Wallis WA-116 Agile

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WA-116 Agile
Little Nellie.jpg
Little Nellie, pictured with its creator Ken Wallis in the cockpit.
Role Single-seat autogyro
National origin United Kingdom
Manufacturer Wallis Autogyros Limited
Designer Ken Wallis
First flight 2 August 1961
Number built 10+

The Wallis WA-116 Agile is a British autogyro developed in the early 1960s by former Royal Air Force Wing Commander Ken Wallis. The aircraft was produced in a number of variants, one of which, nicknamed Little Nellie, was flown in the 1967 James Bond film You Only Live Twice.

Design and development[edit]

Wing Commander Ken Wallis, a former RAF pilot, developed a number of improvements to the autogyro design, including the offset gimbal rotor head which gives the autogyro hands-off stability.[1] Wallis' first prototype autogyro, registered G-ARRT, was first flown on 2 August 1961.[2]

Operational history[edit]

In 1962, five WA-116s were built by Beagle Aircraft at Shoreham, three of which were for evaluation by the British Army Air Corps.[2] In 1966, one of the Beagle-built WA-116s, registered G-ARZB, was modified for use in the James Bond film You Only Live Twice.[3] Little Nellie was named after Nellie Wallace.[4] Few Wallis autogyros have been operated privately, with nearly all of them being used for research and demonstration flying by Wallis himself.[3]


 United Kingdom


WA-116 Agile
Prototype autogyro powered by a Wallis-McCulloch 4318A engine.[2]
Two-seat variant, one built.[2]
WA-117 Venom
Variant powered by a 100 hp (75 kW) Rolls-Royce Continental O-200-B engine.[2]
WA-118 Meteorite
Variant powered by a 120 hp (89 kW) Wallis-modified Meteor Alfa supercharged two-stroke engine.[5]
Variant powered by a 40 hp water-cooled 990 cc Hillman Imp engine.[2]
Streamlined variant for high-altitude research with a Wallis-McCulloch engine; a single WA-121 was built in 1972.[2]

Specifications (WA-116)[edit]

Data from [2]British Civil Aircraft since 1919 – Volume 3

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 3.38 m (11 ft)
  • Rotor diameter: 6.20 m (20 ft 4 in)
  • Height: ()
  • Empty weight: 116 kg (255 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 249 kg (550 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Wallis-McCulloch 4318A piston engine, 54 KW (72 hp)


58 lb fuel, power/wt 7.651b/hp[8]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ "The Wallis Autogyros." Flight. 31 March 1966. p. 515.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Jackson (1974). p. 329.
  3. ^ a b Apostolo (1984). p. 101.
  4. ^ Places & Faces, "The Name's Wallis" (accessed 2013-12-12)
  5. ^ https://www.flightglobal.com/FlightPDFArchive/1966/1966%20-%201560.PDF
  6. ^ a b "The Wallis Autogyros." Flight. 31 March 1966. p. 520.
  7. ^ "The Wallis Autogyros." Flight. 31 March 1966. p. 518.
  8. ^ "The Wallis Autogyros." Flight. 31 March 1966. p. 517.


  • Apostolo, Giorgio (1984). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Helicopters. New York: Bonanza Books. ISBN 0-517-439352.
  • Jackson, A.J. (1974). British Civil Aircraft since 1919 – Volume 3. London: Putnam & Company Ltd. ISBN 0-370-10014-X.