Miles M.52 : Gateway to Supersonic Flight
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.
- Electronic book text
- 01 Mar 2012
- The History Press Ltd
- United Kingdom
About Captain Eric Brown
Captain Eric Brown was born in Edinburgh and educated at Edinburgh University, where he undertook an Honours Degree in Modern Languages. From Edinburgh University Air Squadron, he joined the Royal Navy in 1939 as a Fleet Air Arm pilot. After operating as a fighter pilot in protection of Atlantic convoys, he was assigned to test flying duties in 1942, and in 1944, was made Chief Naval Test Pilot at RAE Farnborough where he commanded the High Speed Flight and prestigious Aerodynamics Flight. Awarded CBE, OBE, MBE, DSC, AFC, QCVSA.