Sunday, May 21, 2006

Don Knight 1931-

Don Knight was born in 1931 and educated at Daniel Stewart’s College, Edinburgh. He trained as a pilot during National Service 1949-51, qualifiying with distinction and completing operational conversion on the Meteor 4 and 7. Thereafter he flew with No 603 (City of Edinburgh) Squadron RauxAF, briefly on the Spitfire 22 and then the Vampire 5.

He joined English Electric (later BAC) at Samlesbury as a production test pilot in June 1953, transferring to experimental and development work at Warton in 1956. He became Deputy Chief Test Pilot in January 1964. Sady, he was forced to retire from active test flying for medical reasons mid 1967.

His career mainly comprised development flying on all marks of Canberra and Lightning aircraft, the TSR 2 later pre flight stage and initial flight programme and early design study work for the Jaguar. His responsibilities included:
Canberra Mk8 developments and autopilot systems clearance for the Indian Air Force, Canberra PR9 aerodynamic and systems development work, Lightning aerodynamic, systems and weapon clearance programmes with particular responsibilities Associated with the new generation OR946 flight control and instrumentation system, Autopilot clearance and the stalling and spinning programme, early involvement in the Lightning programme for Saudi Arabia and delivery of the first aircraft to Riyadh.

Apart from carrying out 2 of the 25 TSR2 flights prior to programme cancellation, he was involveed with design stage flight simulation at Warton, the multi axis flight and systems simulator at Weybridge and as the evaluation pilot in a flight research programme with Cornell University’s variable stability T-33 aircraft which had TSR 2 relevance.

In 1967 began a career in sales and marketing, becoming Divisional Marketing Director with contracts concluded in South America, Africa and the Far East. From 1986 to 1990 was Resident Director for British Aerospace in Indonesia.