Today, we went to visit a Bond celebrity - the autogyro out of You Only Live Twice. And its inventor and pilot. He is now 94 years old and still flying. He's the life-president of the Sage's classic car club and always invites members and their guests over every year. He's a brilliant inventor and you are welcome to poke around his workshop and see all the autogyros and he loves to share his years of knowledge and experience. The Sage has been at least four times and this was my third visit. We took our friend J, who helped us when we were blocked in by the fallen tree, and M, another friend who is a mechanic with a particular enthusiasm for restoring vintage cars.
Here is Ken Wallis, talking to the Sage.
And here's Little Nellie herself. In the film, it was Ken Wallis flying her. It was adapted from an autogyro in military service - they have been very useful in a lot of surveying and other situations, though I suppose they're somewhat superseded now. He built the first one in 1961.
The one he was flying instead was much larger and heavier, with a sizeable Rolls Royce engine.
His usual party trick is a "look no hands, look no feet" flypast, but that wasn't so easy with this larger machine; still, he showed its paces impressively and it was fun to watch. I've a couple of short filmed clips too, to finish with.
Chris kindly found an article to link to - here - do click on it, it's an excellent article that really gives the way he speaks, and there's a film clip at the end too, which is worth watching.