, and the Air Ministry gave the project their support.
On 28 April 1939, Whittle made a visit to the premises of the Gloster Aircraft Company, where he met several key figures, such as George Carter, Gloster's chief designer. Carter took a keen interest in Whittle's project, particularly when he saw the operational W.1 engine; Carter quickly made several rough proposals of various aircraft designs powered by the engine. Independently, Whittle had also been producing several proposals for a high altitude jet-powered bomber; following the start of the Second World War and the Battle for France, a greater national emphasis on fighter aircraft arose. Power Jets and Gloster quickly formed a mutual understanding around mid-1939.
In spite of ongoing infighting between Power Jets and several of its stakeholders, the Air Ministry contracted Gloster to manufacture a prototype aircraft powered by one of Whittle's new turbojet engines in late 1939. The single-engined proof-of-concept Gloster E28/39, the first British jet-powered aircraft, conducted its maiden flight on 15 May 1941, flown by Gloster's Chief Test Pilot, Flight Lieutenant Philip "Gerry" Sayer. The success of the smaller E.28/39 proved the viability of jet propulsion, and Gloster pressed ahead with designs for a production fighter aircraft. Due to the limited thrust available from early jet engines, it was decided that subsequent production aircraft would be powered by a pair of turbojet engines.
In August 1940, Carter presented Gloster's initial proposals for a twin-engined jet fighter with a nosewheel undercarriage. On 7 February 1941, Gloster received an order for twelve prototypes (later reduced to eight) under Specification F9/40. A letter of intent for the production of 300 of the new fighter, initially to be named Thunderbolt, was placed on 21 June 1941; to avoid confusion with the USAAF Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, the aircraft's name was quickly changed to Meteor. Eight prototypes were produced. Delays with getting type approval for the engines meant that although taxiing trials were carried out in 1942, it was not until the following year that any flights took place. The fifth prototype, serial DG206, powered by two de Havilland Halford H.1 engines owing to problems with the intended Power Jets W.2 engines, was the first to become airborne on 5 March 1943 from RAF Cranwell, piloted by Michael Daunt. Before the aircraft had even flown, an extended order for 100 production standard aircraft had already been placed by the RAF.
The first Whittle-engined aircraft, DG205/G, flew on 12 June 1943 (later crashing during takeoff on 27 April 1944) and was followed by DG202/G on 24 July. DG202/G was later used for deck handling tests aboard aircraft carrier HMS Pretoria Castle. DG203/G made its first flight on 9 November 1943, later becoming a ground instructional model. DG204/G, powered by Metrovick F.2 engines, first flew on 13 November 1943 and crashed on 1 April 1944. DG208/G made its debut on 20 January 1944, by which time the majority of design problems had been overcome and a production design approved. DG209/G was used as an engine testbed by Rolls-Royce, first flying on 18 April 1944. DG207/G was intended to be the basis for the Meteor F.2 with de Havilland engines, but it did not fly until 24 July 1945, at which time the Meteor 3 was in full production and the F.2 was cancelled.
On 12 January 1944, the first Meteor F.1, serial EE210/G, took to the air from Moreton Valence. It was essentially identical to the F9/40 prototypes except for the addition of four nose-mounted 20 mm (.79 in) Hispano Mk V cannons and some changes to the canopy to improve all-round visibility. EE210/G was later sent to the U.S. for evaluation, where it was first flown at Muroc Army Airfield on 15 April 1944. The first service deliveries to the RAF began in July 1944, to No. 616 Squadron RAF.
|This section requires expansion. (December 2011)|
The Meteor's construction was all-metal with a tricycle undercarriage and conventional low, straight wings, featuring turbojets mid-mounted in the wings with a high-mounted tailplane to keep it clear of the jet exhaust. Typical of early jet aircraft, the Meteor F.1 suffered from stability problems at high transonic speeds, experiencing large trim changes, high stick forces and self-sustained yaw instability (snaking) caused by airflow separation over the thick tail surfaces. By 1945, the Meteor's design was considered "orthodox", lacking many of the aerodynamic features that had been discovered and utilised on the jet fighters that rapidly followed. The Meteor shared a similar basic configuration to its German equivalent, the Messerschmitt Me 262; incidents were reported of pilots on both sides mistaking one aircraft for the other.
The Meteor F.1 was powered by the Whittle W.2 engine design, that was manufactured by Rolls-Royce. The W.2B/23C turbojet engines produced 1,700 lbf (7.58 kN) of thrust each, giving the aircraft a maximum speed of 417 mph (670 km/h) at 3,000 m and a range of 1,006 miles (1,610 km). The Meteor Mk.I was 41 ft 3 in (12.58 m) long with a span of 43 ft 0 in (13.11 m), with an empty weight of 8,140 lb (3,823 kg) and a maximum takeoff weight of 13,795 lb (6,270 kg).
A total of 890 Meteors were lost in service with the RAF (145 crashes in 1953 alone), resulting in the deaths of 450 pilots. Contributory factors in the number of crashes were the high fuel consumption and therefore short endurance (less than one hour) causing pilots to run out of fuel, and difficult handling with one engine out, due to the widely set engines. The casualty rate was exacerbated by the lack of ejection seats in early series Meteors, [N 1]
Second World War
No. 616 Squadron RAF was the first to receive operational Meteors, a total of 14 aircraft initially. The squadron was based at RAF Culmhead, Somerset and had been previously equipped with the Spitfire VII. After a conversion course at Farnborough for the six leading pilots, the first aircraft was delivered to Culmhead on 12 July 1944. The squadron now with seven Meteors moved on 21 July 1944 to RAF Manston on the east Kent coast and, within a week, 30 pilots were converted.
The Meteor was initially used to counter the V-1 flying bomb threat. 616 Squadron Meteors saw action for the first time on 27 July 1944, when three aircraft were active over Kent. These were the first operational jet combat missions for the Meteor and for the Royal Air Force. After some problems, especially with jamming guns, the first two V1 "kills" were made on 4 August. By war's end, Meteors accounted for 14 flying bombs. After the end of the V-1 threat, and the introduction of the ballistic V-2 rocket, the RAF was forbidden to fly the Meteor on combat missions over German-held territory for fear of an aircraft being shot down and salvaged by the Germans.
No. 616 Squadron briefly moved to RAF Debden to allow USAAF bomber crews to gain experience and create tactics in facing jet-engined foes before moving to Colerne, Wiltshire. For a week from 10 October 1944 a series of exercises were carried out in which a flight of Meteors made mock attacks on a formation of 100 B-24s and B-17s escorted by 40 Mustangs and Thunderbolts. These suggested if the jet fighter attacked the formation from above it could take advantage of its superior speed in the dive to attack the bombers and then escape by diving through the formation before the escorts could react. The best tactic to counter this was to place a fighter screen 5,000 ft above the bombers and attempt to intercept the jets early in the dive.
No. 616 Squadron exchanged its F.1s for the first Meteor F.3s on 18 December 1944. These first 15 F.3s differed from the F.1 solely in having a sliding canopy in place of the sideways hinging canopy, increased fuel capacity and some airframe refinements. They still were powered by Welland I engines. Later F.3s were equipped with the Derwent I engines. This was a substantial improvement over the earlier mark, although the basic design still had not reached its potential. Wind tunnel and flight tests demonstrated that the original short nacelles, which did not extend very far fore and aft of the wing, contributed heavily to compressibility buffeting at high speed. New, longer nacelles not only cured some of the compressibility problems but added 120 km/h (75 mph) at altitude, even without upgraded powerplants. The last batch of Meteor F.3s featured the longer nacelles while other F.3s were retrofitted in the field with the new nacelles. The F.3 also had the new Rolls-Royce Derwent engines, increased fuel capacity, and a new larger, more strongly raked bubble canopy.
Judging the Meteor F.3s were ready for combat over Europe, the RAF finally decided to deploy them in the continent. On 20 January 1945, four Meteors were moved to Melsbroek in Belgium and attached to the Second Tactical Air Force. Their initial purpose was to provide air defence for the airfield, but their pilots hoped that their presence might provoke the Luftwaffe into sending Me 262s against them. At this point the Meteor pilots were still forbidden to fly over German-occupied territory, or to go east of Eindhoven, to prevent a downed aircraft being captured by the Germans or the Soviets.
In March, the entire squadron was moved to Gilze-Rijen and then in April, to Nijmegen. The Meteors flew armed reconnaissance and ground attack operations without encountering any German jet fighters. By late April, the squadron was based at Faßberg, Germany and suffered its first losses when two aircraft collided in poor visibility. The war ended with the Meteors having destroyed 46 German aircraft through ground attack and having faced more problems through misidentification as the Messerschmitt Me 262 by Allied aircraft and flak than from the Luftwaffe. To counter this, continental-based Meteors were given an all-white finish as a recognition aid. The nearest No.616 squadron came to a jet-to-jet battle came on 19 March, when a force of Arado Ar 234 jet bombers attacked their airfield.
The next major change was the Meteor F.4 that went into production in 1946, by which time there were 16 RAF squadrons equipped with Meteors. The first F.4 prototype flew on 17 May 1945. The F.4 had the Rolls-Royce Derwent 5 engines (a smaller version of the Nene), wings 86.4 cm shorter than the F.3's and with blunter tips (derived from the world speed record prototypes), a stronger airframe, fully pressurized cockpit, lighter ailerons (to improve manoeuvrability), and rudder trim adjustments to reduce snaking. The F.4 could also be fitted with a drop tank under each wing while experiments were performed with carriage of underwing stores and also in lengthened fuselage models. The F.4 was 170 mph (270 km/h) faster than the F.1 at sea level (585 against 415), although the reduced wings impaired its rate of climb.
Because of the increased demand, F.4 production was divided between Gloster and the Armstrong Whitworth factory at Baginton. The majority of early F.4s did not go directly to the RAF: 100 were exported to Argentina (and saw action on both sides in the 1955 revolution, one being lost on 19 September 1955) while in 1947, only RAF Nos. 74 and 222 Squadrons were fully equipped with the F.4. Nine further RAF squadrons were upgraded over 1948. From 1948, 38 F.4s were exported to the Dutch, equipping four squadrons (322, 323, 326 and 327) split between bases in Soesterberg and Leeuwarden until the mid-1950s. In 1949, only two RAF squadrons were converted to the F.4, Belgium was sold 48 aircraft in the same year (going to 349 and 350 Squadrons at Beauvechain) and Denmark received 20 over 1949–50. In 1950, three more RAF squadrons were upgraded, including No. 616 and, in 1951, six more. In 1950, a single order of 20 F.4s was delivered to Egypt.
A modified two-seater F.4 for jet-conversion and advanced training was tested in 1949 as the T.7. It was accepted by the RAF and the Fleet Air Arm and became a common addition to the various export packages (for example 43 to Belgium 1948–57, a similar number to the Netherlands over the same period, two to Syria in 1952, six to Israel in 1953, etc.). Despite its limitations—unpressurized cockpit, no armament, limited instructor instrumentation—over 650 T.7s were manufactured.
As improved jet fighters began to emerge, Gloster decided to perform a redesign of the F.4 to keep it up to date, while retaining as much of the manufacturing tooling of the F.4 as possible. The result was the Meteor F.8 (G-41-K) which was to be the definitive production model, serving as a major Royal Air Force single-seat fighter until the introduction of the Hawker Hunter and the Supermarine Swift.
The first prototype F.8 was a modified F.4, followed by a true prototype, VT150, that flew on 12 October 1948 at Moreton Valence. Flight testing of the F.8 prototype led to the discovery of an aerodynamic problem: when ammunition was expended, the aircraft became tail heavy and unstable around the pitch axis due to the weight of fuel retained in fuselage tanks no longer being balanced by the ammunition. Gloster designers solved the problem by substituting the tail of the abortive "G 42" single-engine jet fighter. The F.8 and other production variants were to successfully use the new tail design; the new tail gave the later Meteors a distinctive appearance, with taller straighter edges compared with the rounded tail of the F.4s and earlier marks.
The F.8 also featured a fuselage stretch of 76 centimetres (30 inches), intended to shift the aircraft's centre of gravity and also eliminate the use of ballast that had been necessary in earlier marks. The F.8 incorporated uprated engines, Derwent 8s, with 16 kN (1,633 kgp / 3,600 lbf) thrust each combined with structural strengthening, a Martin Baker ejection seat and a "blown" teardrop cockpit canopy that provided improved pilot visibility. Between 1950 and 1955, the Meteor F.8 was the mainstay of RAF Fighter Command, and served with distinction in combat in Korea with the RAAF as well as operating with many air forces worldwide, although it was clear that the original design was obsolete compared with contemporary swept-wing fighters such as the North American F-86 Sabre and the Soviet MiG-15.
Initial deliveries of the F.8 to the RAF were in August 1949, with the first squadron receiving its fighters in late 1950. Like the F.4, there were strong export sales of the F.8. Belgium ordered 240 aircraft, the majority assembled in The Netherlands by Fokker. The Netherlands had 160 F.8s, equipping seven squadrons until 1955. Denmark had 20, ordered in 1951; they were to be the last F.8s in front line service in Europe. The RAAF ordered 94 F.8s, which served in Korea (see below). Despite arms embargoes, both Syria and Egypt received F.8s from 1952, as did Israel (where they served until 1961). On 1 September 1955, two Israeli F.8s shot down two Egyptian Vampires and in the 1956 Suez Crisis, F.8s were employed by both Egypt and Israel in ground attack roles. After the crisis, both Egypt and Syria disposed of their Meteors in favour of various MiG variants. Brazil ordered 60 new Meteor F.8s and 10 T.7 trainers in October 1952, paying with 15,000 tons of raw cotton.
In the 1950s, Meteors also were developed into effective photo-reconnaissance, training and night fighter versions. The fighter reconnaissance (FR) versions were the first to be built, replacing the ageing Spitfires and Mosquitos then in use. Two FR.5s were built on the F.4 body; one was used for nose section camera tests and the other broke up in midair while in testing over Moreton Valence. On 23 March 1950, the first FR.9 flew. Based on the F.8, it was 20 cm longer with a new nose incorporating a remote control camera and window and was also fitted with additional external ventral and wing fuel tanks. Production of the FR.9 began in July. No. 208 Squadron, then based at Fayid, Egypt was the first to be upgraded followed by the 2nd Tactical Air Force in West Germany, No. 2 Squadron RAF at Bückeburg and No. 79 Squadron RAF at RAF Gutersloh flew the FR.9 from 1951 until 1956. In Aden, No. 8 Squadron RAF was given the FR.9 in November 1958 and used them until 1961. Ecuador (12), Israel (7) and Syria (2) were the only foreign customers for the FR.9.
In addition to the armed, low altitude operation, tactical FR.9 variant, Gloster also developed the PR.10 for high altitude missions. The first prototype flew on 29 March 1950 and was actually converted into the first production aircraft. Based on the F.4, it had the F.4-style tail and the longer wings of the earlier variant. All the cannons were removed and a single camera placed in the nose with two more in the rear fuselage; the canopy was also changed. The PR.10 was delivered to the RAF in December 1950 and were given to No. 2 and No. 541 Squadrons in Germany and No. 13 Squadron RAF in Cyprus. The PR.10 was rapidly phased out from 1956 with improving surface to air missile technology and newer, faster aircraft rendering it obsolete.
As a night fighter, the Meteor again replaced the Mosquito; however, it was never more than an interim measure. The Mosquito night fighter had remained in use even though it was largely obsolete. Gloster proposed a night fighter design to meet the Air Ministry specification for the Mosquito replacement, based on the two seater trainer, with the pilot in the front seat and the navigator in the rear. Once accepted however, the work passed to Armstrong Whitworth for both the detail design and production; the first prototype flew on 31 May 1950. Although based on the T.7 twin seater, it used the fuselage and tail of the F.8, and the longer wings of the F.3. An extended nose contained the AI Mk 10 (the 1940s Westinghouse SCR-720) Air Intercept radar. As a consequence the 20 mm cannons were moved into the wings, outboard of the engines. A ventral fuel tank and wing mounted drop tanks completed the Armstrong Whitworth Meteor NF.11.
Nos. 29, 141 and 85 Squadrons were given the NF.11 in 1951 and the aircraft was rolled out across the RAF until the final deliveries in 1955. A "tropicalised" version of the NF.11 for Middle East service was developed; first flying on 23 December 1952 as the NF.13. The aircraft equipped No. 219 Squadron RAF at Kabrit and No. 39 Squadron at Fayid, both in Egypt. The aircraft served during the Suez crisis and remained with No. 39 Squadron when they were withdrawn to Malta until 1958. The aircraft had a number of problems, notably the limited visibility through the heavily framed T.7 canopy made landings tricky and the external fuel tanks under the wings tended to break up when the wing cannon were fired. Gun harmonisation, normally set to about 400 yards, was poor due to flexing of the wings in flight. Belgium (24), Denmark (20), Australia (one) and France (41) were the foreign customers for the NF.11. Ex-RAF NF.13s were sold to Syria (six), Egypt (six) and Israel (six). An Israeli NF.13 carried out Operation Tarnegol, downing an Egyptian Ilyushin Il-14 carrying high-ranking members of the Egyptian Military on the eve of the Suez Crisis. Some of the French aircraft remained in operation as test beds into the 1980s.
As radar technology developed, a new Meteor night fighter was developed to use the improved US-built APS-21 system. The NF.12 first flew on 21 April 1953. It was similar to the NF 11 but had a nose section 17 inches (43.2 cm) longer; the fin was enlarged to compensate for the greater keel area of the enlarged nose and to counter the airframe reaction to the "wig-wag" scan of the radar which affected the gunsighting, an anti-tramp motor operating on the rudder was fitted midway up the front leading edge of the fin. The NF.12 also had the new Rolls-Royce Derwent 9 engines and the wings were reinforced to handle the new engine. Deliveries of the NF.12 started in 1953, with the type entering squadron service in early 1954, equipping seven squadrons (Nos 85, 25, 152, 46, 72, 153 and 64); the aircraft was replaced over 1958–59. Because of the "sensitive" nature of the radar system, no NF.12s were offered for export.
The final Meteor night fighter was the NF.14. First flown on 23 October 1953, the NF.14 was based on the NF.12 but had an even longer nose, extended by a further 17 inches to accommodate new equipment, increasing the total length to 51 ft 4 in (15.65 m) and a larger bubble canopy to replace the framed T.7 version. Just 100 NF.14s were built; they first entered service in February 1954 beginning with No. 25 Squadron and were being replaced as early as 1956 with the Gloster Javelin. Overseas, they remained in service a little longer, serving with No. 60 Squadron at Tengah, Singapore until 1961. As the NF.14 was replaced, some 14 were converted to training aircraft as the NF(T).14 and given to No. 2 Air Navigation School on RAF Thorney Island where they served until 1965.
Service during the Korean War
The Royal Australian Air Force acquired 113 Meteors between 1946 and 1952, 94 of which were the F.8 variant. F.8 Meteors saw extensive service during the Korean War with No. 77 Squadron RAAF, part of British Commonwealth Forces Korea, and had personnel from other Commonwealth air forces attached to it. The squadron arrived in Korea equipped with F-51D Mustangs. It did jet conversion training at Iwakuni, Japan, and returned to Korea in April 1951 with about 30 Meteor F.8s and T.7s. The squadron moved to Kimpo in June, and was declared combat ready the following month. There was some apprehension, as the F 8 was clearly inferior in most respects to the communist forces' MiG-15s, and was superior to the North American F-86 Sabre only in rate-of-climb and acceleration.
No. 77 squadron first flew Meteors in a combat mission on 30 July 1951. The squadron had mainly been trained in the ground attack role, and had difficulties when assigned to bomber escort duty at sub optimum altitudes. On 29 August 1951, eight Meteors were on escort duty in "MiG Alley" when they were engaged by six MiG-15s; one Meteor was lost and two damaged, and 77 Squadron did not officially destroy any enemy aircraft on this occasion.[N 2] On 27 October, the squadron achieved its first probable followed by two probables six days later. On 1 December, during a clash between 12 Meteors and some 40 MiG-15s, the squadron had its first two confirmed victories: Flying Officer Bruce Gogerly made the first kill. However, this occurred at the cost of four Meteors destroyed. As a result, bomber escort was taken over by the USAF and 77 Squadron returned to ground attack duties. The Meteor performed well but proved vulnerable to ground fire, as the rocket sights required a long level run to operate effectively.
By the end of the conflict, the squadron had flown 4,836 missions, destroying six MiG-15s, over 3,500 structures and some 1,500 vehicles. About 30 Meteors were lost to enemy action in Korea—the vast majority shot down by anti-aircraft fire while serving in a ground attack capacity.
Service in Argentina
Argentina became the first overseas operator of the Meteor, ordering 100 F Mk.4s in May 1947. This made Argentina's the second air force in the Americas to operate jets. The Argentine Meteors first saw combat during the 16 June 1955 rebellion when, in an attempt to kill Juan Perón, rebel-flown aircraft bombed the Casa Rosada. A loyalist Meteor shot down a rebel AT-6, while another strafed rebel-held Ezeiza airport. The rebels seized Morón Air Base, base of the Meteors, and flew the captured aircraft in several attacks against loyalist forces and the Casa Rosada before the rebellion was defeated by day's end. A second revolt, the Revolución Libertadora broke out on 16 September 1955, with, again, both sides operating the Meteor. The rebels seized three Meteors. Government Meteors flew strafing attacks against the rebel held destroyers Rioja and Cervantes, and several landing ships near Rio Santiago on 16 September and attacking Pajas Blancas airport near the city of Córdoba, damaging several Avro Lincoln bombers. The rebel flown Meteors were used to attack loyalist forces attacking Córdoba, losing one of their number on 19 September to an engine failure caused by use of automobile petrol instead of Jet fuel.
The acquisition of North American F-86 Sabres in 1960 allowed the remaining Meteors to be transferred to the ground attack role, with the aircraft being fitted with bomb pylons and rocket rails and discarding the bare metal colour scheme for a camouflage scheme. Argentine Meteors were used to attack rebels during attempted uprisings in September 1962 and April 1963, with the type being withdrawn from service in 1970.
Service in Egypt
Although Egypt's first order was placed in 1948, the rising tension in the region led to the imposition of a series of arms embargoes. Twelve F Mk.4s were eventually delivered between October 1949 and May 1950, along with three T Mk.7s. Twenty-four F Mk.8s were ordered in 1949, but this order was stopped by an embargo. A further order for 12 ex-RAF F.8s was placed in December 1952, of which four were delivered before the order was cancelled, with the final eight being delivered in 1955, along with three more T Mk.7s. and six NF Mk.13s, all ex-RAF aircraft.
Some of these aircraft took part in the fighting during the Suez crisis of 1956, flying ground attack missions against Israeli forces, while an Egyptian NF.13 claimed to have damaged an RAF Valiant bomber. Anglo-French attacks resulted in a number of the Egyptian aircraft being destroyed on the ground.
Service in Syria
Meteors were the fledgling Syrian airforce's first jets, acquiring 25 of them between 1950 and 1956. Although the British where willing to supply aircraft they did not supply combat training or radar. As Syria became more aligned with Nasser and Egypt all support for training was pulled and Syrian pilots began training with their Egyptian counterparts. During the canal crisis the RAF began Canberra reconnaissance flights over Syria launched from Cyprus. Still lacking radar, the Syrians had developed a ground spotter network that reported information by telephone in an attempt to intercept these flights. On 6 November 1956 Syrian Meteors acting on this information shot down a Canberra reconnaissance flight over Homs. In 1957 Syria began to replace its Meteors with Mig 17s from the Soviet Union.
French Air Force Meteors
French Air Force involvement with the Meteor began in 1948, when the first of two F Mk.IVs arrived for evaluation. In 1953 France ordered 41 NF Mk.11s and 11 T Mk.7s. Thirty-two of the NF Mk.11 replaced the Mosquito night fighter with the Escadre de Chasse (EC) 30, while the remaining nine went to the Centre d’Essais en Vol (Flight Test Centre), where they were used as equipment testbeds.
The night fighters were replaced in 1957–1958, but the CEV aircraft remained in use until the late 1980s, and were later joined by two NF Mk.13s and two NF Mk.14s. One detachment from EC 30 saw combat in Algeria in 1957, operating from Bone. The test aircraft were used in a wide variety of experiments, including radar and missile tests and during the development of Concorde.
In the early 1950s the United States was unwilling to sell F-86 Sabre aircraft to Israel. Having sold Meteors to their neighbours, the British were willing to sell Israel a limited number of aircraft, at least partly in an attempt to maintain a balance of power in the region.
In 1953 Israel received four T Mk.7s and 11 F Mk.8s, all brand new aircraft. The F Mk.8s were modified to carry American HVAR rockets but were otherwise identical to RAF aircraft. A second batch of seven refurbished FR Mk.9s and two more T Mk.7s was delivered in 1955. Finally, in 1956 Israel received six NF Mk.13s, three before and three after the Suez crisis. Five more T Mk.7s were later purchased, converted from ex-Belgian F Mk.4s but were given the Mk.8 tail.
The Mk.8s remained in front line service until 1956, and were then used as training aircraft. The NF Mk.13s remained in use until 1964. During the Suez crisis when the Israelis realised that the Meteor was outclassed by the Egyptian MiG-15s, avoided using them as pure fighter aircraft.
Late in 1945, two F.3 Meteors were modified for an attempt on the world air speed record.
On 7 November 1945 at Herne Bay in Kent, UK, Group Captain Hugh "Willie" Wilson set the first official air speed record by a jet aircraft of 606 miles per hour (975 km/h) TAS. A small plaque commemorating this achievement can be found in Macari's Cafe, Herne Bay.
In 1946, Group Captain Edward "Teddy" Donaldson broke this record with a speed of 616 mph (991 km/h) TAS, in EE549, a Meteor F.4. Test pilot Roland Beamont had previously taken the same aircraft to its compressibility limit at 632 mph (1,017 km/h), but not under official record conditions, and outside its official safety limits.
In 1947, Sqn Ldr Janusz Żurakowski set an international speed record: London-Copenhagen-London, 4–5 April 1950 in a production standard F.8 (VZ468). The Danes were suitably impressed and purchased the type soon after.
Another "claim to fame" was the Meteor's ability to perform the "Żurabatic Cartwheel", a new aerobatics manoeuvre, named after the Gloster acting Chief Test Pilot, first accomplished in the Gloster Meteor G-7-1 prototype at the 1951 Farnborough Air Show where the Meteor, due to its unique location of widely set engines could have individual engines throttled back and forward to achieve a seemingly stationary vertical cartwheel. Many Meteor pilots went on to "prove their mettle" by attempting the same feat.
On 7 August 1949, the Meteor III, EE397, on loan from the RAF and flown by Flight Refuelling Ltd (FRL) test pilot Patrick Hornidge, took off from Tarrant Rushton and, refuelled 10 times by the Lancaster tanker, remained airborne for 12 hours and 3 minutes, receiving 2,352 gallons of fuel from the tanker in ten tanker contacts and flying an overall distance of 3,600 miles (5,800 km), achieving a new jet endurance record.
Meteor F.8 WA820 was adapted during 1948 to take two Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire turbojets, and from Moreton Valence, on August 31, 1951, established a time-to-height climb record. The pilot was Flt Lt Tom Prickett, of Armstrong Siddeley. A height of 9,843 ft was reached in 1 min 16 sec, 19,685 ft in 1 min 50 sec, 29,500 ft in 2 min 29 sec, and 39,370 ft in 3 min 7 sec. Air Service Training Ltd were responsible for the conversion.
Production of the Meteor continued until 1954 with almost 3,900 made, mainly the F.8 variant. As the Meteor was progressively relegated to secondary duties in later years, target tug, drone and specialized test vehicles were added to the diverse roles that this first generation jet fighter took on.
- Gloster F.9/40
- Prototypes, eight built -
- DG202/G powered by two Rover W2B jet engines, first flown 24 July 1943.
- DG203/G powered by two Power Jets W2/500 engines, first flown 9 November 1943.
- DG204/G powered by two Metrovik F2 axial jet engines, unlike the other F.9/40s the engines were mounted under the wing, first flown 13 November 1943.
- DG205/G powered by two Rover W2B/23 jet engines, first flown 12 June 1943.
- DG206/G powered by two Halford H1 jet engines, the first to fly on 5 March 1943.
- DG207/G powered by two Halford H1 jet engines, first flown 24 July 1945, became the prototype F.2 variant.
- DG208/G powered by two Rover W2B/23 engines, first flown 20 January 1944.
- DG209/G powered by two Rover W2B/27 engines, first flown 18 April 1944.
- Meteor F.1
- First production aircraft built between 1943 and 1944, 20 built.
- 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
- Alternative engined version – only one built.
- Meteor F.3
- Derwent I powered, with sliding canopy. First flown 11 September 1944, 210 built (first 15 were Welland-powered)
- Meteor F.4
- Derwent 5 powered with strengthened fuselage, 489 built by Glosters and 46 by Armstrong Whitworth for the Royal Air Force. The F.4 was also exported to Argentina (50 aircraft), Belgium (48 aircraft), Denmark (20 aircraft), Egypt (12 aircraft), Netherlands (38 aircraft).
- Meteor FR.5
- One-off fighter reconnaissance version of the F.4. Fitted with vertical cameras in the nose instead of the four cannon and with obliques cameras in the fuselage. Destroyed on maiden flight, 15 June 1949.
- Meteor F.6
- Proposed swept-wing variant of the F.4, not built.
- Meteor T.7
- Two-seat trainer variant of the F.4, company prototype first flew 19 March 1948, 640 production aircraft for the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy (43) and 72 for export (Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Egypt, France, Israel, Netherlands). Avions Fairey modified 20 Belgian Air Force F.4s to T.7 standard.
- 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 F.8, WK935 modified by Armstrong Whitworth.
- Meteor FR.9
- Fighter armed reconnaissance version of the F.8, first flown 23 March 1950, 126 built by Glosters for the Royal Air Force. Former RAF aircraft were later sold to Ecuador, Israel and Syria.
- Meteor PR.10
- Photo reconnaissance version of the F.8, first flown 29 March 1950, 59 built for the Royal Air Force.
- Meteor NF.11
- Night Fighter variant with Airborne Interception (AI) radar designed and built by Armstrong Whitworth, three prototypes followed by 311 production aircraft for the Royal Air Force and 20 for the Royal Danish Air Force.
- Meteor NF.12
- Longer nosed version of the NF.11 with American AN/APS-21 radar, this was balanced by a slightly larger fin, first flown on 21 April 1953, 100 built by Armstrong Whitworth.
- Meteor NF.13
- Tropicalised version of the NF.11 to replace the Mosquito NF.36 for service with 39 Squadron in Malta and Cyprus and 219 Squadron based in Egypt. The first of 40 production aircraft built by Armstrong Whitworth was first flown on 21 December 1952. Former Royal Air Force aircraft were later sold to Egypt (6 aircraft), France (2 aircraft), Israel (6 aircraft) and Syria (6 aircraft).
- Meteor NF.14
- NF.11 with new two-piece blown canopy rather than the heavy-framed version. It also had a longer nose giving a length of 51 ft 4 in. Prototype modified from an NF.11 was first flown 23 October 1953 and was followed by 100 production aircraft built by Armstrong Whitworth for the Royal Air Force.
- Meteor U.15
- Target drone conversion of the F.4, 92 modified by Flight Refuelling Ltd.
- Meteor U.16
- Target drone conversion of the F.8, 108 modified by Flight Refuelling.
- Meteor TT.20
- High speed target towing conversion of the NF.11 for the Royal Navy by Armstrong Whitworth, 20 former Royal Air Force NF.11s were modified. Four additional conversions of four NF.11s of Royal Danish Air Force, after conversion these were flown by civil operators on behalf of the Danish military.
- Meteor U.21
- Target drone conversion of the F.8 for the Royal Australian Air Force by Flight Refuelling, some aircraft modified in Australia by Fairey Aviation of Australasia using Flight Refueling supplied modification kits.
- Ground Attack Fighter
- Also known as the Reaper, it was a F.8 modified by Gloster as a private venture ground attack fighter. The modification allowed the carriage of external Rocket-Assisted Take-Off Gear (RATOG), added a ventral cannon and tip tanks. First flown 4 September 1950, only one was built.
- Argentine Air Force ordered 100 F.4s in May 1947, comprising 50 ex-RAF aircraft and 50 newly built. Deliveries started in July that year, the Meteor remaining in service until 1970, when the last examples were replaced by Dassault Mirage IIIs.
- Royal Australian Air Force operated 104 aircraft from 1946 to 1947 (1× F.3) and 1951 to 1963 (94× F.8, 9× T.7, 1× NF.11).
- Belgian Air Force received 40 aircraft of F.4 variant, 43 of T.7 variant, 240 of F.8 variant and 24 aircraft of NF.11 variant.
- Biafran Air Force purchased two Meteor NF 14s through a cover company. One crashed during a ferry flight between Madeira and Cape Verde, while the second was abandoned at Bissau, Portuguese Guinea. An attempt to purchase a further two ex-Danish target tugs via a German intermediary was discovered by the Bundesnachrichtendienst, the West German intelligence service, and stopped by grounding the aircraft.
- Brazilian Air Force received 62 aircraft in F.8 and TF.7 variants.
- Royal Canadian Air Force — from 1945 to 1950, one Meteor III and Meteor T.7 were used for tests and evaluation by the RCAF.
- Royal Danish Air Force — 20 F.4/F.8, 20× NF.11 and 6× T.7 in service from 1949 to 1962, replaced by 30 Hunter Mk 51 since 1956.
- Royal Egyptian Air Force — used 12 F.4, 12 F.8 and 6 NF.13 since 1950, some of them saw action during Suez Crisis in 1956, replaced by MiG-15bis.
- Luftwaffe – Meteor TT.20 target towing aircraft.
- Royal Netherlands Air Force — 60× F.4 used 1948—1957, along with 160× F.8 1950—1959, replaced by Hawker Hunter.
- Dutch Naval Aviation Service
- Royal New Zealand Air Force
- No. 14 Squadron RNZAF in Cyprus, operated two Meteor T.7 aircraft hired from the RAF.
- Various squadrons, one F.3 used for pilot jet conversion training, then trade training airframe.
- South African Air Force – Meteor F.3 aircraft, in service from 1946 to 1949.
- Swedish Air Force operated Meteors by Svensk Flygtjänst under Air Force contract.
- United States Army Air Forces tested one aircraft and returned it to UK after tests.
- DERA Llanbedr
- Martin-Baker Aircraft Company
- Flight Refuelling Ltd (FRL) were lent the RAF Meteor III EE397 for use in probe-and-drogue trials. This aircraft set a world jet endurance record of 12 hours and 3 minutes on 7 August 1949
Although many Meteors survive in museums, collections and on pylons in public spaces, only five remain airworthy. Four of these are in the United Kingdom, two Meteor T.7/F.8 Hybrids used by Martin-Baker as ejector seat test aircraft "WA638" & "WL419", a privately owned former RAF NF.11 (G-LOSM) based at Coventry (where it was built) and a recently restored RAF T7 (WA591) also at Coventry. A former RAF F.8 flies in Australia with the Temora Aviation Museum with Royal Australian Air Force markings as 'A77-851'
Specifications (Meteor F.8)
- Crew: 1
- Length: 44 ft 7 in (13.59 m)
- Wingspan: 37 ft 2 in (11.32 m)
- Height: 13 ft 0 in (3.96 m)
- Wing area: 350 ft² (32.52 m²)
- Empty weight: 10,684 lb (4,846 kg)
- Loaded weight: 15,700 lb (7,121 kg)
- Powerplant: 2 × Rolls-Royce Derwent 8 turbojets, 3,500 lbf (15.6 kN) each
- Maximum speed: 600 mph (522 knots, 965 km/h, Mach 0.82) at 10,000 ft (3,050 m)
- Range: 600 mi (522 nmi, 965 km)
- Service ceiling: 43,000 ft (13,100 m)
- Rate of climb: 7,000 ft/min (35.6 m/s)
- Wing loading: 44.9 lb/ft² (149 kg/m²)
- Thrust/weight: 0.45
- Time to altitude: 5.0 min to 30,000 ft (9,145 m)
- Guns: 4 × 20 mm British Hispano cannons
- Rockets: Provision for up to sixteen "60lb" 3 in rockets or eight 5 in HVAR rockets. under outer wings
- Bombs: two 1000 lb (454 kg) bombs
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Related lists
- Ejection seats were fitted in the F.8, FR.9, PR.10 and some experimental aircraft. Note: "The Night It Rained Meteors" article is written by former RAF pilot and world helicopter aerobatic champion Dennis Kenyon.
- According to anecdotal accounts, Warrant Officer Ron Guthrie did destroy a MiG-15 in this engagement. He was shot down during the same dogfight and captured by communist ground forces. It has been reported that, during interrogation, two Soviet pilots, through an interpreter, told Guthrie that he had downed a MiG-15. He survived internment and was released on 3 September 1953.
- Pavelec 2007, pp. 45-46.
- Pavelec 2007, pp. 43–44.
- Golley and Gunston 2010, pp. 92-94.
- Pavelec 2007, pp. 48–50.
- Golley and Gunston 2010, p. 139.
- Golley and Gunston 2010, pp. 156, 165.
- Golley and Gunston 2010, p. 127.
- Pavelec 2007, pp. 168–169.
- Mason 1992, p. 339.
- Boyne 2002, p. 261.
- Boyne 2002, pp. 261–262.
- Spick 2002, pp. 169–170.
- James 1971, pp. 245–248.
- James 1971, p. 247.
- Goulding 1986, p. 144.
- Boyne 2002, p. 262.
- James 1971, p. 249.
- Goulding 1986, pp. 148–149.
- James 1971, p. 358.
- James 1971, pp. 304–305.
- Berry, Peter. "The Whittle/Rover W2B and Rolls-Royce W2B/23 Welland Turbo-Jets." enginehistory.org. Retrieved: 30 January 2010.
- Loftin, L.K. Jr. "Quest for Performance: The Evolution of Modern Aircraft, NASA SP-468." NASA. Retrieved: 24 April 2006.
- "The Gloster Meteor." Flight, 25 October 1945, p. 444.
- Pavelec 2007, pp. 120–121.
- Kenyon, Dennis. "The Night It Rained Meteors".Loop aviation newspaper, June 2008.
- Green 1968, p. 55.
- "CL 2934." Imperial War Museum. Retrieved: 3 June 2012.
- Cicaleso, del Gaizo and Rivas 2003, pp. 69–72.
- Mason 1992, p. 341.
- James 1971, p. 369.
- Harrison 2001, p. 31.
- Harrison 2001, p. 28.
- Williams Aeroplane Monthly April 1995, p. 6–7.
- Williams 1984, pp. 45–46.
- Yonay 1993, pp. 161–163.
- Williams 1984, pp. 50–51.
- James 1971, p. 297.
- Williams Aeroplane Monthly June 1995, p. 14.
- James 1971, p. 366.
- Williams 1984, pp. 51–53.
- "ADF Aircraft Serial Numbers: RAAF A77 Gloster Meteor F 8." adf-serials.com. Retrieved: 8 August 2010.
- "RAAF Airpower." raaf.gov.au. Retrieved: 23 March 2010.
- James 1971, p. 262.
- Cicalesi and Rivas 2002, pp. 122–123.
- Cicalesi and Rivas 2002, p. 124.
- Cicalesi and Rivas 2002, p. 126.
- Cicaleso, del Gaizo and Rivas 2003, p. 72.
- Cicalesi and Rivas 2002, p. 125.
- James 1971, p. 263.
- James 1971, p. 270.
- James 1971, p. 280.
- James 1971, p. 298.
- Nicolle Air Enthusiast No 112, p.57.
- Nicolle Air Enthusiast No 113, pp. 36–37.
- Nicolle Air Enthusiast No 113, p. 43.
- Nicolle Air Enthusiast No 114, p. 54.
- James 1971, pp. 257–258.
- James 1971, pp. 258–259.
- Zuk 2004, p. 145.
- "Janusz Żurakowski 'Zura' 1914–2004, Biography of the World Famous Pilot." zurakowskiavroarrow.homestead.com. Retrieved: 23 March 2010.
- Webster, David. "50 Years of Probe and Drogue Flight Refuelling cover signed Air Chief Marshal Sir Michael Knight KCB AFC FRAES, Director of Flight Refuelling Limited." the-best-of-british.com. Retrieved: 23 March 2010.
- King, H. F., 1955, p. 729.
- "Jet Pilot Flies on His Stomach in British Experiment." Popular Mechanics, July 1954, p. 139.
- James 1987, pp. 300–302.
- James 1987, pp. 302–303.
- James 1987, pp. 283–286.
- Cicaleso, del Gaizo and Rivas 2003, p. 69.
- Williams Aeroplane Monthly July 1995, p. 44.
- Williams Aeroplane Monthly July 1995, pp. 46–47.
- Jefford 2001, p. 175.
- Caruana and Franks 2004, pp. 124–125.
- Sturtivant, Ray and Theo Ballance. The Squadrons of the Fleet Air Arm. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd, 1994. ISBN 0-85130-223-8.
- Green 2001
- Andrews, C.F. "The Gloster Meteor F.8" Aircraft in Profile, Volume 1/Part1. Windsor, Berkshire, UK: Profile Publications Ltd., 4th revised edition 1975 (first published in 1965). ISBN 0-85383-410-5.
- Ashley, Glenn. Meteor in Action. Carrollton, Texas: Squadron/Signal Publications Inc., 1995. ISBN 0-89747-332-9.
- Bowyer, Chaz. Postwar Military Aircraft 2: Gloster Meteor. Shepperton, Surrey, UK: Ian Allen Ltd., 1985. ISBN 0-7110-1477-9.
- Boyne, Walter J. Air Warfare: an International Encyclopedia: M-Z. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, 2002. ISBN 1-57607-345-9.
- Butler, Phil and Tony Buttler. Gloster Meteor: Britain's Celebrated First-Generation Jet. Hersham, Surrey, UK: Midland Publishing, 2007. ISBN 1-85780-230-6.
- Caruana, Richard J. and Richard A. Franks. The Gloster & AW Meteor. Kingsway, Bedford, UK: SAM Publications, 2004. ISBN 0-9533465-8-7.
- Cicalesi, Juan Carlos and Santiago Rivas. "Argentina's Meteors: Latin America's first jet fighters". International Air Power Review, Volume 7, Winter 2002. pp. 120–128. Norwalk, Connecticut, USA: AIRtime Publishing. ISBN 1-880588-48-X. ISSN 1473-9917.
- Cicalesi, Juan Carlos, César del Gaizo and Santiago Rivas. "Into the Jet Age: The Gloster Meteor in Argentina". Air Enthusiast No. 104, March/April 2003, pp. 68–73. Stamford, UK: Key Publishing. ISSN 0143-5450.
- Golly, John and Bill Gunston. Jet. Eloy Gutierrez, 2010. ISBN 1-907472-00-2.
- Goulding, James. Interceptor: RAF Single Seat Multi-Gun Fighters. London: Ian Allen, 1986. ISBN 0-7110-1583-X.
- Green, William. Warplanes of the Second World War, Vol. 2. London: Macdonald & Co Ltd, 1968, First edition 1960.
- Green, William and Gordon Swanborough. The Great Book of Fighters. St. Paul, Minnesota: MBI Publishing, 2001. ISBN 0-7603-1194-3.
- Harrison, W.A. "Forgotten Breed ... The RAF's Last 'Shufti' Meteors". Air Enthusiast, No 93, May/June 2001, pp. 26–33. Stamford, UK: Key Publishing. ISSN 0143 5450.
- James, Derek N. Gloster Aircraft since 1917. London: Putnam, 1971. ISBN 0-370-00084-6.
- Jefford, Wing Commander C.G., MBE,BA,RAF (Retd). RAF Squadrons, A Comprehensive Record of the Movement and Equipment of all RAF Squadrons and their Antecedents since 1912. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing, 2001. ISBN 1-84037-141-2.
- Jones, Barry. Gloster Meteor. Ramsbury, Marlborough, Wiltshire, UK: The Crowood Press Ltd., 1998. ISBN 1-86126-162-4.
- King, H. F., M.B.E.. "Mars to Javelin, Gloster aircraft of forty years". Flight and Aircraft Engineer, Vol. 67, No. 2418, May 1955, p. 729.
- Loftin, L.K. Jr. Quest for Performance: The Evolution of Modern Aircraft. NASA SP-468. Retrieved: 22 April 2006.
- Mason, Francis K. The British Fighter Since 1912. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. 1992. ISBN 1-55750-082-7.
- Nicolle, David. "Suez: The Other Side: Part Two". Air Enthusiast, No 112, July/August 2004. pp. 48–57. Stamford, UK: Key Publishing. ISSN 0143 5450.
- Nicolle, David. "Suez: The Other Side: Part Three". Air Enthusiast, No 113, September/October 2004. pp. 36–44. Stamford, UK: Key Publishing. ISSN 0143 5450.
- Nicolle, David. "Suez: The Other Side: Part Four". Air Enthusiast, No 112, November/December 2004. pp. 52–60. Stamford, UK: Key Publishing. ISSN 0143 5450.
- Partridge, J.J. "The Gloster Meteor F.IV" Aircraft in Profile, Volume 4. Windsor, Berkshire, UK: Profile Publications Ltd., 2nd revised edition 1970 (original in 1966). ISBN 0-85383-013-4.
- Pavelec, Sterling Michael. The Jet Race and the Second World War. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing, 2007. ISBN 0-275-99355-8.
- Shacklady, Edward. The Gloster Meteor. London: Macdonald & Co. (Publishers) Ltd., 1962.
- Spick, Mike. The Illustrated Directory of Fighters. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Zenith Imprint, 2002. ISBN 0-7603-1343-1.
- Williams, Ray. "The Night-Fighting Meteor". Air Enthusiast, Twenty-five, August–November 1984, pp. 44–59. Bromley, Kent, UK: Fine Scroll. ISSN 0143-5450.
- Williams, Ray. "Meteor Night Fighters: Part One". Aeroplane Monthly, April 1995, Vol. 23, No 4, Issue No. 264, pp. 6–10.
- Williams, Ray. "Meteor Night Fighters: Part Two". Aeroplane Monthly, May 1995, Vol. 23, No 5, Issue No. 265, pp. 18–22.
- Williams, Ray. "Meteor Night Fighters: Part Three". Aeroplane Monthly, June 1995, Vol. 23, No 6, Issue No. 266, pp. 10–24.
- Williams, Ray. "Meteor Night Fighters: Part Four". Aeroplane Monthly, July 1995, Vol. 24 No 1, Issue No. 267, pp. 42–47.
- Yonay, Ehud. No Margin for Error: The Making of the Israeli Air Force. New York: Pantheon Books, 1993. ISBN 978-0-679-41563-3.
- Zuk, Bill. Janusz Zurakowski: Legends in the Sky. St. Catharine's, Ontario: Vanwell, 2004. ISBN 1-55125-083-7.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Gloster Meteor|
- Preserving the Gloster aviation heritage
- Temora Aviation Museum Meteor F 8
- Meteor flight
- Warbird Alley: Meteor
- Imperial War Museum Duxford: Meteor F 8
- Jewish Virtual Library: Meteor
- Vic Flintham (aviation historian): Meteor
- Jets 35: Trent engine
- 2 Sqn Association Meteor album
- Archival RAF film from 1948 on fighter tactics around bomber formations, in collaboration with the USAAF.
- Progress with Jet Propulsion Flight 1945
- "Attlee Here For Parley, 1945/11/13," Universal Newsreel, 1945