Gloster Meteor
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First flying in 1943, the Gloster Meteor was the Royal Air Force's first operational jet fighter.

Meteor FR.5 / FR.9

In the 1950s, the Gloster Meteor was developed into an effective photo-reconnaissance version. The first being the fighter-reconnaissance (FR) version, those were to replace the ageing Spitfires and Mosquito's at that time in use. An experimental FR.5 was built on the Meteor F.4 body, it broke-up in mid-air while in testing, killing the test pilot.

In March of 1950, the first FR.9 flew. Based on the F.8 version, it was 9 inches longer, with a new nose fitted which housed a F24 camera, (the camera could be fitted facing forward, Port facing or Starboard facing), it also retained the four 20mm Hispano cannons. They were also equipped with an external tank under each wing and an external tank under the belly of the aircraft.

A total of 126 FR.9's were built and in RAF service in the low-altitude fighter-reconnaissance role and were mainly used by Squadrons serving overseas. 208 Squadron, based at Fayid, Egypt was the first to get the FR.9 followed by 2 Squadron and 79 Squadron both based in the then West Germany, flew the FR.9. In Aden, 8 Squadron was equipped with the FR.9 in November 1951 and used them until 1961.

The Only foreign Air Forces to use the FR.9 were:
Ecuador, Israel and Syria.

Fitting a F24 Camera into a Meteor FR9 (C) Aeroplane Monthly
Fitting a F24 Camera into a Meteor FR9 (C) Aeroplane Monthly

Meteor FR.9
The Nose of a FR.9 fitted to a F.8

A FR.9 of in 8 Squadron markings

Meteor PR.10

The first PR.10 prototype flew in March 1950 and was at a later date converted into the first production aircraft. Again, like the FR.9, was based on the F4, Equipped with the F4-style tail and the longer wings of the earlier variant. All the armament were removed and a single camera could be position in the nose with two more in the rear fuselage in the vertical position.

The PR.10 was mainly used in the high-altitude photographic reconnaissance role.

The Royal Air Force received 59 PR.10s. The first two Squadrons to use the PR.10 were 541 stationed at RAF Benson and 2 Squadron stationed in West Germany, the latter, used both FR.9 and the PR.10. 13 Squadron station in the Middle East received their aircraft in early 1952 and the last squadron to be equipped with this version in late 1953, was 81 Squadron, then based in the Far East.

None of this version were ever exported.

A line up of Meteor PR.10's at RAF Benson (c) Author

Gloster Meteor PR.10 of 81 Squadron

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