During the development of the Gloster Meteor a number of different engines were considered for use. Prototypes flew with Whittle’s own W.2 engine, with the MetroVick F.2 and with the de Havilland H.1 engine (later known as the Goblin). The early versions of the W.2B, as used in the F.Mk.I, were not considered to be powerful enough and while more powerful versions were under development (and would be used on the F.Mk.III), an alternative was needed.
It was decided to fit one of the prototype Meteors (DG 207) with the de Havilland H.1 engines. At this point the Meteor was expected to have a short life span, before more powerful engines allowed single engined interceptors to be developed. Accordingly, when the first order for 300 aircraft was placed in August 1941, 100 of them were to be F.Mk.IIs.
In September 1942, with the Whittle engine in trouble, the Air Ministry decided to back the de Havilland H.1 over the Metro-Vick F.2, and give it high priority. Further delays to the W.2B engine meant that it would be DG206, the first H.1 powered prototype, which would make the Meteor’s maiden flight, on 5 March 1943. However, by September 1943 work on the Mk.II was rated as having low priority and in August 1944 work was postponed indefinitely. By now Rolls-Royce were offering more powerful engines, while the H.1 was needed for the de Havilland Vampire. The first and only Meteor F.Mk.II, DG207, made its maiden flight on 24 July 1945, with John Grierson at the controls.
One item developed for the Mk.II did enter production on the F.Mk.III and F.Mk.IV, a new canopy hood and windscreen, created after examining the canopy on a captured Focke-Wulf Fw 190.
Engine: Two de Havilland/Halford H.1 Goblins
Thrust: 2,000lb/8.9 kN each
Gross Weight: 13,750lb
Maximum level speed at 30,000ft: 505mph
Rate of climb at sea level: