Flying Bedstead


Flying Bedstead

The Flying Bedstead was a nickname given to two different experimental vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft, both receiving the nickname because each comprised a skeletal platform raised on four legs that resembled a bedstead.

These aircraft were the Rolls-Royce Thrust Measuring Rig (TMR), and the later LLRV (Lunar Landing Research Vehicle) developed as part of the Apollo program. Both aircraft relied on jet lift (engine thrust directed downwards) rather than aerofoil surfaces, such as wings or rotors, as a means of providing lift.

Rolls-Royce Thrust Measuring Rig 1953

The first "Flying Bedstead" was the British Rolls-Royce Thrust Measuring Rig which flew in 1953 at Hucknall aerodrome, Nottinghamshire, England, which was developed to research the use of direct-lift through the use of engine power alone, along with the associated methods of controlling the aircraft, with a view to use in further VTOL aircraft such as the later Hawker P.1127 and Short SC.1.

A pub close to the aerodrome in Hucknall is named "The Flying Bedstead" and its pub sign is a painting of the Thrust Measuring Rig.

In 1957, Test Pilot, Air Commodore Larsen failed to make a wooden stick check of the fuel tanks, resulting in a fatal accident [http://www.scienceandsociety.co.uk/results.asp?txtkeys1=Flying+Bedstead]

Lunar Landing Research Vehicle 1960s

The second aircraft known as the "Flying Bedstead" was the LLRV (Lunar Landing Research Vehicle) developed by the United States in the 1960s as part of the Apollo program and intended for studying piloting techniques for use by the astronauts destined for the moon landings in the Apollo Lunar Module. During one of his flights in an LLRV the X-15 pilot and future Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong was nearly killed when the "Flying Bedstead" went out of control and crashed.

ee also

* Rolls-Royce Thrust Measuring Rig
* LLRV


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