Gloster Meteor F8 Prone Pilot


1st Flight 1954

Crew: 2

Length: 52 ft 5 in (15.98 m)

Wingspan: 37 ft 2 in (11.33 m)

Height: 13 ft 0 in (3.96 m)

Wing area: 350 sq ft (33 m2)

Airfoil: root: EC(12.5)40/0640 ; tip: EC1040/0640

Empty weight: 10,684 lb (4,846 kg)

Gross weight: 15,700 lb (7,121 kg)

Powerplant: 2 × Rolls-Royce Derwent 8 centrifugal-flow turbojet engines, 3,500 lbf (16 kN) thrust each


Maximum speed: 600 mph (970 km/h, 520 kn) at

Maximum speed: Mach 0.82

Service ceiling: 43,000 ft (13,000 m)

Rate of climb: 7,000 ft/min (36 m/s)

Time to altitude: 30,000 ft (9,144 m) in 5 minutes

Wing loading: 44.9 lb/sq ft (219 kg/m2)

Thrust/weight: 0.45


A much modified Gloster Meteor F8 fighter, the “prone position/prone pilot” Meteor, was used to evaluate the effects of acceleration/inertia-induced forces while flying in a prone position.

Along with the Reid and Sigrist R.S.4 “Bobsleigh”, the Gloster Meteor was engaged in a proof of concept experimental program that proved in practice that the difficulties in rearward visibility and ejection outweighed the advantages of sustaining higher G effects.

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