Gloster Meteor T7
Research & Development
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The Meteor T7 entered service with No.203 Advanced Flying School in December 1948 as the Royal Air Force's first jet trainer.
As the Meteor F4 fighter and Vampire FB5 fighter-bomber entered service, the lack of a trainer with comparable performance became an increasing problem. Recognising this, Gloster Aircraft developed a two-seat, dual-control version of the Meteor F4 as a private venture. The Air Ministry ordered 640 examples for delivery between 1949 and 1954, around five-hundred of which served with the Royal Air Force, the balance going to the Fleet Air Arm and foreign air forces.
RAF aircraft served with Flying Training Command providing trainee pilots with initial jet aircraft experience. Although superseded in this role from the mid-1950s by the de Havilland Vampire, Meteor T7s remained in service with operational units for refresher training and as high speed communications aircraft.
Most T7s had been withdrawn by the early 1970s, the last of all being WA669. This aircraft continued flying as part of the 'Vintage Pair' display team (with a Vampire T11) until a tragic fatal collision destroyed both aircraft in 1986.
Martin-Baker Aircraft Limited modified a number of ex-RAF Meteors for ejection seat trials. In 1955 the first seat capable of runway level ejection was tested in WA634.