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Charles Lindbergh: Neil Armstrong:

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Charles Lindbergh: Neil Armstrong:

Old 25th May 2002, 06:02
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Bad info, ignore.

Last edited by 18-Wheeler; 25th May 2002 at 13:36.
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Old 25th May 2002, 11:43
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18 wheeler - M.52 a copy of the X-1?
http://www.soton.ac.uk/~genesis/Leve...ritain/M52.htm
Hardly.
I fail to see any relative resemblance. The X-1 was rocket propelled. etc..

What do you base your accusation that the USA killed the M.52 on?
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Old 25th May 2002, 12:47
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18 wheeler.
I have to say I can't agree with your assertion that the USA killed the Miles M52. Here's a quote from 'Faster than Sound' by Bill Gunston which I think is pretty to the point..
'On 18th July 1946 the Ministry of supply held a press conference on high-speed flight. The newly knighted Sir Ben Lockspeiser announced: 'The impression that supersonic aircraft are just around the corner is quite erroneous, but the difficulties will be tackled by the use of rocket-driven models. We have not the heart to ask pilots to fly the high-speed models, so we shall make them radio controlled'. He said the M52 had been cancelled 'for reasons of economy'. The Ministry took great pains to try to make the media forget about the M52, repeatedly calling it 'a piece of dead research'.
It is true that the UK government did release the research on the M52 project to the USA but it is conjectural as to wether any of it actually found it's way into the Bell X1. My guess is that there was a lot more German wartime research in the X1 project than anything else, particularly from Messerchmidt, Lippisch, and possibly DFS work.
As is so often the case in the UK, brilliant research done , quite often,on a shoe-string was wasted because of short-sighted politicians and through lack of finance. Something, certainly in the case of money, which is rarely the case in the US.
My apologies for straying off topic.

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Old 25th May 2002, 13:35
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M'kay, apologies, I was given some bad info.
Edited the post to completely retract my statement.
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Old 25th May 2002, 21:31
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Watched a documentry on the Miles M52, that hinted very strongly that this project was deliberatly scuppered at the insistance of the usa,who had visited Miles, copied and photographed everything with great enthusiasm, then renaged on the deal that would have allowed a similar visit to the states by Brit engineers
Documentry spin mebbee, but from what i remember, the bell x1 looked almost Identical,
Perhaps similar solutions to similar engineering probs, it also had a full moving tail plane that I heard Chuck Yeager state that we the Brits knew nothing about. at the time.
I also believe a radio controled model of the m52 did indeed fly at over mach one shortly after.
I realise that this was a Discovery documentry, and they tend to hype things up a tad, but? ,shades of the TSR2, and that Canadian one whoes name I cannot bring to mind at the mo.(Swallow)?
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Old 25th May 2002, 22:36
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The Canadian one you are thinking of TD is the Arrow.

Another mighty machine strangled at birth by polititians.
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Old 26th May 2002, 00:46
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Tony - Arrant nonsense. The X-1 and M.52 do not bear the slightest resemblence to one another.

The M.52 was a weird design, whereas the X-1 was straight foreward, practicle, and rocket powered.
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Old 26th May 2002, 06:22
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I.M. Esperto:

Your excellent contribution to this debate would be further enhanced if you had not dodged ( shades of Check 6) the question regarding " who was the first man to break the sound barrier ". Perhaps you lack information on this so here's a little something for you to consider. I'm sorry if its somewhat vague but it's all I know.

Near the USA Air Force base where everything was happening there was a bar owned by a well known old time aviatrix. This bar was frequented by those engaged on the sound barrier problem. One of the pilots (whose name I forget ) told his drinking friends that next day he hoped to slip through the sound barrier and they should all listen for a sonic boom. Sure enough right on time there was a sonic boom heard by all those in the bar and the windows of the bar rattled. There was a call for drinks and celebrations. However it was premature because the USA Airforce said it did not happen and surprise surprise they announced that the actual event took place the following day in the Bell X-1 flown by Chuck Yeager. The inference is that credit should go to the ace and not the unknown pilot. Better for home consumption !!!

I read all this in a quality USA aviation magazine which unfortunately I have misplaced. Unless someone can completely discredit this story then I for one will always have doubts about who was First.

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Old 26th May 2002, 08:46
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Prince of Dzun. I have read a lot on this subject and while I do not dispute that Yeager may possibly have been second I query the prior knowledge you credit this person with.

All my reading says that no one knew what would happen when an aircraft passed mach 1, so how did this hotshot know that he would cause a sonic boom ?
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Old 26th May 2002, 09:53
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As I would like to see the original topic continue, I have an input here that will I think put the matter of the 'sound barrier' to rest on this thread, but feel free to start new topic on the subject.

I will quote from one of the greatest test pilots, the late and great Roland Beamont. From his last book "The Years Flew Past."

More than fifty years (1947) have passed since the speed of sound was exceeded in level flight by the Bell XS1 research aircraft flown by Major Chuck Yeager.
And further, in a Chapter entitled 'Compressibility' - The Sound Barrier. Using examples of aircraft that were flown in dives - Spitire (0.9), P47, P51, Me109G, P38, Corsair and Me262, plus many others, he comments that many a fine pilot was killed trying to assess the 'sound barrier', which was the compressibility factor. In 1943 Ken Seth Smith was killed diving a Typhoon. In 1944 Major Fred Borsodi, a USAF test pilot at the Wright Field Test centre, bought back for the first time photographs of shock waves blooming above the wings of P51 at around Mach 0.85. There is much more. But significantly, this passage.

In America, in a courageous development and testing programnme, the final breakthrough was achieved in 1947 when Chuck Yeager flew the this straight-winged Bell XS1 to a level Mach 1.06 over the Mojave Desert, while in the same period George Welsh was diving the North American XP86 Sabre swept wing fighter protoptype in controlled flight at Mach1.
As far as the Miles M52 goes, he asserts that none of the aircraft we produced was ever going to result in a true supersonic fighter.

Except of course, and until, English Electric under W.E.W Petter and his magnificent design team commenced research on the P.1.

The rest, as they say, is history. A magnificent history written by magnificent men (in their flying machines!).

Last edited by CamelPilot; 26th May 2002 at 09:56.
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Old 26th May 2002, 11:43
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Both men were extremely brave and competent Ė how can you choose between them on that basis?

But Lindbergh did so much with so little support. Thatís what I admire about him.

(Itís a bit like picking the best display at an airshow. The crowd will pick the Arrows but I am more impressed by the two man private team doing brilliant formation aerobatics in a couple of gliders. To succeed without support does it for me, every time)
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Old 26th May 2002, 11:54
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Sorry to butt in gentlemen but as I thought the discussion about Early supersonic flight was getting interesting I've started a new topic to, hopefully, as Camel pilot suggested, keep it going.

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Old 26th May 2002, 13:53
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Henry Crun:

I honestly can't answer your question about how the pilot knew about the sonic boom. Perhaps he did not know and perhaps it's journalism written in hindsight. All I'm doing is repeating what I read and if I can find that journal I'll tell you the name of it. Your question is a good one but if the drinkers heard a boom and the windows rattled then you must admit they can't be blamed for wanting to celebrate.

Camel pilot:
Don't you think that Roland Beaumont would only have reiterated the offical line ie what the USA Airforce said ? Pilot George Welsh (mentioned in your quote) may be the one whose name I am trying to recall.

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Old 26th May 2002, 17:31
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P of D, George Welsh is the ONLY one who was in a position to make an attempt during "the period". it is known that there was no-one else I think you will find. However, his 'attempt' was in a DIVE, not in level flight - as in Chuck Yeager's case. A major difference.

So, now that a thread on the subject of compressibility has opened, you can follow on from John Farley's latest post on the original thread. There is so much to talk about on the subject. And it has to be said that JF puts forward an extremely valid point regarding support. The two 'gliders' he refers to, did it by begging money and persuading industry to sponsor them.

But just for the record, I think Lindbergh's flight was phenominal. Just sitting in a box, and flying almost blind, frightens me to death just thinking about it!

Last edited by CamelPilot; 26th May 2002 at 17:38.
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Old 26th May 2002, 17:42
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In the USA, The History Channel (for cable subscribers) has done an excellent job of several one hour programs about Charles Lindbergh and his Grandson Eric, in his Lancaire.

The part of the flight that boggles my mind is how he managed to do all this, after 2 days of not sleeping, in a "box", with no autopilot.

Every time I flew my L-1011 JFK-CDG, with autopilot, co-pilot, FE, INS, coffee, steak, etc. served hourly by sweet smelling young ladies, I thought of how this great man paved the way to make it all possible.
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Old 26th May 2002, 18:51
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Well said. Couldn't agree more.
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Old 26th May 2002, 19:48
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http://prototypes.free.fr/fd2/images/m52_04.jpg

Hmmm, I dunno, paint this bugga red and what yer got??
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Old 26th May 2002, 19:56
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A red ******, which means yer nose is bleedin', but you DON'T GET AN X-1

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Old 26th May 2002, 20:28
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What influenced the shape of the X-1?

It is my understanding that the shape of the X-1 was derived from a 50-caliber bullet, which has a muzzle velocity well in excess of the speed of sound.
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Old 26th May 2002, 22:00
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Yes I've heard that said and read it in various account of the Bell x, but why should that be?, I dont think a fifty cal round is shaped much differently from any other high velocity round.
Most rounds are supersonic, right down to .22 rimfire, I know that for a fact, had one go past me right ear at a distance of about two inches, nice sonic crack it made.
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