Saturday, November 04, 2006

Wg Cdr Ken H.Wallis M.B.E 1916-2013

Wing Commander Kenneth Horatio Wallis MBE, DEng (hc), CEng, FRAeS, FSETP, PhD (hc), RAF(Ret'd), is one of the leading exponents of autogyros. He has held (in some cases still holds) 34 records relating to them.
He produces autogyros for, in his own words, "reconnaissance, research & development, surveillance and military purposes" and his designs are not available for enthusiasts.
Born on 16 Apr 1916 at Ely,Cambridgeshire, he developed a practical interest in mechanics, building a motorcycle at the age of 11. In the 1930’s he bought and assembled a Flying Flea aircraft. These were kit form midget aircraft which were banned in 1936 after several fatalities due to design flaws.
His military career started with the Westland Lysander on patrols. In 1942 he was transferred to Bomber Command, flying Wellingtons on raids over Germany. He flew pathfinder missions and subsequently served in Italy towards the end of the war. Thereafter he was involved in research and development. He left the RAF in 1964, retiring to Norfolk. He took an interest in powerboating which he kept up until 1957, when he won the 56-mile long Missouri Marathon.
He provided and flew Little Nellie in the James Bond film You only live twice. He is President of the Norfolk & Suffolk Aviation Museum and has now held his pilots licence for 70 years!