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Gloster Meteor... British Service, No 13 in the Flightcraft series, from Pen and Sword



Title: Gloster Meteor in British Service

Author: Martin Derry and Neil Robinson

Publisher: Pen and Sword Books

ISBN: 978-1-52670-266-1

A new addition to the Flightcraft series, number 13 and what an excellent choice of subject, the Gloster Meteor.  In this case, it is restricted to those in British service as to extend it to service with foreign air arms would have more than doubled the size of the book, so it does leave room for another book at some future date.  The one exception to this are a couple of pages devoted to a set of lovely photos of Meteors at a Flight Test Centre in France.

The first half of the book is devoted to the story of the Meteor and its' many variants.  Packed with information on development and operational service it is filled with supporting photos, all of which have yet more detail in their equally informative captioning.  The chapters are split across the early Gloster F.9/40, then F.1, F.2, F.3, T.7, and F.8.  Add the Photo Reconnaissance and Night Fighters and one titled 'Targets, Tugs and RN Meteors' before some 'Meteor Miscellany' before the French Flight Test Centre.  Leading into the second half of the book is a chapter devoted to the Camouflage and Markings of the various types over its' long service life.

The second half of the book is in keeping with the Flightcraft series as it is devoted to detail aimed primarily at the aviation modeller.  Leading the way are 22 pages of artwork of colour profiles and plan views which I am certain will inspire many modellers to want to copy them.  So quite logically, this is followed by another 10 pages highlighting the assortment of models which are generally available in an equal variety of scales.  That is followed up with another 8 pages which showcase some beautifully finished models of many Meteor variants.

The closing element of the book is a section of 7 Appendices which contain more valuable information which has saved space for the book as a whole, by putting supporting information into a series of tables.  So these give us Meteor Day Fighter Squadrons; Meteor Night Fighter Squadrons; Meteor Reconnaissance Squadrons; Select RAF Meteor Training Units; Royal Navy Meteor Squadrons; British Meteor Serial Allocations and finally Meteor Basic Data.

As a modeller myself, I found this to be a first class addition to the Flightcraft series and covering the important topic of the first jet to enter service with the RAF, before the end of WW2.  Lots of detail information I didn't know before and also the inspiration to try some new models.  At a very reasonable price, this should grab the attention of modellers and aviation historians alike.

Thanks to Pen and Sword for my copy.


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