Saturday, December 15, 2007

Peter Hillwood DFC 1920-1966

Cover flown onboard the E.E P.1B XG313 from Paris Airshow to Warton on 22/8/1959. It has been signed by Peter Hillwood.

Peter Hillwood flying the E.E Canberra T4

The first Short-built Canberra PR.9 in flight at Belfast. The aircraft first flew on July 26th, 1958 piloted by Peter Hillwood of English Electric.
Warton Test Pilots Beaumont,Devilliers,Hillwood with EE.P1's
FLt Gracie DFC centre with Sgt Peter Hillwood left and FSgt Taffy Higginson right at North Weald in September 1940

Lightning P1B Development Batch XG311. The Pilot in the picture is Peter Hillwood DFC who was the Deputy Chief Test Pilot for English Electric.

Peter Hillwood began flying with the RAFVR in 1938 and after training with Fighter Command went to Canada as an instrutor.
A pilot during the Battle of Britain, he shot down a Junkers Ju87 in the early stages of the battle. He was shot down whilst flying a Hurricane in 1940. He returned to Fighter Command in 1943 and served in France,Belgium and Holland and later won the DFC in 1944.

He became an experimental Test Pilot with English Electric in 1949. He was co-pilot of the record breaking English Electric crew on Canberra VX185 which made its record-breaking double crossing of the Atlantic
on 26 August 1952. It was flown from RAF Aldergrove (Ireland) to Gander and back by Wing Commander RP Beamont and was crewed by Peter Hillwood and Dennis Watson. The flight took 10hours 3minutes 29.28seconds at an average speed of 411.99 mph. He was involved with 2 feature films, 'The Magnificent men in their Flying machines' which he built the Avro Triplane for the film, and flew the triplane's stunts for the film. He also flew in ' The Blue Max' and also played a dead German pilot.

Peter Hillwood was sadly killed on the 9th November 1966 when BN-2 Prototype G-ATCT crashed at Sneek, Holland. He had flown over 50 different types including the Canberra and P1.