Friday, October 27, 2006

Mike Webber 1929-

Mike posing beside a Jet Provost
Mike Webber flying the Sabre at Filton for development of the Bristol Orpheus 12 engine

Mike Webber joined the Air Training Corps while at school, and completed a gliding course at Exeter airfield. All solo in those days, progressing from ground slides, low hops a few feet off the ground, to high hops maybe 100 or 150 ft up. He then joined London University Air Squadron while at university, where he got a degree in engineering. He then did his National Service,however his UAS experience allowed him to continue flying training, which was not usual for National Service men. He ended up as a fighter pilot on 74 Squadron, flying Meteor 8s.

On completing national Service he got a job as a flight test observer at Bristol. He joined the local R.Aux.A.F. squadron (501), and finally was invited to join the Bristol Aeroplane Co., mainly on the Britannia development programme. After a couple of years he transferred to Bristol Siddeley Engines, also at Filton. It was here he did the majority of his test flying.

In all he flew about 45 different types. The ones that hold fondest memories for him were: that first ATC glider, the Dagline, Tiger Moth, Harvard, Meteor 8. Vampire, Folland Gnat fighter (single seater). Canberra with Olympus engines, Buccaneer, Fiat G91, HS125, Scout helicopter, Sea King, Vulcan, Javelin. Argosy and BAC111.