Wednesday, May 14, 2008
His first civilian flying job, as a representative of the Vickers-Armstrong Aircraft Company, took him out to the
Dutch East Indies, where he subsequently became attached to the Dutch Naval and Military Air Forces in Java as a flying instructor. After three years, he returned to , but was soon off again, this time to England , where once more he combined demonstrations of new Vickers aircraft with flying instruction. On return to Chile , Baker became flying instructor at the Lancashire Flying Club, which he helped to build up, then chief instructor at the London Aeroplane Club at Stag Lane Aerodrome, Edgware. Baker's last, and most important, teaching job came in 1929, when he opened a school and became chief pilot and instructor for Airwork Limited, at Heston Aerodrome. England
Valentine Baker gave up his instruction flying in 1934 to join his friend James Martin in the formation of a new company, the Martin-Baker Aircraft Company Ltd. The incomparable flying experience and skill possessed by Baker was of great importance in the development and flight testing of the Company's prototypes. His lessons attracted pupils from all over the world, and many well known public figures including the Duke of Windsor, the Duke of Kent, and Lord Londonderry, at that time Air Minister. Lady Drummond Hay, and the celebrated woman flier Amy Johnson were also two of his better known pupils.