GLOSTER AIRCRAFT COMPANY

The Gloster Aircraft Company was a British aircraft manufacturer from 1917 to 1963. Founded as the Gloucestershire Aircraft Company Limited during the First World War, with the aircraft construction activities of H H Martyn & Co Ltd of Cheltenham, England it produced fighters during the war.
It was renamed later as foreigners found 'Gloucestershire' difficult to pronounce. It later became part of the Hawker Siddeley group and the Gloster name disappeared in 1963. Gloster designed and built several fighters that equipped the British Royal Air Force (RAF) during the interwar years including the Gladiator, the RAF's last biplane fighter. The company built most of the wartime production of Hawker Hurricanes and Hawker Typhoons for their parent company Hawker Siddeley while its design office was working on the first British jet aircraft, the E.28/39 experimental aircraft.
This was followed by the Meteor, the RAF's first jet-powered fighter and the only Allied jet fighter to be put into service during Second World War.
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In order to replace the increasingly obsolete de Havilland Mosquito as a night fighter, the Meteor was adapted to serve in the role as an interim aircraft. Gloster had initially proposed a night fighter design to meet the Air Ministry specification for the Mosquito replacement, based on the two seater trainer variant of the Meteor, with the pilot in the front seat and the navigator in the rear. Once accepted however, work on the project was swiftly transferred to Armstrong Whitworth to perform both the detailed design process and production of the type; the first prototype flew on 31 May 1950. Although based on the T.7 twin seater, it used the fuselage and tail of the F.8, and the longer wings of the F.3. An extended nose contained the AI Mk 10 (the 1940s Westinghouse SCR-720) Air Intercept radar. As a consequence the 20 mm cannons were moved into the wings, outboard of the engines. A ventral fuel tank and wing mounted drop tanks completed the Armstrong Whitworth Meteor NF.11. Operational Meteor NF.14 of No. 264 Squadron RAF in 1955 As radar technology developed, a new Meteor night fighter was developed to use the improved US-built APS-21 system. The NF.12 first flew on 21 April 1953. It was similar to the NF 11 but had a nose section 17 inches (43 cm) longer; the fin was enlarged to compensate for the greater keel area of the enlarged nose and to counter the airframe reaction to the "wig-wag" scan of the radar which affected the gunsighting, an anti-tramp motor operating on the rudder was fitted midway up the front leading edge of the fin. The NF.12 also had the new Rolls-Royce Derwent 9 engines and the wings were reinforced to handle the new engine. Deliveries of the NF.12 started in 1953, with the type entering squadron service in early 1954, equipping seven squadrons (Nos 85, 25, 152, 46, 72, 153 and 64);] the aircraft was replaced over 1958–1959.

The Gloster Javelin is a twin-engined T-tailed delta-wing subsonic night and all-weather interceptor aircraft that served with Britain's Royal Air Force from the mid-1950s until the late 1960s. The last aircraft design to bear the Gloster name, it was introduced in 1956 after a lengthy development period and received several upgrades during its lifetime to its engines, radar and weapons, including support for the De Havilland Firestreak air-to-air missile. The Javelin was succeeded in the interceptor role by the English Electric Lightning, a supersonic aircraft capable of flying at more than double the Javelin's top speed, which was introduced into the RAF only a few years later. The Javelin served for much of its life alongside the Lightning; the last Javelins were withdrawn from operational service in 1968 following the introduction of successively more capable versions of the Lightning.

The Gloster Gladiator (or Gloster SS.37) is a British-built biplane fighter. It was used by the Royal Air Force (RAF) and the Fleet Air Arm (FAA) (as the Sea Gladiator variant) and was exported to a number of other air forces during the late 1930s. It was the RAF's last biplane fighter aircraft and was rendered obsolete by newer monoplane designs even as it was being introduced.

Though often pitted against more formidable foes during the early days of the Second World War, it acquitted itself reasonably well in combat. The Gladiator saw action in almost all theatres during the Second World War, with a large number of air forces, some of them on the Axis side.

The RAF used it in France, Norway, Greece, the defence of Malta, the Middle East, and the brief Anglo-Iraqi War (during which the Royal Iraqi Air Force was similarly equipped). Other countries deploying the Gladiator included China against Japan, beginning in 1938; Finland (along with Swedish volunteers) against the Soviet Union in the Winter War and the Continuation War; Sweden as a neutral non-combatant (although Swedish volunteers fought for Finland against USSR as stated above); and Norway, Belgium, and Greece resisting Axis invasion of their respective lands. The South African pilot Marmaduke "Pat" Pattle was the top Gladiator ace with 15 victories with the type.

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