The Gloster Meteor T Mk.7 was a two seat trainer, based on the Meteor F Mk.4. It was designed as a private venture by Gloster, in the aftermath of the first large overseas order for the Meteor. In 1947 Argentina ordered 100 Meteor F Mk.4s, and the pilot training to go with them. Lacking a two seat trainer, Gloster had to carry out this training with the pilot in the air and the trainer on the ground, not an ideal arrangement. In response Gloster decided to rebuild a damaged Meteor as a two seat trainer. The aircraft they chose was a F Mk.4 that had crashed landed in Belgium during a sales tour of Europe. The rebuilt aircraft, with the civil registration G-AKPK, first flew on 19 March 1948, with Bill Waterton at the controls.
The RAF had already taken an interest in the idea of a two seat trainer, issuing technical specification T.1/47 and Operational Requirement OR 238 on 16 May 1947. These called for an unarmed dual control trainer. A modified specification, T.1/47 Issue 2, was issued in January 1952 to provide aircraft for the Royal Navy.
The first production T Mk.7 made its maiden flight on 26 October 1948, with deliveries taking place between December 1947 and 1954.
The original T Mk.7 was based on the F Mk.IV, but with a longer nose to make room for the two man cockpit. It was discovered that this longer nose actually improved the directional stability of the aircraft. Early Mk.7s were powered by the Derwent V, while later aircraft got the Derwent 8, capable of providing 3,600lb of thrust. Later in the production run the tail was changed to match the one introduced on the F Mk.8, and these aircraft were often known as the T Mk.7½.
A total of 654 T Mk.7s were built, of which 147 went to overseas operators of the Meteor – ten of the twelve countries to receive more than a single Meteor also ordered the trainer.
Engine: Two Rolls-Royce Derwent 8 engines
Thrust: 3,500lb/ 15.6kN each
Gross Weight: 14,230lb
Maximum level speed at sea level: 585mph
Maximum level speed at 30,000ft: 540mph
Rate of climb at sea level: 7,600ft