Gloster Meteor F.8

On June 26th, 1948 the Gemengde Militaire Commissie made its plans known for the creation of the air force. It proposed an air force with 12 day fighter squadrons of 16 aircraft each. This gave a total of 192 aircraft (Plan A).
The international situation changed a lot in the late forties. Belgium signed the Pact of Brussels on March 17th, 1948 and promised to create by 1954 the 12 day fighter squadrons (Plan B).
Through the signing of the Luxembourg Accords Belgium promised the creation by 1954 of 12 day fighter squadrons with 16 aircraft each., but a war reserve of 100% was not agreed upon due to budgetairy constraints and this reserve was put at 50% (Plan C).
During the Nato meeting on October 26th, 1954 Belgium agreed to form by 1952 9 squadrons with 144 aircraft and by 1953 12 squadrons of 192 aircarft with final execution of the plan in 1954 (Plan D) ; the war reserve remained 50%. Since Belgium had already ordered 48 Meteor F4, 240 still needed to be ordered. In 1949 Belgium and the Netherlands agreed to order 300 aircraft from the Fokker production line. 150 aircraft were destined for each air force. Since Fokker had signed in 1948 a contract with Gloster to build the Meteor F4 (later amended to F8) under license and a clause in the contract stipulated that if Fokker was not able to produce the aircraft on time, Gloster will fill in these deliveries. Thus 10 aircraft were taken over from RAF reserves and delivered to the BLu and KLu. The five aircraft delivered to the BLu were EG146/150.
Belgium needed 288 aircraft to fulfill its Nato obligations. Already 48 Meteor F4 were delivered and 150 Meteor F8 were on order with Fokker, so 90 aircraft were still to be delivered. In 1950 23 aircraft were taken over from the RAF and in December 1950 an order was placed with Fairey for the delivery of 67 aircraft: 30 with Fokker parts and 37 with Gloster parts. Due to runway construction at Gosselies some of these aircraft were first flown at Beauvechain.
EG201/223 were the first delivered and served mainly to convert 350sq from the F4 to the F8 whilst the remainder of this badge went to 7 Wing to bolster its delivery from Fokker since Fokker deliveries were slow and insufficient aircraft were delivered to form 7 Wing. From 1952 onwards deliveries accelerated so that not only was 7 Wing able to bolster its strength but also to make the conversion of 349 and 4 sq possible to the F8. 4 sq housed since 52 the pilots of the Aux Sq. In 1954 the 13 Wing and 5 Wing were formed onto Meteor F8. At the end of 1954 the F8 was introduced into the JVS too. For organisational reasons the conversion of 5 Wing was stopped and its aircraft were temporarily used as target towing aircraft at Sylt. In the middle of 1955 the 5 Wing was withdrawn and it will not be before 1957 that there will be a target towing section the “Doelslepersflight van Sylt” within 13 Wing to take over this specific role. From 1959 onwards some aircraft were converted to the TT role by Fairey. The last main unit to convert to the F8 was 9 Wing who converted from the Thunderjet in 56. So as planned but not on time…..there were at that moment 4 Wings (1/7/9/13) with 3 squadrons each (4/7/8/9/22/25/26/29/30/33/349/350) on the Meteor F8.

Aircraft Details :

Fokker build :

Ex-Royal Air Force, delivered via Fokker :

Fokker build, assembled by Fairey, Gosselies :

Ex-Royal Air Force

Gloster build, assembled by Fairey at Beauvechain



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