"Puffer Jet" Shorts SC.1 XG905 rear left 06102003
Shorts SC.1 XG905 photographed in the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum in Northern Ireland on 6 October 2003. The aircraft was designed for the development of low speed VTOL flight. Two SC.1s were built: XG900 and XG905. On 2 April 1957 Tom Brooke-Smith made the first conventional flight with XG900. XG905 began tethered hovering trials in May 1958 and appeared at the 1960 Farnborough Air Show. The SC.1 had five engines, which proved to be too many for practical use. The later very successful Harriers had only one. But they made a huge contribution to VTOL flight in two areas: the SC.1s were used to develop the rolling take-off technique that was later used by the Harriers and they explored the use of "puffer jets", another feature of the later Harriers. Puffer jets provided directional control at low speeds by using bleed air from the engines that was blown through small exhaust pipes in the nose,tail and wings. The forward puffer jet of the SC.1 was housed in the bulb visible under the nose. XG905 crashed in October 1963 and pilot J.R. Green was killed. But the aircraft was repaired and trials continued. XG900 is preserved at the Fleet Air Arm Museum at Yeovilton. A photo of Shorts SC.1 XG905 with front left view was posted to this EnoAeroPics gallery on Sunday 16 January 2011.