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Gloster Sea Meteor F.1

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Gloster Sea Meteor F.1


In 1945, desperate to get a jet powered aircraft aboard their carriers, the Lords of the Admiralty undertook trials with a Meteor I was used for deck-handling tests aboard aircraft carrier HMS Pretoria Castle in late 1944.  Flown by Captain Eric "Winkle” Brown in March 1945, a hooked Meteor III made the first jet landing and take off from an aircraft carrier on HMS Ocean.   The results from these trials were such that they decided to order 200 Meteor IVs, a version which utilised the Derwent V engine. This new engine provided 3,500lb of thrust, a 50% increase on the power offered by the Derwent IV used in later Meteor IIIs.   The result was a sprightly improvement in the Meteor III's desultory performance.   The first Meteor IV prototype took to the air on 15 August 1945 and the test programme went so smoothly that it entered RN FAA squadron service on 1 June 1946, just in time to sail onboard HMS Illustrious to the Far East to take part in the planned invasion of the Japanese home islands.  Able to carry 2,000lbs under each wing, armed with rockets or bombs and its 4 20mm cannon, the Meteor IV proved a considerable success both as a fighter-bomber and a fighter against the Japanese Kamikaze planes deployed against the Allied fleet off Japan.


Gloster Sea Meteor F.1, embarked HMS ILLUSTRIOUS, Operation OLYMPIC, invasion of Kyushu, Japan, 1946.












The Model


The model is the venerable Frog Meteor IV kit. The wings were made to fold by sawing them in half, just outside the engine nacelles. It was painted with a hairy stick and the decals came from the spares box.

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