Just Call me the Harmonious Drag Master …

Just Call me the Harmonious Drag Master …

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This is the Gloster Javelin. It has also variously been named the Flying Triangle, The Harmonious Drag Master, the Flying Flat Iron, the Ace of Spades and the Grovelin.

The Gloster Javelin was a twin-engined T-tailed delta-wing subsonic night and all-weather interceptor aircraft that served with Britain’s Royal Air Force from the mid-1950s and until the late 1960s. 

wd804-prototype

The first prototype (WD804) was structurally completed in 1951. Following a month of ground testing, on 26 November 1951, it conducted its first flight at Moreton Valence airfield in Gloucestershire. WD804 was destroyed during a test flight in June 1952 when aerodynamic flutter caused the elevator surfaces to detach in mid-flight. Despite the lack of control surfaces, test pilot Bill Waterton stayed with the aircraft and landed at a speed much higher than normal which resulted in the undercarriage collapsing. After the crashed aircraft came to rest, fire broke out and Waterton found great difficulty in freeing himself owing to a jammed hood. Eventually he did get out of the wreck. By then the flames had reached the area of the cockpit but despite this, he climbed back into the fuselage and salvaged the automatic records relating to the original aerodynamic and structural failures. He was awarded the George Medal for his actions to retrieve flight data from the burning aircraft.

gloster

It was called the Harmonious Drag Master because of the noise it sometimes made … I know. I guess you had to be there.

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2 responses to “Just Call me the Harmonious Drag Master …

  1. A great piece of nostalgia. The precise tones of the narrator in the video clip, and the chap sitting in the briefing with his pipe in his mouth…

    • Hi. I know. There was just something so comfortably proper about those days. Almost eccentric by some of today’s standards.Thanks for dropping by. Kris.

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