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Miles M.52 and the X-1 - again!

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Miles M.52 and the X-1 - again!

Old 13th Jul 2015, 19:46
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Thanks to a bloody big rocket - and of course the all moving tail-plane - wherever that was designed!
Interestingly enough, the 'all moving tail-plane' was not incorporated into the F-86 until the D model. The XP-86 that Welch was flying had a fixed tail-plane. Never the less, the F-86, even the D series, had to be in a dive to exceed Mach 1.
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Old 14th Jul 2015, 03:07
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The XP-86 that Welch was flying had a fixed tail-plane
Was trimmable con, as can be seen in the video of the aircraft's first flight.



Re supersonic 262, quote from Heinrich Beauvais, Me 262 Test Pilot, Rechlin Test Centre 1935 - 1945, "One pilot, a man called Mutke thought he had passed the speed of sound. But there were problems at high speed. The plane was damaged by buffeting. The rivets popped out and the skin on the fuselage buckled. So I don’t believe it and neither do the the experts".
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Old 23rd Jul 2015, 23:02
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Vickers transonic model

There is one example of this project, at RAF Cosford where it will be conserved. Does anyone know its history?
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Old 26th Jul 2015, 21:08
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M52 wind tunnel model sat outside our drawing office when I worked at FG Milkes limited
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Old 3rd Aug 2015, 16:35
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The M52 Wind Tunnel model resided in our Drawing Office for many years, no Idea where it is now.
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Old 9th Aug 2015, 17:48
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One further snippit of early transonic research. On national service in 1953, were were on our "overeas navigation excersize", on route to Tripoli in a Varsity, refueling stop at French base at Istre.
Saw an unmanned research model, carried on a JU52, which looked remarkedly like an M52. Any ideas what became of that.
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Old 9th Aug 2015, 18:30
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Don't know about it on a Ju52, but it would otherwise seem to be one of René Leduc's ramjet jobs, such as this Leduc 21 on its SE 161 Languedoc air launcher:

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Old 9th Aug 2015, 20:17
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That is not a JU-52. Now to be perfectly honest, I've no clue what the bottom aircraft is.

Perhaps a Condor? Nope, wrong type of engines.

So I give up.
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Old 9th Aug 2015, 22:15
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Leduc 021

It's sitting on an S.E. 161 Languedoc transport.
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Old 10th Aug 2015, 10:25
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Yes, AvroLincoln, and young mr. Con-Pilot may find it helps if one reads the post you are replying to.
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Old 10th Aug 2015, 13:26
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Aaahh! That was when the French made their own aeroplanes instead of just helping BAe.


Hat, coat, ogive....
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Old 11th Aug 2015, 01:52
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Originally Posted by Allan Lupton
Yes, AvroLincoln, and young mr. Con-Pilot may find it helps if one reads the post you are replying to.

Thank you.
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Old 21st May 2016, 11:51
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Further to my post #54. In quotes are statements by Captain Brown in "Miles M.52 Gateway to Supersonic Flight"
…in August 1944, all this research was inexplicably passed to the Americans.

Autumn 1944 MAP arranges a visit to Miles Aircraft by Americans representing USAAF, NACA and Bell Aircraft Corporation. They take away general arrangement drawings of the M.52.

In the autumn of 1944 the MAP arranged a visit to Miles Aircraft by a number of Americans representing the United States Army Air Force, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics and Bell Aircraft Corporation. On the instructions of MAP, Miles was to give the visitors all the information on the M.52 and answer their questions, and in three weeks time it was hoped a reciprocal visit to the USA would be made by a Miles design team and a similar full exchange of information on American supersonic flight knowledge would take place.

To understand the American desire for the visit to Miles, it must be remembered that in 1944 the Germans and the British were ahead of the rest of the aviation world in high-speed research. With the end of World War Il in sight the Americans wanted desperately to get on the leader board in the race to supersonic flight. We probably responded wholeheartedly in a gesture of gratitude to our gallant ally, and fully accepted the reciprocal offer in good faith. Here we came unstuck, however, because one week after the American visit the MAP told the Miles team that the return visit had been cancelled by the Pentagon for security reasons. It is much more likely that the US visitors had been taken aback by what they had learned in the UK and wished to save themselves the embarrassment of having to admit they had little to offer.
The above meeting did not occur, so ipso facto, an invitation to visit the US could not have been made. The first non British subject to be given an insight into the M.52 program was Doctor Clark B. Millikan, acting Director of the Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory at Caltech (who quaintly described himself in his report as a “Civilian Technician”). He visited the Miles factory at Reading on the 28th June, 1945, where he was hosted by Mr. & Mrs. Miles, and the Ministry of Aircraft Production M.52 representative, Group Captain Banditt. The following day he visited the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farmborough, where he had discussions on the M.52 with Ronald Smelt, who was in charge of flight research. Dr. Millikan was aware, probably made during the briefing by Mr. Smelt, of detailed performance calculations and aerodynamic studies contained in Farmborough Tech. Rep. No. Aero 1470, July 1944. R.A.E. reference number Aero 1344 R/F/96, entitled "Further note on the Miles Supersonic aircraft (E 24/43)" by C.M.Fougère, B.A.

He subsequently wrote a report, “Technical Report of Visit by C. B. Millikan to British M.A.P. Project E 24/43 Miles 52 Transonic Research Airplane”, which was circulated through the United States Navy Bureau of Aeronautics. He was not given any material, drawings etc to take away, and had to draw a sketch of the aircraft in his report from memory.

His Conclusions and Recommendations on the M.52

The project of a transonic research airplane is a valuable and interesting one.
The project seems not to be receiving very intensive support from the British government nor to have a very high urgency rating.
In general the design appears to have little to offer U.S. designers, although the very thin biconvex airfoil section with thick constant curvature covering, the unbalanced power boost control and the all moving tail might be of interest.
It is believed that with the present state of knowledge a much better solution of the transonic research airplane problem is possible.
It is concluded that the design offers relatively little of interest to United States aircraft designers.
In view of the above it is recommended that no further steps be taken by the Navy at this time to obtain additional information on the project from the British government.

He was not given any documentation to take away, having made hand written notes during briefings, and was obliged in his report to make a sketch of the aircraft from memory.
To my mind the biggest mistake made was to hand over the complete M.52 data to the Americans in autumn 1944. There was no obvious war related urgency to offer such co-operation as Britain had done earlier with its invention of the jet engine. We had a substantial time lead over any other aviation country in the race to the prestigious goal of supersonic flight and we gifted it away. Perhaps there was some overriding political reason for this philanthropic gesture, but if so it has not surfaced to date.
Nor will it surface because it never happened. Visit by Dr. Millikan refers.
Surprisingly a second American visit to Miles Aircraft took place on 8 july 1946 by Major E.H. Hall and Major Kent Parrot of the Air Technical Section of the Military Intelligence Division, that is the Military Attaché°s Office. This was arranged by the Ministry of Supply (MoS) and the visitors were given a tour through the plant and observed the jigs, fixtures, parts and mock up of the M.52. They reported that the first prototype aircraft had been completed and destroyed in a series of static structural tests (presumably at RAE Farnborough), while the second prototype had all jigging and tooling completed and about 90% of all airframe components fabricated, but not assembled. Their report comments on all major features of the M.52 but omits to say anything significant about the “flying tail’. Perhaps,in the light of subsequent events, it was not politic to advertise a British stroke of genius in an American military report.
Note that Captain Brown states that this was the second visit, which in fact it was. Dr. Millikan having been the first. The “flying tail” had already been mentioned by Dr. Millikan in his report and nor was it a British stroke of genius. The NACA were more than familiar with the “flying tail”, the XS-1 using the trimmable stabiliser with elevator because its controls were purely manual. A flying tail on the X-1 would have required powered controls because of the hinge moments involved, and this aspect of the X-1 was addressed by Scott Crossfield in his report “HANDLING QUAILTIES OF HIGH-SPEED AIRPLANES”, 28 January 1952.
Eventually it had hardly come as a surprise to learn that the XS-1 had a fuselage based on a 0.5 calibre bullet.
Both design teams had no experience of supersonic flow, but were well aware that some ballistic projectiles were supersonic in flight, and so sort advice from their countries respective armament experts. They found that the armament people had highly refined the design of supersonic noses. Broadly described, both teams used noses of ogival form, as used on supersonic progectiles. The M.52 nose took the form of a 5/10 secant ogive, while I couldn’t find the exact form for the X-1, I suspect it would have been a tangent ogive. For explanation see,

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nose_c...n#Haack_series
Their lack of jet engine expertise was in the end such that they decided to go for a modified German rocket motor.
Not the case at all. The US had a long history of rocketry development, beginning in 1926 with Robert Goddard. Reaction Motors, formed in December 1941 by long time experimenters Lovell Lawrence, Franklin Pierce, James Wyld and John Shesta, began testing rockets of various thrust capabilities, ending with a 6,000lb engine built to a specification laid down by Commander Fink Fischer for an unstated Navy project. Their engine was selected for the XS-1 because the original Aerojet engine was rejected on safety grounds, since it used red fuming nitric acid and aniline, which are hypergolic. It was also having development issues, but the safety case was the overriding factor. Germany had absolutely nothing to do with it.
So here we have the elements to form a conspiracy theory. At the end of World War II Britain was financially bankrupt, so why not use the United States’ formidable finances to buy out the M.52 and prevent it raining on General Arnold’s parade. Far fetched and a slur on our gallant allies?
A slur definitely. When it comes to the X-1 program Captain Brown seems to see a conspiracy around every corner.
One thing is certain and that is that the formation of the new USAF and the Bell X-1’s breaking of the sound barrier both took place, as planned, on 14 October 1947.

I4 October 1947 On seventh flight, after flying tail has been fitted to the X-1, Yeager attains controlled supersonic level flight, Mach 1.02 (date stage managed to herald the founding of USAF and demise of USAAF).
The X-1 was never in its entire life fitted with a "flying tail", as I explained in post #54.

Captain Brown makes another egregious error, I say egregious because the facts are so readily to hand. The USAF was formed on the 18th September 1947 under the National Security Act of 1947, which had been signed into law by President Harry S. Truman on July 26, 1947. The XS-1 team had instructions from Colonel Boyd to progress at their own speed, and not to take risks. While the USAF wanted a momentous event to mark their foundation, they didn’t want it to be commemorated by a smoking hole either. No stage management involved.
Cancellation of the M.52 meant deep disappointment, total frustration, burning anger, and heare5tfelt sympathy for other members of the team. For our proud nation it meant betrayal of our leading position in high speed flight technology.

“I was due to fly the M.52 in October 1946, and I was, shall we say, disappointed to be robbed of that. I was sitting at Farnborough when the head of Aero Flight Section Morien Morgan came in and said, ‘I’ve just had a call from Miles to say the M.52’s been cancelled.’ I absolutely blew my top, I charged off to see Sir Ben Lockspeiser, who lived around the corner from me and was chairman of the Supersonic Committee which had cancelled it. In his official statement he’s said ‘in view of the unknown hazards near the speed of sound it is considered unwise to proceed with the full scale experiments.’ He knew me, and he received me, but I didn’t get any change out of him. He just said, ‘Maybe it’s for the better’. I was so furious with him that I signed his son David into the RAF, because Ben was prevaricating.”
Captain Brown has dined out for a long, long time on his erroneous stories regarding the XS-1. Has he been blind sided by having the title of first man snatched away from him when it was seemingly within grasp? That he was angry is beyond doubt given his statements above, but why concoct stories in which there is no basis of fact? The unfortunate fact is, his stories have become accepted wisdom and gospel. With his history there was no need to be less than absolutely honest with the events that took place, and trying to embellish them to fly his country’s flag and denigrate those on the opposite side of the Atlantic detracts from his legacy, if indeed that was his aim. Only a psychologist could comment.

Nevertheless, a man who had a deep and abiding pride and love of his country, served his nation impeccably, and with immense distinction in his chosen field.
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Old 21st May 2016, 22:07
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I wouldn't say that I knew Eric well, but we were acquainted. I remember an event at Cosford, where there was a dinner in the evening. Towards the end of the evening, we got talking, and he had had a few drinks. He started becoming very vehement on the subject, and I suspect he developed something of a bee in his bonnet about it all.
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Old 11th Jun 2016, 06:50
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I've been mulling over why Captain Brown may have come up with the story about the X-1 tail being modified. I wonder if he has conflated his story with this event.

On the 5th June, 1947 an open house was held for about 100 members of the Aviation Writers Association at Muroc. Airframe #2 was used for a ground run demonstration of the engine, which resulted in fire damage to the tail due to an explosion in the oxygen side of the number three cylinder head. The aircraft was returned to the Bell factory at Buffalo for repair on June 9th, where #2 was repaired by the simple expedient of installing the tail taken from airframe #3, then under construction.

Airframe #2 was returned to Muroc on the 27th July.
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Old 11th Jun 2016, 11:40
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megan: your 2 most recent posts will be unwelcome to Crecy and to Air-Britain, both with imminent books on/with M.52. Such is the lure of conspiracy. I am with CNH: bee in bonnet.

The War ends; no UK enemy or (until 15/7/46 $ Loan) money...yet Ministers continue, nay expand funding civil aircraft as prime $-earners/sparers. One is Miles M.60 Marathon.

When he had been MAP's Director of Scientific Research, Ben Lockspeiser had funded M.52 29/12/43 as FTB for Whittle's reheated turbofan W.2/700. Now as DGSR(A)/MoS Sir Ben was: a) Chairman, MAP Supersonics Committee; b) part of the team managing the Brabazon suite's budget; and c) protector of a very modest Aircraft Research budget, which he chose to apply to ideas of evident civil, $-earning potential: Flying Wing (the AWA schemes), laminar flow (HP), VG: “funds…to begin experimental work” on scale models; in Summer,1948 V-A’s Barnes Wallis would elicit VG interest from BOAC MD, Whitney Straight. J.E.Morpurgo, Barnes Wallis, Longman, 1972, P.313). These might all follow as Brabazon-1960s, where Brab-Now relied on turbines to defeat Connie, Dakota and the array of gestating giants (Mars, Constitution, Globemaster...)

When chopping the pointless supersonic vehicle 2/46 he must not embarrass its originating Minister Cripps, now at Trade, nor blight Brabazon Type VB M.60, so he spoke of “pilot risk”. All wholly logical. No conspiracy. Ministers then and now can be persuaded to back winners: Cripps at Trade funded the Land Rover, whose Defender descendent has only now gone out of production. The key is to pick the X-Factor, not the lemon.

Last edited by tornadoken; 11th Jun 2016 at 11:52.
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Old 20th Dec 2016, 03:54
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megan: your 2 most recent posts will be unwelcome to Crecy and to Air-Britain, both with imminent books on/with M.52. Such is the lure of conspiracy.
tornadoken, how right you are. Osprey Publishing have just put out a publication, as part of their "Xplanes" series, titled "Bell X-1", authored by Peter E. Davies, who is a frequent contributor to the magazines put out by Key Publishing.

I sent an email to the Osprey editor asking for it to be forwarded to Peter Davies, in which I detailed the errors in his publication - those enunciated in this thread. No reply has been received.

Today I logged onto the KeyPublishing Forum web site, something I've not done for years and years, to receive the following message,
You have been banned for the following reason:
No reason was specified.

Date the ban will be lifted: Never
It would seem a section of the British community is not interested in facts, but prefer to dwell in a state of delusion. And please, don't do anything to relieve us of our delusion, we prefer to live a lie. Seems like Tracy Curtis-Taylor all over again.

It would seem Lance Corporal Jack Jones had it right, "They don't like it up 'em!" Perhaps they took exception to my observation in the email to them, "As a document detailing a period of historic importance, I’m afraid the best use to which Browns M.52 book can be put is to light your campfire."

Oh, and by the way, the Osprey book is OK, but perpetrates the usual myths about the British giving the US all the details, and British influence on the X-1 design. The author doesn't understand the X-1 pitch control system, in places he has it correct, and in others it's obvious he hasn't.
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Old 20th Dec 2016, 08:01
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Today I logged onto the KeyPublishing Forum web site, something I've not done for years and years, to receive the following message,
Quote:
You have been banned for the following reason:
No reason was specified.

Date the ban will be lifted: Never
Megan, don't take it personally! I have also been banned from Key for years for no reason I could think of - I gathered from friends that there had been some digital cock up or other that resulted in a lot of users being banned in error. I got an test email from them last week, tried my account again - nope, still banned!
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Old 20th Dec 2016, 14:01
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I got an test email from them last week
That's interesting treadigraph. I had a test email from them a few days ago as well, which is what prompted me to go to their forums. Had forgotten the password, so they had to send a reset, and that's when I found the banned message. I took it as they were having a fit of pique over the email I sent to Osprey a couple of weeks earlier. Is your ban for life as well?
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Old 20th Dec 2016, 15:17
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I did exactly the same, got my password reset and so on...

Yes, banned for life! Ah well, worse things happen at sea. Could probably re-register using my office address or another persona but can't be bothered...

Cheers

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