View Full Version : Miles M.52 Monograph

Jumbo P
18th Dec 2013, 12:29
Being married to a Miles has given me access to unique papers on the M.52. Those, and considerable research by Peter Amos, Brian Brinkworth and others indicate that almost all the available data on this plane have now been unearthed. That would suggest to me that a suitable moment has arrived for an authoritative monograph on the plane, its design, construction and probable performance, and I am looking for a writer who might be interesting in taking this forward. I see additional research on the W2/700, novel metals, tyre rubber and the safety of the escape mechanism as being needed.
I also need to find a publisher. I would be grateful for suggestions. Thanks.

19th Dec 2013, 07:36
I was wondering, did we (the UK) give the flying tail data to Naca for the Bell X1 ?
or is this a stupid question ?

also are there any parts of the Miles 52 anywhere or was it completely broken up ?

19th Dec 2013, 08:07

Not a stupid question;

The M.52 Story (http://home.comcast.net/~aero51/html/exhibits/m52.htm)

According to this, data was sent to BELL which was used in the design of the XS-1.

19th Dec 2013, 09:16
Jumbo.. Air Britain produce monographs. Maybe they can help?

Atcham Tower
19th Dec 2013, 09:51
I agree with HD; Air-Britain is the likely contender. Mainstream publishers would probably regard it as too specialised to sell well. A pity because it is a remarkable story.

joy ride
19th Dec 2013, 12:04
The M 52's fully floating tail was designed by Denis Bancroft, and this overcame shock and buffeting which was still baffling Bell up to the time that they received crated-up M 52 parts and technical drawings. One of many projects where UK was told a white lie to hide the truth that we were obliged (by our debts to USA for their part in both World Wars) to supply USA with anything they wanted, and to destroy or cancel everything they did not. It amazes me that even though we finished repaying our debts a few years ago we still continue to do whatever they tell us!

19th Dec 2013, 12:48
Some interesting M.52 posts;


19th Dec 2013, 13:57
I strongly suggest you contact Peter Amos who is working on another volume of a Miles history with Air-Britain and he can talk with A-B about a M.52publication.

If you need Peter's contact details please drop me a PM.

B Fraser
19th Dec 2013, 16:18
I have Eric "Winkle" Brown's excellent book on the M.52

Perhaps he would like to issue an updated version with all the extra material ?

19th Dec 2013, 22:53
"to hide the truth that we were obliged (by our debts to USA for their part in both World Wars) to supply USA with anything they wanted, and to destroy or cancel everything they did not."

That is more than a little exaggerated. In reality, we got far more in the post war period from the Americans than they ever got from us.

20th Dec 2013, 08:17
Really CNH, could you give some examples ?

Im just wondering

Jumbo P
20th Dec 2013, 08:40
I work with Peter and am helping him edit Vol 3. What I'm looking for is a writer, particularly someone who is interested in the engineering problems overcome by the Miles team.

Jumbo P
20th Dec 2013, 08:44
Capt Brown did not go into detail on the really interesting problems with the M.52, which were engineering ones. He and I discussed the nature of his book, which was for the average reader.

20th Dec 2013, 10:47
diddy, #11. Start with US/UK Patent Indemnity Agreement, 24/8/42: pooling of all wit and flair for the duration. Example: radar: “(few) post-war patent claims and a general disentanglement of mutual claims was not necessary.” R.Buderi, Invention That Changed the World, T’stone, 97, P115. That was the basis for exchange of aero data, inc.M.52.

So what did we get in exchange? Start with the Lend/Lease deal: UK received $27Bn, gross of $6Bn. "Reverse L/L" (RF.Sayers,Official Hist,Financial Policy, HMSO, 1956, P.498/52). That was extinguished by net-$650Mn. in US 15/7/46 UK Reconstruction Loan (the one we paid off 5/06 at an effective interest rate of 1.6%p.a). We then had the European Recovery Program ("Marshall Aid"), Mutual Defense Assistance Program, Mutual Security Program, Mutual Weapons Development Program; a raft of individual licence deals on terms we chose to sign. CNH's fief is GW, inc. Blue Streak: the list of techno-benefits accruing to UK from Burns/Templer and numerous other GW Data Agreements is long. We did OK, thanks.

Jumbo, #12: engineering problems overcome by the Miles team. Addressed, please. No fly, no show. Do keep in mind, when entertaining splendid conspiracies, that Brown's book itself notes that in Feb/1946 UK was broke. We had no enemy. MoS chose to apply their very meagre Aircraft Research budget into fields they thought had civil/$-earning potential.

Jumbo P
20th Dec 2013, 14:26
We are not sure how far manufacture of the two prototypes had proceeded by the time it was cancelled. Certainly, nothing solid remains today other than the 1944 wind-tunnel model which is now displayed at Woodley. It is well worth seeing as an engineering tour-de-force because of the accuracy in the fashioning of the wings (as we found out when digitising it a few years ago). Certainly, there is no trace of any of the drawings in the UK, nor in the archives I and others have searched in the USA. But it is possible they are in the Bell archive, now privately owned and, I believe, inaccessible.

The all-moving tail is a difficult one. I believe compressibility problems with the P.38 in the late 30's made Lockheed fit fully-moving tailplanes. The requirement for them for the M.52 seems to have originated from Farnborough. But I might have got that wrong.

India Four Two
20th Dec 2013, 14:29
Jumbo P,

I have to confess that I before I opened your post, I was thinking "Hmm, Magister, Messenger, Master, Martinet, Marathon - I didn't know the M.52 was called the Monograph. What a strange name!" ;)

Did the M.52 have a proposed name?

Jumbo P
20th Dec 2013, 14:35
I don't disagree with you about the benefits of trans-Atlantic sharing of technologies, and its not an issue I feel strongly about. And I frankly hate all these conspiracy theories surrounding its cancellation. They detract from an assessment of the genius that Miles' staff used, get in the way of proper historical research into the relationships between the M.52 and the Bell X1, and teach us little of value. My criticism of Brown's book is that he gets bogged down in speculation about the cancellation which has very little basis in fact. Of course, he is welcome to his views; the problem is when one with such an influence as he steps out of his area of competence.

Jumbo P
20th Dec 2013, 14:47
I cannot remember ever seeing a name other than M.52. but the Miles Monograph appeals!

20th Dec 2013, 23:46
One obvious example is the engines and tank design for Blue Streak.

Another might be the designs of the American Mk 28 and Mk 47 warheads which were provided to the UK.

A further example might be the supply of satellite reconnaissance data from the 1960s onwards.

Those were worth an awful lot of money to the UK.

Oh, and Polaris, Trident ...

20th Dec 2013, 23:54
The Bell X-1 was a better thought out project than the M.52 if the objective was just to break the sound-barrier in that the X-1 used rocket power and 'cheated' by being air-launched from a B-29. The M-52 would have had the extra problems of taking-off, climbing to altitude, and the aerodynamic problems of getting the centrifugal flow jet engine through Mach1, would it not?

21st Dec 2013, 17:33
I believe the engine also used some form of untried reheat.

Jumbo P
21st Dec 2013, 22:37
The primary objective of the M.52 was to explore the transonic, the flights gradually building up to the supersonic. The rather awkward, un-faired shape of the 'plane was dictated by Whittle's design of the augmenter, whose exhaust was untapered throughout its length. The best description of the M.52 project is by Prof Brian Brinkworth (The Aeronautical Journal March 2010, No 1153).
The M.52 was a more ambitious project than the X1: a fact that some American historians find hard to recognise. It was the product of a much smaller team, working in complete secrecy in the middle of a war and it was much more circumscribed than the latter by the need to fit a design to an engine rather than the other way round. The USA also had the advantage of starting their design process early in 1945, when the use of turbojets was becoming commonplace and they had the benefit of discussions with Miles' team on some of the problems they would have to resolve.

Brian Abraham
22nd Dec 2013, 06:00
The discussion here may be of interest