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Gloster Meteor, Britain's Celebrated First-Generation Jet, Phil Butler and Tony Buttler. This is a detailed, well illustrated and well written look at the development and service history of the Gloster Meteor, both in British and overseas hands. The book covers the development of the E.28/39, Britain's first jet aircraft and the development of the Meteor, looks in detail at the prototype aircraft, the various versions of the Meteor and its British and overseas service careers. [see more]
History [ edit | edit source ]
1916 to 1919 [ edit | edit source ]
No. 64 squadron was originally formed at Sedgeford on 1 August 1916 as a training unit with FE.2b and Farman F.20 airplanes. In June 1917 the squadron received Avro 504 and Sopwith Pup fighters and DH.5 in October when the squadron moved to France to begin operations. The DH.5s were replaced by SE.5As in March 1918 and conducted both fighter and ground-attack operations for the remainder of the First World War. It returned to Narborough in February 1919, where it was disbanded on 31 December 1919. During the World War I era, the squadron claimed in excess of 130 victories, and produced eleven aces, among whom were James Anderson Slater, Edmund Tempest, Philip Scott Burge, Thomas Rose, Charles Cudemore, William H. Farrow, Dudley Lloyd-Evans, Edward Dawson Atkinson, and Ronald McClintock.
1936 to 1967 [ edit | edit source ]
On 1 March 1936, No. 64 was reactivated at Heliopolis, Egypt, although for political reasons it was announced as having reformed at Henlow, Bedfordshire (UK). The squadron was equipped with Hawker Demon fighters which had already been sent out to Egypt where they had formed D Flights of 6 and 208 squadrons which were transferred during March 1936 to 64 squadron. It was immediately involved in the Second Italo-Abyssinian War carrying out attacks against Italian airfields and providing fighter cover to refuelling bombers at advance airfields. After the crisis had ended in May 1936 the squadron returned to RAF Martlesham Heath, Suffolk (UK), in August 1936 to become part of the UK air defences.
In December 1938 64 squadron was based at Church Fenton, North Yorkshire and reequipped with Bristol Blenheim Mk I(F) fighters. After the outbreak of the Second World War, the squadron was engaged in patrols off the British East Coast and in December 1939 provided fighter defence for the Home Fleet at Scapa Flow from Evanton, Scotland, for a month. From February to September 1939 64 Squadron used the squadron code "XQ", followed by "SH" from September 1939 to April 1951.
A Meteor NF.14 from 64 Sqn. at the Midland Air Museum.
In April 1940 the squadron converted to the Supermarine Spitfire Mk I. It was immediately engaged in the covering of the Dunkirk evacuation and later took part in the Battle of Britain. In short order 64 squadron operated from Kenley starting 16 May 1940, from Leconfield starting 19 August, from Biggin Hill starting 13 October, from Coltishall starting 15 October, and from Boscombe Down starting 1 September 1940.
In May 1941, No. 64 Squadron moved up to Scotland for air defence duties but moved back south in November to take part in sweeps over northern France, until March 1943 when it moved back up to Scotland again. Then in August 1943 it moved back south again to resume offensive operations and in June 1944, moved to Cornwall for 2 months before beginning long-range escort missions from East Anglia. During that time the squadron was equipped with various marks of the Spitfire: Mk IIA January to November 1941, Mk VB November 1941 to July 1942, and March to September 1943, Mk VC September 1943 to July 1944, and finally Mk IX June 1942 to March 1943, and June to November 1944. In 1944 64 Squadron took part in the operations of the Normandy Landings, Operation Market Garden, and the Battle of the Scheldt.
Personnel of 64 Squadron in front of their Gloster Javelin FAW.7 at RAF Duxford in 1959.
In November 1944 the squadron received the North American Mustang III and flew these for the rest of the war covering daylight raids of the RAF Bomber Command on Germany. After the end of hostilities the squadron moved to RAF Horsham St Faith and received the Mustang IV in August 1945.
In March 1946 No. 64 Squadron received De Havilland Hornet F.1 twin-engined fighters and moved to RAF Linton-on-Ouse in August of the same year. The F.1 was replaced by the Hornet F.3 in April 1948. In March 1951 the squadron converted to the Gloster Meteor F.4/F.8 jet fighter. The squadron was also relocated to RAF Duxford. In September 1956 the F.8s were replaced by the radar-equipped, two seat Meteor NF.12/NF.14.
In September 1958 64 squadron then converted to the Gloster Javelin FAW.7/FAW.9. In 1964 the squadron moved to RAF Tengah, partnering No. 60 Squadron RAF. The squadron was disbanded on 16 June 1967.
1968 to 1991 [ edit | edit source ]
Since then the squadron had been the 'Shadow'/Reserve identity of No. 228 OCU, flying the McDonnell Douglas Phantom FG.1/FGR.2, first from RAF Coningsby since 16 May 1968 and then from RAF Leuchars, to where the OCU moved on 22 April 1987. When No. 228 OCU was disbanded on 31 January 1991, so was No. 64 Squadron.
Gloster Meteor NF14
WS776 Gloster Meteor NF14 was built by Armstrong Whitworth at Coventry and delivered to the RAF on 22 February 1954, serving with 25 Squadron at West Mailing. It transferred to 85 Squadron in July 1958, then to 72 Squadron at Church Fenton in November 1958 and finally to 228 Operational Conversion Unit (OCU) at RAF Leeming in July 1960 before being withdrawn from active service in January 1961 and transported to North Luffenham where it was displayed by the main gate. Disposed of by the RAF in March 1998 it moved to Sandtoft in November 1999, again being displayed by the main gate. It was then purchased by the Bournemouth Aviation Museum on
5th February 2005, carrying its original 25 Squadron markings.
The Gloster Meteor was the first jet to enter service with the RAF. First flight of this revolutionary fighter was on 5 March 1942. The Meteor F1 entered service with 616 Squadron at Manston in July 1944. Their task was to shoot down V1 flying bombs as they crossed the English Channel, although these early F1s had a very limited range and were soon replaced by the F4. The type soon became known as the `Meatbox’ in RAF service. Following the end of the Second World War further Meteors were ordered for the RAF, with the much improved F8 entering service in August 1949.
These fighter versions were armed with four 20 mm cannons in their nose, with the F8 capable of 550 mph at 30,000ft Meteors were ordered by many overseas air forces — including Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Holland, Egypt and Israel. The RAF had an urgent need for a night fighter to replace its wartime Mosquitoes and so development of the two-seat NF11 Meteor was undertaken by Armstrong Whitworth, with the prototype flying in May 1950. This was equipped with Al radar in its nose, with the four cannons moved to its wings.
- Based at RAF Coningsby, 41 Squadron is part of the Air & Space Warfare Centre, which is headquartered at RAF Waddington
- 41 Squadron&rsquos Flt Lt Eric Lock was the highest-scoring RAF fighter pilot of the Battle of Britain
- The squadron flew the Supermarine Spitfire throughout World War Two, while other types flown include the Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5a, de Havilland Hornet, Hawker Hunter, Gloster Javelin, McDonnell Douglas Phantom FGR2, SEPECAT Jaguar and Panavia Tornado F3
- As the RAF&rsquos Fast Jet Test & Evaluation Squadron, 41 Squadron&rsquos primary focus is Typhoon capability and tactics development
1916 - 41 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps, stood up in July, before deploying to France in October as a Royal Aircraft Factory F.E.8 operator
1917 - Began re-equipping with the Airco DH.5 in June, but was fully equipped with the superior S.E.5a by mid-November. Disbanded on 31 December 1919
1923 - Re-formed at Northolt on 1 April, flying the Sopwith Snipe. Re-equipped with the Armstrong Whitworth Siskin in 1924 and converted onto the Bristol Bulldog in 1931
1934 - Re-equipped with the Hawker Demon, before deploying to Aden for the Abyssinian Crisis in 1935. Returned to the UK in August 1936 and re-equipped with the Hawker Fury biplane fighter
1939 - Began converting onto the Spitfire Mk I in January. On 17 October, 41 Squadron claimed the first aircraft shot down (a Heinkel He 111) by Spitfires based in England
1940 - Operating out of Hornchurch, 41 Squadron flew top cover for the Dunkirk evacuation for 12 days from 28 May. The unit flew throughout the Battle of Britain and in November converted onto the Spitfire Mk IIA
1941 - Began flying the Spitfire Mk VB
1942 - Supported the Dieppe raid in August
1943 - Converted onto the Spitfire Mk XII in February, one of only two squadrons to use the variant
1944 - After D-Day, 41 Squadron&rsquos focus switched from bomber escort to anti-flying bomb patrols. It destroyed 53 V-1 flying bombs in a nine-week period. By September it had transferred its attention to attacking V-2 launch sites, while re-equipping with the Spitfire Mk XIV. In December it moved to a forward base in Belgium, ending its war stationed in Germany
1946 - Disbanded on 31 March. Re-formed on 1 April, back in the UK, as a Spitfire F.Mk 21 operator. Re-equipped with the Hornet during August 1947 and became a Gloster Meteor unit in 1951
1958 - Disbanded on 15 January, but stood up again on the 16th by renumbering 141 Squadron, operating the Gloster Javelin. Disbanded on 31 December 1963
1965 - Re-formed on 1 September as a missile defence unit, equipped with the Bloodhound Mk 2 surface-to-air missile. Disbanded on 18 September 1970, but re-formed on 1 April 1972 as a Phantom FGR2 unit
1977 - Disbanded on 31 March, but re-formed next day on the Jaguar
1991 - Took part in Operation GRANBY in Iraq. Subsequent deployments in support of Operations WARDEN and RESINATE NORTH continued until 1993
1993 - Deployed to Italy in August for Operation DENY FLIGHT over Bosnia. The commitment continued until August 1995, during which time a 41 Squadron Jaguar became the first RAF aircraft to drop a bomb in anger over Europe since World War Two
2003 - Took part in Operation TELIC in Iraq, now flying the Jaguar GR3
2006 - Scheduled to disband in April, 41 Squadron instead became 41 (Reserve) Squadron as the new numberplate of the Fast Jet and Weapons Operational Evaluation Unit, operating the Harrier GR9 and Tornado GR4 and F3
2013 - By now designated 41(R) Test & Evaluation Squadron, the unit took its first Typhoon on strength
SQUADRONS! No.15: The Gloster Meteor F.I & F.III
The Gloster Meteor was the first British jet fighter and the Allies’ only operational jet aircraft during the Second World War. For the Meteor, the main issue was to find the right engines and the development of these took more time than initially planned and proved more complicated than originally thought but eventually the first Meteor F.Is were ready to enter service in the summer 1944. Their first action took place soon after in the hunt of the V-1 launched against England. Then the Meteor was deployed on the Continent in its F.III variant where it participated to the last stages of WW2 with the 2 TAF. This study covers the wartime era and stopps in September 1945. This book is illustred with 30 photos (5 in colours) and five colour profiles.
Available as a paperback version as 9782918590-94-1
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pdf, epub and Kindle versions are also available as 9782918590-95-8 (see below)
History [ edit | edit source ]
World War I [ edit | edit source ]
The squadron was established as part of the Royal Naval Air Service on 25 October 1916 ⎖] ⎗] at Dunkirk as No. 8 (Naval) Squadron. In its earlier days, the unit flew Sopwith Pups, 1½ Strutters and Nieuport Scouts. Later in World War I it re-equipped with Sopwith Camels and was assigned to artillery spotting. The squadron returned to the UK briefly before being sent back to France to face the German offensive. While in France a significant number of Camels belonging to the squadron were destroyed by the RAF to prevent the Germans capturing them during their advance. When the Royal Air Force was formed on 1 April 1918, the unit was renumbered to No. 208 Squadron RAF. After the war ended 208 Squadron remained with the occupying forces until August 1919, when it again returned to the UK for disbandment on 7 November 1919 at Netheravon. ⎘]
Interbellum [ edit | edit source ]
The squadron reformed at RAF Ismailia in Egypt on 1 February 1920 by the renumbering of No. 113 Squadron RAF. ⎚] It was at first equipped with RE8s and from November 1920 till May 1930 with Bristol Fighters. The years between the wars were by no means quiet, in September 1922 the squadron was sent to Turkey for a year during the Chanak crisis, being stationed at San Stefano, a part of the Bakırköy district of Istanbul, Turkey. ⎚] After the conflict 208 Squadron went back to Egypt and in 1930 got Armstrong Whitworth Atlas aircraft to replace the old Bristol fighters. The Atlases in their turn were replaced five years later by Audaxes and for one flight by Demons. Just before the outbreak of World War II, in January 1939, these gave way for the Westland Lysander. ⎛]
World War II [ edit | edit source ]
No. 208 Squadron was still stationed in Egypt at the outbreak of World War II. It joined the war effort in mid-1940 flying Westland Lysander reconnaissance aircraft and Hawker Hurricane fighters on army co-operation duties in the North African Campaign ⎜] and the Greek Campaign of 1941. During the war it included a significant number of Royal Australian Air Force and South African Air Force personnel, along with other nationalities. Amongst the members of the squadron at this time was Robert Leith-Macgregor, shot down on more than one occasion, once ending up taxiing through a minefield, but managed not to trigger any mines. ⎝]
The unit was later stationed in Palestine, before returning to North Africa. It briefly converted to Curtiss Tomahawks, but received Supermarine Spitfires in late 1943 and flew them for the remainder of the war. From 1944, it took part in the Italian Campaign.
After World War II [ edit | edit source ]
Shortly after the war 208 Squadron moved back to Palestine where it was involved in operations against the Egyptian Air Force. In 1948, the squadron moved to the Egyptian Canal Zone. It saw action in the Israeli War of Independence, losing four Spitfires in combat with Israeli Air Force aircraft (which also included Spitfires). The last officially recorded "Air to Air fighter pilot kill" (bullets only without guidance systems) occurred on 22 May 1948, at 09:30 two Egyptian Spitfire LF.9s decided to stage a third attack on Ramat David. This time Fg Off Tim McElhaw and Fg Off Hully of 208 Squadron had taken over the standing patrol. Fg Off McElhaw, flying Spitfire FR.18 TZ228, managed to intercept and shoot down both LF.9s. ⎞]
In 1951, the squadron relocated to RAF Fayid where its Spitfires were replaced with Gloster Meteor jets. From there it moved to RAF Abu Sueir, relocating to RAF Takali, Malta, in August 1956, with interim spells earlier in the year at RAF Hal Far, Malta, and RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus. It disbanded at Takhali in January 1958, but it reformed the same month in the UK at RAF Tangmere from a nucleus of No. 34 Squadron RAF. ⎟] Two months later it returned to the Middle East with de Havilland Vampires and subsequently Hawker Hunter FGA.9s. In 1958 and early 1959 it operated from RAF Nicosia and RAF Akrotiri with a detachment at Amman, Jordan. The squadron disbanded at RAF Akrotiri on 31 March 1959. The next day, 1 April 1959, it reformed at RAF Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya, by the re-numbering of No. 142 Squadron RAF under Squadron Leader R. Ramirez. ⎠] It operated from Eastleigh from April 1959 to March 1960, being redeployed home to RAF Stradishall from March to June 1960, but returning to Eastleigh in June, sending detachments to Kuwait and Bahrain during the period. It was moved to RAF Khormaksar in Aden in November 1961, under Air Forces Arabian Peninsula, which became Air Forces Middle East the same year. ⎡] In June 1964 it moved to Muharraq in Bahrain.The squadron remained in the Middle East until September 1971 when it was disbanded as a consequence of British drawdown of the armed forces from East of Suez.
Flying Buccaneers [ edit | edit source ]
A 208 Sqn. RAF Buccaneer S.2B in 1981. Wrap-around camouflage was applied, as it would often be observed manoeuvered at low levels
RAF Buccaneer S.2 with wings folded
Buccaneer airbrake detail
208 Squadron reformed at RAF Honington in 1974 with Blackburn Buccaneer S2s, assigned to SACEUR operating in a low-level strike role. The squadron's twelve Buccaneers were declared operational to SACEUR from 1975 armed with twentyfour WE.177 nuclear weapons. ⎢] The squadron was tasked with supporting land forces resisting an advance by the Warsaw Pact into western Europe, by striking at enemy forces, logistics and infrastructure beyond the forward edge of the battlefield, initially with conventional munitions, and with nuclear weapons in the event of escalation. ⎣] The allocation of the British-owned WE.177 weapon freed the squadron from the time-consuming burden, at a critical time, of using US-owned nuclear weapons held in US custody at a central location. The squadron continued in this role based at RAF Honington until late 1983, ⎤] when it moved base to RAF Lossiemouth and was re-assigned to SACLANT for maritime strike duties. The squadron's allocation of WE.177 nuclear weapons was reduced to twelve, one per aircraft, ⎥] although the Buccaneer was able to carry two in its internal bomb bay. ⎦] The squadron continued in this role until late 1993 ⎧] when it relinquished its nuclear weapons. The unit was one of the last squadrons to operate the Buccaneer before it went out of service in 1994, and after the type's retirement the squadron again disbanded on 31 March 1994. ⎘]
Present role [ edit | edit source ]
BAe Hawk of No. 208 Squadron in flight
208 Squadron reformed again on 1 April 1994 from 234 (Reserve) Squadron, attached to No. 4 Flying Training School. It moved to RAF Valley operating the BAe Hawk that it continues to fly to this day. No.4 FTS is made up of two squadrons 208 Squadron provides the advanced flying training, students then moving onto No. 4(R) Squadron to receive tactics and weapons training. The vast majority of sorties undertaken by 208 Squadron are flown to teach RAF ab-initio pilots the fundamental skills of flying a fast-jet, to prepare them for tactical weapons training and onwards towards front-line aircraft such as the Tornado, Harrier and Typhoon. A summary of 208 Squadron's present tasks:
Advanced flying training
- To train RAF, RN and some foreign ab-initio pilots as per the Personnel Training Command (HQPTC) Training Task Programme to Tactical Weapons Unit (TWU) entry standard.
- To re-train RAF and RN multi-engine and rotary pilots as per the HQPTC training Task Programme to TWU entry standard.
- To refresh Short TucanoQFIs as per the HQPTC Training Task Programme to TWU entry standard.
- To train Hawk QFIs as per the HQPTC Training Task Programme to B2 standard in accordance with the current Central Flying School (CFS) syllabuses.
- To upgrade Hawk QFIs to B1, A2 and A1 standard in accordance with the 208 Squadron staff training requirements and CFS syllabuses.
- To train Hawk IREs in accordance with the current CFS syllabuses.
- To convert Qualified Flying Instructors (Tactical Sequences) and Qualified Pilot Navigation Instructors into Hawk QFIs as per the Headquarters HQPTC training Task Programme to B2 standard in accordance with the current CFS syllabuses.
- To provide a common conversion course for all qualified pilots re-roling to the Hawk.
- To provide United Kingdom Orientation training for Foreign and Commonwealth pilots destined for fast-jet appointments.
- To provide conversion training for pilots destined for the Royal Air Force Aerobatics Team.
On 20 April 2007, a BaE Hawk from the squadron crashed near RAF Mona. The pilot was taken to hospital and discharged soon after. The accident was caused by a solo student stalling the aircraft on an overshoot. ⎨]
- Provides advanced fast jet training (AFJT) to RAF and Royal Navy student pilots
- Part of the UK Military Flying Training System (UKMFTS) joint enterprise and 4 Flying Training School (4 FTS)
- Pilots move from XXV(F) Squadron to continue their tactical and weapons training with IV(AC) Squadron at RAF Valley, before progressing to their frontline aircraft type
- Previous aircraft flown include the Sopwith Snipe, Hawker Fury, Gloster Gladiator, Meteor and Javelin, Bristol Blenheim, de Havilland Mosquito, Panavia Tornado F3
1915 - Formed from 6 Reserve Squadron, Royal Flying Corps, at Montrose. Moved to France with the Royal Aircraft Factory F.E.2b in February 1916 squadron pilots shot down German ace Max Immelmann on 18 June. Switched primarily to bombing from late 1916 re-equipped with Airco DH.4 from mid-1917. Disbanded January 1920
1920 - Re-formed in April on the Snipe, briefly serving as the only home-based fighter squadron. Moved to Constantinople, for policing duties, in 1922, returning in 1923. Re-equipped with the Gloster Grebe in 1924 and Armstrong Whitworth Siskin in 1929
1932 - Re-equipped with the Fury, using it for tied-together team aerobatics at the 1933, 1934 and 1935 Hendon Pageants. Converted onto the Hawker Demon in 1937 and Gladiator in June 1938
1938 - No. 25 Squadron became a Blenheim IF night-fighter unit from December. Later also operating the Blenheim IVF, it became a pioneer of radar-guided night-fighting, employing air intercept (AI) radar from mid-1940. Bristol Beaufighter IF arrived from September 1940, Douglas Havoc from July 1941 and Mosquito from October 1942
1944 - By now flying the Mosquito NFXVII, 25 Squadron switched its primary effort from bomber support and night intruder missions to nocturnal anti-flying bomb patrols
1951 - Re-equipped with the de Havilland Vampire NF10 in July Meteor NF12 and 14 arrived in 1954
1958 - Disbanded in June, re-formed in July by renumbering 153 Squadron. Now a Javelin FAW7 and, later, FAW9 operator. Disbanded 1962
1963 - XXV(F) Squadron re-formed, equipped with the Bloodhound surface-to-air missile system for the protection of various locations in the UK and West Germany
1989 - In October, XXV(F) Squadron disbanded and immediately re-formed as a nascent Tornado F3 operator at RAF Leeming. Became operational in January 1990, subsequently deploying for the 1991 Gulf War, Operation DENY FLIGHT over the former Yugoslavia, Operations BOLTON (SOUTH) and RESINATE (SOUTH) over Iraq, and maintaining its commitment to UK and Falkland Islands QRA and the Baltic Air Policing mission. Disbanded 4 April 2008
2018 - XXV(F) Squadron re-formed at RAF Valley on 8 September as a Hawk T2 operator alongside IV(AC) Squadron
- Stationed at RAF Waddington, remotely operating Reaper aircraft based in theatre
- Among the first squadrons formed on a single aircraft type, in this case the B.E.2c
- Former aircraft have included the Hawker Audax, de Havilland Mosquito, English Electric Canberra and Panavia Tornado
- 13 Squadron flew its first operational RPAS (Remotely Piloted Air System) mission in April 2013
1916 - Pioneered formation bombing, including a nine-aircraft raid on Achiet-le-Grand. Disbanded in 1919
1924 - Re-formed on the Bristol F.2B Fighter as an army co-operation squadron
1940 - Deployed Westland Lysanders to France as part of the British Expeditionary Force, evacuating back to the UK for air-sea rescue and anti-invasion patrols
1941 - Re-equipped with the Bristol Blenheim
1942 - Began night-intruder work and participated in the Dieppe Raid before moving to North Africa
1944 - Flew the Martin Baltimore and then the Douglas Boston
1946 - Disbanded in Italy, before re-forming in Palestine as a Mosquito photo-reconnaissance squadron
1956 - Stationed at RAF Akrotiri flying the Gloster Meteor PR10 and Canberra PR7, operating the latter during the Suez Crisis
1978 - Moved to RAF Wyton. Disbanded in 1982
1990 - Stood up as a Tornado GR1A reconnaissance unit at RAF Honington, moving to RAF Marham in 1994. Disbanded in 2011
Gloster Meteor Squadrons of the RAF - History
The Royal Netherlands Air Force (KLu) received 61 Meteor mk.4, 45 T.7 trainers and finely 160 F.mk.8 fighters. In the beginning many accidents happened as this was the first jet in use in the West and particularly as no two seat trainer was yet available. When an engine failed, it was difficult for an untrained pilot to remain in control and many aircraft crashed with often loss of life. The T.7 trainer came not earlier than 1948 and was very welcome indeed, arriving at the RNeth AF in 1949.
The F.mk 8 was a longer Meteor and it had a first injection seat. It was intended as clear fighter and had more powerfull Derwent 7 or 8 engines. First fitted with the long chord (narrow intake) engine nacelles it also had a redesigned tail without "tail bumper". Aircraft were built in license at Fokker Aircraft Company and also Meteors were supplied to Belgium. Later on it proved that a shorter nacelle with slightly bigger intake resulted in more thrust, so later F.mk 8 aircraft had these nacelles.
Several versions were also later developed. The NF.11 or 12 night fighter with a two seat cockpit with room for a radar operator. It was used by the Royal Air Force and also Belgian AF.
The RNeth AF demonstration teams "Whiskey Four" and briefly also the "Jet Pipes" team used the F.mk 8. After 1958 all Meteors had been replaced in the KLu by F-86K Sabres and Hawker Hunters.
A very old kit of Airfix was for a Meteor mk.3 . It was very basic and been around for decades since 1970.
Later in 2009, Airfix came with a brand new kit for a F.mk 8 (kit no A03076).
It is however a kit using the SAME moulds as the earlier kit from 2006 from MPM of Tsjechia but without etched metal detail fret.
The parts are nice with 2 types of engine nacelles and 2 types of canopies including the "full blown" type. Also, the belly fuel tank and 2 pylon tanks are in the kit. Very nice indeed!
The RAF roundels are a bit off and seem to be an older style roundel. In this box, decals are for:
(1) no. 245 squadron RAF at Horsham St.Faith
(2) 13 Day fighter squadron Belgian AF
Usually, the finish is "high speed silver" for the F.mk 8 (so not a straight metal look, but painted). Please note that many airframe components on a real Meteor were of wood!.
modelling this kit means carefully separating the parts from the sprues and alignment needs are as well with mating the surfaces. The plastic is very soft but nicely detailed.
The cockpit is basic but OK for this scale. The canopy looks fine as well with floor, seat bulkheads etc. Do not forget to add NOSE WEIGHT!
In STEP 15, it looks that both types of the nacelles are in the kit which is very nice indeed:
- short nacelle/larger intake type with part #B7.
- older long nacelle with small intake part #B9. (the edge ring is about 2 mm longer at the front intake edge) (this was on a real Meteor made of wood!)
It is often rather difficult to establish for a particular F.mk 8 Meteor desired which nacelle is needed, even on photos it is difficult to see.
In STEP 17, assembling the multi part landing gear is quite difficult to get strong joints. It is also unclear where to fix the legs.
Deciding which canopy you like depends on the particular Meteor desired with markings.
A model was made of a Royal Netherlands AF F.mk 8 Meteor using aftermarket decals from Dutch Decal set 72041 . This is an old set from 1999 (newer sets can also be found such as set 72080).
It was not clear what nacelle type was used on this aircraft, the shorter nacelle type with larger diameter intake ring was picked here.
(You may check the reference below to seek which KLu aircraft uses what intake but I did not have that book at the time as it was published June 2015).
Some (white coloured) putty was used at particularly joints and edges followed by some subtle sanding.
The joint between fuselage and wing was also filled with some white putty.
As seen the panel lines are nicely engraved , but I inscribed the dive brakes a bit deeper.
This completed basic assembly, ready to take a first base coat to check for any flaws applied with the Harder Steenbeck airbrush.
Next came a very simple "RAF high speed silver" finish using enamel paint X38 of XTRACOLOR applied in a few coats with the airbrush. The windscreen frame was painted with a fine brush. I also added a tiny irror made from a bit of metal.
The cockpit interior was painted mainly black with some spots of a different colour. The kit seat got a few harness straps made from brown masking tape.
The undercarriage was also fitted and tires painted very dark grey (Panzergrau of Revell Acrylic 78). I kept the gear bays also silver painted.
For this particular aircraft a Meteor F.mk 8 of the KLu no. 328 squadron was picked. It had orange markings and operated from Soesterberg air base in the center of The Netherlands from 1951 till 1955. It has a bigger scaled 7 mm diameter roundel on the fuselage and 16 mm on the wing. Also, the older style canopy was fitted.
The Dutch decals from the set 72041 were nice and simply applied. I dipped each decal is a "bath" of Johnson Future/Pledge to ensure that air bubbles are not trapped. When a decal was applied, it was pressed with cloth.
Note also the subtle walkway lines on top of the wing. I decided not to weather this aircraft, Meteors were kept in good condition. The pitot tube was made from a metal needle.
A very neat kit of the Gloster Meteor (Fokker license built) F.mk 8 is now the KLu model collection.
and in a setting. I used my real pictures taken at the Soesterberg air base for the back ground!
and in black and white.
Meteor F.mk 8 in Royal Netherlands AF (KLu) service , Dutch Profile (published June 2015)
File:Gloster Meteor F.3 - Royal Air Force- 2nd Tactical Air Force, 1943-1945. CL2934.jpg
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