Meteor in Action (Aircraft 152)
By Glenn Ashley
Publisher: Squadron/Signal Publications Inc. 1995 52 Pages
PDF 16 MB
The dream of jet powered aviation goes back almost as far as shortly after the First World War. Throughout the 1920s efforts were made to develop new types of aircraft propulsion using mainly rocket or gas turbine engines, but still requiring the use of a conventional propeller.
In the early 1930s, a young British engineer named Frank Whittle worked privately on a new engine design while still maintaining a career in the RAF. Whittle received mixed feedback from the various sections of the military about this new idea. A great deal of support was received from within the RAF, but the Air Ministry bluntly rejected his proposals leaving him to privately patent the project. His idea was for a gas turbine driving a scries of enclosed impellers, rather than the normal propeller.
By the mid-1930s Whittle had formed Power Jets Ltd. to develop his new ideas from the drawing board to hardware. As this development continued. Whittle was busy trying to find a suitable airframe for development. In 1939 he met with George Carter who was Chief Designer at the Gloster Aircraft Co. .and their ensuing meetings developed into a firm belief that, a jet powered combat aircraft was not far away. Around this time, the Air Ministry did an about-face on their previous views and started to take an active interest in the project. This culminated in the issuing of a contract to Gloster for a new design to be used as a developmental airframe for jet propulsion, but also suitable for possible introduction into RAF service without prolonged modification.