Gloster Meteor T Mk7 A77-707
The Gloster Meteor was the first British jet fighter and the Allies' first operational jet aircraft. The Meteor's development was reliant on development of the turbojet engines pioneered by Frank Whittle's Power Jets organisation. The Meteor first flew in 1943 and commenced operations on 27 July 1944 with No 616 Squadron of the RAF. Although its performance was no better than the current piston powered fighter aircraft, it's ability to maintain a high speed at low level determined a role for it, that of destroying the German V1 Flying Bomb. Through the last year or so of WW2, and early post war years, improvements to airframes and engines led to variants being developed through to the last the Mk8, being produced and entering RAF Service in August 1949.
3,947 Meteors were produced, and the many variants were operated by the Air Forces of 19 countries around the world.
When Australia became involved in the Korean War in 1950, attempts to purchase the American F 86 jet fighter aircraft were not successful so the RAAF acquired 94 Meteor Mk 8 and 9 T Mk7 aircraft diverted from RAF production and delivered in 1951 and served on No77 Squadron relieving the Squadron's P51 Mustangs. The Meteor Mk 8s were withdrawn from service in 1954/55, followed by the T Mk7s.
The Gloster T Mk7 was an unarmed two tandem seat training aircraft based on the Mk 4 variant. It had been designed as a private venture by Gloster's in recognition of the need for a "lead in" training aircraft for pilots who would be operating future single seat jet fighter aircraft. The first production T Mk7 flew on October 26 1948 with deliveries of the 654 examples built being made between then and 1954.
The Museum's Meteor T Mk7, A77-707 was delivered to the RAAF in September 1955 and withdrawn from service in 1959, then transferred to Tocumwal New South Wales for scrapping, but was recovered by the Museum as the last intact aircraft to leave there, and arrived at Moorabbin in 1965.
Crew : 2
Power plant : 2 x 3,500lb thrust Rolls Royce Derwent centrifugal flow turbojet engines.
Length : 45'05'' (13.8m) Wingspan : 37'02'' (11.3m) Height : 13'00'' (3.96m)
Weights : empty - 8,140lbs (3,690kg) maximum - 13,795lbs (6,257kg)
Speeds : maximum at sea level - 488kt (585mph) (936km/hr)
maximum at 30,000ft - 450kt (540mph) (864km/hr)
Range : Normal - 450 miles (742km)