Malcolm V Lowe tells the story of Gloster’s reconnaissance Meteors, and their important RAF service

A dramatic formation view of several Meteor FR.9 of the much-travelled 208 Squadron, including VW368/S, VZ593/Q, and VZ606/Z. Recce Meteors had potentially fighter-like performance and this image shows their vertical climbing prowess. (All Key Collection unless stated)
An excellent view of the F24 aerial camera, as fitted into the nose of recce Meteors. The relative size of the unit is well illustrated in this photograph.

The Gloster Meteor was a highly significant and successful product of Britain’s aviation industry. It was the first production jetpowered warplane of British manufacture, and was an important early gas-turbinepowered fighter, which placed the nation at the forefront of this embryonic technology field. The initial Meteor flew in March 1943, and early production examples entered RAF service with 616 Squadron of the Auxiliary Air Force during the summer of 1944. The type duly proved to be successful and have considerable growth potential. This resulted in several important developments of the basic airframe being made to fulfil a variety of specific and specialised roles. One of these dedicated taskings was for photographic reconnaissance (PR), in which the Meteor was to find a particularly successful niche.


Want to read more?

This is a premium article and requires an active Key Model World subscription.

Existing subscriber? Sign in now

No subscription?

Enjoy the following subscriber only benefits:

  • Unlimited access to all Key Model World content
  • Exclusive product reviews, latest news, builds and highly detailed layouts
  • Read 5,300 articles, in a fully searchable archive of modelling content growing daily!
  • Access to read the official Hornby Magazine and Airfix Model World online, brought to life with video and additional imagery
  • Access on any device- anywhere, anytime
  • Choose from our offers below