A man renown for his genius as a designer and inventor, Barnes Wallis turned his mind to helping Britain to win the Second World War by creating weapons that could defeat the industrial might of Germany.  From his ten ton bomb Tall Boy to the bouncing bomb Upkeep, his remarkable talent ran from designing Airships to supersonic aircraft.  This is his story.

Barnes Wallis as a young man in Naval Service.


Wallis’s geodesic design employed in the Wellington bomber allowed it to survive despite enormous damage.


The huge Tall Boy bomb, designed to penetrate deep into the earth before exploding.


The Swallow. Designed by Wallis as a variable geometry supersonic aircraft.



Images under Creative Commons licence with thanks to the Royal Society on Twitter, The US Library of Congress, the Imperial War Museum, Royal Air Force and the RAF Museum Cosford.