Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Hubert S. Broad 1897-1975 MBE AFC

Hubert Stanford Broad was born on May 18th 1897,and learnt to fly at the Hall School of flying at Hendon in 1915, soloing on a single-seat 35hp Caudron. Armed with Pilot's certificate No 2,044 he joined the Royal Naval Air Service at Eastchurch in time to be accepted for the very first course at Cranwell,then an RNAS Establishment. Broad was one of a number of pilots lent by the RNAS to the Royal Flying Corps,flying Sopwith Pups with No3 Sqn. During a second tour of duty he flew Camels with 46Sqn, and the end of the war found him instructing at the Fighter Pilots Flying School at Fairlop.

Like many ex-Service pilots,Broad immediately after the war turned his hand to joy riding,firstly with Avro,and in 1920 in America.He returned to Britain in 1921 and was sixth in the Aerial Derby air-race around London flying a Camel,the beginning of his competitive and record flying career. In October 1921 de Havilland took him on as Chief Test Pilot Operations. He flew a variety of aircraft with various companies eg Handley Page W.10 Handcross,Parnall Pipit, Saunders A.10 and Gloster II and Gloster III racers. In 1925 he flew the Gloster III in the Schneider Tropy,finishing second to America's Jimmy Doolittle. In 1925, Broad made the second flight in the DH.60 Moth prototype with Geoffrey de Havilland.

In 1926,he won the Kings Cup Air Race in the Moth,setting up a 24hour endurance record in the type. His 14 year association with de Havilland ended in 1935 when he joined the RAF as a test pilot. In 1940 after a year with the Royal Aircraft Establishment,he wentback to Industry,this time as Chief Production Test Pilot for Hawker Aircraft. He had more than 7,500hrs on over 200types.