Gloster Meteor

Because of the surprising tardiness of the US’s development of jet-propelled aircraft, the RAF’s Gloster Meteor was the sole Allied jet to enter combat during World War II. The first Meteors were delivered to 616 Squadron in July 1944, and quickly found vital employment intercepting German V1 flying bombs targeted at London.
This was an ideal use for the Meteor’s speed, which was its single outstanding advantage over piston-engined fighters. Being a lot
quicker than the V1s,  Meteors had considerable success in shooting them down over open countryside, using their nose-mounted 20mm Hispano guns. Some Meteorsm also reportedly went wingtip to wingtip with the flying bombs, toppling their stabilizing gyros with a nifty flick.
In early 1945 some of the jets were sent to Belgium to help resist a German air offensive that never came. By the end of the war no Meteor had yet shot down a piloted enemy in air-to-air combat, although they did destroy
Luftwaffe aircraft on the ground in strafing attacks. Postwar the much-improved Meteor F.8, with bubble cockpit and increased fuel
capacity, entered service in 1950 and fought with United Nations forces in Korea. Meteors were finally withdrawn from front-line RAF
service in I960.

Comments

comments