Your chance to own a piece of history - Old Buckenham Airfield asks for ideas for the future of Ken Wallis’ XR-944 plane

Old Buckenham Airfield are welcoming suggestions for hte future of Wing Commander Ken Wallis' XR-944. Old Buckenham Airfield are welcoming suggestions for hte future of Wing Commander Ken Wallis' XR-944.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014
6:00 AM

Aviation fanatics could have once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own the ‘military sister’ of James Bond’s Little Nellie – an autogyro designed and hand-built by the remarkable Wing Commander Ken Wallis.

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Old Buckenham Airfield are welcoming suggestions for hte future of Wing Commander Ken Wallis' XR-944.Old Buckenham Airfield are welcoming suggestions for hte future of Wing Commander Ken Wallis' XR-944.

Before he died aged 97 last year, Mr Wallis, who lived in Reymerston, near Dereham, decided to keep one of the 14 XR-944s made in the family – and left it in his will to son Jake Wallis, who lives in America.

Now, Jake and a team at Old Buckenham Airfield are trying to find a home for the unique piece of military engineering.

Matt Wilkins, airfield manager, said that they were trying to find an “appropriate” way to protect its future.

“Jake` wants it to go to an extremely good home and be looked after accordingly.

“Really it is the only opportunity there will ever be to independently own an autogyro,” he added.

Mr Wilkins said that the team were adamant they did not want the buyer to alter the plane.

“The plane has never had an accident and we don’t want anything that will tarnish the good reputation. The answer is a flat no.”

The other 13 planes are kept securely in the Wallis Collection at the Shuttleworth Trust Aviation Museum.

Mr Wallis – who famously flew the Little Nellie autogyro as Sean Connery’s stunt double in the 1967 James Bond film You Only Live Twice – praised the design in a hand-written logbook which accompanies it.

He said that the plane had been “very successful in military exercise” and added that “she can attack”.

To put an idea forward contact Mr Wilkins on 01953 860806 or email airfield@oldbuck.com

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