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bootneck

Airfix "James Bond Autogyro" - who else used them?

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I've had a dig around the stash and pulled out the Airfix 1:24 scale kit of the James Bond Autogyro but I don't want to build it as the James Bond version.  I'd like to know how many other Autogyro's of this type were built and who used them.  I'm looking for something different than the film version.

 

cheers


Mike

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According to Wikipedia, the largest user was Ken Wallis himself. Of course, with only 5 built, that's not a difficult statistic to achieve. G-ARZA and -ZB (Little Nellie) appear to have been the most commonly seen.

625x465_2743842_6942539_1443680263.jpg

 

 

It could also fly with the pod off. This one has 2 seats and a larger rudder.

DSC_2456.jpg

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I saw Little Nellie stripped of her Hollywood weapons systems at Ken Wallis's brother's garage in the early/mid 1970s.

 

Somewhere I have a photo of me sitting in her.

 

I would have been about 11 or 12.

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31 minutes ago, Ascoteer said:

I saw Little Nellie stripped of her Hollywood weapons systems at Ken Wallis's brother's garage in the early/mid 1970s.

 

Somewhere I have a photo of me sitting in her.

 

I would have been about 11 or 12.

Ah Wallis' Garage Cambridge. I sat in a Lancia Stratos, Jackie Stewart's Tyrell, a least one aircraft - possibly a Gnat. I also remember the army and navy recruitment teams visiting. 

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Nellie also flew in military markings. XR942 for Army evaluation

LA00612-3.jpg

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John Noakes used one on Blue Peter.  Don't know if John actually flew it himself but it appeared on front cover of a Blue Peter Annual with an article about it inside.Annual+7.jpghttp://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Nffy5l_ZEG0/UpnM8e6keyI/AAAAAAAA3bw/3dqlqx-ja9k/s1600/Annual+7.jpg

I remember getting this annual and thinking everyone would commute by air when I grew up.  Still waiting for commuting by air ... and to grow up!

Cheers

Will 

Edited by malpaso
Link added

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46 minutes ago, Scimitar said:

Nellie also flew in military markings. XR942 for Army evaluation

LA00612-3.jpg

That's interesting.  Anyone know what colours and markings adorned both sides?

 

Mike

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Green overall (sorry don't know exact shade) I believe the stripes were dayglo orange. Standard fin flash.

There is a colour photo around but can't track it down at moment.

 

Richard

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Found TWO colour ones of XR944 ((G-ATTB):

 

chef.bbci.co.uk/news/660/media/images/74662000/jpg/_74662578_autogyro_2.jpg

 

and

 

G-ATTB.jpg

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4 hours ago, Scimitar said:

Found TWO colour ones of XR944 ((G-ATTB):

 

chef.bbci.co.uk/news/660/media/images/74662000/jpg/_74662578_autogyro_2.jpg

Something seems wonky about that URL :(

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14 hours ago, malpaso said:

John Noakes used one on Blue Peter.  Don't know if John actually flew it himself but it appeared on front cover of a Blue Peter Annual with an article about it inside.Annual+7.jpghttp://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Nffy5l_ZEG0/UpnM8e6keyI/AAAAAAAA3bw/3dqlqx-ja9k/s1600/Annual+7.jpg

I remember getting this annual and thinking everyone would commute by air when I grew up.  Still waiting for commuting by air ... and to grow up!

Cheers

Will 

I remember reading that one, He flew in a two seater unpowered training version on a towline.

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14 hours ago, Jessica said:

Something seems wonky about that URL :(

Don't know what went wrong there.

If you Google XR942 AND XR944 you should get the pic

Not sure if it is when it was on the trials or after a restoration.

 

Richard

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Thanks Richard,  I have googled and found those images.  I thought there would have been more of these autogyro's built and therefore more choices for builds. Think I'll do a bit more research before getting the glue out for this one.  Thanks to everyone who contributed with links and advice

 

Mike

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That's an interesting list and thank you for providing it.  Do you know if they are all the same airframe type i.e. can they be built from the Airfix kit?

 

Mike

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The reissued Airfix kit has decals and instructions for the Army variant without nose nacelle, so depending which version of the kit you have, this is an easy alternative.

In October 1982, I visited Ken Wallis at his house and we pushed his entire fleet of Autogyros outside for photography., so I have photos of them all. 

During my visit he very kindly gave me one of the original kits and I built it as the prototype, G-ARRT, as it looked in the '60s and remodelled the James Bond figure to represent Ken Wallis himself.

  Airfix%201-24%20Wallis%20Autogyro%203_zp

 

Incidentally, that photo of John Noakes of Blue Peter does not show him sat in a Wallis Autogyro. That's a Campbell Cricket! 

   

Edited by AMB

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It's always interesting to get feedback from someone with a personal association of the subject being discussed or requested.  Thanks for posting this.

The kit is the re-issued version No. 04401.  It is the one with the box-art of James Bond sat in the cockpit with his arms folded, yet still seemingly able to fire the canons and missiles whilst at the same time as dodging and weaving from all those nasty baddie helicopters.

 

Mike

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Mike, In that case you should find decals and instructions for the Army evaluation machine. Alas, despite vigorous marketing and publicity, I think Ken Wallis only sold two of his autogyros and one of those was to a relative. In 1962 the Army evaluated three of them, but never ordered them. BEAGLE were all geared up to market and produce them but that came to nothing. Then came the James Bond film 'You Only Live Twice' which gave 'Little Nellie' enormous publicity, yet still no sales. The sad story there was that Ken Wallis did all the actual flying in that film, but they forgot to give him a name credit at the end. Another hoped-for break came when Vinten cameras were promoting it with two registered G-SCAN and G-VIEW in 1982, but again after trials, still no orders or production and Ken Wallis retained all those built at his house in Norfolk.  Therefore, unless you want to model an Army evaluation machine (I have one of these in my stash to build) or the prototype as mine, then it can only be one of Ken's personal machines.          

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Hi Adrian,

 

I'm starting to remember some of this now; perhaps that was why I put the box in the stash in the first place, not enough information about other variants.  Obviously, from your findings, there weren't any.

 

Thanks

Mike

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Ill try to remember to let Shirley (Jennings) know this thread is running tomorrow, she might have some insights.

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Had a word as promised and the short story is that Wallis was approached by Beagle and Vinten(?) in terms of manufacturing the design, but he becamse dissillusioned by the changes that these manufacturers were making.  An example was he was barely able to get one re-designed aircraft off the ground due to the increase in weight.

 

Shirley has promised she'll take a look into her files (and knowing her that might mean a massive amount of work by herself, which I've tried to gently discourage) but in the short term her preferred website/forum is www.rotarywingforum.com which could be worth a look and enquiries there.

 

HTH

 

 

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Thank you very much Dave. Please do discourage Shirley as this is only a general query on what variants were available, nothing more.  I'll pop over to the website and check it out.

 

Thanks again

 

Mike

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