Middle Wallop – June 2002
Contributed by Max WARWICK (49B)
Nether Wallop – Hotel, for the use of Army Air Corps Types.
Contributed by Trevor STUBBERFIELD (52A)
Well worth a visit if you're in the area, especially at pensioners’ rates. From the RE's observation balloons, through early aircraft to the Glider Regiment (remember Cpl Cowan, East Surreys, Glider Pilot at Arnhem, PSI HQ Coy), up to the "heliocopeters", or "paraffin parrots", right up to the Gulf Operations. A bit threatening having the Red Indian or Apache hovering overhead whilst we had a look round the grounds. Even more so when two crash tenders and an ambulance scrambled for its landing. The pilot probably was thinking of the scalds if he spilt his coffee cup during the landing.
Circulating the news of my museum visit to friends brought forward some interesting memories which show how things develop.
From Tony Blythman 52A came:
"I've flown many times with the A.A.C. as an observer, flying over Salisbury Plain. I was attached to the Royal Artillery who were learning to fly and control pilotless spy planes. These were controlled and tracked by radio and radar, and they cost about £10,000,000 each. After the R.A. lost or crashed so many, I designed a "bread board" map unit to fit into an Auster. The pilot would then follow the instructions of the ground controller, who would think he was in full control. If, however, he messed up there would be some choice radio contact from the pilot. Result, no more crashed planes. I used to fly in the Auster to keep an eye open for other aircraft so that the pilot could concentrate and follow the instructions as lifelike as possible".
This brought a response from George Millie 49B:
drones Tony mentions were in fact developed from the Pilotless Target
Aircraft (P.T.A.) which were used for live-firing practice on the
'A' at Todendorf belonged to the U.S. Army and they had a much more
sophisticated P.T.A. Becoming friendly
with the mechanic who serviced them I discovered, out of boredom, that he had
attached a camera to one of them and captured some excellent in-flight images
of the countryside. This must surely
be the forerunner of the current
Have you similar memories which you would like to add to these? There must be many incidental developments which became major technological advances.