How the Gloster Meteor became the RAF’s 1st jet night fighter

Tony Buttler AMRAeS details the development of the Meteor night fighter

The de Havilland Mosquito was a huge success, but the advances made in military aircraft development following the end of the Second World War soon made the night fighter versions of this piston-powered aircraft out of date. In fact, the need for a replacement became quite urgent because the Mosquito was incapable of dealing with the new jet-powered bombers expected to join the Soviet Union’s air arms. Therefore, in January 1947 specification F.44/46 was raised to open a programme for a new night fighter — this eventually led to the Gloster Javelin. However, for a number of reasons that aircraft’s development proved to be long and slow (the Javelin did not enter service until 1956), so in due course an interim Mosquito replacement with improved performance was also proposed to fill the gap. The result was the night fighter version of the Gloster Meteor.

Become a Premium Member to Read More

This is a premium article and requires an active Key.Aero subscription to view.

I’m an existing member, sign me in!

I don’t have a subscription…

Enjoy the following subscriber only benefits:

  • Unlimited access to all KeyAero content
  • Exclusive in-depth articles and analysis, videos, quizzes added daily
  • A fully searchable archive – boasting hundreds of thousands of pieces of quality aviation content
  • Access to read all our leading aviation magazines online - meaning you can enjoy the likes of FlyPast, Aeroplane Monthly, AirForces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, Aviation News, Airports of the World, PC Pilot and Airliner World - as soon as they leave the editor’s desk.
  • Access on any device- anywhere, anytime
  • Choose from our offers below