This is the first film to be released a complete transition sequence by the Short SC.1, the vertical take-off and landing research aircraft able to stop in mid-air.
This is the first film to be released a complete transition sequence by the Short SC.1, the vertical take-off and landing research aircraft able to stop in mid-air. It is currently undergoing flight development at the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Bedford.
Flown by Town Brooke-Smith, Chief Test Pilot of Short Brothers & Harland Limited, the aircraft took off vertically using its four Rolls-Royce jet lift engines. It hovered for a few seconds and then accelerated forward. During this transition from jet-borne hovering to wing-borne flight the pilot switched off the jet lift engines and continued flying forward by means of a fifth engine mounted in the tail.
After a circuit of the airfield he brought the aircraft into land. The aircraft gradually decelerated until it made the transition from forward flight back to hovering. For a while it remained poised a few feet above the ground, then landed vertically.
The SC.1 is the only pure turbojet VTOL aircraft project in Europe, and the only aircraft of its particular type in the world. No other aeroplane anywhere uses a comparable system of a battery of lift engines for vertical take-off and a separate power unit for forward flight.
Shot's technical team has confidence that this success with the SC.1 places within reach a jet lift supersonic civil airliner. Such an airliner would be powered by groups of lift engines and would have separate propulsion engines. The remarkable recent improvements in specific weight of turbo jets and progress in research on the slender delta-wing configuration make an airliner of this kind a tangible possibility. These advances mean that the weight of the lift engines in normal flight - they would be used only at take-off and on landing - would cause less penalty than the provision of wings suitable for conventional take-off and landing.