This Absolute Rarity Was The Only Allied Turbojet Of WWII
The turbojet was an innovative device that changed the world of aviation as we know it. Suddenly aircraft had the power to travel at speeds faster than ever thought possible. Although it was not the first aircraft to use a jet engine the Gloster Meteor took the turbojet to new heights.
Introduced in 1944 the Gloster Meteor served the Royal Air Force in the final years of World War II. The Meteor’s debut was shortly behind the Messerschmitt Me 262, narrowly being edged out for the title of “First fighter jet.” Despite the Meteor’s limited use during World War II it would go on to be a valuable test plane and set several speed records. The Meteor would eventually see more combat missions upon entry into the Korean War.
“In Korea, Meteors completed 4,836 missions and destroyed six MiGs, 3,500 structures and 1,500 vehicles. 30 Meteors were lost in the conflict with most losses due to anti-aircraft fire during ground attacks. The Meteor had to be held smooth and level on its firing run for its gyro-stabilized gunsight to be accurate, making the aircraft vulnerable to ground fire.”
The Gloster Meteor established a foundation which just about every fighter jet would be built upon. Only three Meteors are flyable and this footage shows a rare look at this founding father of jets in action.