Wednesday, January 23, 2008

William 'Bill' H Else 1921-1985

Bill Else started flying in 1941 when he joined the RAF as a pilot. He trained in the USA before joining 182 Squadron; flying Hawker Typhoons on ground-attack missions to France and the Low Countries. In March 1944, Else joined the Aeroplane & Armament Experimental Establishment (A&AEE) at RAF Boscombe Down where he performed trials with ground-attack rocket projectiles. He followed this with a move to the A&AEE’s ‘A’ squadron as a test pilot, flying 49 different types in 18 months. Subsequently, Else passed through the Empire Test Pilot’s School as part of No. 5 Course, before joining Armstrong-Whitworth as a test pilot. A successful career with Armstrong-Whitworth saw him flying all of their post-war jets, including the AW.52 flying wing and their sub-contracted Meteors and Hawker Sea Hawks. He rose to be Deputy Chief Test Pilot.When Armstrong-Whitworth’s Baignton factory closed in the mid-sixties, Else transferred to Hawker Siddeley in Manchester where he test flew Vulcans, Shackletons, 748s and Nimrods. He received a Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Services in the Air in 1967. Retiring from Hawker Siddeley in 1976 after 32 years as a test pilot, Else joined Air Anglia as both Fleet Manager and Training Captain until his retirement in 1982. Flight Lieutenant William Henry Else passed away in 1985.