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Gloster Meteor: books - history, models and technology

A book on the Gloster Meteor? Explore here our selection of illustrated books on the history, models and technology of Gloster jet fighters.

Meteor from the Cockpit - Britain's First Jet Fighters

The Meteor is remembered as the first British jet fighter to enter squadron service and the only jet powered Allied fighter to see action in WW II. Subsequent development was limited as a result of its relatively conventional airframe although it did hold the world air speed record for a while.
The Meteor was immensely strong and many pilots owe their lives to its rugged construction. For a whole generation of pilots the aircraft (the Meatbox as it was affectionately known) provided the ideal introduction to jet-powered flight. It did suffer a high accident rate but many of the losses were due to lack of knowledge of the stresses of high speed flight at low level and a misguided training programme.
More than sixty years after its first flight the Meteor lives on as it is still used by Martin Baker to test ejection seats, testimony to the basic soundness of the design.

This book looks into the aircraft's design history, development through many different variants and includes many first-hand accounts of flying the aircraft in peace and war.

Author:Peter Caygill
Specs:160 pages, 24 x 16.5 x 2.2 cm / 9 x 6.5 x 0.87 in, hardback
Illustrations:60 b&w photographs
Publisher:Pen & Sword Books Ltd (GB, 2010)
Book: Meteor from the Cockpit - Britain's First Jet Fighters

Meteor from the Cockpit - Britain's First Jet Fighters

Language: English

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The Gloster Meteor in British Service (Flight Craft)

The Gloster F.9/40 was Britain s first jet fighter and as the Meteor F.I became the first jet-powered aircraft of any description to enter service with the Allies in World War II.
Several early Meteors were despatched to Europe in the hope that 1945 might witness the first ever jet-on-jet combats between it and the much-vaunted German jets a contest which, in the event, was never to occur.

Post-war, and the Meteor quickly became the backbone of the UK s day fighter defences, progressing through successive Marks as it did so, until finally being replaced on the front line by later types during the mid-1950s.
With its operational career over, the Meteor's adaptability and ruggedness was put to sterling use as an advanced trainer, the most obvious example of which was the T.7. As late as 1982, a handful of stalwarts were still soldiering on.

This latest addition to the FlightCraft range follows our well-established format in that it is split into three primary sections. The first covers the Meteor using numerous photographs, informative captions and tables.
The second is a 16-page full-colour illustration section featuring detailed profiles and 2-views of many of the colour schemes and markings carried by British Meteors.
The final section lists as many injection-moulded plastic model kits of the Meteor, in all the major scales, that the authors could obtain, plus a gallery of models made by some of the UK s best modellers.

Author:Martin Derry, Neil Robinson
Specs:96 pages, 29.5 x 21 cm / 11.6 x 8.25 in, paperback
Illustrations:numerous b&w and colour photographs
Publisher:Pen & Sword Books Ltd (GB, 2017)
Series:Flight Craft (13)
Book: The Gloster Meteor in British Service (Flight Craft)

The Gloster Meteor in British Service

Language: English

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Combat Meteors

As the title suggests this book is devoted to the nations that used the Meteor in anger. After WWII Europe's air forces were keen to rebuild their air arms with jet aircraft. With little to choose from the Meteor was the prime candidate and hundreds were sold over the following years.
Further afield in the Middle East, Meteors were sold to Egypt, Israel and Syria. In far off South America, Argentina, Brazil and Ecuador purchased the aircraft. On the other side of the World, South Africa and Australia operated them as well.

Several of these nations used their Meteors operationally in open conflicts. From the RAF's struggle against the V-1 menace to the various hot spots around the dwindling Empire from Aden to Malaya. The Suez Crisis of 1956 would see Meteors from the RAF, Egypt, Israel and Syria all operating in the same conflict.
During the Korean War (1950-53) the Royal Australian Air Force carried out thousands of ground attack missions and even engaged the MiG-15 in air to air combat. During a number of internal revolutions in Argentina in 1956, both sides operated the Meteor. Even France operated a handful of Meteor night fighters during their troubles in Algeria in 1957.
Although it did not achieve a large amount of victories, the Meteor played an important part in the emerging air forces of a forever changing post-WWII World.

Author:Alex Crawford, John Smith
Specs:160 pages, 29.5 x 21 x 1 cm / 11.6 x 8.25 x 0.39 in, paperback
Illustrations:numerous b&w and colour photographs, profile drawings
Publisher:MMP Books (PL, 2022)
Book: Combat Meteors

Combat Meteors

Language: English

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Meteor I vs V1 Flying Bomb - 1944 (Osprey)

A total of 10,500 missiles were launched as part of the V1 attack, of which 3,957 were destroyed by the defences. Indeed, it could have been much worse, for by the end of the war the Germans had manufactured close to 32,000 flying bombs.
The defences put forward to guard against the V1 were formidable - 23,000 men and women with their guns, radar and communications networks were installed on coastal sites. Squadrons of Britain's newest Spitfires, the F XIVs, and Hawker Tempest Vs were kept at home to battle the new menace.
Rushed into action in July 1944 to help counter the V1 threat, Britain's Gloster Meteor I was the first jet fighter to enter RAF service. On 4 August the Meteor scored its first V1 victory. Having just closed in on a flying bomb, its officer squeezed the trigger but his guns jammed. Using the Meteor's superior speed, he was able to overtake the missile and, using his wing tip, he tipped the craft over and sent it crashing into the ground. The interceptions between the V1 and Britain's Gloster Meteor were historic, and ushered in a new era of aerial combat.

Contents: Introduction - Chronology - Design and development - The strategic situation - Technical specifications - The combatants - Combat - Statistics and analysis - Aftermath - Bibliography - Glossary.

Author:Donald Nijboer
Specs:80 pages, 24.5 x 18.5 x 0.9 cm / 9.7 x 7.3 x 0.35 in, paperback
Illustrations:photographs and drawings (in b&w and colour)
Publisher:Osprey Publishing (GB, 2012)
Series:Duel (45)
Book: Meteor I vs V1 Flying Bomb - 1944 (Osprey)

Meteor I vs V1 Flying Bomb - 1944

Language: English

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V1 Flying Bomb Aces (Osprey)

Shortly after the Allied landings in France the Germans unleashed the first of their so-called 'revenge weapons', the V1 flying bomb. Launched from specially constructed sites in northern France, the fast, small, pulse-jet powered pilotless aircraft were aimed at London with the sole intent of destroying civilian morale to the point where the British government would be forced to sue for peace. This dangerous new threat drew an immediate response, and the Air Defence of Great Britain (as Fighter Command had been temporarily renamed) established layers of defence that included a gun line and balloon barrage.
The main element, however, were standing patrols by the fastest piston-engined fighters available to the RAF - the new Tempest V and Griffon-powered Spitfire XIV. Other types were allocated too, most notably the Polish Mustang wing, while night defence was left in the capable hands of several dedicated Mosquito squadrons. Although pilotless, the V1 was no easy foe thanks to its speed, powerful warhead and sheer unpredictability. Nevertheless, 154 pilots became V1 aces, 25 of whom were also aces against manned aircraft. Their story is told in this book.

Contents: 'Buzz Bombs' - The opening rounds - Flying bomb climax - The battle is won - Air-launched offensive - The last rites - Appendices.

Author:Andrew Thomas
Specs:96 pages, 24.5 x 18.5 x 0.7 cm / 9.7 x 7.3 x 0.28 in, paperback
Illustrations:photographs and drawings (in b&w and colour)
Publisher:Osprey Publishing (GB, 2013)
Series:Aircraft of the Aces (113)
Book: V1 Flying Bomb Aces (Osprey)

V1 Flying Bomb Aces

Language: English

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Gloster Meteor Mk. 7- Pilot's Flight Operating Instructions

Designed by Gloster's brilliant chief engineer George Carter, the Meteor was Britain's first operational jet, and the first such aircraft in Allied inventory. The Meteor was an outgrowth of intensive r&d work conducted by Frank Whittle, inventor of the turbojet in 1929.

The Meteor featured an all-metal fuselage, and straight wings with mid-mounted engine pods. The F1 version could achieve a speed of 417 mph at 10,000 feet, and entered service in June 1944.
During WWII, it flew primarily as an interceptor against German V-1 "buzz bombs". Australian pilots flew it in combat during the Korean War, and Israel employed it during the Suez Crisis. The Meteor, in one variant form or another, remained in active service as a recon and training aircraft into the 1970s.

Originally printed by Gloster and the Royal Air Force, this handbook provides a fascinating glimpse inside the cockpit of the trainer version of the Meteor. The manual was recently declassified and is here reprinted in book form.

Author:Royal Air Force
Specs:114 pages, 25.5 x 20.5 x 0.7 cm / 10 x 8.1 x 0.28 in, paperback
Illustrations:numerous photographs and drawings
Publisher:Periscope Film (USA, 2010)
Book: Gloster Meteor Mk. 7- Pilot's Flight Operating Instructions

Gloster Meteor Mk. 7- Pilot's Flight Operating Instructions

Language: English

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Related titles:

History Of The Gloster Javelin

History of The Gloster Javelin : The First All Weather British Fighter

Ian Smith Watson

English | hardback | 240 p. | 2018

Flying Flatiron: Gloster Javelin

Flying Flatiron: Gloster Javelin

Alex Crawford

English | paperback | 240 p. | 2021

The Javelin

The Javelin

Martyn Chorlton

English | paperback | 96 p. | 2019

The Javelin : An Operational History

The Javelin : An Operational History

Michael Napier

English | hardback | 208 p. | 2016

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Last update:20-04-2024