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4 The Supersonic Committee The Me 163A starting its take-off run at Peenemünde. This MAP committee arose out of a meeting held on 4 May 1943 to consider an intelligence report based on interrogation of a German prisoner of war. The report indicated that the Germans were developing high-speed aircraft capable of 1,000mph (1,609km/h), and it almost certainly refers to the flight of the Messerschmitt 163A third prototype on 2 October 1941, when Flugkapitän Heini Dittmar broke the 1,000km/h barrier.

He was also a member of the Supersonic Committee. 5 In at the deep end The four pilots of the Aerodynamics Flight. From left to right: Sqn Ldr Tony Martindale, Sqn Ldr Jimmy Nelson, the author and Sqn Ldr Doug Weightman. When the momentous wartime year of 1944 dawned I was a test pilot at the Aircraft and Armament Experimental Establishment (A&AEE), Boscombe Down. But not for long as fate stepped in and I was hurried on my way to RAE Farnborough to replace a pilot killed in the course of his test work.

I did think the lateral control at take-off and landing with such a small span might not be acceptable, but to increase the span would increase the drag. The NPL produced a great deal of information on supersonic flight, with much of the data confirmed by experiment, but little about the transonic region. They recommended Dr Maccoll as the only real source of practical transonic knowledge. On Sunday, the 17 October 1943, the Miles design team paid a visit to Power Jets at Brownsover, to discuss the supersonic project with Frank Whittle and his design team.

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