The incredibly ugly Armstrong Whitworth Ape was conceived by the scientists of the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough, as a modular in-flight adjustable aerodynamic and aircraft handling test vehicle. Clearly, they should have known better. As seen here in this view of J 7754, the second of three Apes built, the tailplane incidence could be altered dramatically. Provision was made to alter momen-arm forces by adding or subtracting sections of the fuselage on either side of the two-man centre section. Grossly underpowered with a 180hp Armstrong Siddeley Lynx III and first flown on 5 January 1926, the three Apes proved to be almost totally useless. J 7754 crashing on 23 May 1929. Shortly after this, the previously sporadic use of these machines was abandoned, but not before presumably the same RAE scientists that had dreamt the whole thing up had conducted a protracted review of why the Ape had demonstrated such an abysmal performance.