Gloster Meteor F.4

In the first years after the end of the Second World War the Belgian Air Force, like many others, was struggling to keep its fleet of former WWII aircraft, like the Spitfire, Mosquito and Harvard airworthy.
The fighter wings were first in line for a replacement and the search for a worthy
replacement for the Supermarine Spitfire started.
In the United Kingdom the Royal Air Force was in the proces of being equipped with the
Gloster Meteor, and after this aircraft had broken the world speed record on September 7th, 1946 to 991 kms/hr, a demonstration aircraft was send on a European tour to be presented to various European air forces.
On April 18th, 1947 this Meteor Mk.4, registered G-AIDC, arrived at Brussels to be
testflown by a few of the best belgian military pilots; Donnet, Lallement, Mullenders and Van Lierde.
After a second series of tests were the Meteor Mk.4 was testflown against a De Havilland
Vampire a first order was placed for the Meteor. A first batch of 3 Meteor T.7, the training variant, was ordered.
Finally on March 12th, 1949 Belgium placed an order for 48 Meteor F.4s. The first
aircraft, build at the Gloster factory at Brockworth, were delivered in April of the same year and were taken on charge by 349 Squadron of No 1 Wing at Beauvechain. The second squadron that that received the new fighter was 350 Squadron, also at Beauvechain. Each squadron received 16 aircraft and the remainder was put in storage at Melsbroek.
In late 1949 a third squadron was formed at Beauvechain, 4 Squadron. This new unit was first equipped with the obsolete Spitfires of 349 and 350 Squadron, but in 1950 it was equipped with the remained stored Meteor F4s.
During the airshow at Deurne (Antwerp) on June 25th, 1950, each of the squadrons displayed
a Meteor.
At the end of that year the successor for the Meteor F4 was already ordered, it was the
enhanced Gloster Meteor F8 that was to be build at the Avions Fairey factory at Gosselies.
When this aircraft entered service the older Meteor F4s were taken out of frontline service.
By 1953 all Meteor F4s had been replaced and the decision was made to convert 20 Meteor F4s to
Meteor T7-trainers. The parts were supplied by Gloster in the United Kingdom, but the
conversions were done at Avions Fairey.
The remaining Meteor F4s were transferred to the Fighter School, for use as training
aircraft. They remained in service until 1957, when they were finally struck of charge.
Of the 48 Meteor Mk4 only a handful had reached the scheduled number of 800 flying hours.

Aircraft Data:

P.S. Please note that the RAF serial tie-ups in the aircraft data files are not confimed by official documents and are only to be considered as indicative.