The Gloster Meteor claims a special spot in aircraft history. Under war time pressures, the first Meteor flew on March 5, 1943, and went into combat
against V-1 flying bombs by late July 1944.
Meteor Quick Facts
Relentless development transformed its original mediocre performance, until just before 1946 when it became the fastest aircraft in the world. To set the speed record the four 20-mm cannons were removeed from the nose and the auxiliary fuel tanks were removed from the wings.
Meteors served the RAF in staggering numbers. The Meteor was used in over 50 Royal Air Force squads. Through the 1940s and 50s it was the most important 24 hour interceptor. It saw action with 10 air forces throughout the world.
It’s solid framework made the Meteor a development platform, and that pioneered many of the post-war advances in aviation. The Meteor airframe was used as a testing platform for primal turboprop engines. The world’s first turboprop flight was made by a Meteor powered by two Rolls-Royce Trent engines on September 20, 1945.
The Meteor was the first RAF fighter made with an ejection seat, which was needed because of the aircraft’s high speed and to get the pilot over the aircraft’s tall tail.