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  • Short Summary

    An aeroplane without a tail flies in the 1920s.

  • Description

    Aeroplane without tail. 1920s?.

    Location of events unknown / unclear.

    CU plane - back view - no tail but propeller is at the back - this plane is mostly wings - looks like some gliders. RAF man climbs up and examines something. Shot from side; he descends ladder; talks with 2 other men; pointing at plane; hangars; planes; mechanics in background. Different view same; men talking, they walk along plane. Standing by wing; 1 man opens flap. MS pilot climbs into cockpit; sits - facing away from propeller. Worker starts propeller.

    MS plane turns around with help of men; taxis to right (curved aerodynamic nose; 2 wheels in line). LS; pan right as plane picks up speed; passing biplane in foreground; & lifts off. Plane in distance; flying round airship with long rope hanging down. MS plane on ground again; taxiing towards camera. Side view; pilot climbing out. MS plane in flight - a silhouette against the sky - various shots. MS's flying overhead and heading away.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    Media URN:
    Old negatives
    British Pathé
    Issue Date:
    1920 - 1930
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Black & White
    Time in/Out:
    01:15:48:00 / 01:20:25:00
    ON 218 I

Comments (1)

  1. steelpillow says

    This is the Westland-Hill Pterodactyl Mk IC, one of a series designed by Capt. G.T.R. Hill and built by the Westland company.

    The video shows off many of its unusual features, including its tailless swept wing, engine (Armstrong Siddeley Genet five-cylinder radial with two-bladed propeller) in pusher configuration behind the pilot, Pterodactyl nose art, split "electroscope" drag rudders, bicycle main undercarriage with small outrigger wheels and a habit of fore-aft pitching when taxiing on rough ground.

    The location is either the Westland factory or RAE Farnborough, with the pilot most probably being Westland test pilot Harald Penrose, who flew it at both locations. The date is almost certainly 1930.

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