I’ve just heard the sad news of British test pilot Eric “Winkle” Brown demise. To pay my humble homage to this unique person I have decided to write about an aircraft that wasn’t among the incredible 487 types that “Winkle” flew.
The Miles M.52 was an experimental aircraft designed in the late part of WW2 to achieve the magic speed of 1000mph. Bold and very advanced it employed a Power Jets W.2/700 engine with afterburner, razor-sharp wings and an innovative “all-moving” stabilator -the latter soon proved necessary during transonic/supersonic flight. With some real controversy -even today- this stunning project was cancelled in 1946 when the first prototype was over 80% complete. The data was then sent to the US…., where they’re still laughing, I guess. This plane could have been the first to broke the “sound barrier”, even before the Bell X-1, and with jet power. The hugely experienced Eric “Winkle” Brown was the intended pilot.
Really magnificent urban art by James Bridle.