Avro Delta Wing Aircraft Prototypes.
I'll Never Forget the Avro 698 Vulcans and their Avro 707 Chicks at Farnborough.
These were magic for me as a aircraft crazy young lad. The delta wing jet aircraft was a really exciting concept and to my delight in 1953 when I was visiting the Farnborough Air Show as a RAF Halton Apprentice 74th Entry. This was excitement enough and was only exceeded when the Tanoy anounced the fly past of "Two Avro 698 Vulcan bombers and their little family of chicks - the Avro 707s". They had a tremendous reception as they slowly passed overhead in perfect formation. Awesome! Especially in 1953.
[Photo by Maurice Gates: Avro 698 Vulcans VX777and VX770 with four 707's at Farnborough Sep 1953]
Do You Remember These Aircraft from the Fifties?
The following section contains details of a number of delta winged aircraft that I made flying models of in the early fifties.
As a schoolboy I was always in trouble for drawing aeroplanes during lessons. Not only the new brand of exciting prototype jet delta wing and rocket experimental aircraft the major companies were producing, but also designs of my own. Lots of the lads were aircraft crazy like me, and did the same. It seemed more interesting than Geography or R.I. But unfortunately teachers didn't see it that way.
We made balsa wood models of planes and rockets and there were lots of flying scale models in the shops to buy and build. For jet engines we used the Jetex model aircraft engine. Which we all remember! Often with a smile, although it was frustrating at the time.
Fairy Delta FD2.
This design was a single-seat, delta-winged aircraft powered by a Rolls Royce Avon Engine with an afterburner. The aircraft was named the Fairy Delta FD2, or FD2. To improve the pilot's forward view during landing, taxiing and take-off, the cockpit and nose section could be hinged downwards by ten degrees. Later, a similar arrangement was used on Concorde.
Fairey test-pilot Peter Twiss flew the first FD2, WG774, on its maiden flight on 6 October 1954. On the 10 March 1956 an attempt was made on the World Air Speed Record, which Twiss broke by more than 300mph. The new record was 1132mph - quite an achievement considering the old record had only been set the previous year by an American F100 Super Sabre. Only two Fairy Delta 2's were built.
Email from Douglas Ord: Fairy Delta FD. 2.
I came across your web site today as I had very little to do at work and Googled FAIRY DELTA to my surprise there was your site.
"Briefly then here is my tale.
In 1964 I left school to start an apprenticeship at Rolls Royce Ltd at Barnoldswick in Yorkshire. After a short period in the training school we were all sent to different Depts to begin learning a trade. I was lucky enough to go to the Test Beds where I would assist the fitters on assembling and testing engines. These would be Derwents and Avons.
"One day as we had prepared an Avon on its mountings and were ready to light it up having retreated into the control room we had a visit from the forman who said he would be the one to start the afterburner once the engine was running.
"My job was to count the gallons of fuel being used over a given time. That was that until later we were told this particular engine was the one that flew Peter Twiss in the Fairy Delta and broke the 1000 mph barrier.
"Photographs of us in the test beds were published in the Rolls Roycce News. I wish I could get a copy. Nice to share my very fond memories with you.
Doug Ord age almost 70 and still in F/T work at Heathrow (not very exciting)."
[editor] Thanks for the email Doug.
Boulton Paul P111a.
The Boulton Paul P111 made its first flight on the 10th October 1950, at Boscombe Down Airfield with Sqn Ldr Bob Smyth at the controls. Later test flying was carried out by the legendary test pilot, Alexander “Ben” Gunn, who described the aeroplane as touchy and like flying a razors edge and because of this became known as the Yellow Peril.
After a wheels up landing the P111 was modified to improve the flight characteristics, and re-appeared in its new guise as the P111a. After a last flight in 1958, and some time at Cranfield, it was transferred to the Midlands Aircraft Preservation Society at Bagington, Coventry, where the P111a is currently exhibited.
Let's Hear Your Stories.
I would be pleased to hear from anyone who has any stories about this aircraft; humorous, technical or historical. Please use the Feedback Form to contact me briefly, in the first instance.
Joe Bosher (74th).