Boulton Paul P.111A

Boulton Paul P111A VT935 RAF
Boulton Paul P111A VT935 RAF

A delta winged research aircraft which first flew on 10 October 1950 at Boscombe Down Airfield with Sqn Ldr Bob Smyth at the controls.

Developing nation: United Kingdom.
Boulton Paul/Dr S.C. Redshaw.
Number built: 1.
Type aircraft: research aircraft
First flight: 10 October 1950.
Last flight: June 1958.
Primary user: Royal Aircraft Establishment

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 7.95 m  (without nose probe) (26 ft 1 in)
  • Wingspan: 7.82 m, 9.07 m and 10.21 m (with detachable wingtips) (25 ft 8 in, 29 ft 9 in and 33 ft 6 in)
  • Height: 3.81 m (12 ft 6 in)
  • Wing area: 25.01 m², 26.40 m² and 26.94 m² (with detachable wingtips) ((269 ft², 284 ft² and 290 ft²))
  • Airfoil: t/c 10%
  • Empty weight: 3,410 kg (7,517 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 4,595 kg (10,127 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1× Rolls-Royce Nene R3N2 turbojet, 22.69 kN (5,100 lb st)


  • Maximum speed: 1,045 km/h at sea level (649 mph)
  • Service ceiling: 10,670 m (35,000 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 48 m/s (9,400 ft/min)

Boulton Paul test aircraft used to evaluate the aerodynamic characteristics of delta wing designs, thus paving the way in Britain for the Vulcan and Victor bombers.
Its delta wing had a leading-edge sweep of 45°, and detachable wingtips made it easy to carry out comparative tests with blunt and pointed tips. The fin tip was similarly detachable, and there was no tailplane. Several configuration changes were made during testing, the most significant after a wheels up landing accident. It emerged from this incident with a number of improvements to aerodynamic characteristics as the P.111a. A pilot who flew theP.111 described the aeroplane as touchy and like flying a razors edge and because of this became known as the Yellow Peril.

Boulton Paul P111A VT935 RAF
Boulton Paul P111A VT935 RAF

This is the only one built P.111 and now displayed at the Midland Air Museum, Coventry-Baginton Airport in the UK.


All pictures courtesy of Zijde Aviation Photo and Publishing, Rob Vogelaar