Meteor F Mk.8 Reaper
|This page is about the premium British jet fighter Meteor F Mk.8 Reaper. For the regular version, see Meteor F Mk 8 G.41K. For other versions, see Meteor (Family).|
The Meteor F Mk.8 Reaper is a premium rank V British jet fighter with a battle rating of 7.7 (AB) and 8.0 (RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.85 "Supersonic" as a premium pack in the Gaijin store, but was discontinued after War Thunder's 7th Anniversary. It was later reintroduced as a premium purchasable for Golden Eagles after War Thunder's 8th Anniversary.
The Reaper is a dedicated ground-attack variant based on the 'standard' Meteor F Mk.8 (G.41K) fighter-bomber which did not progress beyond its prototype stage. Thanks to a number of modifications, it would have been capable of carrying twice the payload of the standard Meteor F.8. However, combat experience of the Meteor F.8 in Korea showed that the base type had reached its technical limitations and would have been outclassed in any future conflict; the appearance of more modern types such as the Hawker Hunter and Supermarine Swift - and equivalent foreign designs - led to a loss of interest in the type.
|Characteristics|| Max Speed
(km/h at 100 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run|
|Combat flaps||Take-off flaps||Landing flaps||Air brakes||Arrestor gear||Drogue chute|
|Wings (km/h)||Gear (km/h)||Flaps (km/h)||Max Static G|
|Optimal velocities (km/h)|
|< 560||< 600||< 620||N/A|
|Engine name||Number||Wing loading (full fuel)|
|Rolls-Royce Derwent 8||2||5,496 kg||216 kg/m2|
|Engine characteristics||Mass with fuel (no weapons load)|| Max Takeoff|
|Weight (each)||Type||7m fuel||20m fuel||23m fuel|
|443 kg||Centrifugal-flow turbojet||5,953 kg||6,796 kg||7,020 kg||8,061 kg|
|Thrust to weight ratio @ 0 m (100%)|
|Condition||100%||WEP||7m fuel||20m fuel||23m fuel||MTOW|
|Optimal|| 1,633 kgf
Survivability and armour
- Armour plates
- 38 mm (60°) Bulletproof glass in cockpit front.
- 12.7 mm Steel plate in the nose.
- 12.7 mm Steel plate behind the pilot.
- Critical components
- Self-sealing fuel tanks are located behind the pilot on the central airframe.
- Engines and cooling systems are in the wings.
- Traction cables of control surfaces run in the tail section and in the wings.
Modifications and economy
The Meteor F Mk.8 Reaper is armed with:
- 4 x 20 mm Hispano Mk.V cannons, nose-mounted (200 rpg upper + 180 rpg lower = 780 total)
12 x RP-3 rockets
8 x RP-3 rockets
8 x RP-3 rockets
8 x RP-3 rockets
8 x RP-3 rockets
8 x RP-3 rockets
8 x RP-3 rockets
The Meteor F Mk.8 Reaper can be outfitted with the following ordnance:
- Without load
- 4 x 500 lb G.P. Mk.IV bombs (2,000 lb total)
- 4 x 1,000 lb H.E. M.C. Mk.13 bombs (4,000 lb total)
- 4 x 1,000 lb M.C. Mk.I bombs (4,000 lb total)
- 24 x RP-3 rockets
- 16 x RP-3 rockets + 2 x 500 lb G.P. Mk.IV bombs (1,000 lb total)
- 16 x RP-3 rockets + 2 x 1,000 lb H.E. M.C. Mk.13 bombs (2,000 lb total)
- 16 x RP-3 rockets + 2 x 1,000 lb M.C. Mk.I bombs (2,000 lb total)
Usage in battles
As a fighter:
The Meteor Mk. 8 can play both as an energy fighter and a turn fighter. While not as manoeuvrable as a Vampire or a Venom, it can still outturn most of its opposition, but will bleed a lot of precious speed doing so. It's often better to energy trap your target, and save turnfights for emergencies or for times you're sure no third party would interfere.
The Meteor's control surfaces work best in the 400-700 km/h range, but they don't lock up too badly even at the red line. Below 300 km/h, it begins to really struggle, even with flaps out. The rudder is pretty weak, so you will often find yourself slipping to the side for a while after exiting a hard turn.
As any jet, Meteor does not take damage well. Any black wing segment or engine cowling will cut your level max speed to about 550 km/h - way too slow to continue fighting. It also can't return to base on one engine, unless you're already close, as there just isn't enough power to keep you flying level.
Finally, there is no optimal option for fuel load. 6 minutes of fuel is just about enough to take off, fight in a couple of engagements and return, which makes flying from and to the airfield a larger proportion of your game time. 20 minutes load, while more than enough to last you through the entire battle, is considerably heavier, making speed losses that much painful, and therefore it requires more conservative fighting style.
- La-200 will outrun you in most circumstances. It has relatively small ammo pool and bad at turning, so practice defensive flying.
- A28B, Italian Vampire FB 52A, and Ho 229 V3: These can and will outturn you if given the opportunity, but are generally slower than Meteor in a straight line.
- Ki-200 and Me 163 B will both outrun and outturn you. Getting a numerical advantage is your best bet.
- G.91 series have higher max speed than you and can keep up in turns. R/4 variant also has air to air missiles that you will need to be careful around. It doesn't have the best energy retention, so depending on the situation, you may turnfight them into a stall, or at least force it to do 180 and run away for a while.
As a ground attacker:
Bombs: Reaper can carry 4 x 1,000 lb bombs, which is just one shy destroying an entire base on most maps. Since it has no air spawn, the best strategy for base bombing is flying close to the ground as fast as possible, sometimes even circling around the map to avoid interceptors. You will often still arrive after your team's attackers and bombers have had their run, at which point it's better to last hit whatever they left. If instead of bases you want to hit ground units, you can also take 500 lb bombs instead for better flight characteristics in exchange for more precision requirement.
Rockets: 24 RP-3 rockets can decimate ground units. However, 2/3 of them are wing-mounted, making them much harder to aim. This loadout adds a lot of drag too, so it's better to go for rockets once the sky is relatively clear.
The Hispano Mk.V's AP rounds can damage light pillboxes, so if you find no enemies to use your ammo on, you can always take out 5-6 pillboxes on your way back for a neat profit.
Pros and cons
- Effective in turnfights
- High ammo capacity
- Strong ground attack loadouts
- Mediocre top speed
- Slow acceleration
With the appearance of the Meteor F.8 (Type G.41K) in 1949, which offered an overall improved performance over the earlier F.4 variant, a number of studies were launched aimed at increasing the versatility of the Meteor. One obvious path given the type's improved performance and stability as a gun platform was that of a dedicated ground attack platform, the so-called Ground Attack Fighter (GAF, or G.44), which was started as a private venture by Gloster.
Initial studies of the GAF foresaw the modification of a standard F.8 airframe with new outer wing panels, fitted with 4 additional 20 mm Hispano cannons similar to the armament lay-out on the Meteor NF.11 night fighter variant, albeit with cropped wing tips similar to those on the standard F.8. This early design initially presented some problematic flight characteristics, mostly linked to the wing's reduced torsional stiffness caused by the wing gun bays: aileron reversal set in at speeds above 885 km/h (550 mph), which was considered unacceptable for a single-seater fighter-bomber. Work was done to rectify this, and eventually the reinforced wings allowed a maximum speed of 965 km/h (600 mph) while retaining the wing-mounted armament of four Hispano cannons with 160 rounds each.
By the time this issue had been rectified, priorities for the design had changed. Rather than focussing on an eight-gun fixed armament, priority was given to the ability to carry an increased payload; as a result, the wing-mounted fixed armament was suppressed, and instead the wing panels were redesigned and restressed to allow the carriage of an increased underwing armament. The stiffened wings and addition of spring tab ailerons increased the type's high-speed handling. Armament options for the redesigned GAF included either a single 1,000 lb GP bomb, or up to 8 unguided 60 lb RP-3 rocket projectiles on each side. So as not to affect the range of the GAF when she was carrying her underwing armament, provisions were made for 100 gal (imp) (454 litre) jettisonable tip-mounted fuel tanks. Additionally, hardpoint mountings were added to the fuselage where the belly-mounted fuel tank was usually fitted, which further increased the Reaper's carrying capacity. These could be used for either additional RP-3 rockets or up to two 1,000 lb bombs. Gloster also designed a belly-mounted pod was designed which could be carried in lieu of the usually-mounted belly tank, and which could carry an additional armament of either 2 x 20 mm Hispano or 2 x 30 mm ADEN cannons, each armed with 100 rounds per gun.
With the design finalised, Gloster financed the construction of a single prototype of the GAF/G.44, which by now had gained the nick-name of "Reaper". The prototype, construction number G5/1210, was registered with the civilian registration G-AMCJ on June 19th 1950, initially receiving Gloster's carmine red house colours, and was demonstrated as such at the 1950 Farnborough air show. As a prototype for the Reaper, she only lacked the airfield arrestor hook and rocket-assisted take-off gear (RATOG) planned for the serial production model.
The carmine red livery and civilian registration were relatively short-lived; on February 1st 1951 G-AMCJ was de-registered and reverted to a B-type military test serial, becoming G-7-1, an all-silver aircraft. For the next three years, she was used as a test aircraft, however interest in the Ground Attack Fighter waned as new types such as the Hawker Hunter and Supermarine Swift arrived. For a brief moment in 1953, the Indian Air Force expressed interest in the type, but due to poor experiences with the service provided by another British aircraft manufacturer in mind, they ended up selecting the French Dassault Ouragan instead.
As interest in the Reaper waned, Gloster began studies for the Meteor Armed Trainer (Project code P.307), which reverted to some of the earlier Reaper design, combining a standard T.7 trainer fuselage with cannon-armed short-span wings. While the P.307 remained unbuilt, the Reaper prototype was rebuilt with a T.7 front fuselage while retaining its F.8 tail and tip-mounted fuel tanks: the 'new' aircraft, construction number G5/1525, was registered as G-ANSO on June 12th 1954. As such, she was used by Gloster as both a company demonstrator and test bed for the next four years.
Eventually, with the appearance of more capable designs, interest in any Gloster Meteor-based designs disappeared, and in November of 1958 Gloster agreed to sell G-ANSO to the Swedish target towing company Svensk Flygtjänsk AB, on the condition that she was refurbished and fitted with standard T.7 outer wing panels and tail surfaces. Following this refurbishment by Flight Refuelling Ltd, she was sold and struck from the British register on August 11th 1959.
Following local conversion to a target tug, the former Reaper prototype, now Meteor T.7 SE-DCC, entered service with Svensk Flygtjänsk AB in February of 1960, remaining in service until July 27th 1974. Following a short stay at the Flygvapenmuseum or Swedish Air Museum at Linköping from September 1974 until September 1976, she ended up in 1977 at the Svedinos Bil- och Flygmuséum (Svedinos car and aircraft museum) in Ugglarp, where restoration was started in 2012 with the intention of cosmetically restoring her to her appearance as the Gloster company demonstrator G-ANSO (albeit retaining her appearance as a 'standard' T.7).
Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:
- reference to the series of the aircraft;
- links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.
|Gloster Aircraft Company, Limited|
|Fighters||Gladiator Mk II · Sea Gladiator Mk I · Gladiator Mk IIS · Tuck's Gladiator Mk II|
|Jet Fighters||Meteor F Mk 3 · Sea Meteor F Mk 3 · Meteor F Mk 4 G.41F · Meteor F Mk 4 G.41G · Meteor F Mk 8 G.41K · Meteor F Mk.8 Reaper|
|Javelin F.(A.W.) Mk.9|
|Export||J8A · Iacobi's J8A · ␗Gladiator Mk I · Gladiator Mk IIF|
|Meteor NF.13 · Meteor F.8|
|Britain jet aircraft|
|Blackburn||Buccaneer S.1 · Buccaneer S.2|
|English Electric||Canberra B Mk 2 · Canberra B (I) Mk 6 · Lightning F.6 · Lightning F.53|
|Gloster||Meteor F Mk 3 · Sea Meteor F Mk 3 · Meteor F Mk 4 G.41F · Meteor F Mk 4 G.41G · Meteor F Mk 8 G.41K · Meteor F Mk.8 Reaper|
|Javelin F.(A.W.) Mk.9|
|de Havilland||Vampire FB 5 · Venom FB.4 · Sea Venom FAW 20 · Sea Vixen F.A.W. Mk.2|
|Hawker||Sea Hawk FGA.6 · Hunter F.1 · Hunter F.6 · Hunter FGA.9 · Harrier GR.1 · Harrier GR.3|
|SEPECAT||Jaguar GR.1 · Jaguar GR.1A|
|Supermarine||Attacker FB 1 · Attacker FB.2 · Scimitar F Mk.1 · Swift F.1 · Swift F.7|
|Foreign||Phantom FG.1 (USA) · Phantom FGR.2 (USA)|
|Britain premium aircraft|
|Fighters||Tuck's Gladiator Mk II · ▄Boomerang Mk I · ▄Boomerang Mk II · ▄D.520|
|▄Martlet Mk IV · ▄Corsair F Mk II · ▄Hellcat Mk II · ▄Thunderbolt Mk.1 · ▄Mustang Mk IA|
|Hurricane Mk.I/L FAA M · Spitfire Mk.IIa Venture I · Spitfire F Mk IXc · Plagis' Spitfire LF Mk IXc · Spitfire F Mk XIVc · Spitfire FR Mk XIVe|
|Typhoon Mk Ib · MB.5|
|Twin-engine fighters||Hornet Mk.I · Whirlwind P.9|
|Jet fighters||Attacker FB.2 · Hunter FGA.9 · Lightning F.53 · Meteor F Mk.8 Reaper · Sea Vixen F.A.W. Mk.2|
|Strike aircraft||▄Wirraway · Beaufighter Mk I (40-mm) · Wyvern S4 · Harrier GR.1|
|Bombers||▄Avenger Mk II · ▄Boston Mk I · ▄Catalina Mk IIIa · ▄DB-7 · ▄Havoc Mk I · ▄Hudson Mk V · Swordfish Mk II|