Plaque: Sir Barnes Wallis - Harmondsworth
Erection date: 26/9/2013
Sir Barnes Neville Wallis CBE, FRS, RDI, FRAeS 1887 - 1979.
Designer of R100 airship, geodetic construction, Upkeep, Highball, Tallboy and Grand Slam bombs. Pioneer of swing-wing and tailless aircraft and hypersonic flight.
We initially thought that Upkeep, Highball, Tallboy and Grand Slam were all versions of the bouncing bomb used in the Dambusters raid. But Mike Coleman has gone into things more deeply - he tells us that Tallboy and Grand Slam were spin-stabilised, deep-penetration, "earthquake" bombs dropped from altitude.
Site: Sir Barnes Wallis - Harmondsworth (2 memorials)
UB7, Moor Lane
This marks the site where Wallis's water-skipping explosives were tested on models at the Road Research Laboratories. Tom Long sent us this 1946 map which shows the Road Research Lab buildings a little to the south, on the Colnbrook By-pass, to the east of the 4 houses that are still there, surprisingly since Heathrow airport wiped out most of what's shown on this map.