Saturday, August 27, 2005

John Farley OBE AFC 1933-2018

John Farley did his engineering training as an apprentice at the Royal Aircraft Establishment Farnborough before joining the RAF for pilot training in 1955.

After flying Hunters with 4 Squadron based in Germany, he was a flying instructor at the RAF College Cranwell before joining the Empire Test Pilot’s School course in 1963. Following a distinguished pass from ETPS he became a test pilot on the RAE Aerodynamics Research Flight at Bedford. During this tour he flew all the UK research aircraft then flying.

As RAE project pilot on the P1127 prototype in 1964,he started what was to become 19 years of Harrier programme test flying moving from the RAE to join Dunsfold from where he retired as Chief Test Pilot. As the Harrier programme progressed, he became increasingly involved in overseas ventures especially with the US and various Navies, particularly enjoying 1982 when he managed 2 hours gliding in an AV-8B Harrier not noted for its soaring performance.

John Farley has flown over 80 different aircraft types,both fixed and rotary wing. In 1990 he became the first western test pilot invited by the Russians to fly the Mig-29 and more recently participated with Lockheed as a JSF Red Team member.