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.
The 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.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org