Gloster Meteor T7 WL360
The sole Trent Meteor. In 1945 a single Meteor I, EE227, was fitted with two Rolls-Royce Trent turboprop engines, making it the world's first turboprop-powered aircraft.
Meteor F 1 - First production aircraft built between 1943 and 1944.
Meteor F 2 - Alternate engined version - only one built.
Meteor F 3 - Derwent I powered with sliding canopy.
Meteor F 4 - Derwent 5 powered with strengthened fuselage.
Meteor FR 5 - One-off fighter reconnaissance version of the F 4.
Meteor T 7 - Two-seat trainer.
Meteor F 8 - Greatly improved from the F 4. Longer fuselage, greater fuel capacity, standard ejection seat and modified tail (derived from the E.1/44). This variant was a prolific frontline fighter in RAF squadron service, 1950-54.
Meteor FR 9 - Fighter reconnaissance version of the F 8.
Meteor PR 10 - Photo reconnaissance version of the F 8.
Meteor NF 11 - Night Fighter variant with Airborne Intercept radar.
Meteor NF 12 - Longer nosed version of the NF 11 with American radar.
Meteor NF 13 - Tropicalised version of the NF 11 for overseas service.
Meteor NF 14 - NF 11 with new two-piece canopy.
Meteor U 15 - Drone conversion of the F 4.
Meteor U 16 - Drone conversion of the F 8.
Meteor TT 20 - high speed target towing conversion of the NF 11.
Meteor U 21 - Drone conversion of the F8.
The purchase and transportation of this aircraft to Malta was made possible thanks to a kind donation made by one of the Museum's strongest supporters , David Doulton.
WL360 arrived at Malta Aviation Museum during December 2006 in a dismantled state following a land/sea journey on a 40 foot trailer directly from UK.
Following extensive restoration works, the Meteor T7 will join the Museum's other British post-war jet aircraft collection, currently consisting of a Hawker Sea Hawk, a DH Vampire, a DH Sea Venom and a Gloster Meteor NF14T.
Currently undergoing restoration but is not on display.
The Gloster Meteor was the Allies' first operational jet fighter. Designed by George Carter, it first flew in 1943 and commenced operations on 27 July 1944 with 616 Squadron of the Royal Air Force (RAF). The Gloster Meteor was not an aerodynamically advanced aircraft, nor even the world's fastest aircraft on introduction; its limiting Mach number in a dive was actually slower than the Spitfire's, but George Carter and his design team at Gloster had succeeded in producing an effective jet fighter that served the RAF and other air forces for decades.
In early 1946, a Meteor set a World Air Speed Record of 616 mph (991 km/h) True airspeed. Meteors saw action with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in the Korean War and remained in service with numerous air forces until the 1970s.
The first 20 aircraft were delivered to the Royal Air Force on 1 June 1944 with one example also sent to the US in exchange for a Bell YP-59A Airacomet for comparative evaluation.
The Meteor T7 trainer aircraft was developed from the two-seater F 4. It is designed for jet-conversion and advanced training and was first tested in 1949. It was accepted by the RAF and the Fleet Air Arm and became a common addition to the various export packages (for example 43 to Belgium 1948-57, a similar number to the Netherlands over the same period, two to Syria in 1952, six to Israel in 1953, etc.). Despite its limitations - unpressurized cockpit, no armament with limited instructor instrumentation - over 650 T 7s were manufactured.
RAF Meteor jets were regular visitors to Maltese airfields and several Meteor squadrons were based in Malta during the 1950s. It is the museum's intention to repaint WL360 in the colour schemes of RAF Meteor T7s based in Malta which were painted in a special RAF Malta colour scheme.