Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Roy Mole 19xx-2014

Roy Mole was a Vickers/BAC flight test engineer, he was the Flight Engineer on G-ARTA when it had a nearly disastrous flutter incident, and on 5H-MOG during the last first flight of a VC10.

Mark P. "Forger" Stucky

Stucky served as a test pilot at Naval Air Station Pt. Mugu and Naval Weapons Center China Lake, CA, flying both operational and developmental test flights in the F-4 and all models of the F/A-18. He was actively involved in software development in the Hornet as well as testing of the Night Attack variants. Stucky was temporarily assigned to Marine forces for several weeks during Operation Desert Shield/Storm and flew several combat missions during the initial air campaign.

Following his return from the Persian Gulf, Stucky completed his postgraduate study with the University of Tennessee and was awarded a Masters of Science degree in Aviation Systems.

Always interested in aerospace, Stucky left the Marine Corps in 1993 to accept a job as a NASA research pilot job with NASA JSC. At JSC, Stucky served as an aerospace research pilot with primary duties as an instructor pilot for NASA Space Shuttle astronauts in the T-38 and the highly modified Gulfstream-II Shuttle Training Aircraft (STA).
After earning his degree, Stucky joined the United States Marine Corps where he flew the F-4 Phantom and later the F/A-18 Hornet. During his tenure in the Marines, Stucky was selected for and graduated from the Navy Fighter Weapons School (TopGun), the Marine Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course, and the USAF Test Pilot School.
 Stucky transferred to Dryden in February 1996 from NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, TX. He was assigned as a pilot on various flight test models of the F-18 and F-16 aircraft as well as the King Air. He also was the project pilot in the Eclipse project, which involved towing a QF-106 behind a C-141 to test a method of launching spacecraft. When he joined Dryden, Stucky had logged over 4,000 flight hours in over forty different models of aircraft varying from the U-2 spyplane to the Goodyear Blimp.Stucky's aviation career began in 1974 when he started hang gliding off the Kansas flint hills at age 15. He attended Kansas State University where he received a Blue Key scholarship for an extra-curricular design project involving hang gliding. Stucky graduated from KSU in 1980 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Science.He was an aerospace research test pilot at NASA's Dryden (now Armstrong) Flight Research Center, Edwards, CA, until the middle of September 1999, when he left Dryden for other employment.

He was with Scaled Composites’ WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo development program, ranging from engineering test pilot for both vehicles to technical adviser, design engineer, instructor pilot, project pilot and mentor. During his tenure at Scaled, Stucky flew the majority of SpaceShipTwo’s envelope expansion flights and initiated its powered rocket motor test flight phase as pilot in command on the spaceship’s first powered flight. He also served as project pilot and instructor in the transition and integration of WhiteKnightTwo from Scaled to Virgin Galactic’s commercial operations team. He joined Virgin Galactic as a pilot in January 2015.

Michael R. Swann 1949-1981

Michael R. Swann joined the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Dryden Flight Research Center on June 5, 1978, transferring from the NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas, as a research pilot.
Swann attended North Dakota State University, Fargo, North Dakota, from September 1968 to February 1977, where he earned his Masters in Physics. He was a member of three national honorary scholastic fraternities.
Prior to joining NASA Swann served concurrently as an Aerospace Defense Command Interceptor pilot in the Air National Guard for five years and as a college physics instructor at North Dakota State University for two years.
While at Johnson Space Center Mike was a pilot on high altitude earth resources and air sampling missions. He was also an instructor and check pilot for the Astronaut Space Flight Readiness Training program. As a Dryden research pilot Mike was involved with the F-111 #778 Transonic Aircraft Technology (TACT) program, F-15 # 281 Shuttle Tile tests, programs on the F-8C #802 and the PA-30 #808 Remotely Piloted Research Vehicle. He flew the Bell 47G #822 helicopter in support of research with the three-eighths-scale F-15 Spin Research Vehicle. On March 28, 1979, Mike made a pilot familiarization flight in the YF-12A #935. He also flew support flights in the F-104, C-47, T-37, T-38, and the Jetstar aircraft.
Michael R. Swann was born June 5, 1949, in Fargo, North Dakota; he was fatally injured in a recreational glider accident on July 28, 1981, near California City, California.

Jock Reid MBE

Jock Reid was born and raised in Renfrew, mid-way between the old and new Glasgow airports. He joined the Royal Air Force in 1966 and after training, flew the Lightning operationally before completing an instructors course and spending 2 years teaching on the Folland Gnat. He attended the US Navy Test Pilots School at Patuxent River, Maryland in 1976 before returning to the UK to spend 3 years testing fighter and trainer aircraft at the Aeroplane and Armament Establishment Boscombe Down. His final 3 years of RAF service was as an instructor at the Empire Test Pilots School, also at Boscombe Down.

He joined the Civil Aviation Authority as an airworthiness test pilot in January 1983, becoming Chief Test Pilot in 1995 before retiring in September 2003. During his CAA service Jock has flown most types of aircraft from the very small to the very largest and fastest. He admits to a great fondness for the Boeing 747 but it is Concorde which remains the focus of his affection. Jock converted to Concorde in 1989 and flew the aeroplane on a regular basis until his retirement in 2003. During that time, he was privileged to participate in all the flight test activities which arose, including in particular, the return to service tests after the Paris accident as well as participation in ceremonial flights such as the opening of the Scottish Parliament and the Queens Golden Jubilee.

Honours and awards include the Royal Aeronautical Society's British Gold Medal, 2002 and the Guild of Air Pilots and Navigators Derry and Richards Memorial Medal, 2003. He was appointed MBE in January 2004.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Edward A.Gillespie 1928-2015

 Ed Gillespie was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan on July 28, 1928, a licensed pilot at age of 16, he joined the US Navy at 17 and was accepted into the Navy flight training program. As a carrier based fighter pilot during the Korean conflict he flew many combat missions in service of his country. Passing on an opportunity to join the Blue Angels, he entered Test Pilot Training school where he graduated in 1956. He remained in the Navy Reserve where he retired at the rank of Captain after 26 years of additional service. In 1956 he took a position with North American Aviation, Columbus, Ohio, where he was employed for 30 years, retiring as Chief Test Pilot for Rockwell International. With over 15,000 flight hours primarily accumulated in short, intense flights in single cockpit high performance aircraft, in over 100, jet, rocket, recip, helo and turbo prop military aircraft, his record of aviation accomplishment during his long career is matched by very few, living or dead.

Ed first soloed in September of 1944 at a small airfield near his hometown of Ann Arbor, MI. Ed was a recognized high school athlete who excelled in swimming, football and track. He was always physically active and as much he enjoyed participating in various sports, flying was his true passion. He enlisted in the US Navy’s Aviation Midshipman Program while still a 17-year-old in high school. After schooling in Engineering, at Syracuse University and Western Michigan University, he began Navy preflight training in the summer of 1948 with over 200 civilian flight hours already logged. He completed flight training without a “Down” and carrier qualified in SNJ’s and F4U Corsairs aboard the CVL’s USS Wright and USS Cabot. He was awarded his Wings of Gold, in May of 1950 and was selected to attend Jet Transitional Training (a choice assignment in those days), while still a Midshipman. The airplanes utilized were single-seat TO-1’s (Air Force P-80 Shooting Stars) as there were no two-place jet trainers at that time.
Fleet duty as carrier based F2H Banshee pilot, Ed covered several oceans and as many ships during the next three years, including 80 combat missions in Korea. As the high man in the F2H he also served as technical director and pilot for four USN training fly on to fly the Banshee. This assignment almost cost him his life during filming of an intentional inverted spin when he finally regained level flight barely above the ocean. At that time he was still so naïve that he didn’t know the contractor had not yet successfully tested inverted spins in this airplane!
After three years of squadron duty, Ed was offered the very envious choice of either joining the Blue Angles or attending the US Navy Test Pilot School (TPS). He decided it would be better for his career to know more about aerodynamics instead of joining the air-show circuit, and subsequently graduated in TPS class Eleven in early 1954. From there on Ed was test flying continuously until he was in his 70’s. Ed flew every propeller or jet attack / fighter airplane in the navy’s inventory while serving as a test pilot at the Naval Air Test Center. An example was the infamous F7U Cutlass. Before it entered the fleet, Ed was one of the high time USN pilots in the unusual fighter. Unlike some of the other pilots, he almost began to enjoy the airplane and he believes that it’s rugged airframe later saved his life on at least two occasions.
Following his 1956 graduation from the USN Line School in Monterey, CA, Ed left active duty Navy and began to work for North American Aviation in Columbus, OH as an experimental test pilot. He found that he still had to deploy regularly as more than half his time was spent flying contractor test flights at NATC Patuxent River, NATF Lakehurst, NAWC China Lake, Edwards AFB, or NASWF Albuquerque.
In 1964 he applied for the Astronaut Program when it first opened to civilians but was disqualified because he was few months older than the maximum age limit, which was 36 at the time. That year he also became the Chief Test Pilot at North American Aviation, unfortunately due to the tragic death of one of his best friends during a test flight. For the next 24 years Ed continuously performed almost daily experimental flying in all series of Trojans, Buckeyes, Furies, Vigilantes, Savages, Broncos, Phantoms, Voodoos, and other lesser known, but just as demanding, types. Hundreds of these flights were at or approaching the structural/aerodynamic limits estimated for the aircraft. He further completed USN helicopter training and qualified in AV-8 Harriers and the X-22, both also vertical risers.
Shortly after becoming a civilian, Ed also wanted to continue to serve his country. He missed the tradition and camaraderie of the Navy. He joined the USNR and stayed active in the Reserves for the next 26 years. He eventually commanded an A4 Skyhawk, squadron, tested Phantoms at NAS North Island, performed carrier suitable tests in maximum gross weight Vigilantes at NATF Lakehurst, and instructed at the US Navel Test Pilot School as part of his Reserve commitment. His last assignments were Annual Training as the Commanding Officer of NAS Brunswick, NAS Oceana, and NAF Loges (Azores). In 1982 he retired as a Captain with 36 total years of service in the Navy.
After also retiring from North American Rockwell in 1988, Ed thought his test flying was over…thinking who would want to hire an aging test pilot? It so happened that there were jobs where experience was appreciated and he was soon employed to establish a test program and fly the structural and flutter flight tests on a major modification of the Air Force T-37. In order to satisfy the Air Force that a senior citizen could still safely fly a jet, he completed a three-month training program in the airplane at age 62. This made him the oldest graduate of pilot training ever at Randolph AFB! After two years with the T-37 Tweet, he did test work on a French designed amphibian biplane. Most of this was done while flying from Canadian lakes and seemed to be more fun for Ed than dangerous, however, two other pilots were later killed in the airplane and the effort ended. He also flew first flights in some WW1 replica biplane fighters. This lasted for another two years and proved to Ed that the airplanes of that day were indeed structurally limited, and marginally stable.
In the middle 90’s he began a lengthy flight test program on a civilian single-engine jet the BD-10J. It looked like a small F-18 and climbed like one! It was powered by a 3,000-lbs thrust engine and the airplane weighed only 4000 lbs. Needless to say it was a real screamer and provided plenty of unwanted scares and adrenaline rushes. Most of the testing was done at the Civilian Flight Test Center at Mohave, CA. Ed did all of the first flights (five different wing/tail configurations) and demonstrated the capabilities of this airplane to the US Military at several military installations. A fatal crash of a skilled, but impatient, ex-fighter pilot almost ended the program. With increased emphasis on engineering, and a steadier paycheck promised, Ed resumed testing a modification of the airplane with another company near Lake Tahoe, NV. Unfortunately, due to a mechanical failure, the president of the company was also killed in the airplane, which ended this promising program.
Ed was elected a Fellow in the Society of Experimental Test Pilots in 1977, but has never been in the right time frame or position to participate in any high visibility programs such as Space. On the contrary, he was always a work-a-day test pilot who always managed to complete the often “hairy” mundane test tasks and deliver the necessary engineering data without ever losing an airplane.
Capitan Gillespie served in the US flight test community longer, continuously, and successfully, than any other civilian or military pilot. He was very proud of the fact that he always landed every airplane that he took of in. Some were not all in one piece or they were on fire, but they all got back. Having been within microseconds of death several times during his long career, he credited his survival on a combination of good flight planning, conservative flying, moderate skill and lots of luck! Ed had 15,000 hours of flight time, most in single pilot military airplanes.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Jacques Rosay 1949-2015

Jacques Rosay joined Airbus as a test pilot in 1995 and two years later became the project pilot for the A380, then known as the A3XX. In 2000 he was appointed vice president chief test pilot of Airbus’ flight test division. Prior to joining Airbus, he was chief test pilot at the French flight test centre in southern France, where he became project pilot for several military aircraft and tested almost 150 different models of military and civilian aircraft. He also worked as a certification test pilot for the Joint Aviation Authorities on various aircraft including Airbus’ A320, A321, A330 and A340 while also working part-time as a pilot for Air France. Jacques Rosay performed the maiden flights of the A318, A340-500 and the A380. He has some 10,000 flight hours to his credit, including 6,000 hours of flight tests. Jacques Rosay was born in 1949 in Valréas, France.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Glen L "Snake" Reaves 1926-1984

Lockheed test pilot Glen L "Snake" Reaves (left) with Johnnie Walker

W/Cdr Anthony 'Tony' F. Martindale AFC* 19xx-1959

Aero Flight 1944 L-R, Martindale, Nelson,Brown and Weightman
Tony Martindale, chief development engineer of the Motor Car Division of Rolls-Royce Ltd died on july 14th 1959. After five pre-war years with the company he joined the R.A.F., in which he had a distinguished career, particularly as a pilot of high-speed aircraft and captured German machines. After the war he was a Rolls-Royce test pilot for five years before resuming his car-development work.

The highest accurately recorded dive speed in a piston-engined fighter was Mach 0.91 (620 mph at 27,000 ft), recorded in Spitfire Mk.XI EN 409 by Squadron Leader A.F. "Tony" Martindale during a high-speed dive test from 40,000 feet at Farnborough on April 27, 1944. The aircraft lost its propeller and reduction gear, but in an extraordinary display of airmanship, Martindale managed to glide the aircraft back to base and land safely!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Roger Beazley CBE, AFC, BA (Hons), FRAeS

Roger H Beazley [RHB] flew his first solo in a Tiger Moth derivative, the Thruxton Jackaroo whilst undergoing an air cadet scholarship in 1959. He subsequently qualified as a gliding instructor within the air cadet movement whilst employed in industry as an electrical engineering draughtsman.
In 1964 he left industry to join the Royal Air Force to train as a pilot following which he flew Hunters, BAC Lightnings in Germany and then the Phantom F4 based in Scotland. He was selected for test pilot training during 1972 and graduated from the Empire Test Pilots’ School [ETPS] in 1973.
Following ETPS training he remained at Boscombe Down and joined B Squadron [Bombers and Transport Aircraft] working on the yet to fly MRCA [Tornado] project. He flew development and clearance flying on Canberra and Buccaneer aircraft with support flying on the Hercules, Comet and Nimrod aircraft. After 9 months on B Squadron a reorganisation at Boscombe Down allocated the Buccaneer, the MRCA and the associated flight test crews to A Squadron [Fighter Test].
During his time on A Squadron, he became increasingly involved in the early days of the MRCA project [by then named Tornado], including the airborne chase of UK’s first Tornado flight and subsequently in Manching Germany, flying the first tri-national assessment of the aircraft’s navigation and attack system.

Flight test work at Boscombe Down included development and certification flying on the Hawk, Phantom, Buccaneer and Jaguar aircraft embracing handling, systems, weapon aiming and air to air refuelling work. In addition to the Tornado, two  handling and system evaluations were carried out away from Boscombe Down, the F111E Ardvark flown from the USAF base at Upper Heyford in the UK and the F15 Eagle flown at Edwards Air Force Base in the US. Following a 2 year tour as a project test pilot RHB was re-toured for further two years as the A Squadron’s Senior Pilot. 

Leaving Boscombe Down in 1978, he served in the UK Ministry of Defence Operational Requirements Division working on the flight test, weapons and piloting issues of the Tornado’s entry into RAF service.
Appointed Commander Flying at the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Bedford he found himself responsible for the operations of Radar Research and Flight Systems Squadrons as well as the operational and administrative aspects of the airfield along with command and domestic aspects of a detached military unit. Amongst others his research flying focussed on radar and flight systems, workload assessments, fog flying research and turbulence response measurements. Aircraft included the BAC111, Canberra, HS125, Hunter, Gnat, HS748 plus others and, having converted to rotary aircraft, the Wessex, Gazelle and Sea King helicopters.

He found it a particular privilege to fly a number of sorties in the WW1 SE5a following a major servicing at Bedford, along with the return delivery to its real home in the Shuttleworth Collection at Old Warden.
Following the six month Air Warfare Course at the RAF College Cranwell, three years were spent at the NATO Supreme Headquarters in Mons Belgium addressing strategic policy, warfare studies and military command & control issues.       
Returning to the UK, RHB was appointed Head of Experimental Flying at the Royal Aircraft Establishment responsible for experimental and support flying and the military domestic support at the Farnborough, Bedford, Llanbedr, Aberporth and West Freugh airfields. Although besieged by the inevitable administration and staff work he managed to become personally involved in a range of flight test systems research flying principally embracing the Hawk, Andover, BAC111, Comet 4, and Hercules W2 along with considerable support and communications flying in the Navajo Chieftain and Gazelle helicopter. Fewer flight hours, although of particular interest, included the Meteor and the Varsity.
The Farnborough appointment included that of Display Director of the Farnborough International Airshow an association which extended well after his Farnborough appointment and resulted in continued support to a number of other airshows both in the UK and overseas; an activity which continued for a period in excess of 20 years and well into retirement.  
RHB’s final military appointment was as Director of Flying [Research & Development] within the UK Ministry of Defence. His responsibilities included the supervision and regulation of all UK MoD research, development and production flying both at the official establishments and in industry. He retained “hands on” contact by continuing to occasionally fly the Meteorological Research Hercules W2.
On retirement from the Service in 1996 he took the appointment of Aerospace Adviser at the flight test centre at MoD Boscombe Down and then as a consultant to ETPS. During that period he travelled extensively on flight safety, flight test and flight test training interests across North & South America, South Africa, the Middle East, the Pacific Rim including China and Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

RHB is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, Fellow of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots [US] and Honorary Member of the Flight Test Society of Australia. He was decorated with an Air Force Cross [AFC] in 1978 and appointed Commander of the British Empire [CBE] in 1996. In 2003 he was awarded the Master's Commendation from the City of London Guild of Air Pilots and Navigators for his work in supervising the display flying at the Farnborough International Airshow for some 12 years and in 2006, awarded a Master Air Pilot Certificate again by the City Guild.

Dave Southwood

Dave Southwood started flying at the age of 17 then joined the RAF a year later in 1973. After completing flying training he flew Buccaneers and Hunters with 208 Squadron, becoming the squadron’s Qualified Weapons’ Instructor pilot in 1982. In 1983 and 1984 he flew on Operation Pulsator in Beirut for which he was awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air.
In 1984 Dave became the 208 Squadron Buccaneer display pilot, thus starting a long association with display flying. He trained as a test pilot at the Empire Test Pilots’ School (ETPS) during 1985, thereafter spending 5 years at Boscombe Down involved in many varied Military Aircraft Release programmes on fast jet and trainer aircraft. Much of this work involved the carriage and release of new weapons, both guided and unguided, on a variety of aircraft, and also many weapon development programmes flying a Buccaneer; for his work during this tour he was awarded the Air Force Cross.
In 1991 he returned to ETPS as a flying tutor before being posted to Farnborough in 1993 as a Research and Development test pilot. On this tour Dave specialized in projects on night vision goggles, FLIR, targeting pods, helmet mounted sights and display systems, and integration onto aircraft such as the Jaguar and Tornado. In 1995 he returned to ETPS as a tutor from where he left the RAF as a Squadron Leader in 1999 to fly Boeing 747s for an airline. In 1999 he was given the Derry and Richards Memorial award by the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators for his services to flight test, the first military pilot ever to be given this accolade. In 2002 he returned to ETPS as a civilian flying tutor where he is currently instructing on types including Tornado, Jaguar, Alpha Jet and Hawk.
Dave started flying the Hunter in 1978 and remained current on it until 1999. In early 2007 he started flying it again for HHA, becoming the type standardization agent for the military flying regulatory organization. In addition, he has been displaying vintage World War II fighters since 1988, is a CAA Display Authorisation Evaluator and flies regularly for The Fighter Collection at Duxford.
Dave has 8700 hours on well over 100 types of aircraft, ranging from the Spitfire to the Phantom, Wildcat to Tomcat, Bf109 to Gripen, Airacobra to F-117A. He has 1350 hours on the Buccaneer and almost 1000 hours on his favourite aircraft, the Hunter.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Anatoly Nikolayevich Kvochur 1952-

 Anatoly Kvochur (centre) with Serge Dassault

Anatoly Nikolayevich Kvochur was born in Mazurovka village of Mogilev-Podolsk Area of Vinnitsy Region. Served in Army since 1969. In 1973 graduated from Yeisk high military aviation pilot school. Served in Air Force front-line units (till 1977). In 1978 graduated from Test-pilot school, in 1981 graduated from MAI. In 1978-1981 worked as test-pilot at Komsomolsk-on-Amur aviation plant.
In 1981-1991 worked as test-pilot of A.I.Mikoyan EDB. Tested more than 80 types of aircraft. Carried out flight tests of MiG-21, MiG-23, MiG-27, MiG-29, MiG-31. From 1991 he has been working as test-pilot at FRI. He is is the M.M.Gromov FRI Deputy Chief on flight testing.
Awarded with Orders of Labor Red Banner, ''For Achievements made for Fatherland'' 3rd degree Order, medals.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

S/Ldr Douglas Richard 'Dickie' Turley-George DFC 1918-1991

Dickie' Turley-George
Dickie' Turley-George (right) with Maurice Rose'Meyer
Turley-George (left) and F/O C Fenwick (in front of their Hawker Hurricane on board the SS Empire Tide

Douglas Richard Turley-George was born in Finchley, London on 8th August 1918. He joined the RAFVR in 1937 and did his weekend flying at 19 E&RFTS Gatwick. He joined the RAF on a short service commission in August 1938 and, with his training completed, he was posted to the Test Flight at RAF Henlow.

Turley-George joined 54 Squadron at Rochford on 15th July 1940. He made a crash-landing near Dover on the 25th after combat with Me109's and wrote off Spitfire P9387.
On 12th August he made a crash-landing at Denton after again being damaged in combat with Me109's. Turley-George was admitted to the Kent and Canterbury Hospital with shrapnel wounds to the head and eye. After leaving hospital he was grounded and sent on a 2nd Class Navigator's Course, after which he was posted to 54 OTU as a navigation instructor.
He later regained his full operational category and was posted to the Merchant Ship Fighter Unit in September 1941.
In June 1942 Turley-George was senior pilot on the Camship Empire Tide in Russian convoy PQ 17. The convoy was ordered to scatter when it was thought an attack by German warships was imminent. After the scatter order came, the ships were subjected to six days of bombing and torpedo attacks, until only eleven remained of the original forty-two.
Empire Tide was one of the survivors. It lay in a bay for two weeks, joined a small Russian convoy and finally reached Archangel on 24th July 1942.

Later in the year Turley-George went to the newly-reformed 198 Squadron at Digby as a supernumerary Flight Lieutenant. In early 1943 he was attached to 231 Squadron as an instructor. It was originally an army co-operation unit which had converted to a fighter-reconnaissance role.
In March 1943 he went on to the squadron strength as 'A' Flight Commander. Turley-George was wounded in November during a ground-attack sortie over Normandy. He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 3rd October 1944).

In December 1944 he was posted to 88 Group Communications Squadron at Turnhouse as a Flight Commander. The unit later moved to Fornebu, Norway. In December 1945 Turley-George took command of the Reserve Command Communications Squadron.

He was released from the RAFO in November 1949 as a Squadron Leader and became a test pilot with Shorts Bros. He was involved with the Canberra U.10 and Canberra PR9 programmes.
Turley-George was awarded the Norwegian Medal of Liberation.