|Location:||National Cold War Exhibition|
Always considered a stop-gap until more advanced aircraft came into service, the introduction of radar-equipped Meteor night fighters nevertheless provided the Royal Air Force with valuable experience of jet fighter operations in this most difficult of environments.
With the Soviet Union and its satellite states rapidly re-equipping their air forces with high performance jet aircraft immediately after the Second World War, a replacement for the Royal Air Force’s piston-engined Mosquito night fighters became an urgent matter.
By 1948 Europe had divided into hostile groupings and it was clear that the advanced jet night fighters the Royal Air Force needed would not be ready in time to meet the developing threat. An interim solution was needed urgently.
Gloster Aircraft put forward a proposal for a modified Meteor with amongst other things a lengthened nose to take a radar and repositioned Hispano cannons in the wings. This was accepted but as they were fully committed manufacturing Meteor F8 day fighters it was decided to transfer the development and production of Meteor night fighters to Armstrong Whitworth.