AA35010 Gloster Meteor F.Mk 8 RAF No.111 Sqn, RAF North Weald, England, 1954
|Gloster Meteor F.Mk 8||6.75"||7.25"|
Following its activities during WWII, No. 111 Sq. disbanded in December 1947. On December 2, 1953, No. 111 Sq. was reformed in its own right as a fighter unit equipped with Meteor F.Mk.8s at North Weald, Essex. Hunters replaced the Meteors in June 1955, and during this period it provided one of the RAF's most famous aerobatic display teams, The Black Arrows. In 1958, the squadron set a record which still stands when it performed a formation loop consisting of 22 aircraft.
Designed as a turbojet-powered fighter in a time when piston-engined aircraft still dominated the skies, the Gloster Meteor first flew on March 5, 1943. The Meteor was the first British jet fighter and the only Allied jet aircraft to see service during WWII. It debuted around the same time as the German Me 262, but was not used for dogfighting—instead, Meteors were used to combat the V1 Flying Bomb. The Meteor's service during WWII was limited, but it saw combat during the Korean War and was used by the Royal Australian Air Force and by the Air Forces of more than a dozen other nations until its ultimate retirement in the 1970s.