Tony Buttler AMRAeS explores Britain’s first true Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) aircraft, the Short SC.1


XG905 performs an untethered hover, in a view that provides good underside detail. Note the downward-facing air nozzles under the nose and rear fuselage, and beneath the outer wing. These provided control during jet-borne flight.

The S.C.1 was designed specifically to explore the new realm of vertical take-off and landing – together with transitions to and from conventional forward flight. As such the SC.1 was the first British jet-powered vertical take-off aircraft to also be able to fly normally. Two examples were built; they proved a great success, had long careers and did much to clear the ground for the critical Hawker P.1127 Harrier programme that would follow.

Test pilot Tom Brooke-Smith poses on top of the SC.1, showing how roomy the cockpit appears to have been.


Want to read more?

This is a premium article and requires an active Key Model World subscription.

Existing subscriber? Sign in now

No subscription?

Enjoy the following subscriber only benefits:

  • Unlimited access to all Key Model World content
  • Exclusive product reviews, latest news, builds and highly detailed layouts
  • Read 5,300 articles, in a fully searchable archive of modelling content growing daily!
  • Access to read the official Hornby Magazine and Airfix Model World online, brought to life with video and additional imagery
  • Access on any device- anywhere, anytime
  • Choose from our offers below