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

Sonex gears up for June 7-8 Workshop Seminar


OSHKOSH, Wis. — Sonex Aircraft is preparing for a busy summer in 2014. The season will kick off at the June 78 Sonex Builders Workshop event, the 57th seminar since the company’s founding in 1998.

Workshops give current and prospective builders a hands-on opportunity to gain metal aircraft construction skills specific to the Sonex Aircraft product line, while learning the ins and outs of all other aspects of building, flying and maintaining a Sonex Aircraft, all at Sonex company headquarters in Oshkosh, Wis.

Attendees also get a chance to take advantage of Basic Aircraft
Familiarization Flights in the factory fleet of aircraft via the Sonex
T-Flight Transition Training program. Space is still available and attendees can save over $1,000 on their Sonex Aircraft kit purchase. More information about Sonex Aircraft Workshops can be found here

Production and deliveries of Sonex Aircraft kits and AeroConversions
products are in full-swing heading into the summer, including a full
calendar of Quick Build Kit deliveries and a large number of AeroVee Engine Kit orders, combined with a full production schedule through year-end 2014 for the SubSonex Personal Jet, company officials report.

In preparation for expanded production schedules for 2014 and beyond, Sonex Aircraft has just completed a 3,600-square-foot addition to its warehouse facility, which increases total warehouse space to nearly 10,000 square feet.

“This warehouse expansion was a critical move to allow production capacity for the next generation of Sonex Aircraft and AeroConversions products including the very near-term SubSonex Personal Jet and AeroVee Turbo offerings,” comments Sonex CEO Jeremy Monnett. “We’re pleased to be doing our part in contributing to local and national economic growth as we continue to purchase the vast majority of our manufactured products from American companies, most manufactured right here in Wisconsin. We’re proud to be made in the USA.”

Final tasks are being completed in preparation for first flight of the JSX-2 SubSonex Personal Jet production-conforming prototype, anticipated to fly in June, company officials said. Completion of JSX-2 testing will allow production of customer Quick Build units to begin, and some of the first parts for SubSonex customer kits have already arrived at the Sonex warehouse.

More information about the SubSonex Personal Jet can be found here.

The AeroVee Turbo R&D project is also anticipated to be concluded and ready for production by the end of 2014. After more than a year of data collection and refinement in Sonex Aircraft’s engine test cell facility, the AeroVee Turbo has been returned to a flying airplane, with flight tests commencing this week.

This is the second phase of flight test for the AeroVee Turbo project; the first round occurred early in the project, after which the
engine was moved to the test cell. The second flight test phase is aimed at verification of performance and reliability benchmarks achieved in test cell running, and collection of performance numbers for the system including takeoff distance, rate of climb, and cruise at various altitudes.

More information about the AeroVee Turbo can be found here.