First flight: Sun Flyer


DENVER, Colorado – The single-seat technology demonstrator for the “Sun Flyer” solar-electric airplane completed first flight tests and will make its public debut July 27 in Oshkosh, the evening before the official start of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.

Sun Flyer, being developed by Aero Electric Aircraft Corp. (AEAC) in conjunction with its development partners, Bye Aerospace and PC-Aero, are planning to offer the first U.S.-sponsored, practical, all-electric airplane serving the training, recreational and general aviation markets. AEAC is also collaborating with Redbird Flight Simulations to offer a pilot training system.

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Students start building plane


Four students, a teacher, and two advisors from Sunrise Mountain High School in Las Vegas, Nevada —which won the second General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA)/Build A Plane Aviation Design Challenge — began building a Glasair Sportsman airplane June 16 at Glasair Aviation in Arlington, Washington.

The team, which was announced as the winner of the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) competition last month, will assemble the aircraft over the next two weeks.

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Is Little Nellie’s little sister for sale?


She’s unique. She’s armed. She’s dangerous. And she’s seen almost as much action as her big sister, Little Nellie, arguably the real star of the James Bond movie “You Only Live Twice.”

The XR-944 is the “military sister” to James Bond’s Little Nellie, also known as the XR-943.

AUTO 1The XR-944 is the only autogyro designed and hand-built by the recently deceased aviation legend, Wing Commander Ken Wallis, that isn’t secured in the Wallis Collection at the Shuttleworth Trust Aviation Museum.

Sources reveal that the XR-944 is the one autogyro Wing Commander
Wallis chose to keep in the family: He gave this piece of military engineering to his son, the photographer Jake Wallis.

An excerpt from a hand-written log book that accompanies the XR-944 reads:

“Before she was James Bond’s ‘Little Nellie’ she was a military trials aircraft as XR-943. She had a ‘military sister’, XR-944 in 1963… reengineered and updated in 1981, has been very successful in military exercise ‘Green Lanyard’, ‘Gryphon’s Gold’ etc and in N.A.T.O. trials and exercises in Germany. She can attack.”

IMG_3637XR-944 is secured in a secret location while her owner considers her future — to keep or to sell.

Whatever Jake Wallis decides, this may be the only opportunity for aviation fanatics, collectors and Bond enthusiasts to acquire a Wallis autogyro.

Old Buckenham Airfield, former World War II USAAF airbase (Jimmy Stewart was Operations Officer during WWII), has been asked to put proposals on XR944’s future to Jake Wallis.

For more information: Matt Wilkins +44 (0)1953 860 806 or email