The Rolls-Royce vertical take-off-thrust measuring rig, 1954.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Model (scale 1:24). This experimental rig was built to prove the feasibility of controlled flight without lifting surfaces. The first free flight was made on 3rd August 1954 by Captain R T Shepherd, chief test pilot of Rolls-Royce Ltd, at the controls. The machine, from its unusual appearance, became known colloquially as the 'Flying Bedstead'.