Wing Commander Ken Wallis 1916 - 2013

Reymerston Hall, Reymerston, Norfolk, UK
Ken Wallis

Wing Commander Kenneth Horatio Wallis DSO MBE CEng FRAeS PhD RAF, was born in Cambridge, United Kingdom, on the 26th April 1916.

During the Second World War, Ken served in the Royal Air Force initially flying patrols in Westland Lysander aircraft before joining Bomber Command where he flew Vickers Wellington bombers. After the war ended Ken remained in the RAF and moved on to weapons research and development.

Ken retired from the RAF in 1964 and became well known for his pioneering work with light autogyros, especially through building and flying his Wallis WA-116 autogyro, "Little Nellie" in the 1967 James Bond movie, "You Only Live Twice".

Ken was regarded as one of the leading exponents of autogyros and was the recognized world record holder for many categories of records over the years, including the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale speed record of 111.7 mph, and the straight-line distance record of 540.11 miles. On 16 November 2002, Ken, then aged 86, increased the speed record to 129.1 mph. In 2005 he was also recognized as the oldest pilot to set a world flight record at the age of 89. In total, Ken earned 34 world records, still holding eight of them at the time of his death in September 2013.

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