WILFRED GEORGE CARTER OBE AIRCRAFT DESIGNER

On 8th April 1941 the first British and Allied Jet aeroplane flew at Hucclecote. Its engine was the brainchild of Frank – later Sir Frank – whittle, but the E 28-39 aeroplane itself had been designed by George Carter, who lived in Dog Lane, Crickley Hill overlooking Brockworth aerodrome.

Carter joined the Gloucestershire ( later Gloster ) Aircraft Company in 1925 having worked for Sopwith,Avro,Hawker,Shorts and De Haviland. Among his most famous aircraft were racing seaplanes for the Schneider trophy and the Avro Manchester bomber.

In 1936 he succeeded Henry Follard as the chief designer and produced the F9-37, a heavily armed single seat twin engine design to rival the Westland Whirlwind and the De Haviland Mosquito.

It was his F 18-37 proposal, however that attracted the attention of Frank Whittle as a possible airframe for his revolutionary new gas turbine. Then in 1939, George Carter was asked by the Air Ministry to submit plans for a brand new aeroplane built around Whittles engine.

The E28-39 took only 15 months to build – much of the assembly being built in secret at the Regents garage, Cheltenham – but even before then, Carter was being asked to produce a practicable jet fighter. Although the single engine E 28-39 was eventually developed into the E 1/44, Carter wisely plumped for a twin engine type. Initially known as the F 9-40 and first flown on 5th March 1943 it found world-wide fame as the Gloster Meteor.

George Carter was awarded the C.B.E. in 1947 and appointed Technical Director of the Gloster Aircraft Company in 1948 and remained on the board of directors until 1948, by which time his successor, Richard Walker, had followed later versions of the Meteor with the delta winged Gloster Javelin.