Skip to comments.Ken Wallis: James Bond stunt pilot dies (Little Nellie)
Posted on 09/03/2013 6:29:23 PM PDT by Perdogg
A 97-year-old record-breaking autogyro pilot, who flew as a James Bond stunt double, has died.
Retired Wing Cdr Ken Wallis, who lived near Dereham, Norfolk, died on Sunday, his daughter confirmed.
Born in Ely, his first solo flight was in 1937. Thirty years later he doubled as Sean Connery's Bond for an explosive aerial sequence in You Only Live Twice.
(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...
I remember seeing the old geezer fly his machine. He looked to be having the time of his life. It really did look like it would by fun to fly.
Assembled from three suitcases, including twin machine guns, two heat seeking missles, a gaggle of smaller rockets, a flame thrower, and bombs attached to little parachutes. Damn! My favorite Bond gadget.
Not bad for a 90-years old man.
He had to fly “little Nellie over” 86 times to film the stunts..One guy lost his leg, he was on a sling from a helicopter filming scenes and got to close to a lower helicopter.
John Jordan (”Aerial Unit Camera”) lost his leg while working on the film.
Back in 1980, I flew the camera for the closing scenes of Flame Trees of Thika. The cameraman said he had filmed the last 5 or 6 Bond films. He was English, IIRC. Unfortunately, I don’t remember his name. I don’t think it was “John Jordan”. Do you know what year he lost his leg?
I did manage to give my camerman a scare (and me too!) We were flying formation with an antique train leased from the Kenya Railways Museum. Then the director wanted us to circle the (moving) train until we got around back to the caboose then slowly climb and zoom out, showing the train heading away across the “vast African savannah”.
Piece of cake! Or so I thought. Unfortunately, we got into settling with power (vortex ring state) at the 2 o’clock position, dropping like a rock while in the descending column of air created by my main rotor. Thankfully, training took over and I had enough altitude to dive out of the situation. Gave us both a fright.
After thinking over the situation, I realized that although I was flying a circular path in relation to the train, in relation to the ground I was flying a series of strung out loops. However, the train was heading into a good wind, so in relation to the air mass, we were flying either in a high stationary hover when at the 2 o’clock position... or possibly flying backwards. Jet Rangers don’t like that a lot while at over 5,000’ MSL!
We talked it over with the film’s director then increased our circle radius from 100 meters out to 200 meters. This gave us forward airspeed all the way around the train. No settling with power and a smooth camera shot they used in the movie.
As the saying goes, “I learned about flying from that!”
I remember that scene! That was a close one, by both accounts.
That’s a ripe old age.
Rest in peace Ken Wallis.
Wow very interesting.
This dude died in the 70’s some brief info below.
God rest his soul. You Only Live Twice - and it sounds like he had an interesting life!
As an aside - I've been meaning to tell you that I FINALLY got to watch AVATAR on TV, with captioning, recently. Very long movie and I enjoyed it. I only mention it because I'm astounded that it was in 2009 that the movie was released and I recall posting images on your threads when others were discussing it.
Time flies too!!
OK, obviously a different bond cameraman.
Thanks for the info!