Rolls-Royce Thrust Measuring Rig
The Rolls-Royce Thrust Measuring Rig was a pioneering vertical take-off and landing aircraft developed by Rolls-Royce in the 1950s. The TMR used two Nene turbojet engines mounted horizontally within a steel framework raised upon four legs with castors for wheels. The TMR had no lifting surfaces (wings, blades, etc.) and was understandably nicknamed the Flying Bedstead.
The output of the jets was directed towards the centre of the rig with one jetpipe discharging downwards through a central nozzle while the other jet discharged downwards through two smaller nozzles on either side. Two arms were extended out the side of the rig through which compressed air was released for control in flight. The purpose of the rig was, as the name suggests, to test turbojet engines for lifting purposes and to develop techniques for controlling such an aircraft.
The man largely responsible for the development of the TMR was Dr Alan Arnold Griffith who had worked on gas turbine design at the Royal Aircraft Establishment in the 1920s and was a pioneer of jet lift technology. Griffith was employed by Rolls-Royce in 1939.
Two Thrust Measuring Rigs were built with the first taking to the air on 3 July 1953 though it remained tethered to the ground while airborne. The first free flight by the TMR was made on 3 August 1954 with R.T. Shepherd, Rolls-Royce's chief test pilot, at the controls.
Following successful trials of the TMR, Rolls-Royce began development of the Rolls-Royce RB108 direct-lift turbojet, five of which were used to power the first true British VTOL aircraft, the Short SC.1.
Comparable aircraft: LLRV