Vintage Russian: Props and Jets of the Iron Curtain Airlines by Colin Ballantine

By Colin Ballantine

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Tobin, who was CO of Aero Flight at RAE Farnborough where he was involved in the new programme of transonic testing. At the same time I was to learn something of the innovatory reputation acquired by Miles Aircraft Ltd,1 located at Woodley, near Reading. I had first met a Miles product when I carried out my elementary flying training in 1939 for the Fleet Air Arm on the Miles Magister, which I found a delight for such a task. This story now jumps to 21 December 1941, when I was a pilot flying Grumman Wildcat fighters aboard the escort carrier HMS Audacity, which was sunk by a German U-boat in the Bay of Biscay.

Once F. G. Miles had been slotted into this unique MAP project he wasted no time in springing into action. A fearsome challenge in the field of high-speed aerodynamics now faced the Miles team, and particularly for Dennis Bancroft, its Chief Aerodynamicist. To find the latest information on the subject a visit was made to Ronald Smelt of the Aerodynamics Department of the RAE. Dennis Bancroft now recounts the saga of the pursuit of transonic/supersonic enlightenment in Chapter 3. 11, a drawing of the projected transport.

1. A. Griffith was Head of the Engine Section of the RAE Farnborough. He was also a member of the Supersonic Committee. 5 In at the deep end The four pilots of the Aerodynamics Flight. From left to right: Sqn Ldr Tony Martindale, Sqn Ldr Jimmy Nelson, the author and Sqn Ldr Doug Weightman. When the momentous wartime year of 1944 dawned I was a test pilot at the Aircraft and Armament Experimental Establishment (A&AEE), Boscombe Down. But not for long as fate stepped in and I was hurried on my way to RAE Farnborough to replace a pilot killed in the course of his test work.

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