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neilfergylee

The longest of long-shots: The Meteor FR.5

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I think I know the answer to this before I ask, but if you don't ask, you don't get.

 

Has ANYBODY ever seen a picture of the single Meteor FR.5?  I have a drawing from Edward Shacklady's book buy I have never seen a photograph.

 

In case you weren't aware, the FR.5 was the intended fighter reconnaissance version of the F.4, similar to how the FR.9 was to the F.8.  The prototype, VT347 was a converted F.4 but crashed on its first flight on 15th June 1949, very sadly killing its pilot Rodney Dryland.

 

I cannot imagine it was never photographed but perhaps it would have taken place as part of what would have been the development programme had it not been cut short.

 

So, has anybody seen a picture of the ill-fated VT347?

 

Cheers,

 

Neil

Edited by neilfergylee
The inevitable typo...

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I'm sorry I cannot help you with an image, but I would hazard a guess, it would have been finished in Silver, and wearing a yellow circled 'P', denoting prototype,  as I assume it was an F.4 taken off the production line.

I will keep my eyes peeled and let you know if I find anything👍

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2 hours ago, Dave Fleming said:

No, never seen one (A bit like the Swift PR6, although a pic apparently exists of that one in a scrap yard)

 

2 hours ago, Radpoe Spitfire said:

I'm sorry I cannot help you with an image, but I would hazard a guess, it would have been finished in Silver, and wearing a yellow circled 'P', denoting prototype,  as I assume it was an F.4 taken off the production line.

I will keep my eyes peeled and let you know if I find anything👍

Thank you both for your comments. :) Yes this does seem to be a bit of a unicorn and I agree with your view on the colour scheme @Radpoe Spitfire: it was indeed a modified F.4 which actually had more than either a PR.10 or an FR.9, as it had the nose cameras, the downwards cameras in the rear fuselage AND guns.

Fingers crossed that we find something!

 

Cheers,

 

Neil

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You're welcome, the only other hint to my silver theory is that surviving Meteor F.4's VT229 & VT260 were both finished in silver- VT347 isn't that far away in terms of serial numbers.

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Hello Neil, 

I just checked my copy of Meteor by Martin Chorlton. It mentions the FR5, but no picture. However, there is a photo of VT139 in high speed silver with type c roundels (narrow white ring), all the photos of the factory at the time show HSS Meteors, including the Belgian ones.

 

hope this helps 

 

TW

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We might be onto something the good Mr. @Dave Fleming has identified a possible source in Air Britain.  eBay has been engaged, so watch this space!

 

Neil

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There are two photos of it in the Air Britain Aeromilitaria Summer 2008 and it may be unpainted rather than high speed silver as there are different tones to some of the panels. It has long span wings (F3) style, the gun ports plated over and is just in the standard F4 scheme of the time. The nose looks the same as the FR9/PR10. There is also a photo of the PR3 EE338 that only had the oblique camera ports on a standard nose.

 

The Swift PR6 is mentioned as being photographed dismantled at Halton in a couple of books, but I've never seen it anywhere.

 

Steve

Edited by BritJet
More info added

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7 minutes ago, BritJet said:

There are two photos of it in the Air Britain Aeromilitaria Summer 2008 and it may be unpainted rather than high speed silver as there are different tones to some of the panels. It has the gun ports plated over and is just in the standard F4 scheme of the time. The nose looks the same as the FR9/PR10. There is also a photo of the PR3 EE338 that only had the oblique camera ports on a standard nose.

 

The Swift PR6 is mentioned as being photographed dismantled at Halton in a couple of books, but I've never seen it anywhere.

 

Steve

You wouldn't happen to have a phone camera with you? 😉😉

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11 hours ago, BritJet said:

.

 

The Swift PR6 is mentioned as being photographed dismantled at Halton in a couple of books, but I've never seen it anywhere.

 

Steve

 

Quoted as a pic of the wreckage in Ar Britain 2/2003

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As an aside, I'm looking forward to discovering whether it was the PR.5 or FR.5.

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It was PR5 as it was unarmed like the PR10, the FR9 had canons.

 

Steve

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2 hours ago, BritJet said:

It was PR5 as it was unarmed like the PR10, the FR9 had canons.

 

Steve

Now, that's interesting because it was my understanding that it was armed.  Looking forward to eBay delivering the article.

 

Cheers,

 

Neil

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I'd have expected the best Meteor source to be Mason's old MacDonald Monograph, but this has the false armed FR 5 story.  The photos in Aeromilitaria (thank you Dave) was made available from the archive of the late Jack Meaden, as there were no photographs available in Gloster archives.    As well as the PR Mk 5,  the brief article also includes a photo of the PR Mk.3.  Amongst other things, the issue also contains a superb full page picture of the 16 Sq Lysander with two 20mm cannon.

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Every day is a schoolday!  Does the photo or text reveal whether the PR.5 had full-span or clipped wings?

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On 13/10/2018 at 09:48, BritJet said:

It has long span wings (F3) style, the gun ports plated over

Steve

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Well, the magazine has arrived and a copy has been emailed to me over here on holiday.  Publishing the picture is probably a no-no (opinions please)  but I have adapted a drawing from a 1979 edition of Scale Aircraft Modelling to convey the major features which appear to be:

 

  • Silver finish, although as noted above, multi-tonal as the aircraft probably wasn't finished;
  • No guns or gun ports;
  • Type C1 roundels on the fuselage (assuming type C on wings, while fin flash is consistent);
  • No apparent 'P in a circle' prototype markings;
  • Long-span wings.

43551088600_5ea32a705f_o.png

 

Thank you to all who contributed and tipped me off as to the copy of Air Britain.  I guess that long-span F.4 kit I have will shortly be married-up to the spare PR nose I have from the Meteor T7½ kit I purchased recently!

 

Cheers and thanks,

 

Neil

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That looks just right to me, I didn't want to publish the photos here as it would be obvious where they came from given the rarity of them and I certainly didn't want to upset Air Britain as I have a lot of respect for what they do. Glad you managed to get hold of a copy of the magazine as it's better to have than just my description of the photos.

 

What are you doing planning to do with the T7½?

 

Steve

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I quite agree regarding the photos as they are indeed pure gold.

 

The T7½ will become the silver one of the Martin Baker pair: I’d love to do the black one but the decals for that would be beyond me!

 

Neil

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The silver one (large bore intakes)......

Mk2-Meteor.png

.....is easy - Decal sheet. It would need the front canopy as it's non-standard. I love faded dayglo!

 

I don't think the black one (small bore intakes) is too difficult, the Martin Baker titles/logo could be printed onto white decal paper with a black outline and some gold stripe decal. The other markings are pretty standard.

 

MB-Press-Release-1.jpg

 

You've got me thinking now about doing the black one and I'm trying to give up Meteors! I've done 28 so far and have the kits for another 10 or so, there's just so many I'd like to do.

 

Steve

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Well, we're kindred spirits! I'm up to six meteors, with a U.16 just about to start build, the PR.5 will probably slot-in after that and then it's the T.7½.  As for which one, you put-up a very persuasive argument for the black one, although the silver/dayglo one is kind-of where I'm going (until the wind changes).  regarding the canopy, I gather it's an adapted NF.14 canopy (I have a spare Matchbox one), although I reckon the front half of an F.8 / FR.9 / PR.10 canopy is a candidate, plus the back end of the T.7 canopy, plus a bit of creative plasticard work.

 

Neil

 

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Oh, just as a follow-up, this was the only diagram I had prior to finding the photo.  Note the incorrect 'FR.5' identity.

 

45372055641_ce778ed22c_b.jpg

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