View Full Version : Is Ken Wallis Still Flying?

1st Jan 2008, 00:33
I was thinking about 'Uncle' Ken the other day, He must be well into his 80's or early 90's now.

Not heard anything about him for a while.

He never seems to stop, The father of the Autogyro, And the creator of his own flying machines.

I always wonder how he avoids the low level mill traffic over East Anglia in his Autogyro's??

I always thought Autogyro's were 'Non Radio' qoute me if i'm wrong??

I hope he is still flying high at Reymerston Hall.:D

Happy New Year 2008.:ok:

Brian Abraham
1st Jan 2008, 03:48
There were some piccies of Ken flying here on Pprune not too long ago. Run a search and I'm sure they will pop up.

1st Jan 2008, 10:25
Ken Wallis is alive, well, 91 years old, and STILL flying. He actually opened our village fete in Wicken, Cambridgeshire, in July.{He was born in this area} and I had the priveledge of compering the opening, and introducing him to the spectators. I spent a wonderful afternoon with him, the theme was James Bond {Played by me, sadly} and he was good enough to bring his Autogyro Little Nellie, from the Bond film, along. He made one childs day completely. This kid brought his unopened Airfix kit of Little Nellie along, and Ken was good enough to autograph the box, with a peronal message, thereby increasing it's value hugely. Awonderful character, and an outstanding gentleman that it as a pleasure to meet.Happy new year everyone.

Rallye Driver
1st Jan 2008, 12:11
A couple of threads on PlaneTalk:



A great gent. I met him at Shoreham a while ago during the Beagle Celebration.

RD :ok:

1st Jan 2008, 21:03
Is there to be a Wallis Days 2008?

2nd Jan 2008, 02:54
A nice profile of Ken on Youtube:


3rd Jan 2008, 05:58
A One-Off Total Aviation Person:ok: If only we had more like him, but the mould was unfortunately broken...

...and how come he isn't Sir Ken?

4th Jan 2008, 09:51
He flew on or around New Years eve/day. A mate of friend of mine is smitten with his daughter.

4th Jan 2008, 18:02
The legend that is Mr Ken Wallis can be seen in action in this excellent thread (I believe the one which Brian is referring to): Mr Autogyro (http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?t=273030&highlight=wallis)

I can only repeat myself in stating what an inspiration Mr Wallis is :D

4th Jan 2008, 19:18
I wonder what Sir Ken's recipe is for a long life??

I watched his programs on You Tube, He was talking at Martlesham about when he flew the Halifax.

An Amazing Life.. so far.:D

4th Jan 2008, 19:55
Don't want to seem harsh, but post RAF everything that he has done has been for his own benefit really. He chose not to make a business out of autogyros. I think one can only earn a Knighthood when the British public has received a benefit from the actions of that person. Not something that Ken did, or ever set out to do.

If I'm wrong (and I'm not really aware of his RAF career) let me know, because I'm in a good position to get a ball rolling.

4th Jan 2008, 19:59
I believe that he flew early RAF Bomber Command raids in Wellington bombers and survived, a feat which deserves my respect and thanks.

4th Jan 2008, 22:31
I wonder how many 'Knights of the Realm' have been made that have done things which have not been to the benefit of the British People!!:*

Ken Wallis and other Test Pilots of his generation who have done their duty in service of this country during the war and have then gone on to make huge contributions to British Aviation have had very little in way of recognition.

And people want to make David Beckham a Knight!!!!:=

5th Jan 2008, 11:04
Why waste a Knighthood or OBE or whatever on some silly old fart who survived WW2 flying bombers and then test flying , when you give it to some drugged up aging old rocker, the English cricket team, Spice girls, some waste of space civil servant or Mrs Beckhams bonk.

Aeroplane Monthly had a very good article on his life and flying achievements a few years back, a remarkable man. Unfortunately we don't seem to breed that way any more.

The Flying Pram
5th Jan 2008, 15:12
I had the pleasure of visiting Reymerston Hall some 10 years ago with a group of pilots and work colleagues. We spent nearly 2 hours in the hanger on a bitterly cold day asking Ken all sorts of questions. Every one (even some daft ones!) were answered with charm and patience. He finally said "I suppose you would like to see one of them fly?". You can guess the response! Donning a rather thin flying suit he wheeled "Little Nellie" out side and gave us a demonstration like the one in the video linked in an earlier post. We all came away in awe of an absolute legend.

I seem to remember him telling us that he initially failed his RAF entry medical due to a "lazy" eye. I can't remember how he got round this. Having observed, close up, the high standard of workmanship on all his machines, it obviously wasn't a serious problem....

A really nice chap...

7th Jan 2008, 17:49
Don't think I'm alone in hoping I can still do anything like that when I'm remotely that age!!!!

Long may you continue Sir. :D:cool: