Most folks know that the Gloster Meteor was the first jet-powered fighter to enter service with the RAF, and the only Allied jet fighter of the war. But did you know that it was also the world’s first turboprop-powered aircraft to take flight?

A single Meteor F.1, serial number EE227, had its Rolls-Royce Derwent turbojets removed and replaced with Rolls-Royce Trent turboprops. The undercarriage was lengthened to provide clearance for the 7-foot 7-inch diameter Rotol props which were turned through a reduction gear. EE227 took its first flight in September 1945, and was subsequently flown at higher power and with smaller props to help develop what was a very complicated engine control system. The testing program ended in 1948.

Advertisement