VIDEOS: Samlesbury's BAE Systems unveils forgotten aircraft designs from its archives

Some of the designs that never made it past the drawing board

Some of the designs that never made it past the drawing board

Some of the designs that never made it past the drawing board

Some of the designs that never made it past the drawing board

Some of the designs that never made it past the drawing board

Some of the designs that never made it past the drawing board

First published in News Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A HYPERSONIC space-plane, a jeep which could leap over enemy blockades and an aircraft able to take off and land vertically are some of the 1960s inventions unearthed from the archives of BAE Systems.

The inventions were produced by engineers in predecessor companies including English Electric, Hawker Siddeley and the British Aircraft Corporation.

ABOVE: The vertical lift aircraft

Howard Mason, heritage manager at BAE Systems, said: “Although 50 years have passed since these extraordinary designs were first put to paper, we can see how some of the technologies and ideas were developed over time and put to use now in aircraft like the F35 Joint Strike Fighter."

None of the ideas made it beyond their creator’s sketchbooks and have not been seen since.

But drawings have been released to coincide with the opening of a new centre to celebrate heritage at the company’s military aircraft factory in Warton.

Howard said: “Aircraft and vehicle engineering involves producing and analysing thousands of iterations and, whilst today the process is sped up through the use of computer modelling, it’s fascinating to look through our archives and see what engineers were working on at that time.

“BAE Systems stores more than one million historical documents and artefacts and, in addition to celebrating our nation’s engineering achievements, I believe these examples of forward thinking are still inspiring for young people who are thinking about a career in engineering and considering the endless possibilities of what could be designed.”

The jumping jeep, powered by 12 vertical lift fans, was cancelled due to the cost.

Experts also worked on a hypersonic plane, the first re-usable space plane which would have travelled at five times the speed of sound.

ABOVE: the fighter jet lift-off platform

ABOVE: The jumping jeep

ABOVE: The hypersonic plane

Comments (2)

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11:23pm Tue 18 Jun 13

2 for 5p says...

Is there a actual point to this story
Is there a actual point to this story 2 for 5p
  • Score: 0

9:51am Wed 19 Jun 13

Joseph O'M says...

2 for 5p wrote:
Is there a actual point to this story
Just that it's cool!
[quote][p][bold]2 for 5p[/bold] wrote: Is there a actual point to this story[/p][/quote]Just that it's cool! Joseph O'M
  • Score: 0

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