Miles M.52
Jets45 Histories

Miles M.52

    Supersonic Research Aircraft

    Engine: 1x Power Jets W.2/700 turbojet engine (fitted with augmentor and afterburner)
    Wing Span: 27'
    Length: 28'
    Weight: Gross 7,710 lb
    Maximum Speed: 1,000 mph 36,000 ft
    Armament: None
In 1942 the Air Ministry and the Ministry of Aviation approached Miles Aircraft with a top-secret contract for a turbojet research plane designed to reach supersonic speeds. Designed to meet specification E.24/43, which called for an aeroplane capable of flying over 1,000 mph (more than twice as fast as any that had flown previously in level flight). The Miles M.52 had many advanced features such as the ultra-thin BI-convex wings , an annular air intake, an all-moving tailplane (which was built and tested on the Miles "Gillette Falcon" in 1943) and a complete escape capsule for the pilot. The engine was to be a Power Jet W2/700 with afterburner and a specially ducted fan to increase the airflow.

The Miles "Gillette Falcon"

A works model of the M-52

In a reciprocal agreement with the Americans, the British Government let them have all the information regarding the M.52 in 1944, in exchange for open excess to the US high speed program. The USA renegued on this agreement much to the dismay of the Miles Co.

However three prototypes were ordered in 1944, with the first of these being started in 1945. But with a Treasury savings measure by the Labor Government, the then Director of Scientific Research, Sir Ben Lockspeiser, canceled the project in February 1946 "in view of the unknown hazards near the speed of sound" with over 50% of the construction finished.

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