The Gloster Meteor PR Mk.10 was a high level reconnaissance aircraft. It was something of a hybrid aircraft, with the long wings of the F.Mk.3, the tail of the Mk.4, the central fuselage of the Mk.8 and the nose of the FR Mk.9 fighter reconnaissance aircraft, but without the four cannon. The PR Mk.10 carried three cameras, one F.24 in the nose and two F.52s in the rear fuselage. The PR.10 was developed at the same time as the FR Mk.9, and made its first flight on 29 March 1950, only one week after the Mk.9. Squadron delivers began in December 1950, when No.541 Squadron, based at Benson, received the type, and the PR.10 remained in use until 1958-61, when it was phased out in favour of faster, higher flying aircraft such as the Canberra.
The Meteor PR.10 was not ideally suited to its role. Despite constant development, during the 1950s the Meteor was beginning to be outclassed by newer aircraft. The PR Mk.10 also suffered from a relative lack of manoeuvrability, which meant that it could neither run away from enemy fighters nor evade them. The Meteor PR.Mk.10 was used by No.13 Squadron against the Mau Mau in Kenya, and by No.81 Squadron during Operation Firedog, the RAF’s contribution to the fighting during the Malayan Emergency.
Engine: Two Rolls-Royce Derwent 8 engines
Thrust: 3,500lb/15.6kN each
Gross Weight: 15,400lb
Maximum level speed at 10,000ft: 575mph
Rate of climb at sea level: 6,500ft/ min