The Miles M.52: Gateway to Supersonic Flight

The Miles M.52: Gateway to Supersonic Flight


By (author) Captain Eric Brown

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  • Publisher: The History Press Ltd
  • Format: Hardback | 224 pages
  • Dimensions: 168mm x 228mm x 28mm | 699g
  • Publication date: 10 October 2012
  • Publication City/Country: Stroud
  • ISBN 10: 0752470140
  • ISBN 13: 9780752470146
  • Sales rank: 204,679

Product description

In December 1943, a top secret contract (E.24/43) was awarded to Miles Aircraft. The contract was to build the world's first supersonic jet capable of 1000mph. The only reliable source of data on supersonic objects came from the Armament Research Dept and their wind tunnel tests on ammunition. From this, Miles developed an exceptionally thin-winged bullet shaped aircraft. The research was inexplicably passed to the Americans in 1944. By December 1945, one prototype was virtually complete. The second, destined for an attempt at the sound barrier was 80 per cent complete. In February 1946, Capt Eric Brown was confirmed as the test pilot and October 1946 was set for the supersonic trials. However, on 12 February 1946, Miles were ordered to stop production. No plausible explanation was given for the cancellation when Britain was within six months of breaking the sound barrier. Eric Brown and others directly involved including Dennis Bancroft, the Chief Aerodynamicist on the M.52, have now come together to try and finally solve the mystery behind the cancellation.

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Author information

Captain Eric Brown, CBE, DSC, AFC, QCUSA, RN, is a former Royal Navy officer and test pilot who is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as holding the record for flying the greatest number of different aircraft. His other books include "Wings on My Sleeve," "Wings of the Luftwaffe," and "Wings of the Weird & Wonderful." Dennis Bancroft C.Eng MRAeS, was the Miles chief aerodynamicist. They are among the last surviving members of the M.52 development team.