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York Region ballistics expert helps to set U.S. Navy world record

Andrew Milne has been fascinated with ballistics since he received Canadian military training as a long-range sniper when he was a teenage cadet
Andre Milne L, veteran photog Phil Pendry MP
Munitions expert and Schomberg resident Andre Milne (left) and veteran photographer Phil Pendry, tested the 'new and improved' P-51 bullet in Simcoe County.

It has taken 20 years, but a group of Canadians is ecstatic about achieving new heights in ballistics.

A Schomberg man is part of a team of Canadian ballistic experts who have shattered world records. In the world of munitions, even a slight edge or improvement is vitally important, especially for military applications.

Andre Milne of Unicorn Aerospace and his colleagues have designed, crafted and tested new 9mm handgun bullets. Still in the final testing stages, data shows these have surpassed anything currently on the market, in terms of velocity, punch, accuracy and distance.

A recent live test in rural Simcoe County revealed some astonishing results.

The new and improved bullet — named P-51 — hit 2,350 FPS in recorded tests. This far exceeded the 1,454 FPS recorded from the standard U.S. Navy round. And it outperformed the civilian 9mm, which reached 1,339 FPS.

Not only that, this bullet travelled true and a had very small, two-inch drop in elevation at 100 metres. The Navy round dropped roughly 10 inches, while the civilian round fell almost 20 inches.

Even seasoned firearms experts say they have never heard of a 9mm hitting speeds like that.

Joining the team for the test was Milne’s longtime friend and legendary photographer Phil Pendry. He’s an award-winning cinematographer and director born in England but based in Toronto. Pendry has shot documentaries, television series, short films, music videos, commercials and high-end corporate communications projects. As a documentary cameraman he has covered 30 conflicts in the Middle East, Africa and Vietnam.

Pendry has witnessed many “firsts” in his live, and this was the most recent.

The key for the P-51 is in the innovative design of the slug itself. The exact details of the design are classified.

What was surprising from the tests was that the bullets packed a noticeable wallop at longer distances.

From a military standpoint, this is ideal and any noticeable improvement in ballistics makes this a game-changer. The latest tests show a massive 61.8 per cent improvement in FPS. Previous tests showed consistent improvements above 35 per cent.

This makes the team’s accomplishments worthy of note. Military organizations, bullet manufacturers and civilian gun owners around the world will want to get their hands on the new bullets.

This is the group’s “entry level” bullet and further improvements and designs with other calibres will set them miles ahead of the pack. For those seeking the best money can buy, this is definitely it.

What makes the Unicorn Aerospace P-51 ballistic munition so significant is that this extreme jump into higher velocities, intertwined with a near zero drop in kinetic energy during airborne travel over long distances, transforms this munition into an actual “aircraft platform” by being able to achieve a measure of self sustainable lift until impact to the target. This breakthrough qualifies the P-51 as now being a fourth-generation ballistic munition.

It takes its name from the legendary WW2 fighter plane, the P-51 Mustang, arguably one of the best aircraft ever made. The P-51 changed the tide of the war in Europe and helped the Allies establish air superiority.

Milne explained that the initial core aerospace design for the P-51 came to mind over 40 years ago when he was studying airfoil designs in a wind tunnel at Central Tech when he was a teenager. Then, some 20 years ago, Milne applied his aerospace engineering schooling to military technology development.

The bullet’s design was born and it really came to fruition over the past couple of years, thanks to the high-calibre design team that came together for this project.

In total, there are at least 36 world-class experts who have had a hand bringing the P-51 to life. They include black ops snipers, CGI animators, 3-D modellers, 5 Axis CNC machinists and, of course, international patent lawyers.

The ramifications are that virtually every single caliber of bullet and artillery now being made anywhere on this Earth is now technically obsolete with the invention of this now fourth-generation ballistic munition.

Milne and others fear that another world conflict is brewing and being prepared is paramount.

“We need to continue more than ever to ensure that NORAD and NATO and all of our strategic partners have the best and most effective offensive and defensive firepower they will all need to prevail over what is fast becoming an unprecedented amount of adversarial warfare technology,” he said.

Aside from the fact this fourth-generation ballistic intellectual property Unicorn Aerospace owns is literally worth billions in revenue potential, the Unicorn team is only interested in getting the essential testing data into the right hands. This way, the core manufacturing tooling can shift seamlessly to have no impact on the current supply chain of the global military industrial arms complex to prepare for the cold hard truth of conflict looming just over the horizon.

Milne’s expertise is also behind the trigger. He was taught by a special forces unit in the Canadian military how to be a long-range sniper when he was a teenager as a cadet. Ballistics fascinated him back then and he said everything came together a couple years later when he was getting immersed in aerospace engineering.

He formed what he knew  would be a  “ballistic concept breakthrough.” He parked the idea for a couple of decades before rolling up his sleeves and making it a reality.

The process is now at the stage of ironing out the timeline logistics to retool for a seamless shift for the sole licensed contractor of the P-51. Unicorn Aerospace is currently in talks with the Ministry of Defence in the United Kingdom to conduct extreme long-range ballistic testing at an artillery range in northern Scotland.

After receiving support from various members of the Canadian Forces at levels from special operators to actual commanders of live fire ranges, Unicorn Aerospace was put in direct contact with the key testing and research individual at NDHQ in Ottawa just over two months ago. While he was  more than eager to ask for specs on the P-51, he has since gone “radio silent,” which is one of the reasons Unicorn Aerospace is now going to be conducting essential military testing in other countries.

Mark Pavilons is a federally funded Local Journalism Initiative reporter for King Weekly Sentinel