The FD2 saga is perhaps the most appalling. Not only were the Ministry of Defence not impressed by Twist’s feat, they were so incensed by the barrage of damage claims from sonic booms that they banned supersonic test flights. Twiss took the FD2 to the French Dassault airfield. The great plane maker Marcel Dassault was very impressed by the FD2 and the classic Mirage 3 shows clear signs of FD2 influence.
In 1957 the British Defence Minister, Duncan Sandys, cancelled all manned fighter projects other than the English Electric Lightning. Missiles would take over, he said. Only now are drones beginning to usurp manned planes. The last 50 years have been the age of the fighter bomber and few have been as successful as the Mirage 3. The whole story is beautifully told in James Hamilton-Paterson’s Empire of the Clouds.