Vertical Take-Off Aircraft

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Aviation – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 14th November 1960.

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Photo of Sir Arthur Harvey Sir Arthur Harvey , Macclesfield 12:00 am, 14th November 1960

asked the Minister of Aviation if he will make a statement about the possibility of placing production orders for jet-propelled vertical take-off aircraft.

Photo of Mr Peter Thorneycroft Mr Peter Thorneycroft , Monmouth

Two types of jet-propelled vertical take-off aircraft are being developed represented by the Short S.C.1 and the Hawker P.1127. While the Short S.C.1 is essentially a research aircraft, the Hawker P.1127 is designed to meet a probable military requirement. It is too early to consider placing production orders, but I am doing all I can to ensure that we press ahead as quickly as possible with the exploitation of the new principles involved in these two aircraft.

Photo of Sir Arthur Harvey Sir Arthur Harvey , Macclesfield

I thank my right hon. Friend for what he has said, but will he bear in mind that Britain is leading the world in this type of development and that if the P.1127 tests proceed as satisfactorily as they have begun there can be a large market in the N.A.T.O. countries? Will he also bear in mind that these aircraft might settle the squabbles in Scotland?

Photo of Mr Peter Thorneycroft Mr Peter Thorneycroft , Monmouth

I am much obliged to my hon. Friend. We are, of course, exploring now the possibility of a N.A.T.O. requirement for this particular aircraft.