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Miles M.35 Libellua



George Miles thought a tail-first aircraft would give the pilot the best possible for-ward view for landing on an aircraft carrier. With lift provided by two wings, span could be short and there would be no need for wing-folding.

In six weeks Miles had built a full-size flying test bed of his concept, the Miles M.35 Libellula, but Miles' chief test pilot refused to fly the peculiar aircraft, so George Miles made the first test himself in May 1942.

The Libellula proved catastrophically unstable in pitch; subsequently the aircraft was ballasted to improve its stability, but when the project was shown to ministry officials they told Miles: it will never fly.' When he pointed out that the aircraft had flown, they reprimanded him for building it without permission, while their Lordships of the Admiralty reminded him that in wartime lives had to be sacrificed.

Another Libellula was built as a five-eighths scale model of a projected high-altitude, high-speed bomber and proved perfectly stable over a wide range of centre of gravity positions, but the bomber was never ordered because de Havilland's Mos-quito was by then (1943) in full production.

Two were built and flown.





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