Flying Bedstead', 29 November 1957.
© Science & Society
The Rolls- Royce vertical take-off-thrust measuring rig. This is the experimental rig built to prove the feasibility of controlled flight without lifting surfaces. The first free flight was made on 3 August 1954 by Captain R T Shepherd, chief test pilot of Rolls-Royce Limited. The machine, from its unusual appearance, became known colloquially as the 'Flying Bedstead'. 'The revolutionary 'Flying Bedstead', a hush-hush Rolls-Royce prototype, crashed yesterday and crushed its 41 year old RAF pilot to death during a routine vertical take-off test'. (Copyright must be cleared with Rolls-Royce.)