Gloster Meteor F.1

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The Gloster Meteor was the first and only operational Allied jet to actually participate in World War II. It was in November 1940 when the British Air Ministry presented to the Gloster Aircraft Company a specification for a new fighter powered by jet engine. Glostar immediately started this project, and the Air Ministry soon placed an order of prototypes to Gloster. Several types of engines were installed, and among them, the Halford H.1 engine by De Havilland made one of the prototypes fly for the first time in March 1943. The final choice, however, was different.

The F.1, first production version, was flown on 12 January 1944 with W.2B/23 engines manufactured by Rolls-Royce (1700lb). Except for the engines, the F.1 differed very little from the original designs with four 20mm canons, tricycle landing gear and clear-view rear canopy. Twenty F.1's were produced in total, and most of them were delivered to the No. 616 Squadron. Their first military success was achieved on 4 August 1944 when Flying Officer Dean shot down a German V1 rocket.

Since its first kill, Meteors destroyed a total of thirteen V-1s and it was a great boost for morale not only in the military but also for the civilian population in England. Although replaced by the improved F.3 and F.4 shortly after, the Gloster Meteor F.1 played an important roll, along with German Messerschmitt Me 262, to open the door to the "Jet Fighter Era".