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Vertical Take-Off Aircraft (Research)

Volume 530: debated on Monday 19 July 1954

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asked the Minister of Supply what research is being conducted in this country into methods of vertical, or near-vertical, take-off of aircraft, other than by rotating wings; and how far this research has proceeded.

The Ministry of Supply has given contracts to a number of firms to undertake research into various methods of vertical or near-vertical takeoff. Engines and airframes suitable for this purpose are being developed.

As the right hon. Gentleman no doubt is aware, elsewhere in the world development is fairly far advanced. Will he see that there is no question of money shortage to delay the development of what may well be one of the most important types of machine?

I realise the importance of this work. Quite a lot of money has already been spent on it and the amounts being spent are going up fairly steeply. All this research into vertical and near-vertical take-off has very important military applications, and, therefore, I do not want to go into details of exactly what we are doing and how far we have got.